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Highline Trail #31
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mini location map2014-05-25
15 by photographer avatarJuanJaimeiii
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Highline Trail #31Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2014
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking50.02 Miles 10,149 AEG
Hiking50.02 Miles   17 Hrs   56 Mns   2.95 mph
10,149 ft AEG      58 Mns Break
 
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fricknaley
This was a long time coming....

A couple years ago I had the crazy idea of doing the full Highline as a day hike. Pretty sure JohnLP is the one that planted that seed but again it has been in the mind for quite sometime.

Over time I would ask BobP, JohnLP, JoeB and a few others to do it with me. Then last year I finally got a taker. Dr. Nick Fraley otherwise known as Dr. Frick or just Frick. Timing had to be worked out with both of our schedules. We needed it to be not too hot and not to cold.

Yesterday would be the day we picked. There were threats of afternoon showers but otherwise the weather looked perfect.

I went up on Saturday and cached some pop tarts at the Geronimo Trailhead. I then chached some water, almonds, candy and beef jerky at the Washington Park Trailhead. Nick drove up Saturday evening after work and we met for Cheeseburgers at Fargos. From there we went to the 260 Trailhead where we would catch some sleep from 10pm to 2am. AT 2am we got up and I jumped in the Fricks car and off we went to the Pine Trailhead. We arrived at 3am and were hiking shortly thereafter.

It was chilly out but nothing unbearable. We hiked by headlamp until around 4:45am when the sun started to light the sky. When we hit the Geronimo TH we grabbed the pop tarts and kept motoring.

Around 9am we got to Washington Park. At this point we were 1/3 of the way done with the days efforts. We took our first break and refueled our water and had some snacks.
We saw a couple guys at the Trailhead. One was getting ready to go on a hike. We chatted for a bit and then asked him if he would mind taking out our empty water bottle and wrappers. The other guy was walking his dog and appeared to be from the area. He asked what we were hiking and when we told him the full Highline he told us that it wouldn't be possible. He explained that the trail was in bad shape from Washington Park to the Hatchery. We already had our minds made up that nothing was going to get in the way of us completing it so it really was a mute point.

As we continued on we found that the next section was actually quite pleasant. The Dude Fire of 1990 took it's toll but really opened up the views. Over all the trail was in pretty decent shape and it is evident that much work has been done on it. Along the way we would see Richard and his wife out for a stroll. From Washington Park to Horton Spring was just under 20 miles. We had hopes of getting there by 3 but arrived around 3:40. The trail was wearing us down and we were ready for another break.

Nick had never been to Horton so of course he really enjoyed seeing the spring in full action. We again filled our water bottles and enjoyed some snacks. A little after 4 we hit the trail again. We were on our way down the final stretch. The weather continued to be perfect. The threats of afternoon showers seemed to disappear. Smoke from the Slide fire in Sedona filled the air and clouded the distant skies. We had just over 13 miles to go. The break was just what we needed. We pressed on.

Around 8pm the sky started to darken and the headlamps came back out. We were heading down the final 2.6 miles. I swear that was the longest 2.6 miles I have ever hiked. We were exhausted but thrilled to have accomplished our mission. We finished our hike at 9pm. We started in the dark and ended in the dark.

The two of us had accomplished something we had both had wanted to do for quite sometime. It hurt at times along the way but felt great in the end!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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913 Photosets

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