Monday, August 15, 2011

Still too hot

For hiking in the middle of the day, that is. I had stuff to do in the morning and plans for the late afternoon, but I had to spend some time in the desert so I went in the middle of the day. I went out near Fish Creek Hill and was thinking I might take a short hike over to where I could see Apache Train descending the hill. It would be less than a mile round trip.

I couldn't drive as far as I wanted on this road, but I didn't need to go far.

There were signs of recent rain.

As you might guess from the clouds, the humidity was up. It was only about 100, but the intense sun and the humidity made it uncomfortable. There are very few saguaros up there, probably because of the altitude (about 3000 feet), so I couldn't hide in their shade. Clouds got between me and the sun now and then and that was very nice.

Apache Trail is over that cliff and 600 feet straight down.

I was kind of wandering in the general direction of where I wanted to be, with my exact direction of travel determined by what I wanted to get a closer look at and what the terrain would allow. I got within about 400 feet of my destination and stopped to take a few pictures. I looked around vainly for a place to get out of the sun and I studied the studied the slope ahead of me. I would have to descend 100 feet. It was mostly gradual, but there were occasional vertical drops of up to 8 feet. You can usually get around those, but it takes time. After considering the effort it would take to get to the cliff edge, the rate at which I was drinking water, and the fact that the return trip would be all uphill, I decided that it was time to turn back.

That's Four Peaks from the side way back there.

I had made stops on the way down to plot my course. I had to make stops on the way up to keep from overheating. I felt like a wimp when I decided to turn back but halfway up I knew I had made the right decision. By the time I got back to the truck I was getting a headache. Turning back had been a very good decision.

Whenever I have to postpone getting to my intended destination, I think about all the motivational speakers I've listened to saying that you have to set a goal and stick to it. I'm pretty sure that it would be foolish to apply such a philosophy to hiking in the desert. Or maybe I should just add "and return in good health" to my hiking goals. Click below to see all of the pictures.


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