2003 or 2004
A surprise day off in the middle of the week -- Kathy and I decided to hike into the Santa Ritas from Madera Canyon. We left home at 7:30 but there was a gift shop to visit and rooms to tour the rooms at Santa Rita Lodge, and acorn woodpeckers to admire. Then we found out there was a very long detour to the trailhead and got hopelessly lost on a "shortcut."
We ended up on Old Baldy, the steepest and most difficult trail to the summit of Mount Wrightson. In 2.2 miles, we would climb more than 2000 feet.
Summer wildflowers were rampant, and there were many stops to try to identify them. Our favorite was the Mexican Silene, a very flamboyant bright red flower.