Friday, January 8, 2016

Building a Bench on Pistol Hill

Friday was not a stellar day to hike up Pistol Hill and build a bench...

But we went anyway... and Shirley caught a photo of Larry and me taking some boards up the hill to the top.

About half way up Larry mentioned how doing this reminded him of the Yukon gold rush days when hundreds of men slogged thru snow and mud to the prospecting sites. We both had seen that iconic photo. Suddenly this seemed pretty easy going... and in less than an hour were were at the top.

The clouds were rolling around behind Pistol Hill with broken sunlight, giving a dramatic sky. This was about half way up the hill, just before the saddle where we can see over the other side.

From the saddle we could see that it was raining pretty much right where I-10 traffic was buzzing back and forth. We would soon know if it was going to come our way.

At the top the sun was out and my first job was to take the two 2" x 4"s apart. I had screwed them together to make hauling them a little easier.

Getting things figured out.

Now, which way should this go?

Without a level we figured out where to put it.

It didn't take very long and we were sitting down having a snack together. I must thank Larry Doyle for volunteering to help carry the lumber up.  

The only thing I had to buy to make this bench were two 6" bolts with nuts and washers... $4.69  All the wood came from the dumpsters at Del Webb. 

And just in time.  Shirley was anxious to beetle down the hill and get a head start before the rain came. The wind on top made it cold. She snapped us finishing up our snack... and soon we were not far behind her heading home. .

We have done this hike to the top of Pistol Hill several times... and to see more photos taken on the trail and from the top click on this Pistol Hill link.

Some stats on the hike:

Elevation at the top...                    4135 feet
Elevation at Colossal Cave Rd...  3525 feet  ...this it 610 feet from the road to the top
Elevation at Como Loma Alta...  3250 feet  ...that is 885 feet and it's pretty gentle most of the way until the last climb to the top.

Distance from the paved road to the top... just a little over a mile. But with the elevation climb it takes about 50 minutes to an hour.  Depends on how often you stop and look around.

We have found a trail that lets us walk thru the desert all the way from Colossal Cave Road to Como Loma Alta right to Rancho Del Lago... and that is a little less than three miles... and took us about an hour. From there to our doorstep on Black Surrey Drive in Del Webb is another ten minutes or so.

So from Del Webb to the top of Pistol Hill is about two hours if one doesn't stop and take a lot of photos or talk to all the birds and javelinas. We saw a lot of new javelina footprints today.

This is the most thrilling little hike... and what is so cool is that it's right in our back yard. I suspect that we are trespassing thru either private property or government range land... but there are no signs posted anywhere saying "NO Trespassing" I don't see any reason for concern. Someone else has built the trail... and although we have to pass thru a pretty tight barb wire fence, it's not a problem to do it.

"You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for you presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others." 
-Gordon B. Hinckley

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