Saturday, February 24, 2018

Another mountain hike

Saturday, February 24, 2018 – Location:  Saddle Mountain near Tonopah, Arizona

This morning after the sun was up and we had breakfast, I decided to walk down to the next RV.  Actually, it is a fifth wheel.  A couple had stopped by yesterday and mentioned they were a young couple making a living full-time on the road.  They have a website, Love your RV.  Curious, I wanted to meet and talk with them about how they were doing.

As I was walking down I noticed two vehicles and a tent between my place and the 5th wheel.  Wasn’t there last night, so I guess they just moved in.  Yuma quickly noticed they had dogs, so I said hello and we stopped for a chat.  They had three dogs, two were older and the third was a two year old male Malamute/German Shepard mix. 

Yuma and Phoenix (their dog’s name) wanted to run and play so bad, but both were on leashes and we kept it that way not knowing how long the friendship might last.  Yuma is handsome, but I must say Phoenix had beautiful form and coloring.  He had black longer hair, but underneath it was brown similar to Yuma’s color.   Very intelligent and playful.




They were just setting up their tent so didn’t stay long.  I walked down the road a little further and could see the truck was gone at the 5th wheel, so Yuma and I walked back towards our MH.  As we passed, Yuma stopped and would not go any further.  He wanted to play so bad but they couldn’t because Phoenix’s masters were busy.

About noon, the weather was so beautiful, and my feet and legs were feeling better, we decided on a short hike.  I can tell you it was a mile up and a mile back which is about right it seems.

I have been staring at this leaning tower for a week now and just had to know what was on the other side.


So we got prepared and started up the road towards the leaning tower of rock.  Of course, the road doesn’t go there, but it was a good start.


Sure looks easy as I zoom in on my destination.


Looking back.  You can see my MH on the right center.


I’m much slower than Yuma so he has to sternly watch me to make sure I’m still coming along.  Notice how big the boulders are.  From the first picture looking up, it looks like a cake walk.  But looks from a mile away are deceiving.


I’m up against the wall looking back.  I’m following a sheep path.  Much easier when I can distinguish a path.  Those big horn sheep know the best way to navigate the mountains.


Getting close to the top now.  Just got to keep climbing these boulders.  The bigger ones, I go around.


We’re at the saddle and I’m yelling at Yuma to stop because I have no idea what is just over that edge.  Could be a sheer drop-off.  It was a drop-off, but not sheer.  More than I could handle, but Yuma would probably make it being four legged.


Standing in the saddle, me and Yuma are looking up at the leaning tower of rocks.  He’s ready to go on up, me not so much.


Looking back across the valley.  My MH is in the second line of green, center right.  Over the top of that hill of boulders and rocks.  The camera doesn't’ convey how steep the terrain really is.   I do a lot of three touch scrambling when going down.  It hurts to fall and I try not to do any more than I have to.



That MH is below on the other side of the saddle.  Quite steep


Yuma heard gunfire way across the valley.  That’s his sitting stance when he is concerned or frightened.  I was hoping I wouldn’t have to carry or pull him down the mountain.


Looking east across the way on the other side of the saddle.  Pretty over there too.


No more gunfire.  Yuma heads down!  Thank goodness.


Looking west across our valley again.  More beautiful I think.


Not going to show the downward hike, but we made it with no problems.  Got back to the RV and had lunch.  Then we sat outside all afternoon.  It is just beautiful today.  Bright sunshine!  Cool in the shade and perfect in the sunshine.  Hardly any wind. 

This beautiful day is fading away.  Those Saguaros have been standing guard for many many years.


The sun is shooting its last rays down upon our MH.


I-10 traffic is relentless.  Never rests.


See you later.


  1. A beautiful, but steep, hike today. The sky looks so clear and blue! Glad you made it down in one piece...and you didn't have to carry a frightened Yuma. Arizona cities are well represented at your campsite. πŸ˜€ Phoenix is a beautiful dog. I know Yuma likes meeting new friends. Lovely sunset. And the beat goes on - I-10. Have a good night. ❤

    1. Thanks Dolly. I think we've just about covered the cities around here.

      It was so funny watching Yuma looking way across the valley toward the sound of gunfire. It was so far away but Yuma was still concerned.

