This last month , I have only been able to get 3 rides in. All 3 times I had to start out at 5 AM to get an early start. One of the rides I trailered up to Catalina Park and went on a trail called Canyon Loop.
The trail had several challenging inclines / declines. For hikers they had put wooden steps in areas on the more steeper areas. Hondo was able to navigate them and a few jump ups. This just affirms my confidence in him. Hondo may be 16 hands tall, but he has the agility of a smaller compact horse. Hondo also paces himself. I catch myself sometimes trying to pick up his pace because he is a SLOW walker to begin with, but Hondo has a way to let me know that at his pace, he is comfortable and could outwalk me any day. Hondo can go all day, even with the heat at his pace. He has no problem walking faster when I tell him, but you know when your horse gives that big sigh and you know he his comfortable? Hondo does that and he stays relaxed, even at the difficult spots on the trail that he navigates.
I consider myself very fortunate to have a trail horse like Hondo. I think his mind is definitely suited to complete The Arizona Trail. Which brings me to my next discussion. Last week I was going to trailer Hondo to The end of Passage 10 “Prison Camp Trailhead. Unfortunately the US Forest Service closed the road going up to Mt. Lemmon due to wildfires. That was one of the reasons, I went back to Catalina State Park.
This next weekend, I have a backup plan. My first choice is to go to the end of Passage 10 at Prison Camp Trailhead. I will be traveling from north to south on the trail. The total distance is 15.7 miles. Depending on weather and the wildfires, my husband will pick me up at Redington Pass or I will travel as far as I can get, then turnaround back to the Prison Camp Trailhead.
Plan B will be to complete Passage 13 “American Flag Trailhead to Tiger Mine Trailhead”. This section is 8.3 miles long and has a 777 feet descent and a 413 feet elevation gain.
We have been in heat advisories for the past several weeks with temperatures ranging from 110 – 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If we are not careful, I could put Hondo and I in some dangerous situations. The logistics of water is my next priority.
Below are some pictures I have taken from my last few rides. I think I was looking at cactuses a lot and all the different shapes and sizes that they can grow….