So it started, a small idea for a little trip. A short pack trip. One night with a modest hike near Phoenix. Here we three are at the start, at the Reavis Ranch trail head. 3.5 miles up and a steep uphill -- to find this view --
and then we descend into Shawn's Garden, proclaimed to be so by me, because of it reminding me of Garden Valley. It was confirmed immediately by the Happy Hiking Guy™, and Dale was there to witness it, so now it is true, and I think the USGS is going to add the place name to the maps. You'll see another picture of it later, because, frankly, I liked it.
These are Beavertail Cactus of some sort or another. They are spiny and I think I still have some spines sticking out from my neck from when I smacked one with my face.
The descent into Reavis Creek was steep and despite a lot of preparation my right knee was threatening to
We saw this Horny Toad (Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidiarum, technically a Horned Lizard), which was cool. The horned toad has a very high coefficient of juju. One might ask, what is the coefficient of juju? This was actually Dale's terminology. I was talking about juju, as it relates to desert critters, like coyotes or lizards. I always thought juju was sort of like luck plus savvy. A lizard can run across hot desert sand and hide through camouflage, and then just when you've managed to get ahold of his tail, he breaks it off, combining surprise with speed to escape to safety. That's some large coefficient of juju. Man makes water from a desert mud hole and gets a desert survival badge. I was a bit worried the pain in my knee would lower my juju.
This is the Sierra Designs Light Year single and my home for the night. My playmates went off to find Reavis Falls while I looked around for an ice pack for my knee, made water and ate.
My legs were seriously cooked and my feet (dogs in the vernacular of Dale) were throbbing, which proved a bit difficult in the somewhat limited space of the SD Light Year.
The trip out went well.
This is the overview of Shawn's Garden. It is difficult to do this any justice with a camera. It might be the biggest collection of Beavertail cactus in one place in the world, who knows. Enlarge this photo and look at how many thousands of pads there are. Although I wasn't lame at all on the trip out, as you can see in this picture, Dale has my food bag hanging from his backpack, and I am following him like Pavlov's dog. Despite being 4 miles from the car, I am seriously ready for a bowl of screaming hot chili at Tortilla Flat. I stopped for lunch about 45 minutes later.
Me with Apache Lake in the background.
There's the car and two bowls of that chili.