      Surprises me how many trucks are traveling on I-10 around Phoenix. Busy city.

  2. Your curiosity gets you into some beautiful hikes.
    Nice that you met Ray and Anne from Love Your RV. I have followed their blog for a long time.

    1. Enjoy the hikes. Especially if I use common sense and not overdo.

      Just started reading back on Ray's website. Interesting.

  3. I waved from the other mountain saddle, did you see me? Hahaha...

    Yuma and his new friend look pretty excited to play.

    Great pictures. Love the views. You are so right, the pictures do not convey the distance at all. Unless one has been there, done that, it's deceiving. Glad you didn't have any issues getting Yuma back down.

    You have to love I-10, it's a constant display of lights all evening long. I wonder where all of those folks are going so late at night?

    I'm going to slip up to visit you tomorrow afternoon around 3 for a bit, if you're going to be home. If not I'll catch you Monday morning.

    1. I looked over your way and didn't see a soul outside. Just a lonesome truck and RV.

      I wish I could do professional videos to show everyone the perspective that I see when looking around this awesome place.

      Yuma is always ready to play.

  4. What beautiful pictures! I'm jealous, We haven't seen the sun in over a week here! You and Yuma be careful climbing them mountains. Take care Dad. Love you.

    1. Thanks Steve. I'm pretty slow as Yuma knows. Sorry about your crummy weather πŸ˜‚. Love you.

  5. I miss those hikes and big views all around. Miss the cooler healthier weather as well. We have never boon-docked at Tonopah's Saddle Mountain but have stopped a couple times while out and about in the Jeep. Maybe next winter.............

    1. Maybe next winter. This is a tough place to hike. No trails and lots of rocks. Lots of Jeep trails though.

      I'm liking the cooler weather but not the low 30s at night. 40s would be fine. Guess I can't have everything.πŸ˜‹

  6. Glad you listened to your gut & were careful about playtime between Yuma and the malamute (Phoenix). You don't really know the owner or the dog well enough to trust. Love your blue skies and beautiful photos of sweeping landscapes & the many moods of Yuma. You obviously know him and care for him so much. πŸŒ΅πŸŒ·πŸ’πŸ•πŸŒž

    1. Thanks Moonfly. Me and Yuma are pretty close. We don't talk but we communicate.

      Yuma keeps looking down toward their camp. He really wants to play with Phoenix.

  7. It always amazes me how many young people it seems are on the road making a living using their computers. Good for them! Beautiful pictures and what a climb up that mountain, you are one tough man! Yuma too! Because you did that though we have all the beautiful pictures!

    1. Thanks Shirley. Not tough, just persistent.

      I just hope these young dreamers plan ahead for retirement. Retirement can be good years but you have to plan for it.

  8. Nice that you got that hike in and Yuma got to play for a bit, Nice to chat with other people doing what we do.

    1. Thanks George. It is nice to meet the nice people enjoying the great outdoors.

  9. You sure see some nice views with your hikes. You must be so proud of what you get into. Good not to fall, that would be painful!
    Love to see Yuma playing with Phoenix, they are so cute together.
    It was a gorgeous day and you met knew friends too.

    1. Thanks Patsy. Was a nice day. Yuma makes friends easily. Me, not so much. Nice having a Phoenix and a Yuma playing g together.☺

  10. The sunshine looks beautiful! Today (Sunday) is the first sun we’ve seen in a week! Thank goodness it came out today! Nice work on your step climb! I love how Yuma met a friend named Phoenix! They were meant to be! I love you!

    1. Hi Sarah. Beautiful dogs. Named after Arizona cities. Interesting.

      Yuma loves to hike so he drags me along. Up to the fifth notch on my belt. Only one leftπŸ˜‚. Love you.

  11. So nice meeting you today and thanks so much for helping us find the petroglyphs. Safe travels and happy trails to you and Yuma!
    Kelley & Mike