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Peralta to Fremont Saddle
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Peralta to Fremont Saddle, AZ
2010-09-254 by
 
Phoenix, AZ
 
Backpack4.90 Miles   10 Hrs       0.49 mph
1,440 ft AEG   
No Routes
Linked  None
Partners None
Impromptu, solo backpack trip up to Fremont Saddle.

After doing mundane tasks all day, I decided around 9:00PM that I felt like backpacking. I made a couple phone calls and it was quickly apparent I'd be going solo, which was totally cool with me. I was out the door around 10:15 PM, at the trailhead around 11:15 PM, and at the saddle by 12:40 AM.

Once at the saddle, I climbed up on a boulder, popped open a Samuel Smith's Winter Ale, and enjoyed the peace. The moon provided enough light to see details in all the surrounding landscape. Weavers Needle towered as prominently as ever in front of the city glow, and the few stars that showed up through the moonlight hung overhead. After making some headway on the winter ale I pulled out the camera to do some night photography. The plan was to set up a composition where I could capture a nice starry sky over weavers needle. I would shoot one exposure while the moon was still out, keep the tripod set up in the same spot, then capture an identical exposure later in the night when the stars would be brighter and sky darker. After catching a satisfactory first exposure, I set my alarm for 4AM and crawled into my bug bivy to nap for a couple hours.

I was jolted awake at 4 AM, confused about where I was and what that noise was. I fumbled around for my ipod, then eventually realized I was hearing the same pumpkin alarm I hear every morning. I found my phone, turned off that awful noise, then looked up to see the moon still high and bright. So much for a star exposure... There was no chance the moon would set before the landscape started to get light from the sun. I guess it would be worthwhile to check these things before I get my heart set on a photo. So I went back to sleep.

At 5 AM I woke up as the landscape started to get lighter. Not too excited about a cloudless morning shot, I tried to get back to sleep. The incessant buzzing of insects was too much, though, and I had no choice but to get up. So, I figured I might as well take advantage of the clean early morning light, even if it lacked the drama of clouds, and I grabbed the camera and wandered around for an hour or so.

Around 7 AM I was packed up and ready to hike back, and I was back to the trailhead around 8:30.

These quick 10-12 hour backpack trips are pretty addicting. I'm thinking there will be several more.
_____________________
"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com
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azpride's

142 Photosets
  2010-12-23
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