Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cold, Cloudy, Crowded Camelback

Weather:  59°, overcast, occasional strong breeze

Time:  29 minutes

About this hike:  Being a Wednesday afternoon (and considering the recent weather) I expected a quiet trailhead. Wrong again. Upon my arrival there was hardly a parking spot to be found. Gratefully I scored a fantabulous spot right at the top of the main parking lot.

This has been a rough week for hiking. On Monday I was in the area of Echo Canyon for an appointment but conveniently had my hiking gear in the car. I even went so far as to get to the trailhead and get parked, but the rain started coming down hard. I opted to wait for a bit, but it started coming down harder. Since wet rocks and climbing are never a good combination, I opted to play it safe and head home. Probably a good thing, as the Valley has seen unprecedented rainfall each day this week.

So back to the hike at hand... The trails were still a little damp from all the rain, but drying nicely. I'm not sure if it was cabin fever or what, but an amateur crowd was out today (stopping in the middle of the trail to take selfies, causing drama, etc.). Add to that an extra dose of precaution due to damp trails, and yet somehow I still managed a 29 minute time to the summit.  In less crowded, drier conditions could this have been a 28-minute record tie, OR a new record entirely? Regardless, I'll still happily take an under-30 minute time.

All the rainfall has cleared out the pollution hanging over our Valley since New Years. Today you could see down between Casa Grande and Tucson as Picacho Peak just barely stood out in the far distance.  Wish I had brought my binoculars, but it is visible in the photo below.

The airplane is the marker. See Picacho behind it in the far distance??

Very Superstitious...

Rainfall is bringing out some wildlife too!

Only 192 calories burned? I don't think so!

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