On the other side of the Gila River, on the way up the Big Hill, a barrel cactus was exquisitely blooming.
Looking back towards the Gila we could see the immensity of the local copper mine. It looked to be on the scale of the pyramids.
From the top of the Big Hill with views of the town of Kearny, we descended into a series of washes where there were a few options of water from springs that were collecting in cow troughs.
Bees and other insects just relished this liquid gold. We too could empathize and appreciate the miraculous nature of this basic sustenance.
A series of old dirt roads interconnected by newer trails spanned its way across the desert towards Oracle to the south.
Sometimes, when the route was clear and obvious we would night hike to appreciate the cool air upon our skin. We could see both the lights and glow from both Tucson and the greater Phoenix area.
The days, however, were getting shorter and shorter.
We would start walking at dawn and would end our hiking day somewhere after sunset in dusk.
We were, however, able to still get our 25 miles a day in.
Oh.... and do you know about the desert sunsets... ?
From out of the dry washes, several small groups of Javelina Pigs ran away as if their lives depended on it.
Descending out of the Black Hills we could see Oracle Ridge rising as a Sky Island high above the desert basin.
Can you believe they have cows out here in the middle of the desert?
And of course, the rattlesnakes lightly rattled their tails to just to let us know that they were near by. There was one time when I stepped right next to one and it didn't rattle at me at all. It made me nervous... so since then I have asked for a little bit of a warning whenever they can feel our vibrations approaching.
It was now time to hitch into Oracle, Arizona and to get a room at the Chalet Village Motel. It is here that we finally met up with the legendary Big Foot skirted hiker that we have been trailing since the beginning of our trek.