December 26, 2016, New River- This small settlement’s hinterland drew me back, yet again, this time to complete a twelve-mile round trip to the edge of a course called Boy Scout Loop. I am not sure I actually found it today, either, but I did walk six miles each way, and stayed on the BCNRT, until coming to a loop’s end. It just wasn’t identified as “Boy Scout”, and the purists insist it would have been.
No matter, this was my fifth visit to Table Mesa trailhead, and the last for a while. Here are some scenes along the segment I hiked today.
The trailhead, on the southern side of Forest Road 9950, got me headed in the right direction, towards a long mesa to the west of here.
The trail continued to be somewhat rugged, in spots, as I made my way along the long mesa’s eastern edge. Mostly, though, this segment passes through long desert valleys, with mesquite and saguaro forests.
Here is a southern view of an outcropping I passed about a month ago, during a hike along Forest Road 9950.
Heart-shaped rocks have always reassured me that I am on the right path, and am surrounded by love. I saw many more such stones this time, than I have in while.
This remnant of a miner’s crate is on what I took to be the northern edge of Boy Scout Loop. At any rate, it’s near where I turned and began heading back.
This is one of the mesquite forests I encountered, on this relatively easy trek.
I saw nary another human on this hike, although there were many target shooters on the Table Mesa range, whom I could hear to my east, for much of the jaunt. These mule deer were in a safe spot, though, and were my only visible companions.
There is a dormant volcano, about six miles east of here, which did cast igneous rock far afield, several thousand years ago. Here is one remnant of that outburst.
I again found my flashlight very handy, with part of the trail having been obliterated by Saturday’s rain storm, and my having to follow a dry creek-bed part of the way back. Having basic knowledge of the topography, it wasn’t long before I found the trail again, even with moonless conditions.
The final two segments of BCNRT will begin from New River’s Emery Henderson Trailhead. It looks like January 8, and later on in the month, will allow time for those finishing touches.