Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Arizona Trail Progress

  • 50 Replies
  • 4058 Views
*

Offline Keepa

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 204
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

  • Admin/Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 7618
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

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 57
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

  • Admin/Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 7618
Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2019, 08:27:14 PM »

*

Offline Flash

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2056
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

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 204
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 and then hit the trail. My primary destination was Lemmon 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 Lemmon 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 Lemmon 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 Lemmon 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 Capitan. 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. 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. Capitan 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 Capitan 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.

Capitan, 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. 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 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. Capitan and Honeydew remained and took a zero.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 02:17:57 PM by Keepa »

*

Offline catz

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1039
  • Old enough to know better, but...
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

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 204
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 Capitan 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 Capitan 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, Capitan 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 Capitan 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 or my water bladder fell in.

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

There was a flat spot about 15 feet from the tank where I pitched my tent. Capitan 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 Capitan 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 Capitan and Honeydew informing them of this.

I pushed on. The AZT continued to be flattish, 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.

Capitan 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 Capitan 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. Capitan caught up with me and passed me 30 minutes later.

I arrived at the Freeman road trailhead at 4 to find Capitan and Honeydew sitting under a gazebo. 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 Capitan. 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 Capitan and Honeydew sitting in foldable chairs, which a 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 Capitan. 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 Wildlife Tank at 11:30. Capitan was already there.

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

Capitan 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. Capitan 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 Capitan.

I passed Capitan 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. Capitan arrived 5 minutes later.

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

I went to the grocery store, bought food for 2 days, relaxed, had lunch at the hot bar, cleaned my kitchen gear, then met Capitan 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 Capitan arrived 5 minutes apart.

We had been hiking together since we met in Summerhaven. It was our custom to stagger our departure times whenever 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 and then I left, followed by Honeydew and Capitan.

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 I encountered three Jeeps. 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 Capitan 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 Capitan's tent and chatted and planned for the next day and 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 Capitan 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 it 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 at 10:15, filtered 1 liter and waited for Capitan and Honeydew. I had a light lunch while waiting for them. Capitan 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 Picket Post trailhead. Capitan 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.

Capitan passed me 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. Capitan and Honeydew arrived.

Capitan 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 Picket Post trailhead at 5:06.

I lay on the ground and power napped 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 Capitan 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.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 02:19:18 PM by Keepa »

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3028
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
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."

*

Offline Keepa

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 204
Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2019, 09:09:14 PM »
Thursday, April 18

The next morning I rejoined the group at about 8:30. They had MJ's delicious breakfast already but I wasn't hungry, I just had a bowl of cereal and a mocha made by MJ.

At about 10 we all went to the main drag to see the town. Our first destination was the Sunflower Cafe, where we met Guy again and an AZT hiker named Daydream, whom we had met at the Chalet Village motel in Oracle.

We had a light snack and drinks, I asked Will, the owner of the Cafť, to put MJ's bill on my tab. But when it came time to pay Honeydew paid for both of us.

The gang went to the Save-a-Lot grocery store to resupply. I stopped at Porter's bar and grill for a hamburger. It was good.

I then went to Save-a-Lot grocery and found them still shopping. I bought my things and then we went back to MJ's home to sort it out and pack it.

A friend of Capitan, Cheetah, arrived. She would hike the next two weeks with Capitan.

MJ and Al grilled hamburgers for lunch, but I wasn't hungry so I did not eat. It was about 1:30. We lounged around until about 4:30. We all soaked our feet in an Epsom salt bath, which was quite refreshing.

Capitan wanted to explore Arnet Canyon, a side trail that connects to the Picket Post Post trailhead, and camp there tonight. I did not see the point of it but I went along.

Guy drove us to the trailhead and we started at 5:30. It was a 3 mile hike to Picket Post.

There was nothing special about this canyon, I had seen a hundred better things on the AZT already, and I regretted coming along.

The group was moving slowly and I was getting upset, mostly at myself, for being here.

The old saying is true: hike your own hike.

At around 7 they found a spot to camp, but I did not want to camp in the canyon, so I made for the Picket Post trailhead, which was only .6 miles away.

I set up my tent in the parking lot, which was fine by me, and pondered the situation. Instead of spending a night in a nice and comfortable bed, or doing 3 or 4 miles on the AZT, I am camping at the place I finished yesterday.

