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Monday, February 27, 2017

Day 57 2/28/17 - Soldier Trail Endurance Hike

This is a well traveled trail with most people carrying a daypack for water.  I carried my large full pack as I will for the backcountry hike.

This hike doesn't look like much on this map, but it is an aggressive hike with 5 miles rising nearly 2000 feet. This hike was done on Monday to build endurance and will be the last endurance hike before the backcountry hike.

The trail quickly rises up from the foothills into the mountains.  Off in the distance is the city of Tucson.

With a bit more elevation the east side of Tucson unfolds.

Back further into the mountains the inner canyon rises on both sides of the trail.

Looking into the canyon the land rises up and up and if you look closely there is a canyon formed with a stream down inside.

Up higher now there is high grass and as with many hikes out here, there are interesting rock formations.

Well into the mountains the highest point on this trail is reached and the decent began.

At the top my thighs were getting tired so I was glad to make it this high with my heavy pack.

Going down hill back to the car takes care with the extra weight of the pack and loose sand and rocks on the path that makes it easy to slip.  

As one reader of the blog pointed out to me that I should be using trekking poles and I do want to point out I do use one and it is great to balance the weight coming down.  I only use one pole as I like having one hand free.

Another blog follower asked about snakes on the trails.  I have not seen a snake yet and I have not met a rattlesnake in my 4 years of my travels.

I'm not disappointed not seeing a rattlesnake, but I have seen 3' long black-neck garter snakes twice in prior years.

 Image from Google search

In both cases these snakes were found in my downward decent hiking and were tucked up against the rocks I was stepping over and couldn't be seen until I almost stepped on them.

After these encounters I put my hiking stick over and down in front of the rocks to prevent both the snake and I being startled.

It will soon be time here in the higher desert to see more snakes hiking.  I have gotten word that a number of rattlesnakes have been seen in the lower desert around Quartzsite where it gets hotter sooner.


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