Crested Saguaro Society

Crest Quest Reports

February 19 - 21, 2024 Wickenburg Wanderings

Report by Joe Orman


A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.
                                                              Roman Payne, "The Wanderess"

Once again I heard the call of the back roads, and I began to roam ...

This adventure began as I met my friends Rick and Pam Scott in Wickenburg; we then followed a dirt road out of town to re-visit this ring crest:

Photos from a year earlier, including Rick's drone photos:

Beside the road, this crested barrel cactus caught our eye, so we pulled over to check it out:

A bit farther on, we parked and took a short hike to take updated photos of this crested saguaro I'd first found in 2018:

Check out Rick's great drone photos:

The road took us back out to Wickenburg; after recapping our successful day over dinner, we said our goodbyes and Pam and Rick headed home. I retraced my tracks back out of town and found a nice campsite; at sunset I had a front-row seat for the waxing gibbous moon in the east ...

In the moonlight which is always sad, as the light of the sun itself is
as the light called human life is
at its coming and its going.
                                                              Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities"

... and the cloud-streaked sky in the west:

In the morning, my chosen route passed two arm crests I'd found a couple of years earlier; they're close enough to the road that I could take these updated telephoto shots from the driver's seat:

2021 photos:

2021 photos:

I decided to drive a sandy-bottomed canyon I hadn't been in before. After the road finally popped out of the canyon, I glassed the surrounding hills and spotted this wide fish-tail crest nearby:

Also nearby was this double-crest that I hadn't checked up on since I first found it more than 7 years earlier; it's crested out nicely in that time:

2016 photos:

I followed more back roads without spotting any crests, but I did find this odd many-armed saguaro:

The road eventually joined a river, flowing strong after all the winter rains:

I followed the river until I encountered a locked gate, then got out and glassed the canyon walls. I spotted a crest on the slope far above me, so I donned my boots and hiked up to it; on the way I found some nice specimens of black tourmaline:

I also found this arm crest ...

... and this rare ring crest:

I finally got up to the crest I'd spotted from my Jeep, and it was a pleasingly-symmetrical one::

Instead of seeing which way
you should take your travels,
observe and examine each day
all the beauty your eye unravels.
                                                              Ana Claudia Antunes, "A-Z of Happiness"

After another camp under desert skies, the next morning I was up early to capture the vivid sunrise colors:

The day brought more dirt roads to explore; off of one I saw this multiple-Y mutant but didn't hike over to it:

I was tantalized by the sight of not-quite-crested Y-tip saguaros:

Before heading home, I stopped for one last hike to check up on Bob and Pat's C1393 arm crest::

Bob and Pat's 2009 photo:

Nearby, my binos picked out another arm crest, so I detoured over to it::

I gazed at the distant profile of Vulture Peak, and remembered leading a group of hikers to its summit; was that really 18 years ago? My wanderings always bring me back to places, back to the past ...

Finally, looping back to my Jeep, I found one more arm crest (Extend-O-Cam view)::

Soon I was home, but never for long ... as long as there are desert trails to ride, hills to hike, and starry skies to sleep under, there go I.

Not all journeys seek an end. Some are their own purpose.
                                                              Una McCormack

Back to Crested Saguaro Society Crest Quest Reports page.

Revised: May 14, 2024
All photos copyright © 2024 Joe Orman