We started counterclockwise, as a walk with my non-hiking stepson and wife (who has bad feet). Trail is definitely not “well worn” (per hike description), but is still fairly distinct — mostly because the first two miles are through green ground cover. It’s a very lush area, with lots of bushes and actual leafy trees. Only a few flowers, all on cacti. We did the first mile in a very casual 30 minutes, after which my family turned back and I forged on.
Just after the mile mark, on the north side of Hill 2145, I saw a herd of six burros high up the slope. I might not have noticed them, except I heard a loud snort and froze. Judging by previous triplogs going back a year, they are regulars in that area. 1.5 miles in, keeping my eyes on the footing in the wash, I looked up to see a horned cow about 20 feet away. My first thought was “bull”. (But it wasn’t.) I slowly backed away, figuring even it could not charge over the rocky surface. I worked my way along the north edge of the wash, avoiding the herd of four.
About two miles in, the trail leaves the south side of the wash. Unbeknownst to me, I missed the turn, and continued up the wash. When I crossed the jeep trail, I thought I was where coanbru’s GPS track crosses the jeep trail, but upon further review (at home), determined that I was actually where the jeep trail crosses the wash a couple hundred yards northwest of Hill 2200. In other words, about a mile north of where I should have been. If you look at a topo, like I was, you can see where the two curves in the jeep trail would look very similar on the ground. After searching around for some cairns, I decided to bail south to the southern leg of Walkin’ Jim Trail. So, when I hit what I thought was the southern leg, I was actually connecting up with the northern leg, where I should have been in the first place.
Figuring discretion was the better part of valor, and not wanting my wife to worry back at the trailhead, and wanting time to shower at home before heading over to Turf Paradise, I headed east on the trail. I saw a neat red rock formation with flourescent green moss. Passed the Walkin Jim’ wood sign. Descended into a familiar wash. Then I realized what I had done. Maybe I should have bought that GPS on Saturday.
I passed a couple of gals, one shouldering a tripod. I let them know there was a couple of guys target shooting with a bow up by the jeep trail. I significantly picked up the pace. As I was crossing the last wash, the one with the leafiest trees, just before the trailhead, I came upon an unleashed dog. I thought it was a stray at first, as the owner was nowhere to been seen. Luckily, it was a friendly dog, but it began putting its paws on me which is not good. I stayed calm and tried to shoo the dog. Spotting the owner out of corner of my eye, I asked her to call her dog. Her response? “Do you have a dog biscuit?” Hell no, lady, I got my pockets full of raw steaks, what the hell do you think? Fucking moron. I finally shooed the dog, made it back to trailhead, kissed my wife, and bailed up the road before dipstick and her dog made it back.
Distance: 7.00 mi.
AEG: 500 ft.
Time: 2h 55m