2010-04-06 33 -113
Tonopah, AZ, within a posted BLM Wilderness Area north of the west end of town.
Close by and accessible with about 10 miles of dirt road driving plus three quarters of a mile hike each way. Should be do-able
Another one fairly close to home. Donning sandals and hats, SkinWalker and Gila Monster hit the road. About ten miles of driving, virtually all on dirt and gravel roads of varying quality. Eventually we got to the closest point we could on the road, about 0.74 miles from the hashpoint, and parked the truck. There was a 600 foot high hill just this side of the hash point; we decided we'd go around rather than over the hill (both of us having already been "over the hill"). Traversing varied terrain, we made our way to the hill, passing Ajo Lilies, poppies, flowering Hedgehog cacti, and more. The surface was mostly flat, if rocky in places, except for the occasional wash. We finally made it around the hill, and followed the GPS. It seems the hashpoint was not only "behind" the hill, but partially up it as well. We found the hashpoint, Tux found a nest in a Teddy Bare Cactus, and SkinWalker found a geode.
For the hike back to the truck, we decided that since we were already part way up the hill, it would be shorter to go the rest of the way up and over rather than back down and around. It was a moderately steep descent; just steep enough to be challenging, with a few patches of loose rock along the way. I'm not sure if either route was "better", but taking a different return route certainly added variety.
After we got back to the truck, we took a short drive further down the road to see "the windmill" - a watering station for the cattle who freely graze this Wilderness Area. We were pleasantly surprised to see about two dozen head of cattle, including several calves, hanging around waiting for us to come take photos.
By then we decided we'd better head back home while there was still some sunlight left.