Prescott Circle Trail, Segment 1, Part 2: Trail’s End

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May 22, 2016, Prescott- There are lots of challenges left in the world, for those who think it’s all been done by others.  I know that, no matter where I go, there will be someone who’s already “done” the trip, gone along the trail, gone up the mountain, forded the river, negotiated the canyon.  I’m happy for them, and hope that many will follow after us.  The world is for learning and for appreciating.

In twelve section hikes, I have explored the entire unpaved course of Prescott Circle Trail.  Ten segments, spanning 53 miles, separated only by a 1.8 mile gap of neighbourhood and ranch, offer a variety of terrain and ecosystems:  Pinon juniper forest, manmade lakes, grassland, highway underpasses, scrub oak forest, tall pines and, always, granite or shale badlands and Dells.

I started this effort last autumn, with a  view towards getting a holistic sense of my adopted home base and the condition of its natural environment.  This afternoon, the final section of trail presented itself:  A loop, starting and ending on the side of Granite Basin Road, a bit south of Cayuse Day Use Area, an equine staging area.

Hence, the photos:

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Two days of steady rain, this past week, have brought the fireweed into a healthy state of being.  I took a brief walk to an area I explored last week, to see how they were doing.

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Once up on the Ho-Kay-Gan Trail, the settled homes of Williamson Valley’s horse lovers come into view.

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As is often the case, the stone watchmen are on the job.

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A rock that resembled an ancient sage sits with its back to the trail.

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I like finding hills that resemble pyramids.  Ho-Kay-Gan is a steep little mountain, and the trail skirts its slope, with a sharp descent into Alfano Gorge.

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Here is a view of Alfano Gorge, headed upstream.  This part of Williamson Valley resembles Pioneer Park, not surprising, given that the two are  a scant two miles apart.

Above, is Ho-Kay-Gan Trailhead.

A nice party of three hikers, who had passed me, while completing their own loop hike, graciously took this keepsake.

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Ho-Kay-Gan Trailhead

So, my first completion of a long-distance trail system is now complete, at least the unpaved portion.  I will walk the gap, from Katahn Drive to Pioneer Parkway, for the sake of integrity, early next month.  Then, too, completing Black Canyon National Recreation Trail by the end of 2016 is also a goal.