Friday, May 02, 2014

A return, of sorts

Two or three years ago, or so, I had hiked out to some large hoodoos at the northwest corner of the Superstition Mountains. It was a long hike and I was very tired as I returned to the truck after sunset. That was when my ankle first started bothering me. It twisted just a little a couple of times on the way back. Didn't really hurt, but it didn't feel good. It was a couple of days before I could walk normally. After that, any hike over 3 miles would have me limping or hopping on one foot the next day. This went on for about 2 years until one day when I was walking on a sidewalk I noticed that when I picked my foot up, it felt like the bones in my ankle moved apart, and when I put it back down, they got jammed together. It didn't hurt at all, but I decided that doing that thousands of times on a hike was probably why my ankle hurt. Then I figured out that the reason it did that was because of my boots. I really liked them because they came far above my ankles and kept them from twisting much. The problem was that, even though I did not lace them tightly, they would squeeze my ankles just a little. If an ankle was slightly swollen, the squeeze would force the bones apart, only to be pounded back together when I put my foot down, which increased swelling and caused more pounding and, eventually, pain. So I had to quit wearing those boots. After years of abuse, the ankle still gets sore, but not nearly as bad as it did when I wore those boots. Anyway, the reason I bring all this up is because I went back out to those hoodoos recently. I wanted to see something near them but for years I didn't think I could hike that far, even though I've hike greater distances since then. I decided to hike out to the rock I wanted to see one day and use crutches if I had to the next day. It turns out my ankle was barely sore the next day, though.

I haven't seen one of these for 2 or 3 years. I wouldn't have seen this one if he hadn't moved.

A little while later, I saw this one. Again, I wouldn't have seen him if he hadn't moved.

I saw 2 horned lizards on this hike. I don't think I had seen one for about 3 years before this year. I've seen 4 so far this year. I look around every time I pass a big red ant ant bed but if the horned lizards aren't moving, they are hard to see. Both of these were close to ant beds (they eat the ants).

Find the horned lizard in this picture. I have trouble seeing him and I know where he is. This is zoomed to how the scene would look if you were standing on the trail. You need to look at the picture full size, though.

There were some rain clouds in the distance. After 11 years in the desert, I knew I didn't have to worry about getting wet.

It is not unusual for a single prickly pear cactus to have 2 colors of flowers. I've seen two colors on one pad.

The rock I wanted to get close to looks sort of like a bent thumb sticking out of the ground. I had gotten pictures of it from a distance before but wanted to get closer. I was almost to the hoodoos before I thought I was close enough to the thumb to leave the trail and head for it. Unfortunately, I didn't see an easy way to get to it. I would have to go through steep-sided washes full of vegetation. I decided it wasn't worth the effort. Since I was almost at the hoodoos, I went on to them.

Nice-looking clouds over picturesque mountains.

Thumb rock. I still don't have a good picture of it.

I always seem to use that pointy rock as a gauge of how much I've climbed when I'm on this side of the mountains.

I didn't feel as tired when I got to the hoodoos as I remember being the first time I was out there. I sat in their shade and had a snack. I looked at all the other places I've explored since the last time I was out there and decided that I need to go to some of them again because they probably aren't beyond my reach now after all.

At the hoodoos.

I like the view from up there.

Click below for all of the pictures.


No comments: