|Backpack||19.00 Miles||3 Days || |
|2,400 ft AEG|| || || |
(Continued from passage 17 - Alamo Canyon) From the White Canyon Wilderness boundary we continued downhill for quite a distance, further than we thought we'd have to go. The trail as we neared the Walnut Canyon Artesian Well area had a lot of loose gravel. It was hard to decide whether to look at where I was hiking or at the great views ahead. There were a few cows who kept ahead of us fertilizing the trail as well. Upon reaching the well area we looked for the well and found it, but at a somewhat different waypoint from the one in the AZT book. I marked the waypoint at N33 09.434 W111 04.837. There is a short dirt road heading south just east of where Battleaxe Rd and Walnut Canyon intersect which leads to the well. We camped north of this intersection near the AZT. Other triplogs have talked about logs noting gunshots. Well, we heard them too. I saw the guys with the weapons hiking past my campsite. With those canyons the sound of the shots echos around and carries a good distance.
The next morning was a little warmer and we were on the trail at about 9:00am after filling up on water for the rest of the trip. The hike through Walnut Canyon was really neat. Some big boulders there. Also tire tracks from what must have been a very capable off road vehicle. Like others I don't know how they did it but the tracks ran the whole distance. The climb after the canyon really gave us some more great views. When we reached the single track trail heading east we spooked some more cows. As we climbed we started getting nice views of the Gila River. We camped in the big wash as we didn't expect any rain.
Friday, we got up to 25 degree temperatures. We got an earlier start, 7:30, and headed out for the last 6 miles. The first 3 miles were great, but the last 3 miles nearest Kelvin weren't built yet. We knew this going in. The ribbons and stakes were sometimes hard to find or missing. There were many places where we were hiking along the sides of hills and had difficulty to keep from falling down the hills. I got a "hot spot" on the downhill side of my foot. I'm grateful for Grasshopper's track of this area which kept us from getting too far off track. As it was, we were only able to make about 1 mph and had to rest a few times as there was a bit of climbing as well. We met 2 hikers near the end scouting a hike for a group and we talked them out of it; it wasn't hard as they had already tried hiking the first .1 mile. I'm glad we did this last 3 mile section (our only other choice would have been to hike the RR tracks), but I wouldn't do it again myself until the trail is built.
This was a very enjoyable trip and we'll be back doing a different passage in a month or two.