Sunday, March 01, 2009

Spur Cross Ranch - 2nd Trip

Running: Ran an 8 miler through Spur Cross Ranch Conservation area this weekend. Started out at 1:30PM under clear skies and took a billion photos until the high thin clouds rolled in and ruined my perfect Arizona conditions. The first 2 miles headed north along Cave Creek. Filled with flowing water, I had 5 creek crossing to contend with. This was definitely strange for an Arizona trail run. But the trail was in great shape. Slightly up hill, but relatively rock free. 


The next 3 miles were flat out - unrunnable. Steep and rocky with Cholla and Prickly Pear hugging each side of the narrow path. The views were spectacular and the trail features no fewer than 3 natural springs; again, a rare site in the Arizona desert. I lost the trail 4 times in this section, usually miss-reading a narrow wash for the faint, unmaintained and relatively unused trail. 

I also discovered that the boys and girls at Maricopa County Parks and Recreation didn't bother to include trails they didn't want folks to use on the map. This presented somewhat of a problem for a first time trail runner. At one point, I knew I wasn't heading in the right direction, I got out my compass (part of my survival pack) and dead reckoned my way back to the real trail. Fortunately, the park service had provided a topo-map. Lots of fun though

I ran / walked the last 3 miles. Ran when the trail was safe and walked the steep / rocky section. All-in-all, a great day in the park. It was the best $3 I'd spent in a while. As always, I posted a ton of pictures below.

Yoga: I'm hitting the yoga mats again. I got to my yoga class on Friday and will make Monday and Tuesday this week. 

PICTURES:

As with a lot of roads in Arizona, the road to Spar Cross Trail is dirt


Running along the 1st mile on the Metate Trail


The 2nd Cave Creek crossing, loads of fun:


A candidate for the hair-club-for-men


Gnarly Cactus along the Trail


Dead Saguaro along the Trail


Trail in Tonto National Forrest


Cave Creek Crossing, where did all this water come from?


The last Cave Creek Crossing ... I had no idea what lay ahead


Still looking confident after 3 miles:


Trail 252 .... holly crab ... what have I gotten myself into?



The Trail climb up and up

From 2009-02-28; Spur Cross Run


Phoenix is out there somewhere

From 2009-02-28; Spur Cross Run


Really big Saguaro Cactus along trail 252 ... still struggling with the trail


From 2009-02-28; Spur Cross Run


Saguaros needles glisten in the late afternoon sun

From 2009-02-28; Spur Cross Run


This trail is un-runnable

From 2009-02-28; Spur Cross Run



A last picture of the park after my run ... a great day

From 2009-02-28; Spur Cross Run

3 comments:

Gotta Run said...
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Gotta Run said...
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Love2Run said...

Fantastic pictures. I don't envy your upcoming confrontation. Might be good to start a diary to document everything that happens and to have a friend along for backup. Take care and keep your cool!