Well how about that rain fans!?!?! We experienced our wettest month within the monsoon season, ever. Officially 8"+ at the Tucson airport but many locations received much more rain for July. Every canyon, ravine, gully, notch, wash, etc... is flowing.
I drove to the west end of the Santa Ritas where I wanted to scout an off trail start to a hike I organized. rather than the traditional approach from the south, this would be from the northwest, gaining the ridge on the left side of the head and then hang a right and summit.
A grader was out, clearing runoff from the paved roads as I got onto Mount Hopkins Road. Eventually, I got onto Monarch, which is dirt and I was not able to advance as far as I did last year when I previously did the hike. I parked and while hiking, passed this interesting "roundabout" that someone is maintaining.
During my 2.5 mile hike to the start of the bushwhacking route, I crossed a ravine that had a decent water flow. I began to have misgivings about the viability of the hike. Was the water flow receding or increasing and with more rain forecast, what would it be like in two days. I reached.....
....the point where we would begin the route. Last year, whatever grass existed, it had been maintained by grazing but now, post all the rain, the area was almost a jungle. Looking to the south I spotted....
....Little Elephant Head.
I walked off the road into the area where we would begin our hike. The grass was thick and at least as high as my knee. I get quite nervous about hiking where I can not see my feet during rattlesnake season. With all this new growth and a landscape far different from what I encountered last year, I decided I ought to cancel the hike. I hate doing that and know my reliability as an organizer takes a hit I suppose. Full disclosure, there were quite a few new attendees for the hike and while looking at the ridge and all that comes before it, I was reminded how difficult the route finding was and challenging of a hike. Hmmmmm, I need to take this one private and pick some of my hardy hiking buddies. Anyway,....
....I headed back and saw a golf ball. This is about the 5th time, while hiking in a remote area with no golf courses around, I've seen a golf ball. Weird although the above one was probably used for target practice.
I headed home, crossing one of many washes that are running with our welcome rain.