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A Slow Start to the New Year

USA | Friday, 7 January 2022 | Views [62]

Saguaro sentinels, Arnett Canyon Trail

Saguaro sentinels, Arnett Canyon Trail

2022 IS GETTING OFF TO A SLOW START. Days are still 24-hours long and there are seven days in a week but we haven’t done much to fill them. The weather has been chilly with more rain than usual and, except for Connie, we’ve all been coughing and sneezing and wheezing. At first I attributed to allergies—Sonora dust replacing Sahara’s—but Paul and his new squeeze Sue, who both live in Arizona, have even worse symptoms, so bad that their doctors prescribed antibiotics and Covid tests. Negative for both.


      Our Motley Crew

Yesterday was the first time I’ve felt like my old self, operative word “old.” Paul, Connie and I joined Nick and Peggy for a hike on the Arnett Canyon near their home in Superior. We left Paul’s Wrangler at the Picket Post trailhead and took Nick’s 4-Runner to the Superior end to make it a one-way, downstream hike, just a bit under 10K altogether.


          Nick scouts the trail


                Paul and Peggy

We hadn’t seen Nick and Peggy since last Christmas and it was like coming out of hibernation for all of us. Nick not only was familiar with the trail, he was instrumental in building and maintaining it so it was natural he led the way. I followed snapping photos with Connie and Peggy chatting merrily behind. Paul and his trekking poles brought up the rear. 


           A Perfect Day for hiking


             A touch of frost in the canyon's shadow

It was a bluebird day with bright sun and temperatures in the 50s. The trail was spongy in places with frost-covered grass in the shade and numerous crossings of the trickling stream. Nick set a pace somewhere between mosey and dawdle, perfect for enjoying the scenery. The red cliffs contrasted nicely with the blue sky and those few yellow leaves that clung tenaciously to the cottonwoods. Hillsides of saguaro cacti stood tall like quills on a porcupine.


           Another stream crossing


               The Home Stretch—it's all downhill from here

Paul’s Wrangler was a welcome sight at trail’s end. After we retrieved Nick’s vehicle we rendezvoused at Los Hermanos, a no-frills eatery with cold beer and scrumptious Mexican food. Gotta replenish those electrolytes and carbs!


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