Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rain Hiking Mt. Elden - Fat Man's Loop

This Memorial Day weekend is the 5th weekend in a row to be rained or snowed out for outdoor activities here in Flagstaff. I have occasionally found part of a day to go hiking or bike riding but for the most part it has been a lingering winter season. The return of winter was a little painful after the very warm, sunny March we enjoyed. Hopefully we will transition directly from second winter into summer.

I assume this is why the trail is named "Fat Man's."


Anyway I finally got fed up with being trapped indoors and decided I would go hiking on Mt. Elden anyway, even if it rained. When I left the house the sun was shining but I could see rain clouds on the way over the higher peaks. I drove around to the Elden Lookout trailhead to do the Fat Man's Loop trail and if it cleared off, possibly go all the way to the top. That was not meant to be. I did make it some distance into the trail before the rain started and there was no thunder so I kept going for a while and eventually found a rain shelter on a side trail in a neat C-shaped boulder to open a Mountain Dew. Eventually the sun came out and a rainbow appeared. It was one of those moments you can never experience from the living room.

Photo Dump
The rainy cliffs of Mt. Elden.

Too dark but a nice rainy view of a mine of some type. The hills in the distance are extinct cinder cone volcanoes. Mt. Elden is an extinct lava dome volcano.


Today's hike brought to you by the letter Backwards C, also known as Pac-Man.  I took shelter from the rain in this boulder, which aspires to be a question mark.


From my rain sheltered perch I saw a rainbow after the weather passed. I also noticed the Gambel oaks in the foreground are leaved out now.

Springfield XD .45 ACP. I get a little nervous hiking solo in mountain lion or bear country so I sometimes carry a firearm. It got a little wet, thus necessitating a field strip when I got home to ensure it dried out properly. Probably it is not necessary to carry on Mt. Elden but you never know. Arizona has super-conservative gun laws and it is possible to carry openly or concealed in most places without a permit.