DAY 1 of our two-day backpack on the AZT from Mt. Peeley TH to Doll Baby TH
After a month trying to coordinate schedules, I was itching to get back on the AZ Trail. We started back with a blast, and it didn't disappoint. 40 miles through 3 counties (Maricopa, Yavapai & Gila) on this segment alone, plus you get views of Flatiron and Weavers Needle, Four Peaks, the Mogollon Rim and Humphreys...wow!
Left home at 2:50a, shuttle setup and we were off on our journey from the Peeley TH just under four hours later. Before going I thought how nice it would be to summit Mazatzal Peak while out there, but had already given up on that before leaving as the only two routes that I could find up it are on its eastern side, and this trail follows its west side. Very impressive mountain, will love returning one day to scale it!
Of the 10 segments I've finished so far, this has the most challenging route finding. As of Oct. 2010 much of the trail needs work as it is overgrown and covered with downed trees that still haven't been cleared. Bring your long pants and whacking stick on this segment too, we all had some blood loss on this segment ... locus, catclaw and some berry bush with some nasty little spikes of its own.
In doing longer desert hikes like this where route finding may be an issue, I'm learning how important it is to pay attention to your daylight hours. When its finally cool enough to get out, you're then limited by daylight. Perhaps late spring is the ideal time, the closest to summer solstice (with the longest amounts of daylight) before the desert starts heating up too much. At least that's my theory, and I'm stickin to it.
We looked for water for the day in known spots and by mid afternoon settled on Chilson Spring. A bit murky, but not too bad.
Well we finally finished this segment and pushed into the next segment to end out in The Park at 8:15p. We barely had enough energy to talk smack for a few minutes while setting up tents, and within minutes we all just were conked out. I kept hearing snorts and noise outside the tent but was too wiped to even check it out. The next morning I found out that there were deer that ticked off that we were set up in their spot.DAY 2 of our two-day backpack on the AZT from Mt. Peeley TH to Doll Baby TH continues on my post for Red Hills - AZT #34 ...