|E Cross L #281 Loop w/ Palace Station Cem., AZ|
|E Cross L #281 Loop w/ Palace Station Cem., AZ|| |
E Cross L #281 Loop w/ Palace Station Cem., AZ
|Hiking||12.20 Miles|| 5 Hrs 45 Mns ||2.44 mph|
|2,582 ft AEG|| 45 Mns Break||16 LBS Pack|
|Hike one of two on the day.
Exploring new areas in the Bradshaw's, and this one was a gem!
Access from Mayer is on super smooth and recently graded FR67 for 12 miles to get to the Senator Highway intersection (FR52). Then 4 miles on the Senator Highway to get to the historic Palace Station area was high clearance.
Forecast for the day was 70's with a 90% chance of rain.
I'd done some sleuthing prior to the hike to get some ideas on what was around the area.
Plans for the day was to Check Out
2 new seldom traveled trails, under tree canopy.
Historic Palace Station
Palace Station Cemetery
What appeared to be 2 cabins on Satellite and Topo.
Ruins of the Venezia Town & Mil area and 2 more graves.
We parked by Palace Station, just off the road, not knowing there was parking for 10+ cars at the TH.
We checked out the Palace Cemetery area first and then from the exterior, the Palace Station building, one of the oldest in the state (1877). Access is not allowed and is now a Forest Service building and is manned.
The worst trail finding all day long, was close to the South Eastern TH. This goes through a burn zone from a fire in 2007 or 2008. After this, it was clear sailing with no trail finding issues. The trail is undercover for most of the way. There are remnants of bygone mining days along the way. We passed an old cast iron stove and other household items. A car or mining implement frame with a straight six engine was nearby.
We headed down the Collins #282 for a bit to check out the first of two structures I'd seen on Satellite. It appeared to be an old storage building. There were other building footings in the area.
Next we mad the turn and headed toward the northern TH. We stopped and checked out the other building which appeared to be Mobile home like in size and shape, with no indications that it'd been one.
It seems like almost all the hikes I've been on recently was loaded with sign of bear. This hike had the occasional deer prints and the squirrels were quite active, but that was about it. So I was shocked when Joe yells (no too loud) BEAR!. Up on the hillside, and climbing swiftly, was a Momma and her cub, probably 75 yards away. I was only able to get off 1 discernible photo. But finally, my first bear sighting while hiking!
We continued up the incline to the Northern TH. Beautiful forest everywhere.
We hopped on FS70 81 FR52B FR52. Next stop the Venenzia townsite ruins.
We got rained on just a bit on the walk and then while at the Site, the sky opened up and lightning crackled around us. Didn't look too long for the other two graves in the area and also cancelled the other trail we were going to go on. It would have taken us up higher (closer to the Lightning). Should have gone because 10 minutes later we walked out of the storm and the road was even dry. Oh well, another reason to go back.
I really enjoyed this trail... and the Bear encounter made it even more memorable!
|Water could be seen at the bottom. Not sure how deep.|
|There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."|