Phoenix Field School Week Five – Hikin’ & 4-wheelin’


This week the crew ventured to the North Maricopa Wilderness Area to work on the Margie’s Cove Trail. The trailhead can be found off of Highway 85 just outside of Gila Bend, AZ. The trail starts in a valley and winds up a wash between the mountains. Because the trail lies in a wilderness area, it cannot be marked with signs. Rock cairns serve as guides through the washes, but, water often washes away the cairns. This left us the task of rebuilding the cairns to mark the way. The Margie’s Cove Trail is roughly nine miles one way, with upwards of 100 cairns throughout the length of it. We hiked the entire trail, out and back in one day, giving us all lots of bragging rights of about the 18-mile day.Although we enjoyed hiking the trail, we were far more interested in what happened after the sun set. Several unknown flashes appeared amongst the mountains as we were eating dinner. They appeared to be flares, but they were no ordinary flares – they lasted for several minutes, just hanging there in the sky! The flares continued to go off at regular intervals for almost two hours. The next night, we saw them again!! These lights remain a mystery to us. No one seems to know what these glowing lights in the sky were. Could it have been aliens perhaps? I guess we’ll never know….. -.-Fortunately, the week ended on a less sci-fi note. We met up with Geoff and Elizabeth from the BLM so Geoff could conduct an ATV training for us out at the Boulders OHV staging area near Lake Pleasant. We all had a great time leaning into the turns, practicing going up and down hills, and creating lots of dust. Another great week for the Field School! Woop woop!