Hike #42 Pomona Mine Trail.
I’m in Arizona this weekend and went on this hike with Kelly, so I will be writing it from my perspective, but also hers, since I was there and know what she was saying (there may even be audio that I recorded during the hike if I can figure out how to make it work).
We set out from the Brown Ranch House at about 7:30 in the morning, with a goal to be back to the car no later than 12 noon. As such, we set a turn-around time of 9:45 and started down the trail. I should mention that on the outward portion of our hikes, we rarely go fast … mainly because Kelly usually finds something interesting (just listen) …
In case you didn’t hear it at the end, she said: “this is why I can’t go hiking fast” :-)
We saw a few more interesting things along the bottom part of the Brown Canyon Trail. But I’d say if we had a “theme” for this part of the hike it was very likely mushrooms. As you’ll hear in the audio below, I agreed that Kelly could take the mushroom pictures. However, just as she said she couldn’t hike fast, this didn’t turn out to be 100% true, I took a few of the images you’re about to see below.
Eventually we made our way to turn for the Pomona mine trail, and that’s where the real “fun” began. When Kelly initally suggested that we hike this trail today, I replied with an enthusiastic “yes!”. I mean, I’d been up this trail before about 6 years ago, how bad could it be? Pretty bad, as it turns out. I failed to mention that the first time we hiked this trail in 2016, I didn’t even know Kelly very well, but about half-way up, as my heart was beating out of my chest, I implored her “please call my daughters and tell them I love them if I die of a heart attack” (drama queen much Todd?).
Funny thing, I didn’t really remember how bad this hill was, and it had actually happened to me on a couple of other steep climbs that I revisited when I was here in July. Turns out I have a theory for why:
Not long after that, I just found that I couldn’t keep up with Kelly who was always at least 20-30 feet ahead of me. She had somewhere she had to be by 1pm, but I also knew that she really, really wanted to get to the top … and especially because we didn’t go to the top of the waterfall yesterday, I wasn’t going to let her be disappointed again. So I told her to go to the top without me. It feels a little bit like I’m making excuses, but I have a theory for my lack of will to make it to the mine:
Anyhow, Kelly continued on to the top, and I made my way up at a much more leisurely pace. She got all the way to the mine, while I only made it to the cable car. But that’s okay, we both got to feel like we’d accomplished what we’d set out to do on this hike. Here are some more of Kelly’s pictures.
At one point, Kelly was walking literally in the clouds
But she eventually made her way all the way to the top. When I met her on the way back down, I mentioned that I probably could have gotten there myself. But one she told me about the VERY steep climb the last couple hundred yards or so, I agreed that it probably wouldn’t have happened today. Thankfully she did get some cool pictures that I got to see.
Bats at the entrance to the mine shaft!!!
And of course the obligatory “I’m a badass” selfie
Then we enjoyed some nice view on the way back down, and made it to the car with about 20 minutes to spare.
p.s. I have a lot more audio from this hike, but don’t really have time to edit it all, so may just use this experience as a jumping off point to maybe starting a “conversations while we walk” podcast series. Stay tuned.
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