We got a late start after a late New Years Eve…of course. When we began our drive up into the mountains, it was around noon plus thirty. The goal was to visit the petroglyphs that we had been to once before:
In Search of Tortolita Petroglyphs: A Trip Report
It is winter time and the rattlesnakes are asleep with most of the local reptiles. We can bushwack, step over rocks and climb without fear of disturbing those fellows. The vegetation is more sparse and easier to see under and move around when naked. It is a time when I’ll survey the 55 saguaros that grow on my property and revisit terrain that is too dangerous at other times.
It sounded weird to us as the radio told us the date was in 2014. The reported temp on the radio was 66F downtown as we slowly plodded our way up the 4×4 trail, which has been severely eroded. We weren’t sure what to expect for wind-chill, but the forecast was eight miles per hour at most. To a delight, as we parked and exited the SUV, I was stunned by the absolute surreal silence about us and the warm sun on my nude body. We were in the heart of the Tortolitas.
As we ascended the mountains, a guy on a mountain bike had switched places with us twice, but he was soon going another way. The place was obviously all ours. We had been concerned because people’s New Years Day outdoor activities can detract from our elbow room.
Earlier, I had thought to go up a wash in a different way, but time was an important consideration at this point. The other hiking route would have given us an extra mile and a half in that sandy rocky wash. We decided to …