January 1st, 2017 ~ Day 282
Happy New Year!!! It’s a beautiful day for a hike and a great way to start out the new year. At least it was a great day after the rain finally stopped.
Eric and I headed to the Desert Hills Trailhead on Cave Creek Road around 2 pm. Putting our rain rackets on, because it still looked like it was going to rain, we began our hike on the Ocotillo Trail. The last time we were here, in the summer, we did the Sidewinder Trail so today we thought we’d try a different route. It didn’t look to be a long hike from the road. It looked like the trail circled around the base of the mountain from where the tower stood.
The skies were covered in clouds and the trails were soaked from the rain. Hiking through the muddy trails was an adventure of its own. We had to go off trail a couple times to avoid the mud. The views of the surrounding mountains were amazing. Cave Creek Road is far north of the city, although we are technically still in the city of Phoenix. There are less houses surrounding the area up here and there are so many more mountains to see.
The skies seemed to be opening off in the distance. A beautiful glow over the mountains. We continued on hiking further away from the tower. A little discouraged, I was hoping for an easy hike today. The tower had seemed so close before.
As we continued on heading south, you could see the clouds were hanging so low they covered the peak of the mountain. We kept on hiking, getting further away from the tower until we made it to another road, Dove Valley Road, I believe.
I was getting a little worried. I have been here once before, with Trail Mix, I believe. I just don’t remember this trail being so long, and who knows if they changed the trails. Do you think I would have looked at the map? Uh, no! I did take a picture of it before I began, but never looked at the mileage. We kept going, because our only other option was to head back the four miles we just came from.
A gorgeous sight of ocotillo on the Ocotillo Trail!
Finally, we made it to the Sidewinder Trail! I knew where I was and how to get back to the trailhead from here. That was a huge relief! My anxiety now gone, we continued on until we made it to the tower road. Taking the road as our shortcut back to the trailhead.
Just as we were ending the hike, I snapped a picture of the tower. Our ominous statue in the sky, looming overhead as we hiked this longer than expected trail. We really did just hike the base of the mountain. Total mileage was just under five, which isn’t difficult, just unexpected.
As we got in our car, it began to rain. Not one drop on the trail, but it waited until we got in our car. We couldn’t have asked for anything more. Happy New Year!