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Arizona Trail Progress

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Offline Keepa

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2019, 09:48:08 AM »

Their web site says their product is made of pulp fiber.  Pulp fiber is cellulose.  Pretty much all TP is cellulose.

But they are biodegradable, just like poop, so why shouldn't they be buried?

Still, you can't beat them for the weight.


Offline RichardM

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2019, 09:52:42 AM »
Their web site even boasts that you can reuse the towel.
I was assuming that reuse was for when it was used for cleaning purposes other than toilet duty.


Offline Mesquito

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2019, 04:48:20 PM »
Iím going to be able to retire when my opaque ziplocks hit the market.


Offline RichardM

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2019, 08:27:14 PM »


Offline Flash

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2019, 08:21:37 PM »
Thank you, Keepa, for the updates. Enjoying them thoroughly!  :great:


Offline Keepa

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2019, 06:51:33 PM »
Monday, April 8th

I took a nero (nearly zero) day in Tucson yesterday and hit the trail again today.

I arranged be shuttled to the Gordon Hirabayashi trailhead with a trail angel. His name is Scott Bosworth, a very nice guy. A retired army veteran who came to the Tucson area to help with his PTSD.

I arrived at the trailhead at about 9:25, used the bathroom, then hit the trail. My primary destination was Lemon Creek, 15 miles away. My secondary destination was Summerhaven, 18 miles away, depending and how I felt and how much time I had by the time I got to Lemon Creek.

I carried two liters of water, as there was water on the trail. My intermediate destination was Hutch's pool, 7.1 miles away, a local favorite. It is a permanent pool with a sandy beach where you can camp.

The first mile to Hutch's pool was a gentle climb, and then a descent all the way to the pool. I made it there in about two and a half hours, and had lunch at the pool.

The 4000 feet climb to Summerhaven began at Hutch's pool. It was 2200 feet in 5 miles, up to Romero pass. It was not bad at all. At Romero pass the trail joined Mount Lemmon Trail #5, and there was a brutal climb of 1400 feet in 1.2 miles. It destroyed me. Any thought of making it to Summerhaven vanished.

I finished the climb. It was about 5:30, and still about 2.8 miles to Lemon Creek. I pushed on but I doubted I would reach the creek. Although the trail was descending, it was very rocky and the progress was slower.

I found a very nice camp spot with a fire ring 1 mile from Lemon Creek, and right next to a water source. So I stopped there and called it quits.

I was in an area with bighorn sheep, and I heard them all night, and that's what I thought I was hearing. But the next day I was informed that those were actually bullfrogs.

Tuesday, April 9th

The next morning I hit the trail at 8. It was 4.7 miles to Summerhaven with a 650 feet climb, and I thought I would cover that in about 3 hours.

But the Mount Lemmon Trail #5 is very rough, and it was slow going. I didn't make it to Summerhaven until 12:15.

I was tired even though I had done only 4.7 miles.

I checked out the town, which is very small, for the next 15 minutes. I visited the hiker friendly general store, where they give free coffee and hot cocoa to AZT hikers. I bought a Gatorade and said I would be coming back later.

Then I went to the Mount Lemmon Cookie Cabin Pizza restaurant, where they have pizza and wonderful cookies, among other things. I ordered a slice of pizza and a BBQ chicken sandwich.

While sitting there eating my food, an AZT hiker came up to me and introduced herself. Her Trail name being Sage. I invited her to join me at the table and she did. She told me she was hiking with two other women and they would be arriving shortly.

About 15 minutes later the second woman arrived, her trail name being Honeydew. We moved to a larger table. about 30 minutes later the third woman arrived, her trail name being Rome.

We discussed whether to continue hiking a few miles further or to stay in Summerhaven tonight. I told them I was anxious to sleep in the bathroom of the community center, which many hikers do. I just thought it would be a fun thing to do. Also, I was really tired and I did not want to make a descent from Mount Lemmon today.

There was a saddle 3.1 miles down the trail, called Dan's Saddle. I suggested that if they wanted to continue that would be the best place to find a camping spot, because everything after that was a descent.

Honeydew was also keen on sleeping in the bathroom of the community center, as she also thought this would be a fun thing to do. Sage and Rome were not convinced, but by 3:30 the idea of pushing on was gone and they decided that they would sleep in Summerhaven tonight.

The four of us sat the restaurant until about 4:15, 15 minutes after their closing time, then we went outside and came across another AZT hiker, his real name Milo. He was only 15 years old.

