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Midnight Mesa Loop - Mazatzal
5 Photosets

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mini location map2014-03-27
8 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Midnight Mesa Loop - MazatzalPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2014
joebartels
Hiking32.25 Miles 7,800 AEG
Hiking32.25 Miles   13 Hrs   12 Mns   2.61 mph
7,800 ft AEG      50 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
Ken and I knocked this out two weeks ago. I really enjoyed what I saw. Unfortunately 9 hours was in the dark so I didn't get to see half of the hike.

jj and I started out 40 minutes before sunrise with just enough light to avoid headlamps. Well at least I thought so until the Travelocity Gnome scared the crap out of me. On closer inspection I was looking at the vertical attention of a skunk's tail. Lucked out and moved on.

Dutchman Grave Trail #22
Still the trail I fell in love with weeks ago. Not as many yellow wildflower varieties, just green green green everywhere!

Red Hills Trail #262
The first few miles are outstanding. Experience paid off on this bad boy. Navigation was easier. I can now say this one takes the most time in route finding having done the others in daylight. Still unique and worth it once for those that haven't checked it out. Well at least the portion in this loop anyhow.

Midnight Trail #272
Not on my favorites list for the Mazzies. Yet easier to follow in daylight. The best part being my two planned bushwhack detours worked out great. Willow Springs Trail came quicker than anticipated.

Willow Springs Trail #223
The moment of truth. Ken & I had a heck of a time negotiating the 0.5 miles of trail around Midnight Mesa. Today in was still sketchy for a tenth of a mile. Yet easier to see, negotiate and didn't look so steep in daylight. That's it right? Head down and it's over.

Not so fast. The hike down was phenomenal. Perhaps the weather. Perhaps the stunning views all the way down. I really enjoyed this trail in the daylight. Nice backside views of Peeley, Sheep and Saddle Mtn too!

Second scare of the day was looking straight down the purple throat of a gila monster. I'm beginning to notice a pattern after a week of three snakes, a skunk and a gila monster at close range... jj is in the back wolfing down taffy!

How it panned out
I felt better on this loop. 20 hours was outta my comfort zone. JJ would probably knock off an hour or two without me and I'd probably add an hour two without him. So a nice medium. I hit 40g protein, 3 quarts of water, 2 Qts Gatorade, four ibuprofen, sunflower seeds, pistachios, half a pepperoni beef stick, 1 large chewy yet crunchy sweet tart. Feel great now a few hours afterwards. Of course jj survived on unfiltered creek water and his typical plethora of sugar treats...lol Also tried one super anti histamine to ward off the quickened paced snots a couple hours in. Yeah that worked for maybe ten minutes.
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster
_____________________
- joe
HAZ Member
joebartels'
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