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Pine Mountain - AZT #21
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mini location map2012-10-13
6 by photographer avatarSredfield
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Pine Mountain - AZT #21Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2012
Sredfield
Hiking5.60 Miles
Hiking5.60 Miles
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Saturday and Sunday I spent along the AZT south of Sunflower. Saturday was an Arizona Trail Association work event to rebuild the Bushnell Tanks connector to the AZT. This route is a problem because it crosses Sycamore Creek which floods frequently. I was there August 1st and it has really been nuked since then. There is debris 15 feet up in the trees, and huge trenches scoured out since this spring. We cleared the vegetation, built some cairns and put signs up, but didn't do much tread work because it will not survive the next rain.

Then I headed south with a backpack, saw and loppers to see how bad the cats claw is and if I could make a difference. I took the now-closed road from the gate to the corrals, then went up the hill south and east to intersect the AZT at about 33 50.052,-111 25.566. It's a nice walk along the ridge line with great views. There is an active stock water about 30 minutes up the hill from the corrals.

Several hikers have commented that the cats claw is encroaching on the trail, and that signposts are down and indeed this is the case. I started at the the road/trail junction and worked east. The trail is in open country here, passing too close between scattered cats claw and mesquite bushes that have grown back from the original trail routing. There's no magic bullet, just get after them with the lopper and occasionally the saw. I worked till about 5 then set up camp. A stock tank (33 49.978 -111 25.449) is visible from the trail if you are looking closely; I hadn't seen it on previous trips through here. The water is murky but filterable, which I did to ensure I had enough for the trip. It was a little surprising to see water in it because the stream is dry. I've used a "First Need" filter for years and have not had any issues, but real murky water can clog the filter. The last cartridge took quite a hit at Upper Lockwood Tank a couple years ago, and was finished off at a wildlife trick tank north of Winter Road, so this had a new cartridge which worked well but I didn't want to trash it so soon after putting it to use.

Spending the night out here is wonderful, the sunset against the hills and mountains really cast great light. Coyotes sang for a while, then things got quiet for a bit. The jets coming into Sky Harbor were noisy for a little while. They do something that makes very strange noises, not sure what it is, but the roar cycles through different frequencies or something. But they soon ended, everyone was home or on their way and I didn't hear them much anymore.

Up at daylight and back to work by 6:30. A fellow ATA volunteer showed up about 10 and we worked together for a few hours, then headed back. We cleared .4 miles of the trail and were able to put 3 of the trail signs back up--sort of. Without tools we had to make do. I think the cattle rub against them so it's not likely they will last too long, but should be good for the spring through-hiker season. I hope to get back several times this winter. I keep wondering what kind of tool could make this go better--the landscapers' pole saws and a pitchfork come to mind, wonder if it would worth hauling something like that in.
_____________________
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
HAZ Member
Sredfield's
165 Photosets

  2013-03-31
  2013-03-21
  2013-03-05
  2013-02-26
  2013-02-16
  2013-02-10
  2013-02-03
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  2012-12-20
  2012-12-01
  2012-11-26
  2012-10-31
  2012-10-13
  2012-08-03
  2012-07-05
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  2011-10-02
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