January 7, 2007
On a flawless Sunday morning a group of friends — some who met for the first time — set out for one of Tucson's classic "neighborhood hikes." This "un-club" assembled thanks to the new Tucson Hikers Home Page.
Determined not to stick to a set route or schedule, we began by wandering up King Canyon wash. With two anthropologists in the group, we had no trouble spotting the petroglyphs pecked into the cliffs above the wash.
Desert verbena produces mid-winter blossoms in a solar-heated cranny.Kit prepares to smite the infidels with a scepter made from a recycled flagpole.
We don't know the name of this plant, but its spores leave a lovely phosphorescent "tattoo".
There are several approaches to Wasson Peak, but my favorite is to wander along the old mining road until it joins the Sweetwater Trail.
From Sweetwater Saddle, the trails twists and turns northwest along the backbone of the Tucson Mountains. The views will knock your socks off!
The last section of the trail is a bit steep, but even dallying as we did, we made it to the top in under three hours.
Ann and Kit enjoy a leisurely lunch at the top of the world.
We turned the hike into a loop by returning via the Hugh Norris Trail.
This ridgeline trail delivers even more great views, especially on a golden winter afternoon.
Left to right: Dennis, Ann, Bill, Shari, Lee and Kit.
Two hikers of the equine persuasion at the Sendero Esperanza junction: "Gold Dust" (left) and his buddy "Scoop" (below), a piebald paint.
You can cut back to King Canyon via the Sendero Esperanza Trail for a loop of approximately eight miles in length with an 1800' foot elevation gain/loss.
A great hike in great company, topped off with a cold cerveza and a burger at Tiny's Saloon on Ajo Road.
Maybe it was the dry air, but on the way down, we got to talking about Kit's "Tribal Canoe". This boat was featured on the front cover of the October/November 2006 issue of Boatbuilder magazine. Kit says, "I drew designs on a computer and carved them on a CNC machine. This way I could avoid violating anti-slavery and child labor laws, and still meet the June deadline. The ornamental designs are my own, but are made to evoke and honor all peoples who have made boats and loved them enough to lavish them with their own unique and powerful designs."