Monday, July 19, 2010

Hiking in Pima Canyon

I went for a hike in Pima Canyon yesterday morning.  I made it to the trailhead by 630, which was a lot later than I wanted to, but it was still quite nice outside at that time.  My goal was to make it up to Pima Saddle, which is about 5.7 miles from the trailhead, but I turned around after about 4.2 miles because it was getting too hot and I was worried about how much water I would have left by the time I got back to the car.  Overall, the hike took about 6 hours and 10 minutes, and I felt pretty good.  I wore my Vibram Five Finger shoes for about 60% of the hike, and my Chaco Z/2's for the remainder.

As usual, I was pretty bad about taking photographs.  I need to practice slowing down or stopping and taking pictures on a hike, but I'm always intrigued by what's around the next corner, or over the next hill.  I did snap a few photos though, which I'll add to the bottom of this post.  I mainly took pictures of some trees with acorn-looking nuts (I dubbed this the "Canyon Walnut" until I find out what it actually is, mostly because after the initial bitterness went away it tasted like a walnut) because I wanted to figure out exactly what they are as part of my interest in becoming familiar with what plants in the Sonoran Desert are potential foraging food sources.  There were enough of these trees, with enough "Walnuts" on them, that I could've picked 2 lbs of them and still left plenty for other foragers and the wildlife.

All in all, I think it was a successful first workout hike since I got my permit for the Grand Canyon.  I feel good about the distance I hiked and my energy levels throughout, though I'm definitely going to limit my hikes in duration for the remainder of the summer so as to avoid the heat. I'm also going to try to start a little earlier for the same reason, but for the most part I was feeling good for the rest of the day.  For my hike this coming weekend, I'm debating trying to convince a friend to drive me up to the top of Mt. Lemmon and pick me up at a trailhead later that day, or maybe the next day, so I can exercise my "downhill" muscles.  Whatever I do, I'll post an update about how I felt... so until then enjoy the photos from my hike yesterday!  And if anyone knows what the mysterious "Canyon Walnut" actually is, please let me know.

This is the "acorn" that I found.  These trees were all over the place.  Until 
I find out what this is, I'm calling it the "Canyon Walnut."

The "Canyon Walnut" tree.

A very pretty Century Plant in bloom.

A blue bellied lizard hamming it up for me.

I  believe that little guy in the middle of the photo is a Coatimundi.


  1. Hoy Kyle!

    A Botanist told me that the canyon walnut is a Jojoba, or Simmondsia chinensis, for all them latin speakers out there...Apparently it is good for orienteering as the flat parts (vertical sides) of the leaves point east/west!

  2. Thanks Garrett! After getting a name, it was pretty easy for me to find out that jojoba is edible in small quantities, but not seriously recommended for consumption.

  3. Kyle,

    Where did you find out about vibram 5 fingers? I was considering getting a pair for barefoot running but it seems they tend to cause injuries in barefoot runners so I stick to no shoes at all or else new ballance minimas. If you like hiking in the vibrams you should try hiking barefoot, if you are on a dirt road then walking in a fresh tire track will protect you from getting stuck.