Conversation with Co-workers before the Hike."So where are you going this week?" I'm hiking from the top of the Superstitions, down to Roosevelt Lake. Well, at least you are going downhill this time! (How do you explain to non-hikers that you'll have to climb 6,000', to go down 3,000'?). So what time are you leaving? I'm leaving the house at 10:30 to start hiking around 2:30 and going about 30 miles. 30 miles! Won't you be finishing in the dark. No, you don't understand, I'm leaving at 10:30pm and finishing when it's light out. Holly crap, and you call this fun!"
This was one that's been on the radar for awhile, just trying to figure out the logistics was a nightmare. Luckily, Denny has some really nice family members. Denny dropped off his car at the northern vineyard TH the day before. So that part was set. Denny then sweet talked his brother in law into meeting us at 1:15am and taking us to the Rogers TH. Man..... did this set up save us about 4-5 hrs in setting up the shuttle. I'll be eternally grateful for the ride to Rogers. THANKS Paul!!!!
So now it's 2:30 in the morning, we have 30 miles ahead of us, the weatherman is calling for heavy rain, turning to snow, hopefully not starting until after 5pm, and I flashback to my co-workers comments, questioning my sanity. We start.
The first four hours were in the dark. I'd done the Reavis 109 S to Reavis ranch before, so I was not too upset at missing the views. We took a brief stop at the ranch so I could change the batteries on my headlamp. Crap... I guess I'm hiking with a dim headlamp until daybreak. On our way to to pump water from the creek, Joe noticed a couple of campers. Denny focused his headlamp on the campers, which turned out to be a couple of Whitetail! As we were leaving the creek from pumping water, we saw a headlamp about 150yds behind us. What idiot is going to be in the Superstition Wilderness at 5am (besides us of course). We never found out who it was.
Daylight broke to a sweet sunrise with broken clouds. Maybe we'll get lucky today and miss the rain. The views from all over today were incredible! The temps for the most part were perfect for the day. The winds blew pretty hard at times, which if you were sitting, got a bit chilly... but no big whoop.
The Cottonwood Creek Trail area is one I'd like to go back and check on again. A nice mix of Streams, small waterfalls, nice rock formations, Cottonwoods (duh), Saguaros (really?), Wild Strawberry plants, vines. All in the middle of the desert!
There were times I thought the climbs on day would never end. The best view on the day for me, was when the Bridge by the Roosevelt Dam appeared over one of the last ridges. Yea!
This was probably the toughest of the 19 passages completed so far once you add in the time of day, lack of sleep, miles, and elevation. I'm glad it's done, and real glad we've finally completed it.
The day was finished with a most excellent meal at Chalo's in Globe!
Thanks to Dave, Denny, and Joe for another Great day on the AZT!
Our current AZT Status
65,000 AEG Completed