OH, My Aching Back.
My Lower back is still hurting but it is getting better.
I have tried everything that everyone has been telling me to do; stretches, cold packs, hot packs, pain meds and just laying on my back. Everything works to some extent.
I wanted to get an MRI to see if I had broken anything back there but before I could get an MRI I had to get a doctor to order it. I made an appointment to see a Doctor and finally got an appointment for Tuesday (yesterday) with a Dr. Parker in Parker, AZ.
The pain has subsided some but I still wanted to make sure that there is nothing broken.
After an examination the Dr gave me two prescriptions; one is a muscel relaxer and one is for pain. I also got an order for the MRI.
We made an appointment for next Tuesday to get that done.
Since I am getting a little long in the tooth I figure that it is a good idea to have a doctor down here.
Okay, things are progressing on that front.
I was getting cabin fever so we made arrangements to meet Sue, Denis, Jo Ann and Dave at the fire station at 9:00 for a ride.
For a long time I have been looking at maps of this area and have been on almost every trail around. There is one trail that looks like a nice easy drive. It is called…
and runs east, west and crosses Butler Valley. A wide expanse of flat desert. The trail goes through a few hills on each end so we are hoping to find some smaller trails to explore in the hills.
Most of the trail is a wide graded road so I figured that it wouldn’t hurt my back to much.
To get to the start of the trail we drove north on 95 and took Plomosa Road heading N/E. We crossed Hwy 72 at Bouse and followed Swansea Rd north.
Swansea Road is a wide graded dirt road. The surface is pretty smooth with only the occasional stretch of washboard so you can move right along.
Eventually we got to the place where Swansea Rd, Lincoln Ranch Road and Powerline Rd intersect. We stopped here to air down the tires.
From here we head east into country we haven’t explored before.
We head east on Powerline Rd.
A Side Trail.
Patti had me stop so she could get a picture of this old Saguaro.
A few feet past the Saguaro, there was a small trail going north into the hills, so of course we followed it.
The trail started out pretty smooth but as it started climbing it became a bit more fun.
We went higher and higher.
We passed a small prospect tunnel but it only went a few feet into the mountain.
There were some nice samples of Crisocola lying around so we stopped to take a look.
Jo Ann took this one home.
We continued the climb and drove along the base of these black cliffs that we could see from the valley floor.
End of the Trail.
Eventually the trail just petered out in a area where some one had pushed a lot of dirt around surface mining I guess.
What Goes Up, etc.
Well as they say, “what goes up has to come down again” so we started back toward Butler Valley. You can see the trail below us.
There are a few nice switch backs. Here is looking back up one of them.
Eventually we got back to Powerline Rd and turned east.
The road can bee seen crossing the valley. At the foot of the hills the power lines cross the Highway to Alamo Lake.
We crossed the valley and we were almost at the highway by 12:00.
We pulled off at an open flat and stopped for lunch.
Cottonwood Pass Trail.
While we were having lunch we discussed what to do next as it was to early to head for home yet. After consulting the maps we decided to back track a little ways and take a trail that we passed that was heading south and see if we could get on Cottonwood Pass trail.
Patti took this picture of what looks like an old crested Saguaro but the crest isn’t very well developed.
We followed several trails and saw a lot of beautiful desert.
Eventually we got onto the trail that goes over Cottonwood Pass
We had been over Cottonwood Pass a few times but always from the other side so this was new.
Here is the view from the top of the pass looking southeast.
The trail is pretty narrow with lots of steep switchbacks but other than that it’s an easy drive.
Eventually we got down to the valley north of Salome. Once we were on the flats I got turned round and after taking several wrong turns decided to let Denis lead us back to the pavement. He did a good job.
It was a good day and a nice ride.