Yesterday I slept until almost 8:00 a.m. – truly amazing! Zuni tried to wake me up a couple of times, but when I finally opened my eyes I understood why I slept so long. The whole Gila was shrouded in a thick fog. By the time I got up, dressed and ready to roll the fog was burning off the immediate area and I got packed for hiking.
My destination was a simple 2.5 mile hike up Signal Peak to see the fire watch tower. By the time I got to the trail head the weather had cleared up, the sun was shining brightly and a 72 degree breeze stirred the pines. What a picture perfect day!
The hike took me 2 hours and 15 minutes – lots of huffing and puffing and stops to photograph anything that did not fly or run away. Shortly after summiting (I love to use that term as if I ever climbed like a mountain climber! Ha!), another hiker came along and we chatted. He had hiked Tadpole Ridge yesterday and overnighted in the huge thunder storm that came through. He said it poured for over 2 hours. The evidence was in all the debris and new troughs on the trails. Today he was doing Signal Peak with full pack to practice for his rim to rim of the Grand Canyon next week. He was also a site steward (checks up on archeological sites to see if anyone has messed around or looted them). He works for Marilyn Markel, the lady who helped get us involved with the archeological digs this summer!
Anyway, the trip down the mountain only took 50 minutes! Worth the extra time to get up there, though. Here are some photos from today, starting with the fog as seen from Coperas vista, lots of lizards, mushrooms, slime and puff balls!
That’s all for today! Off to work!