I’m still looking for a walking/hiking partner to make my prep work for the next Camino more fun. My quest has been fruitless so far. So after much prodding from my son, this morning I decided to stick my toe in the water and give it a go alone.
I filled my hydration bladder, pulled the end caps off my trekking poles, put the trail map in my pocket, got into the car and drove to the trailhead. I decided to walk a trail in the Saguaro National Park East, the Mica View Trail. There was a sign-up sheet at the trailhead, I signed and started my hike.
This trail was very flat, winding through the desert to a picnic area in the park. I arrived at the picnic area and decided to continue walking further. When I arrived at Cactus Forest Drive, I walked for a short distance on the pavement before turning around.
On my return trip, I saw a dead hawk or falcon just off trail, his body still was intact with feathers but his skull was exposed. I suppose either he had decomposed with feathers remaining or he was a meal for another predator.
Yes, the desert can be dangerous, but it was not dangerous for me today. I have not yet purchased a GPS system, so my guesstimate of mileage is 3.5 miles. Just an out and back, but I think a good start for solo hiking.
I again signed the sheet with my end time. One hour of hiking. My fear of solo hiking was crazy (at least in the Saguaro National Park) I encountered more people hiking than I encounter when I go to the grocery store.