|Hiking||32.60 Miles|| 12 Hrs 20 Mns || ||2.64 mph|
|2,040 ft AEG|| || || |
Joe B. was nice enough to get up early to join me on another AZT segment. Thanks to a nice shuttle driver (THANKS GRACE!) we were able to start at 5 am. The AZT trail sign was small for a major trailhead. There was actually a big Arizona shaped sign in the Double Springs campground, not sure why.
Within the first mile we got to hear bugling and screeching from about a 100 elk of all sizes. The biggest heard I've ever seen, was pretty cool. The first 2/3rds of this trail is heavily pined with some nice meadows. We were also in the shade and clouds for this part of the trail. We saw the big heard of elk, and 2 groups of deer. Joe saw an owl swooping down after a squirrel, which he missed, and we got screeched at by a hawk until we left his territory. The Double Springs campground was interesting and calls for more exploring at a later date. Some of the trail follows an old train route,its like a small history lesson of the area. A few miles before our cache we took a break so Joe could give his first blister some TLC. As we left this area we got to see 2 young bull elk pranching around a meadow just outside of good photo range but was still cool to see. Our next stop was Lake Mary Rd. to get our cache. We crossed the highway and climbed the trail on the other side. The trees changed from Pine to Juniper and we lost our shade and clouds. The next 10 miles or so had 3 or 4 cool marshes. We took a short lunch in this section. Joe developed his second blister on this section and I got my first. A couple of miles before the end the trail takes you to a nice view of Lake Mary. From there you skirt around the Lowell Observatory and by the last marsh before heading down to Marshall Lake. Hard hike but great time. Thanks to Joe for the company and the GPS skills and to Grace for the shuttle.
|Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.|