Sunday was another one of those excessively warm days. About 110 F as I left the valley. There were storm clouds to the east but a hot wind was blowing. Starting at about 4000 feet, I thought the temperature on the Barnhardt trail might be tolerable.
The dirt road up to the trailhead was in very good shape. It was only about 100 when I got to the large parking area at the end of the road. There was also a lot of shade because of all the clouds. Large, dark clouds.
On the drive up, there was a long, almost level stretch of road that had some ruts from the last time it rained up there. It reminded me of that time I was sliding around in the mud up on the rim about a year ago, though it was dry now. I didn't want to get stuck in mud; Skid is in Texas and couldn't rescue me. I decided to walk along the trail for a short distance so I could leave quickly if it looked like it was going to get wet.
The trail has a gentle slope and is easy walking, but the air was dead calm and the humidity was probably over 40%. I had sweat trickling down my face in no time. I was glad when it started sprinkling and gave me an excuse to turn around.
As I drove back down to the highway, admiring the clouds all around, I saw something out of the corner of my eye that seemed to be shaped like a lizard but was the wrong color. Well, it wasn't a lizard color that I am used to seeing. It was a collared lizard and it let me take a lot of pictures before it ran under a bush.
Shortly after I saw the lizard, I decided to stop and see how steep the drop-off was to the right of the road. I wandered around a little enjoying the view and spotted something else odd out of the corner of my eye. I've come across a few crested saguaros on my hikes and I have read that other cacti can have that same type of deformity. I finally found another cactus like that. It was a hedgehog cactus.
It was a pleasant and relaxing trip. I'l be back to that trailhead when it cools off. Click below to see all of the pictures.