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Grand Canal -- Van Buren to Central, AZ
mini location map2013-10-18
12 by photographer avatarblack_toes
photographer avatar
 
Grand Canal -- Van Buren to Central, AZ 
Grand Canal -- Van Buren to Central, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2013
black_toes
Hiking6.17 Miles 63 AEG
Hiking6.17 Miles   2 Hrs   58 Mns   2.72 mph
63 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My second leg of Grand Canal, from Van Buren at 40th to Central Ave just S of Brophy Prep. Did the first leg of this 22.43 mi canal several days ago.

Started northward from Van Buren about 4 pm. Took the paved left side of canal, the right one being dirt and gravel. Quickly ran into flock of 16 mallards and large clusters of moss, which I call "canal rugs." Also grocery carts dumped into the water and catching moss. Found 13 carts in canal in the first mile or two, but almost none after that.

Bicyclers comprised about 75 percent of the traffic passed. Counted 30 over the six miles, but only nine hikers and, surprisingly, a single jogger.

Passed a small gang of young teens huddled behind the wall at Brunson-Lee Elementary. They paid me no attention. In crossing through the barrio, ran into three Hispanic boys sitting glumly along the canal. "Buenas tardes," I said in passing, but got no response. Residents of the barrio seem to use their section of the canal more than any other residents along the canal. I passed a young woman carrying groceries and we smiled at each other, as did several Hispanic males on bikes who greeted me in English. One biker even began to whistle as he approached my backside, so I assmed he would not startle me as he came by.

Surprised to see no one fishing. Did see a foot-long koi and heard and saw numerous splashes.

The worst part was the long, lonely stretch in twilight between Osborn and 7th St with apartments and houses off to the left. One guy on a bicyle stopped to warn me this was a dangerous area. He soon pulled ahead of me, stopped and layed his bicycle down. I wondered if a troublesome encounter awaited. Anyway I talked with him for a minute or so, and decided he was not a danger, at least to me. Saw only another bicycle rider over the 1.88 mi, until I reached a more familiar area at 7th Street and the Central High football field .

The most scenic sight of this hike was between 7th and Central, with the lights of Brophy's athletic fields lit up and reflecting off the canal waters. At Central, several bikers gathered, waiting to cross the street heading west along the canal.

In all, it was one of those hikes you're glad to have done but wouldn't want to do it again anytime soon.
Culture
Culture
Canal - Aqueduct
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