Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ground truthing a trail

Today Shado and I went hiking along the Spillway Trail.

The trail is in the Usery Mtn. Regional Park. Spillway Trail actually does parallel a spillway; the trail itself is flat and surrounded by cactus and critters. I told Shado that today we were just ground truthing the trail for future adventures. When I was in college, my cartography class was often sent out on just such expeditions. Back then we updated old topography maps or matched Landsat images to the current development. It was a fun class and I would have taken an advanced cartography class, if it only one had existed...

Shado is always ready to go! The pink leash isn't his usual leash... (pink is Sophie's leash)
but it worked well none the less.

Chollas cactus line the trail.

It looks like an earthen dam across the wash.

A rock spillway into the wash.

The moon (left side) is barely visible in the bright daylight

So, today Shado and I hiked and ground truthed. The hike was also an experiment for us. I wanted to see how much hiking he would tolerate, if he would enjoy it, and if he'd drink out of the "Lobo" Camelbak (hydration pack) that my husband bought me.

I found out that Shado not only tolerates hiking, he seems to love it. And he caught right on to drinking from the "Lobo"'s bite valve. With the 'Lobo', I can squeeze the water tube and the water trickles right into his mouth, but he rather enjoys holding the valve in his mouth and pulling water from it.

We saw one coyote at the junction of two trails.

He stubbornly stood his ground and kept us from taking the side trail that I had planned on hiking. So, I meekly pointed out to Shado that by returning the way we came, we'd achieve more complete ground truthing...

I'm anxious to return and hike the other trails. The Spillway trail is nice but not challenging (unless it is 110 degrees...).


Joanne Casey said...

what a wonderful looking place, the complete opposite of where I live in Ireland. Ahhh if only...

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

This blog consistently has some of the most beautiful pictures. Just lovely. Thank you for sharing your trail adventures.

altadenahiker said...

It's a harsh but beautiful landscape. I was out hiking today too, up Echo Mountain, newly opened after the fires. This area wasn't touched, but it's mighty brown and dry. The opuntia cacti are thirsty and shriveled, but they'll plump up again first rain.

And you have a good puppy -- I've never had a dog that would accept water that way.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Thanks, Christy!

I can't imagine what hiking in Ireland is like - lush/green/wet?

Karin, I'm looking forward to photos of your hike environment. Not scorched but punished none the less?