Around 4:30 we all went to the general store and lounged around there. I bought some cold cuts and crackers and eggs and cheese for dinner.

Milo informed us that a hiker named Legend would be arriving around 6. Legend was attempting to break the fastest known time hike of the Arizona Trail.

The general store closes at 6. 2 minutes before closing Legend arrived and went straight in to buy some food, then he joined us sitting in front of the general store.

He informed us that he was doing at least 50 miles per day. Amazing.

The owner of the store came out around 6:15 and was very friendly, she told us we could sleep in the bathrooms and vestibule of the community center or in the post office, which is open 24 hours a day and is heated.

At 6:30 we all moved to the community center. In the vestibule we had dinner and Legend was charging his phone. He left 15 minutes later, he was going to hike till about 10 or so. His destination for tonight was High Jinx ranch, 12 miles away, where he had a supply box waiting for him.

We debated whether to sleep in the bathroom or the post office. In the end Rome slept in the bathroom, and the rest of us went to the post office.

The community center was rented by a group of pastors, who were having an ecumenical meeting. They were very nice, they invited us to join their service.

The four of us settled in the post office. But around 9:30 Sage decided to go back to the vestibule. the bad thing about the post office is that you couldn't turn off the light, and it was very bright in there. 30 minutes later, Honeydew also went to the vestibule of the community center. Milo and I remained in the post office.

Wednesday, April 10

I could not sleep. In fact I did not sleep at all the whole night. at 5:45 a.m. I packed up and went to the vestibule, where the others were awake and having breakfast. I ate a big cherry turnover I had bought the day before, and drank a hot cocoa.

I told the others that because I had not slept all night I wanted to stay another day and rest, because I didn't want to hike without sleep. They left at about 6:35. Then I thought about it and decided to go for it and hit the trail at 6:50 a.m.

The wind was gusting fiercely, and it knocked me off balance several times. It remained like that for the whole day as I descended from Mount Lemmon. It was also very cold.

I don't know why, but I had a burst of energy. I don't know where it came from. I was making terrific time and I made it to Dan's Saddle, 3.1 miles away, in 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The saddle is a 400 foot drop followed by a 400-foot climb. If I'm making a 4000 foot descent from Mount Lemmon, I shouldn't have to make an 800 feet elevation change in the process.

End of rant.

The saddle was very rocky and had no good place to set up a tent or camp. In retrospect it was a good decision not to proceed the previous night. Looking at a flat area on a map doesn't necessarily mean that you can camp there. It depends on what's covering that area.

I caught up with Rome shortly after I climbed out of the saddle. And we pretty much hiked together to the American Flag trail head, where we would be picked up and driven to our motel in Oracle.

Sage, Honeydew and Milo we're about 30 minutes ahead of us. We arrived at the trailhead at 1:10 PM. I had done the 14.6 mile descent in 6 hours and 20 minutes. And I don't know why, but I still had energy when I arrived at the trailhead.

I had reached mile 200 of the AZT.

The person picking us up was Marnie, the owner of the Chalet Village motel in Oracle. We called her about an hour before we arrived at the trailhead and told her we would be there at 2. So the five of us sat for about 45 minutes until she arrived.

Marnie and her husband Jim are very nice people. They are Trail angels and they cater to AZT hikers. In fact the motel was completely booked with a AZT hikers. I did not have a reservation but they rented me their old mobile home. Milo was going to camp in their backyard but I told him he could sleep on the sofa in the mobile home.

There were seven hikers in all staying at the motel, and we all went out to dinner to an Italian restaurant which had very good pizza.

I slept for a solid 9 hours in the mobile home. The next day I got my own room. Milo left and hit the trail. Sage and Honeydew remained and took a zero.


Offline catz

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2019, 10:17:35 AM »

1400 feet in 1.2 miles!!   That is one steep sucker.

I don't know about sleeping in a bathroom; it sure doesn't sound like fun to me.

Thoroughly enjoying this TR, Keepa.  Back in in about 1993 I was part of a Sierra Club group project that built a three or four mile stretch of the AZT.  It's in the Superstition Wilderness area, east of Phoenix.
Wake me when it's time to go.


Offline Keepa

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 05:57:33 PM »
Friday, April 12

I got up around 6:30, having slept very well in a comfortable bed. I waited for the others to wake up. Around 7 Sage and Honeydew emerged and said they were not going for breakfast. I told them I would.

I settled my bill. Marnie did not charge me for the night in the mobile home. That was nice of her. The night before i had invited them for breakfast. I wanted to show my appreciation for these terrific people and trail angels.

