Yesterday was my last hike in the White Mountains of Arizona. It wasn’t the hike that I had imagined or wanted to do. Not the 16-miler haul to Mount Baldy. Instead, it was a much shorter hike to a different part of the White Mountains where perhaps we would be able to see some wildlife and scenic views.
We left early in the morning and unfortunately the monsoon clouds were already forming and turning black. It was not a good sign yet we were already in the car and on our way. Plus I’d been offered a free babysitting morning from my mother so I couldn’t pass that up.
My dad and I pulled into the trailhead for the Blue Ridge Trail around 9:30 am hoping it wouldn’t rain. We were mainly going on this hike to view wildlife as I still had not seen a thing since I’ve been here except for a giant bullfrog and a jackrabbit hare the size of a small dog.
The mountains of Arizona is known for a huge variety of both big and small mammals as well as a very diverse assortment of birds. I was hoping to avoid the big mammals such as the Black and Cinnamon (very rare) beers that range for 300 mile territories. I also had no desire to see a Mountain Lion, Coyote or Wolf lurking around. Yet I did want to see a Rocky Mountain Elk or a Mule Deer. That was the main reason why we selected this trail.
We set off walking against lingering clouds and stillness in the air. I also tend to talk a lot and walk with a nervous gait when I know there are bears around. I know they generally are more afraid of you yet I wouldn’t want to find out the hard way, especially if we surprised a mama bear with cubs.
We walked for an hour or so through the trail and saw absolutely no wildlife or views. We were quite disappointed. However, I did see something that was spectacular: The trees. The trail hosted the craziest, spookiest, and most beautiful trees I’d ever seen beside from the firs. Some looked like ghosts or monsters while others just looked plain old weird. I also thought that the alligator junipers with their scaly grey trunks were wild.
Here are some pictures of what I saw. Hope you enjoy!
Also, at the end are some photos taken to another short hike we did that day to a scenic view of the Mongollon Rim. The Mongollon Rim is the dividing line between the Colorado Plateau and the Gila-Salt River watersheds, and contains the largest grove of freestanding Ponderosa Pines in the world. It is quite a spectacular place.