Arizona Trail Passage 13 hike, Arizona - November 21, 2015

Added 1 January 2017

Saturday, November 21, 2015, Arizona Trail Passage 13: Oracle - American Flag TH to Tiger Mine TH, Arizona

Cheetah and Jerry starting out from the American Flag Trailhead to hike Arizona Trail Passage 13. Bouldery hills abound on AZT Passage 13. I spent part of the day hiking Arizona Trail Passage 13 with Jerry and Andrea. It's fairly close to Tucson and the shuttle setup is easy, so we were hiking before 8:30 this morning. Passage 13 starts out in the low foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Starting from the American Flag Trailhead, Passage 13 is an easy, mostly downhill ramble through the desert. There are some great granite outcrops on this passage that kept things interesting. I also got some good birding in.

The trail goes through Oracle State Park, which I had never been to before, so that was a bonus. In the park, the trail goes by an old windmill that's in really good condition. The trail goes under the highway a couple miles later, and another couple miles from there is the end of the passage.

A cool sculpted granite outcrop along AZT Passage 13. What I think is a  Tanseyleaf Tansyaster (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia). Jerry and Cheetah among the hills of Passage 13.

A very fancy gate marks the entrance of the AZT into Oracle State Park. An Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) sitting pretty in the morning light. Jerry and Cheetah among the hills of Passage 13.

Jerry and Cheetah approach Kannally Wash. The windmill in Kannally Wash. We hauled less than this U-Haul as Cheetah and Jerry duck to cross under the highway.

Since the passage is only 8.3 miles long it was barely after 11 o'clock when we finished the passage, so we spent longer than usual hanging out and chatting before driving home. One of our post-passage rituals is to eat Doritos. (It's the only time I allow myself to eat them, as I'm convinced their heavily laced with crack cocaine.) One of us dropped a fairly big piece of a Dorito on the ground and we had fun watching an industrious ant drag it away to its colony. Eventually we loaded up, retrieved my car and headed home.

An Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) on erosion protection for the highway bridge. Brian, Cheetah and Jerry enjoying a cold one at the end of Arizona Trail Passage 13. This ant must have thought it found the mother lode.

We hiked 8.3 miles today.