Thunderbird Loop by David

ThunderbirdUp early this am. As I was walking Brody, I noticed the moon. It looked funny, then I remembered it was a blood moon and a lunar eclipse. However I did not see the red and missed most of the eclipse. It was still neat to see!

My hike started at the trail head located at the end of El Camino Del Cerro rd. A nice parking area and only 2 cars there. Of course it was 6:23 am!

About a half mile in is the first mine I found, the Thunderbird. Interesting mine, that looks like it would be easy to get to the opening! MineOh well I did not try. Good place for creepy crawlers! Another .6 miles is the Gila Monster mine. Another mine fenced in with a sign about the danger.

I continued on the Gila Monster trail for a short distance and then looked back for this late sunrise picture.Sunrise Did not know that the sun ray was at my feet! How lucky was that!

The trail is not hard, oh there are areas that are rocky not big rocks but a lot of smaller ones. The trail is up and down with some straight stretches. I am now on the Cactus Canyon trail and it will take me to the Picture Rocks Wash. This is the worst part of the hike. Not bad but just tedious. I followed the wash to the Brittlebush trail, which after a short hike enters another wash! I think I was on the trail! Yep there is a sign pointing out of the wash! Yea!

I am now on solid ground and making good time, when I come across a dead lizard Tigerin the trail.Hmm, I turn him over and this is what he had on his belly. A vest of sorts! I checked it out when I got home and it was a TigertailWestern Tiger stripped tail lizard, minus his tail. Must have been caught by something and his tail broke off. It will regenerate, but I think he died.

I am now about 1 mile from the car and in the loose rocks I slide and roll my ankle. A few yards down the trail, the muscle behind my right knee begins to tighten up. I can feel it all the way to my ankle. As i move on it gets worse, so I stop and rest it and it begins to feel better, but it hurts the rest of the way back to the car. Not sure what caused it the rolling the ankle or the slipping in the rocks and twisting. Oh well a little ice when I get home and it should feel better.

This is a pretty loop and one that I will recommend for the intermediate group I would give it a difficulty of 3, mainly due to the loose rocks and the wash walking. Good views, lots of Saguaros and other plant life and birds as well.

Next week will be my last hike! we will be heading to Oregon to host at 3 State Parks for the summer. Hope to get some Oregon hiking in as well.

Happy Trails!

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