Surprised! A New Tortolita Trail

I’m looking at property in the Tortolita Mountains and DF and I decide to take a hike while we’re out here. There is a nice little trail that leads up to a cliff face, not very far and relatively quick.
We have been this way before, but not this fork.
This is January. It isn’t bad, but any light breeze might be chilling. We keep some clothing on at first. We are looking across the valley, up at the Catalina Mountain range where at 9000 feet, there is a solid snowcap. DF is getting over a cold and tells me that she isn’t ready for anything too strenuous.

Snow-capped Out There

It has been raining and the creek is flowing. The deep sand is soggy and we sink in. It clings to our shoes and makes the round smooth creek rocks slippery. The silence is continually broken by the sound of crunching and grinding, as we trudge through.
The air feels fresh, as it slides up into my nostrils. I can feel humidity as I undress out of a kilt, leaving on my dark sweatshirt to keep my torso warm. DF decides to just remove her sweater top, placing it in our pack, keeping her pants.

Walking up the wash, we miss the intersecting trail. I know that something doesn’t feel right. I backtrack fifty feet and find our way.
After the switch off onto solid trail, we are in new territory, heading up the slope to the cliff face that all of this rubble and soil came from over millennia. It is a good trail for horses, until the switchbacks begin. At that time, we find a fork for them, which leads back down.

This slope is loaded with fun saguaros.

This will …

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