Lesson learned. I am here to do the AZT, that is my focus. Any interesting side trips are to be noted for future reference

Friday, April 19

I woke up at 6:15, had a quick breakfast and packed up. At about 6:45 the gang arrived. There was water cached at the trailhead, I got two liters, for a total of 3, then set out at 7.

My destination was Whitford Canyon Creek, a reliable water source 6.1 miles away. It was a terrain of rolling hills, nothing too bad.

Honeydew had set out 30 minutes ahead of us. I did not see her at Whitford. I filtered 2 liters, for a total of 3, and set out again. I headed for the Reavis Trail Canyon, 6 miles ahead. It was still rolling hills.

I caught up with Honeydew at Reavis trail. I filtered water and rested, as there was a nasty climb ahead, 1700 feet in 2.4 miles. Cheetah joined us.

We had to dry camp, and there was a water source 3 miles up, so I carried 1.5 liters.

I arrived at the water source, filtered 3 liters, which put me at one gallon and rested for a few minutes before tackling that big climb, which was coming up. Honeydew and Cheetah arrived just as I was leaving.

We all had agreed to meet at the saddle after the climb then proceed from there.

The climb was horrible, as the first two thirds had no switch backs, straight up hill.

I lumbered on, questioning my sanity. Finally the switchbacks began, and as it was after five and the sun was low there was some nice shade. But the trail itself was overgrown and annoying, as I had to brush through vegetation for most of the climb.

I made it to the highpoint at about 5:40 and began the .5 mile descent to the saddle, reaching it at about 5:55.

I knew the others would be at least 15 minutes behind so I cooked dinner, rice with a chicken bouillon cube and summer sausage in tortillas, with freeze dried jalapenos and tortilla strips.

I could see the high point from where I was sitting at the saddle, and I saw Honeydew as I was finishing dinner. Then I saw Cheetah also. But they stopped there and waited for Capitan.

It was about 6:45 and getting dark, so I walked down the road about .4 miles and found a terrific spot looking down the mountain, with the lights of some town at the bottom. I pitched my tent and waited for others, who arrived 15 minutes later and pitched their tents.

I had done 16.5 miles for the day.

Saturday, April 20

We all slept in a little, the others because they had a short day because of a side trip, which I was not going to do, having learned my lesson at Arnet Canyon, and me because that climb was tiring.

I hit the trail at 7:30. It followed the road for about .5 miles then left it at the Superstition Wilderness.

The feeling, sight and smell changed immediately, it was great. The Superstition Wilderness is remarkable.

It was downhill 1.1 miles to the Rogers Trough trailhead, where we would split for the day as they would go on their side trip.

I arrived there about 8:05, filtered water from the creek and waited for them.

I had been using my Steripen since yesterday, as the water from the creeks was clear. The Steripen had a constant purifying time, 90 seconds per liter. The performance never degrades, and it kills viruses. It is still number one for me.

The girls arrived at 8:10. We sat until 8:30 and then I left. We would meet at Roosevelt Lake tomorrow.

My destination was Reavis Ranch, 7 miles away. There was an immediate 1000 feet climb over 2 miles, this one also with no switchbacks. Sigh!

After the climb I entered a beautiful Alpine meadow, it was very large and stunning. I could understand why Reavis chose to live here.

Water was plentiful on this stretch.

I reached Reavis Ranch at 12:10 and spent a couple minutes photographing the ruins, then I went to Reavis creek, right next to the ranch, and had lunch there and filtered water.

I hit the trail again at 1, and immediately encountered a 500 feet climb in .4 miles, with no switchbacks, just a straight climb.

The trail was also rocky, making the progress a little slower.

There were three elevation changes between 300 and 400 feet, again with no switchbacks. The trail was rocky and with big boulders.

Then followed an 800 feet descent, it was steep, rocky and slow going. I was tired. There was a small flat area followed by an 800 feet ascent. I resolved to camp and make the ascent in the morning.

But there was no place to camp in the flat area, so I continued for another half mile and found a spot right before a wash, it was flat, had soft dirt and surrounded on three sides by trees. It was 5:30.

I had a cold dinner and went to bed around 7:30.

I had done 14.7 miles.

Easter Sunday, April 21

I made a cold breakfast of oatmeal, powdered milk and cherries and cranberries, and a hot Earl Grey. Then I hit the trail at 6:30.

