It is so exciting to get this segment behind us. Not for the faint of heart! But such a beautiful, varied hike, with lots of surprises...from the beauty of the pines and junipers in the higher elevations of the Superstitions around Reavis Creek/Ranch to the cottonwoods, strawberries and rock formations around Cottonwood Creek. Amazing views from higher elevations as well...from one location we even had beautiful views of the McDowells, framed behind Apache Lake.
A while back when we started the AZT, coanbru and I came up with a formula to rate how difficult hikes were overall. Simply take 1/25 of the AEG on a hike, and add that to the total mileage, to get a number. Based on this formula, this is the 2nd hardest single segment of the Arizona Trail (difficulty 54)...the only one harder is the rim-to-rim at the Grand Canyon segment 38 (difficulty 56). Comparatively speaking, Camelback is an 8, Flatiron is a difficulty 17, Mt. Ord is a 32. So basically, this hike was like doing Camelback 7 times back to back in a day.
Not a lot of wildlife, just a couple of whitetails. Surprised to see 4-5 people today, including one guy at Reavis Creek around 5am, well before daylight. My first thought was, "What is this idiot doing out in the middle of the Supes at 5am?" Then just as I start to say that out loud, I realized ...
We had one really nice early lunch spot at a good elevation yet in a spot shielded from the heavy winds up there at the time. We also took a couple of long breaks (maybe 20 minutes). We stuck together most of the time, although every time I started to lead the group, I would get my mind focused on what was ahead of me, then look back and realize that they were nowhere to be found. After stopping to wait for them a few times, I finally made one of them get in front of me so I couldn't lose them again
A HUGE debt of gratitude owed to Denny, his girlfriend & his brother-in-law on this hike. Denny and Grace drove out to Roosevelt Lake to leave his car the day before, and his brother-in-law gave up his night's sleep to pick us up at 1:15am and drive us all the way out to Roger's Trough trailhead. Then Denny drove us home.
Thanks also to Bruce, who bought us supper at Chalo's. It was delicious, although by the time I finished, tiredness set in and I almost fell asleep at the table. I did manage to make it to the car, and stayed awake about 5 minutes before I was