During a 67 mile ride over the Picture Rocks climb, down and through Saguaro National Park West and then up and over Gates Pass, I was enjoying the long descent when I entered a dip in the road and there was a rattlesnake. I swerved a bit to avoid it and looking straight down, confirmed, yep, a rattler for sure. I braked, turned and while coasting back into the dip, reached into back pocket, removed camera, fumbled camera and camera pitches forward bouncing on the pavement. My front wheel hits the camera but rather than roll over, it pinches it beneath the tire and now I am skidding as friction begins to work on camera. Weird. My wheel turns to the left and bike begins to fall. I am preparing to brace for impact when suddenly, camera ejects and I bring the bike upright. Whew. Camera though, not good. I visit to "Best Buy" and I am good to go for tomorrow's (Sunday) hike.
Unfortunately, my new camera keeps telling me I have no memory after I take 4 pics so I have copied images from a fellow hiker. There I am, back left, talking to a guy who participates in an interesting bike race. There is a train that runs from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon. The event is called the "Man vs. Machine". Sounds like you have to average about 23mph to beat the train. Last year, a head wind prevented anyone from beating the train.
A steady but not steep climb bring us out of the valley and the "1st Water" trail head. A rare cloudy day but comfortable for a hike.
Now it gets steep as we climb away from that prominent rock on the right and reach....
....this point, the entrance to the "Canyon of the Waterfalls". One has to walk around the rock outlined in red along the green slope. Some brief exposure prevents some from doing anything other than peering around the rock.
Multiple waterfalls and a beautiful spot. Later I learn this is the back way up to the Flat Iron, a rarely traveled route. That got me thinking for sure.
I climb up the right side, cross the stream and then continue up the left side. Unfortunately, the way back....
...caused me to pause as the rock was slick from the water and above I am backing up. The odds of my foot sliding and me sliding into the pool is too good. Our hike leader tells me to wait and he'll help but I assure him it is ok. Now I have the unwanted attention of 12 people. I poke around to the left and the hike leader yells, "Be careful!" I look at him and ask, "Is there an option?" Everyone laughs as I find a may down.
One last look before heading back down. I think I'll come back to do a solo up through there and beyond to the Flat Iron. I found a gpx file to follow so what could go wrong? Finished with about 6 miles. Well, this weather disturbance that produced no rain is ushering in warm temps and sun as a high pressure ridge will take over. Mid 80's and light winds for this week. Time to head to the mountain where they are still skiing at the top.