Marnie and I went for breakfast around 7:30. Her husband Jim would bring Sage and Honeydew to the trailhead and then join us.

We sat at our table, joined by another hiker, Coach, who had come straight from the trail to breakfast. After we ordered Jim, Sage and Honeydew showed up. They wanted to say goodbye to Marnie. After doing that Jim drove them to the trailhead.

He came back 20 minutes later, his food waiting for him.

I had an egg, cheese and bacon croissant with fruit, two glasses of orange juice followed by a cherry almond pie with whipped cream and coffee. It was delicious.

At 8:15 Marnie drove me to the trailhead. We arrived there at 8:25. I said my goodbye and hit the trail at 8:30.

Most of this stretch of the AZT was flattish, with minor climbs. I made good time. About 11 miles later I caught up with Sage and Honeydew, who were sitting in a wash having their lunch.

I had my lunch already, but I joined them for about 15 minutes then went on.

My destination was Mountain View tank, a reliable water source, where I would camp.

It was about 12:30 and Mountain View tank was 10.9 miles away.

The terrain became hilly but not very bad. I pushed on and made it to the tank at 5:30.

I immediately filtered water. The tank is round, about 9 feet high and 15 feet in diameter. There is a ladder which I climbed to get to the water, which was about 2.5 feet below the rim. I had to carefully lean down, making sure that neither I it my water bladder fell in.

Fifteen minutes later Sage and Honeydew arrived and began filtering water.

There was a flat spot about 15 feet from the tank where I pitched my tent. Sage pitched her tent right next to the tank. Honeydew went up the road about 150 feet.

I had hiked 20.9 miles for the day.

It was a nice, cool night. I hit the sack at 8, woke up at 1 and took some nice star pictures, then went back to sleep at 2.

Saturday, April 13.

Honeydew hit the trail at 6, followed by Sage at 6:30. I filtered 2 liters of water before hitting the trail at 7:37.

I was concerned about a potential 20 miles stretch with no water. So at about 8:30 I found mobile coverage and called Marnie and asked her if she and Jim had cached water at the Freeman Road trailhead, which was at mile 10 of that stretch. Marnie, bless her heart, said they had driven there the night before and cached water. That was a great relief. I sent a text message to Sage and Honeydew informing them of this.

I pushed on. The AZT continued to be flattish, but with a couple of bigger climbs, but nothing bad.

At around 10:30 I arrived at Beehive Well, also a round tank but only 6 feet high. The water was green but it filtered fine. I got 1 liter.

Speaking of filters, my Katadyn BeFree was degrading, and no matter how much I cleaned it, it would become painfully slow, taking about 8 minutes per liter.

Sage and Honeydew were using the Sawyer, and they always filtered twice as fast as me. I think that Sawyer's back-flushing cleaning method is more effective than Katadyn's swish or shake method. Because if you think about it, swishing and shaking is not going to clean the hollow fibers toward the center of the filter, because they are shielded by the outer layers. Whereas backflushing gets them all.

I will switch to the Sawyer after I reach Phoenix, where I am attending my cousin's wedding on April 26.

At 12:30 I found Sage sitting in a wash having lunch, so I sat with her for a good hour and a half. The Freeman Road trailhead was only 5 miles away, so there was no rush.

I left at 2. Sage caught up with me and passed me 30 minutes later.

I arrived at the Freeman road trailhead at 4 to find Sage and Honeydew sitting under a gazeboh. I put my pack down and went to the water cache and got a gallon of water.

At 4:45 we hit the trail. We we're going to hike until 6 or so. At 5:30 we found a very nice camping spot under a tree and decided to call it a day.

We had done 16.9 miles for the day.

Sunday, April 14

Honeydew was first to leave in the morning, as usual, at 6:30, followed 15 minutes later by Sage. I hit the trail at 7:15.

The next 11 miles of the AZT were flat, and I mean pancake flat. It was easy going and fast mileage. It was cool and partly cloudy, great for hiking. I had 2.25 liters of water with me until the next water source, Wildlife Tank, 10 miles away.

I saw a rock outcrop in the distance and the AZT was heading for it. When I arrived there I found Sage and Honeydew sitting in foldable chairs, which s trail angel named Nankoweep  had left there, in the middle of nowhere, along with snacks and water.

We sat there for 30 minutes then Honeydew left, followed by Sage. I walked a short distance to a concealed spot and took care of business.

