Just a note and an update to all those who gave some great advice on hiking the White Tanks.......
I've taken all your advice, except one.
I wear my knife on my belt, keep my key ( only take the car key when going) on my person, have the whistle around my neck (but under the shirt) have a flashlight, walkin stick and water. Cell phone is always charged. Besides, it takes great pics........
Have graduated from the easy trails, to the few difficult ones. Have not actually completed one of those yet, but have gained the confidence that I will eventually.
What have I learned?
1) Late afternoon hikes not such a good idea. While beautiful, its kinda scary coming back to the car after sunset, and watching 4 dirtbags in a crappy beat up car pass the parking, screech to a stop, and back up slowly and parking next to you.....even tho ther are plenty of unoccumpied spaces available. I figured maybe they just wanted to use the facilities, but no, one just got out and stared...please, believe me I know it wasn't my ravishing presence.......had to walk around them, giving a wide berth, and luckily had my phone in the back pocket, so calmly took it out and proceeded to call the SIL.......who wasn't answering, of course. But they didn't know that. The key was in the backpack, so I had to root for it, which is why I now carry it on my person....showed no fear, even tho I thought I'd drop a load then and there.
All I could think of is..........hey, If I'm going down, I"m takin as many as you arseholes with me as I can..........but I was being looked out for, found the key, and got the hell outta there.
2) NEVER hike on a holiday weekend, or any weekend if you want peace in the winter in Arizona. Last Saturday, took a difficult trail figuring I'd be alone.......but between the never ending horses, dogs and familys I either got run over or kept at a snails pace.
3) Hiking chases away the demons.......for a time.
So thank you, friends, for your great advice. Ive taken it all to heart, (well most of it) and if anything should happen, it won't be because I've been careless or stupid.