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Flatiron Blue Arrow Removal Project, AZ
mini location map2014-12-20
14 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
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Flatiron Blue Arrow Removal Project, AZ 
Flatiron Blue Arrow Removal Project, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2014
Hiking4.25 Miles 2,900 AEG
Hiking4.25 Miles   4 Hrs   53 Mns   0.87 mph
2,900 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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HAZ - Event
Second Annual Siphon Draw to Flatiron removal of painted directional arrows

The paint removal crew met at the Quick Trip gas station in Apache Junction at 0800 and it was a pleasure to see some of the same familiar faces that were on the project last year, although I wish we could be meeting under more preferable circumstances :D New to this years crew was rayhuston (Ray) and skillpore (Stephan). It was also good to see Superstition Man (Oren) who came just to meet everyone and give us his sendoff.

Once introductions were finished we drove to the Mining Camp Restaurant where we made sure everyone had the necessary can of paint removal, scrub brushes, towels and plenty of water then we hit the trail up Siphon Draw. It was a chilly start but the steady incline takes its toll and soon I was shedding layers to keep from sweating. There were already lots of hikers on the trail so it was going to be a bit of confusion as we scrubbed arrows off while hikers had to pass around us.

I wore my Forest Service uniform and most of the hikers were cordial, even thanking me for the work that was being done to restore the trail. There were, however, many hikers that thought we were doing a disservice to them by removing the directional arrows that guided them to the top. I kindly reminded them that the "official" Siphon Draw Trail ended at the slick-rock basin and from here on to the top is an unofficial trail and is a part of the Wilderness....where it's illegal to paint the rocks as this is defacing public property. Not everyone bought off on my reasoning, even getting snotty, so I told them that if they wanted to follow arrows maybe they should be hiking in Disneyland and if you're getting lost in this canyon maybe you shouldn't be here in the first place.

The faster paced hikers (jj, BobP & Rick Vincent) made a direct shot to the Flatiron, spraying the arrows with the paint remover as they came across them, while us slower paced hikers worked our way up the trails to a point where we settled in on a series of pre-coated arrows and began scrubbing them. As the painted markings disappeared, we worked our way down until we met at the basin calling it another successful cleanup campaign. Ray and Stephan continued on up to the Flatiron to add a little excitement to their day.

As we continued heading back on a now crowded trail, JJ and Bob decided that they hadn't had enough rock climbing yet and challenged a lone spire alongside the trail. They both ascended the pointed rock and gave us a high five from the summit :D

I guess work is only what you make of it and we had a pretty good day of it. I had hopes of making it to the Flatiron again, but the backpack filled with bottles of water, scrub brushes and rolls of towels was a bit much to be lugging around the steep portions of the trail so I settled at the 2-mile mark and began working my way back down.

A really big Thanks to everyone who participated in this years clean-up project and let's hope that this is the last one so we can hike a clean trail and enjoy the outstanding scenery :y:
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
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