In between pastoring two churches, just finished serving after 6 years at a church in Chandler on June 1, and start at a church in Oro Valley on Father's Day, so this Sunday I had the rare opportunity to actually "take a hike" on a Sunday! Joined the crew for another AZT segment, which was one we arguably didn't need to do but we did so that we could say we have hiked EVERY segment.
It was actually a really pretty segment, IMO. Yes, you do hike through town in Flagstaff and that part was a bummer (unless you want to grab a Starbucks or a bit of Taco Bell or Mickey-D's on your way through!). Walnut Canyon is always a gorgeous trip though, and of course from Buffalo Park to Schultz Tank was really nice too.
Halfway through the hike (at Buffalo Park) we realized that the keys to the vehicle at the northern TH were in my car at the southern TH. Because we couldn't think of anybody who we could call in town to help us out of our predicament, one of us had to go abandon the hike, hike back to my car at Sandy's Canyon Campground off Lake Mary Road, then drive it around (with the keys to the other car) at Schultz Tank. After we at lunch at Buffalo Park, Joe was kind enough to make the big sacrifice. THANK YOU JOE!!!
The rest of us headed toward Schultz Tank, stopping in Buffalo Park for a while to see the sign honoring the founder of the AZT.
On the last part of this hike along the Schultz Creek Trail you follow the creek next to Schultz Pass Road, and about 2.75 miles from our end point at Schultz Tank we saw Joe whizzing by in my Civic toward the northern TH. At that point we realized that not only had he beat us back to a trailhead, but he had also driven my car around from the southern to the northern TH (a half hour drive) and was still going to beat us by an hour to the trailhead! Impressive.
Saw a few elk out today and some nice flowers. Along Rocky Ridge Trail we saw several prickly pear in one area and a pincushion cactus, so we are so far 26 for 26 AZT segments completed where we have spotted a cactus. Will we find one on all 43 segments? Another question: should a yucca/agave be considered a cactus? (so far that hasn't been part of the consideration...