Hans has also played pickleball a couple of times at the outdoor courts at Pioneer Park where there are eight brand new, dedicated pickleball courts with plans to add four more. We like that Prescott takes their pickleball seriously!
One of the more interesting hikes we did this week was a six mile out-and-back hike to Quartz Mountain, aka White Spar. From the Aspen Creek trailhead we took pretty forested trail #48 to sunny exposed trail #9415, to #9415A which got us up onto the unique quartz formation.
|The entire top of this small mountain is quartz!|
|Terrific views of Prescott while standing on all that quartz.|
|This photo captures maybe a quarter of the exposed quartz.|
|Milky white quartz and spiky cactus.|
I'd love to see the cactus blooming against the quartz!
|Horned toads seem to be abundant in the Prescott area...but are hard to see unless they move!|
We enjoy hiking from the Williamson Valley trailhead and one day decided to hike trail #308 as far north as we felt like going before turning around and finishing up with a loop back to the TH via trails 345 and 347...about a 5.5 mile hike.
As we headed north on trail #308 we crossed Mint Wash and entered terrain burnt in the 2013 Doce Fire. Granite boulders became part of the landscape and, much to our surprise, we came to a small stream flowing down the mountain.
Once the stream hit Mint Wash it quickly disappeared into the sand. An old timer on the trail told us this stream usually only runs after a good snowfall or a heavy monsoon season like they had this year. What a delight to find water in the high desert when you least expect it!
|From the Williamson Valley TH we cross a meadow lush with monsoonal grasses, watched over by Granite Mountain.|
|Here is the same area in April 2018, after several years of drought.|
|Approaching the burn zone: layers of green grass, skeletal trees and blue sky.|
|A seasonal oasis in the high desert.|
The old timer we met on the trail said he once saw dozens of baby snakes in this pond, we only saw tadpoles.
|The stream abruptly disappears into sandy Mint Wash.|
|We saw many signs of life around the stream.|
We're still experiencing unseasonably warm temps so more forest hiking is in our near future, but if the weather guessers are right things will get a little more comfortable next week and maybe even a little bit wet...we shall see.
|Acorn woodpeckers are abundant in the Ponderosa forests.|
|Not something you see every day...|
|...but when driving through the big valley north and east of Prescott|
there's a good chance you might see Pronghorn in the open prairie.