The Rattler & La Milagrosa Hike
A windy day was forecast so I was more than agreeable to take up a friends request to lead up La Milagrosa Canyon to the waterfalls. Well, I was agreeable until I realized that my one previous visit wasn't actually up the interior of the canyon but a loop around the inner canyon. Then, after reading several descriptions of the canyon hike I decided that is best left for another day so, above, we head east on Horsehead Road into the wilderness.
I understand there are several neat features within the canyon so certainly will visit for at least a scouting mission. Our little group of 3 headed up the ridge trail which allowed some good views into the canyon.
The hedgehogs are now blooming. Beautiful color.
The trail drops into a canyon with a meager flow of water and then back out and the climbing continues.
Wow, not seen this before, a saguaro cactus having an orange arm. Weird.
Every time we reached a saddle, there was another to climb. I had my prior experience having hiked the loop and I also had a GPS track I checked so what did I do......
….I walked right by a right bearing fork and we kept going up and up. Finally, I called a halt to the proceedings, checked the screen of my device and noooooooo. I had mistaken a black terrain elevation line for the route. There, about a mile back was the black, dotted route line. We retraced our route to.....
….the fork in the trail and took a break to refuel. I walked down to a ledge and peered into the canyon while my companions were probably discussing whether one should push me in to the chasm.
We decided, rather than continue on the official loop trail, to go back the way we had come which would give us 8 miles while the loop would yield about 10.5. Working with a time constraint forced the decision. Above, water trickles over rock slabs.
Various homes have landscapes for which they pay many thousands of dollars to look like what we see all around us. Throughout the hike, I was in hyper snake scan mode and did see a garter snake on the trail but no rattler. Returning home, a neighbor alerted me that a Western Diamondback was in our condo complex so....
….I ran over to see. There it is, curled under a rock. The fire department arrived and....
….grabbed it with one of those pincher tools. Note the color of the rocks behind the snakes upper body. They blend in way too well. I asked the fireman if I could touch the snake and he said no. Then I asked if he could release the snake so we could reenact the capture for video and he again said no!!! They had more snakes to capture so off they went.
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