June 17, 2018

Picketpost: June Chills??

The stereotypical reply to someone complaining about the heat in these parts is: 'But it's a dry heat'. June often fits that description. It's hot, typically 105º - 115º, it's dry (<10% humidity) and it rarely if ever rains...until this year!! Cue our pal, Bud. Bud was a named Pacific Hurricane and we had the good fortune to lie in Bud's path as he fell apart. Keep in mind, it hadn't rained here since March 11th!! Yet here we were, mid-June, our driest and second hottest month and the forecast called for rain & 82º as the high.

I had planned to go ride on Saturday when the storm arrived, but I slept in a bit and when I woke we had a steady rain falling here in Queen Creek. So much so, that there were large puddles in our backyard. News worthy indeed. I opted to wait until Sunday to hit the trails, but where to go?

Most of our trail systems dry out quickly, but a few stay soggy for a day or so. Gold Canyon was out. I needed to stay kinda close to home...then it struck me. Picketpost. Yes. I had to take advantage of the good weather window.

I arrived at the trailhead around 5:30a and it was chilly!! Perfecto.
Early morning rays created quite the scene on Picketpost Mtn.

Water in the desert is fascinating.

Weaver's Needle pokes up along the horizon.

Different light angles this time of year really changed the landscape.

Any other time I've started a ride here before 6a, it would still be pitch black.

Picketpost Mtn. slipping below the saddle.

Century Plants in bloom.

Saguaro forest basking in the morning sunbeams.

I don't recall seeing Saguaro fruit before, the red through me off until I realized what it was.

I had planned to do an out-n-back to the 10 mile overlook, but I ran short on time. I opted to make a lollipop loop linking Telegraph Canyon Rd. back to the AZT via a horse trail instead.

These rock striations caught my attention.

Life finds a way to survive out here.

Quite a few large pools of water. This area received a bit of rain the day before.

Hero dirt along Telegraph Canyon Rd.

Turnoff to the horse trail connection. The trail was ok, best ridden the other direction, but it's only 0.6 miles long.

Saguaro fruit.

Back at the trailhead, it was maybe in the low 80's. I was only sweating because of the spike in humidity.
So glad I made to decision to head east to ride. The early morning light was really spectacular out there. I may try to ride there more often in the summer, just gotta get there early as it's mostly uphill the first 10 miles south.


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