Kimberly took the landscape above.
We started the morning with a great hike up Bear Mountain. The gps did not agree with the trail map but we were on the clear easy to follow trail. Made it to the top and had some great views but not to the summit, which was a higher part of the mesa. Our trail did not seem to lead that way. No worry as the top of the cliffs was the reward. It was fun to see a black hawk cruising below us, then a tour helicopter below us as well. The chopper did gain altitude and fly about over our heads.
Down from Bear and across the street to Doe Mountain. Does is a quick, easy climb to another mesa with great views. The cliff seems to overhang the valley so it feels dramatic. We found some puddles and I shared an old Galen Rowell trick with Kimberly and she made some really great "lake" images like the panoramic image above.
We got back from these hikes with time to spare and decided to try a hike from an old guidebook that had already led us astray a couple of times. This time we used the odometer to find a dry wash (the wrong one) that should have led to the Lost Canyon Ruins - a name the guidebook author made up and is not used on any maps we could find. I liked this location because we got to go down what the guidebook called the worst 4WD road in the area. I offered Kimberly a turn at driving and she refused.
The wash was full of bowling ball size river rocks, most just as round. At 0.6 miles we were supposed to be in a canyon. At 0.5 there was no canyon in sight. A rock rolled under my foot and my ankle twisted with a loud pop. Search for ruins aborted. I wanted to get back to the Land Rover before my ankle swelled and got worse. Kimberly helped me limp back and found a much smoother trail that avoided the rocky path. When we reached the road she took off with the keys. A few minutes later here comes the Land Rover with my hero at the wheel.
Kimberly drove out so smoothly you would think she did this all the time. She kind of put my 4WD driving skills to shame - except maybe I like hitting all the big bumps? Usually, at least. Smooth was a lot better with a sore ankle.
My lack of coordination cut the day short, if 6 miles of hiking including 2 climbs well over 1,000 feet each, a 1/2 mile of limping, and 4 miles of rock crawling counts as a short day.
I highly recommend the Bear / Doe combination! GPS link