Peavine Trail Tuesday, Jun 30 2009 

Granite Dells Reflection

Granite Dells Reflection

The Prescott Peavine Trail follows the path built for the Sante Fe Railroad.  Several side trails explore the east side of Watson Lake and its Dells.  According to trail signs, Watson Lake, created as a reservoir, is named after James Watson, an Indiana senator who invested in area irrigation projects.  Geologists estimate that the granite in this area is 1.4 billion years old.  The Dells owe their distinctive form to long-term weathering of natural cracks in the granite.  The City of Prescott purchased this area in 1998.  This hike on my last “official” vacation day featured prickly poppies and thistle in bloom; a heron in flight; and light rain on my exit.

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Lynx Lake Saturday, Jun 20 2009 

Lynx Lake

Lynx Lake

Lynx Lake, located just east of Prescott, is a serene 55-acre lake with several hiking trails.    Trail 311, Lynx Recreation,  is a level 2.3 mile walk through stands of ponderosa pine around the lake.  Golden Columbine were prolific around the southshore area.  We saw ducks, geese, and black-chinned hummingbirds.  There was a sign that indicated that there was an osprey nest, one of the most southernmost in North America.  After our hike, we stopped at the Lynx Lake Cafe where we discovered wonderful food with several German options.  Hummingbird feeders sit just outside each of the window seats.  We had six black-chinned hummingbirds feeding at one time.  The male has a black head.  The females were often territorial as if there wasn’t enough sugar water to go around.  A great outing!

Watson Lake Saturday, Jun 13 2009 

Watson Lake

Watson Lake

After dropping off cardboard and other recyclables at the Transfer Station about four miles from downtown Prescott, we walked on the Lower Granite Creek Trail. This level walk parallels a major highway but we were rewarded with wildflowers in bloom such as prickly poppies and a red-colored thistle. Our destination was Watson Lake which is surrounded by giant granite boulders. Perhaps on a future outing we will try renting a kayak to enjoy the views from the water.

Javelina sighting Wednesday, Jun 10 2009 

While hiking Trail 326 (Thumb Butte Connector) in the Thumb Butte area today, I saw my first javelina.  It was getting ready to cross the trail when it spotted me, quickly reversed direction and sped away.  It was more than three feet long and looked ferocious.  A little farther up the trail two acorn woodpeckers were feeding on ponderosa pines.  Today’s hike explored Trail 323 (Butte Connection) to Trail 321 (Butte Creek) out of the Prescott National Forest to Strickland Park on Prescott’s Mile-High trail system.  This trail segment goes through private property and parallels the Hassayampa golf course.  I literally circled Thumb Butte.

Thumb Butte

Thumb Butte

On Wednesdays Thumb Butte parking is free.  Last week I did a loop on Trail 316 (Pine Lakes) to Trail 318 (West) and returned via part of Trail 322 (Circle Connection).  The week before that I did the popular Trail 33 (Thumb Butte) and saw several peregrine falcons gliding around Thumb Butte.  It is great to have all these trails a little more than two miles from the Prescott house.