I caught up with Honeydew about 30 minutes later but stayed behind her about 5 minutes until we reached Wildlige Tank at 11:30. Sage was already there.

I had a quick lunch and then filtered 2 liters of water, which took 15 minutes. This was unacceptable.

Sage said she wanted to eat lunch elsewhere, so she and Honeydew left as I began filtering water.

I resumed hiking and found them 20 minutes later sitting in a wash under a tree. Sage had used her tyvek tarp to create a canopy, and Honeydew her umbrella, so we had nice shade.

Our next water source, in Ripsey wash, was only 5.7 miles away. We we're in no hurry to leave and we lay there for 90 minutes.

Finally we left. Honeydew went first, I followed 10 minutes later. I passed her about 1.5 miles later.

I met a couple hiking the Grand Enchantment Trail. I stopped to talk to them and Honeydew caught up with me. Then I started again.

As I was descending into Ripsey wash I met a woman also hiking the Grand Enchantment Trail, and she was from Chicago, from the neighborhood adjacent to mine. Small world.

Ripsey wash was not what I expected. It was a lush, green paradise.

I filtered 3 liters of water at a cement tank fed by a spring. It was cool and great tasting.

I found a great spot to pitch my tent and had the best night of sleep so far on the AZT. It was in the 50s.

Monday, April 15

I woke up early and hit the trail at 6:23. Honeydew had left first, followed by Sage.

I passed Sage 2 miles, later, as she climbed up a hill to take some pictures. Honeydew was ahead of me about 7 minutes.

There was a 700 climb over 2 miles out of Ripsey wash, and it was all downhill from there to the Florence-Kelvin trailhead.

The views were terrific.

I arrived at the trailhead at 9:37. Honeydew was already there. Sage arrived 5 minutes later.

We all had to go to Kearny to resupply. I flagged down a car and hitched in. Sage and Honeydew did another 2 miles of the trail to the Gila river bridge and hitched in.

I went to the grocery stote, bought food for 2 days, relaxed, had lunch at the hot bar, cleaned my kitchen gear, then met Sage and Honeydew at noon at the Old Time Pizza restaurant, where I ordered a calzone for tonight's dinner.

The owner of the restaurant, Loraine, is very hiker friendly. We stayed there until 3:45, then she drove us to the Gila river bridge. There we met two hikers resting, Coach and DJNightCake.

We sat there talking for 45 minutes. Coach left. The four of us hit the trail at 5, our destination a campsite by the river 3.6 miles ahead, next to the railroad bridge over the Gila river.

There were terrific views as we climbed and then descended to the Gila river. We arrived at 6:20 and sat chatting until 8:30. DJNightCake wanted to push on for another 3 miles. He said he was low on food and phone battery. All of us were carrying battery packs. Honeydew let him charge his phone and I gave him a bag of trail mix and 6 Welch's fruit snacks. He decided to camp with us.

It was a nice day. We had done 13.3 miles.

Tuesday, April 16

DJNightCake was first to wake up, around 5:15, and the rest of us around 5:30. He thanked us, got our contact information and left.

I had a snack in lieu of breakfast and hit the trail at 6:30. Our destination was the Gila river 7.8 miles away, where we would filter water and eat.

I started with 1.25 liters of water, the others with 1. I was slightly concerned but it was a cool morning.

This stretch of the AZT was not what I expected. The guidebook describes it as following the Gila river, but it did no such thing. It was high above the river.

The views were terrific.

I reached the bank of the river at 9:40 and began filtering water. Honeydew and sage arrived 5 minutes apart.

We had been hiking together since we met in Summerhaven. It was our custom to stagger our departure times when ever we converged so that we would not be on top of each other.

We all filtered 2 liters and had "brunch." We stayed there until 11:30, then I left, followed by Honeydew and Sage.

Our destination was again the Gila river, 6 miles away, where the trail would leave the river and ascend the canyon. There we would have to carry 1 gallon of water to dry camp as we ascended the canyon.

This stretch was mostly level, with terrific views in the last mile.

About .5 miles from the river access point encountered three jeeps on. One of them stopped and a man asked me if I was hiking the AZT. I said yes, we chatted for a few minutes, and I asked him if he had water. He said yes and I got a liter.

I then proceeded to the trail junction and waited for the girls. While waiting I took care of business.

They arrived at 2 and we walked one hundred yards to the river, to a spectacular bank with terrific camping sites. We considered camping there but it was too early in the day.