It was a tough 800 foot climb, and not the last climb, but I was rested.

The trail was difficult. It was rocky, it was overgrown. My next water source was 7 miles ahead, and I had two liters on me. But it was a cool morning.

There were a lot of little climbs between the two big ones and it was not a breeze.

I saw great views of Roosevelt Lake from high above.

I made it to the stock tank around noon. It was the last definite source before Cottonwood spring, which I was not confident in.

I decided to get a liter at the stock tank but filter it only if Cottonwood Spring was dry.

I went to the edge of the tank, which had brown water and squatted and strained water over a cotton cloth on top of my BeFree.

I have low blood pressure. Whenever I squat for more than five seconds and stand up real fast I get a head rush, 100%. I know that and always stand up slowly after squatting.

But this time I didn't, and I got a nasty head rush. I blacked out and found myself staggering into the pond, which I fell into to my knees. I caught myself with my right arm.

Everything from the knees down was soaked with muddy water. I had my camera around my neck; thank God it did not fall into the water.

I sat for a couple of minutes to recover, then I filled my BeFree again. I then took off my shoes and socks and rung all the water from my socks.

It was a sobering experience and it was my fault.

After about 10 minutes I started again.

I reached Cottonwood Spring one hour later. It was only 1.8 miles away. It had clear water, so I dumped the water from the stock pond and used my Steripen to purify my water.

The trail followed Cottonwood creek and it crossed it a million times. It was difficult, with large boulders. I did not enjoy it at all.

The trail finally left the creek and joined a dirt road which went 3.1 miles to the Roosevelt lake marina.

It was a steep descent and the road was rocky and the footing was loose.

I made it to Roosevelt Lake at 3. It was a 13.5 hike, one of the toughest I had done on the AZT.

I went to the store at the marina and had a Gatorade. Then I ordered a hamburger.

I paid for a camp spot and went and pitched my tent, only 15 feet from the shore. Then I went swimming and laundered my clothes in the lake. I hung them on the bushes next to my tent to dry.

I went to the Tonto National Forest visitor center for the view, pulled my phone out of my pocket and snapped a picture. Then I went back to my tent, only to discover that I had lost my driver's license, which was in the same pocket as my phone. I went back to the visitor center and found it on the concrete walkway.

I returned to my tent and was ready to fall asleep at 7:30, but it is a popular spot, with many RVs. The one 50 feet away from me had his generator running, and I could not sleep. I knew I had to wait until 10 PM.

I made use of the time by doing some star photography. I got great pictures of Orion.

He turned off his generator at 10. I fell asleep fast. At about 4 AM, while I was in the midst of a great sleep, enjoying a wonderful dream, I was snapped out of it by a coyote which was 10 feet away from me at the lake shore. He yakked for about 2 minutes then stopped.

I went back to sleep.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 02:20:39 PM by Keepa »

*

Offline House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3028
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2019, 10:37:36 PM »
My wife has the exact same problem with low blood pressure, and our son inherited it, too. You are not alone.

Lucky you on the driver's license. Imagine the nightmare if it hadn't been there.

Lucky you, too, on the coyote. That's why we go into the wilderness.

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

*

Offline Quatro

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 470
Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2019, 10:49:18 PM »
What would be a pretty long day for me seems to have become your new normal day after day.  I'll bet you hear some interesting tales from your hiking compadres.  Sounds like Arizona could use some trail building help with switchbacks. 

I'm also struck by the relentless dedication of the trail angels.  You do a great job of describing their efforts.  Kudos to them and to you of course.  :eusa_clap:
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

*

Offline Keepa

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 204
Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2019, 03:39:16 PM »
Thank you, Quatro.

*

Offline Keepa

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 204
Re: Arizona Trail Progress
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2019, 03:47:10 PM »
I spent 2 nights at Roosevelt lake. This morning, the 23rd, I hit the trail at 6:55. I got as far as Roosevelt dam and the bridge next to it. That's when my right foot said no!

I had pain in my foot that was shooting up my calf. I could not go on any longer. Had I continued the next exit point would have been 41 miles away at highway 87. I was supposed to have exited there for my cousin's wedding in Phoenix on the 26th, and resumed on the 28th.

That may still happen. We shall see how my foot feels.

As House Made of Dawn said in a previous comment, the feet defeat the feat.

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments