Santa Rita Mountains, Madera Canyon, AZ
Training for the Camino is a daily practice. Sometimes the practice is clearing the mind, putting away the ‘devices’ or vices. Other times it’s a flat surface walk. Today the practice was a very strenuous hike in the Santa Rita Mountains, just a 10 minute drive up the Madera Canyon from our primitive campsite.
We combined two trails into the hike. The first trail was an unintended hike due to poor signage on the trail and poor map skills on our part. While we gained 1,200 feet in 1½ miles, the reward of spotting a few interesting birds turned the hike into a winner; one that we were happy to have been diverted to.
After returning to the point of confusion we started off on a hike that would take us along side of Mt Wrightson. That hike included a couple saddles and a straight up slog and 6 miles.
The biggest surprise was the big snow patches that quilted the shaded slopes making the goat size trail very slippery.
The last two miles down to the parking lot should have been easy but I was too tired. After a gin and tonic, a bowl of guacamole and another wonderful sunset, I lost the tiredness. The evening sky, before the waning moon tracked up over the mountain, was dark and full of stars.