I filtered 2 liters and then joined the girls in dipping my feet in the river. It was cold and nice.

We stayed there until 4 and then I left. Our destination was a camp site 2.5 miles and 1000 feet up the canyon, with reportedly terrific views.

It had become overcast and cool, which made the ascent easier. It was also extremely windy and threatening to rain.

The climb was not bad. I reached the campsite at 5:30. It was extremely windy and not favorable for camping. The views were terrific.

It began to drizzle.

Honeydew arrived 10 minutes later and we agreed we could not camp here. There was a dirt road going down and I walked down about .2 miles and found a large grassy area suitable for camping. I walked back up to find Sage had arrived. We agreed to camp in the grassy area.

It had started to rain lightly.

We walked down and immediately setup up our tents. It rained sporadically as I cooked dinner in the vestibule of my tent.

The three of us then sat in Sage's tent and chatted and planned for the next day, then we went to sleep.

We had done 15.9 miles for the day.

Wednesday, April 17

At 4 AM it started to rain heavily. After 15 minutes of this I checked inside the tent to make sure all was dry. There was a small pool of water at my feet. My backpack had pushed the tub below the canopy of the tent and the water was rolling down the top and into my tent. I used my bandana to soak the water out and adjusted the tub. Fortunately only my Darn Tough socks got wet, but they were the pair I wasn't going to wear the next day, so I considered that laundry.

I also realized the poles holding up the tent were a couple of inches too short, as there was a little sag in the tent. I would lengthen the poles in morning.

At about 4:40 the heavy rain let up and became a drizzle, finally stopping at 4:50.

As it was nearly time to wake up, I did not go back to sleep. I thought of breakfast and how packing the tent would be a wet affair.

I made a hot breakfast and packed up. Honeydew and Sage were also packed.

I walked around the camp site to stretch my legs. My shoes and socks got damp from all the water in the vegetation. It was a portend.

I hit the trail at 6:15, my destination a reliable  stock tank 8.1 miles away. I had a 1000 feet climb over 5 miles, which was not bad.

Within 60 seconds of walking my feet got soaked. The trail was overgrown with up to knee-high vegetation laden with rain water. The grass was brushing against my pants, which were skimming the water, which then rolled into my shoes. Every step was like stepping into a puddle. I rang my socks out twice but to no avail, within 60 seconds they were soaked again. So I gave up. It would be like that for the next 12 miles.

I resolved to make to Superior, only 18.9 miles away, as my pants, socks, shoes and tent were wet, and I did not want to camp in  wet things.

The views on this stretch were amazing.

I made it to the next water source at10:15, filtered 1 liter and waited for Sage and Honeydew. I had a light lunch while waiting for them. Sage arrived at 10:45, followed by Honeydew 5 minutes later.

They also had resolved to go to Superior. After eating more food I hit the trail at 11:30. It was 10.7 miles to the Picketpost trailhead. Sage had already arranged for trail angel to pick us up.

There were more amazing views in this stretch, which is passage 17 of the AZT.

My feet were sore but I pushed on.

Sage passed my and went ahead. I caught up with her 4.7 miles from the trailhead, where she was taking a break. Honeydew arrived a few minutes later. We rested for about 30 minutes then I set out.

There was a cache box 1.7 miles ahead, near Telegraph Canyon road. When I arrived I found 4.5 gallons of water. I took a liter and made a report on Guthook.

There were several locals driving on the road with their ATVs. Sage and Honeydew arrived.

Sage was tying together 10 plastic gallon jugs so she would pack them out. A local named Guy arrived with his ATV and struck up a conversation with us. We asked him if he would take the empty jugs and he said yes.

The rest of the way to the trailhead was nice and downhill, except for a short and easy climb near the end. I made it to Picketpost trailhead at 5:06.

I lay on the ground and powernapped for about 20 minutes. Then our trail angel Al walked up to me and asked me if I was one of his hikers. We chatted for a few minutes and then Sage and Honeydew arrived.

Al and his wife MJ are incredible angels, sincere and generous. They made us a great dinner.

I did laundry and tried to go to sleep, but it was too stuffy. So at 10 I went to the Copper Mine motel where I had a good sleep.


Online House Made of Dawn

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Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2019, 07:00:51 PM »
"Sage was tying together 10 plastic gallon jugs so she would pack them out. A local named Guy arrived with his ATV and struck up a conversation with us. We asked him if he would take the empty jugs and he said yes."

Good for Sage. And good for the ATV'er.

Keep on keepin' on, Keepa.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."



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