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mini location map2012-11-10
19 by photographer avatarcindyl
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Charlebois Loop IIPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 10 2012
Backpack19.50 Miles 2,275 AEG
Backpack19.50 Miles2 Days         
2,275 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
getting ready for my grand canyon trek, i felt the need to get my backpacking freak on one more time before the journey. i consulted traildex to find something in the superstitions with some more mileage and elevation than my earlier romero pools backpack. since i didn't have the option of taking friday off, i knew that i couldn't make the hippy fest. besides, who can resist a loopy hike?

after leaving southpawaz's base camp on saturday morning, i drove out to the peralta trailhead. with the rains from the night before, the road was a muddy mess, which my jeep enjoyed thoroughly. at the trailhead, i ran into some backpackers getting back after a night on the peak, where they said it rained for a solid seven hours.

hiking along the dutchman trail, i marveled at what a great trail that would be for trailrunners. i was wondering why i didn't see more people on that easy trail. one mile in, and after that i didn't see a soul until the red tanks trail. the whiskey spring trail was hard to follow in a couple of places, but i just went back to the last cairn, and looked again to see if there was anything obvious. at the red tanks trail junction, i could see the trail sign, but i couldn't see any easy way to get to it with all the brush. eventually, i just barrelled through to the sign and then up the canyon i went.

the red tanks trail proved to be a bloodletting experience, even though i was wearing pants. there was so much catclaw! and every time the trail crossed the drainage, it was a chore finding the next cairn. route finding was not easy on that one. finally i made it to the junction with the dutchman trail again, and i was eager to find charlebois spring and make my camp for the night. i passed the sign to peter's mesa, and i saw what looked like it might be a campsite near the spring, but i decided to see if there was something more obvious further down the trail. my extra mileage and elevation on this was due to the fact that i hiked all the way to the calvary trail junction before i realized that what i passed earlier must've been it. daylight was waning by this time, and i could tell it really wanted to start raining soon. i high-tailed it back to that spot where i thought the spring could be nearby, found the spring, and started to make camp.

a few moments later, three 20-something young men went by on the trail, yelling something about not knowing where to find something, so i yelled back at them to ask them where they were going. maybe they were trying to find the spring, too? well, it turns out that they were just pumpkin lost. they were going to do the bluff spring loop, and somehow they got lost. they took a picture of my map, i instructed them on which trails to take to get back to the peralta trailhead, made sure they had enough water and a flashlight, and they were off.

not two minutes later, it started to rain. my tent was most of the way up, so no harm there. after everything was secure, i grabbed the umbrella and my flask and took a load off. whew. nobody around in a light rain, i ate my three-cheese mac with tvp and topped it off with a nightcap. life was (and is) good.

the rain didn't last long. and since it was dark and getting chilly, i went to sleep. when i awoke the next morning, those rain droplets had turned to ice and there was a light dusting of frost on the tent. since i hadn't filtered water the night before, i needed to do that first before i could make coffee. it was so cold! it wasn't until i was all packed up that sunlight had finally made its way to the canyon.

i started on my way, wondering when southpawaz would catch me, since we had arranged to meet-up so he could hike out with me. i took a break near la barge spring (the red tanks trail junction), and as i was getting up to go again, there he was. i sat back down for a bit while he took his first break of the day, and we were off. lots more people on this leg of the journey! we had beautiful views and took our time going out. it was a fine day for a walk, and pizza and beer at the hitching post 2 in gold canyon wasn't bad either.

ps: this was the last in a series of training hikes/backpacks that i had been doing for an upcoming grand canyon trek, since i didn't do much hiking during the first part of the year. yesterday our grand canyon trip was cancelled and i am so sad. i wouldn't trade a single one of my treks over the past two and a half months, though. each and every one of them has been a blast.
Named place
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Miners Needle Weavers Needle
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Charlebois Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
i could hear the flow into the large deep pool of clear water, but i couldn't see it.
There are just two switchbacks left. And another half-mile to the destination...
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