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Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25
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mini location map2014-12-21
30 by photographer avatartibber
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Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2014
tibber
Hiking22.70 Miles 4,159 AEG
Hiking22.70 Miles   7 Hrs   25 Mns   3.95 mph
4,159 ft AEG   1 Hour   40 Mns Break
 
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After a nice breakfast served by MaryAnn at the LF Ranch, it was time to take off and warm up from the chilly air. We carefully negotiated the River which had a cool mist above it when you looked east. We climbed just a tad and soon my toes were no longer numb. As we got toward Polk Spring, Shawn decided we should go check out the tree orchard and as I looked over I exclaimed, "I see a bridge". I looked a couple times just to try and verify it. As we got down in the trees we started walking toward it only to see that it was a silver ladder [-( . This was a beautiful area with water flowing thru it and once again a clear mist was above the water in certain areas. The grass was very green too.

Now it was time to start our climb up to Polles Mesa. You do have to pay attention to the cairns or you might get a little off track before you start heading up that rock road. Oh my gosh, that is really something! The trail combined with the elevation was a tough one : rambo : . Fortunately it is short-lived but when you look up the road, it doesn't look that way until you get up toward the top. I was glad to see it turned left to level out and you get up on the mesa where you have great views especially back toward North Peak and the Mazzies.

We got to walk on the mesa for awhile and took a break just before White Rock Springs, checked it out and then hiked up to the Whiterock Mesa. We continued our traverse across the rocky trail; the rocks seemed to never end. Shawn saw a log big enough for all of us to sit on so we waited for Kathy to return from nature's calling. There were only a few areas of reprieve from this rock filled trail condition. We took our lunch break at around the 7th mile before making that last climb of 700 ft in a mile; thank goodness we fueled up as that wasn't easy. We were presented with continued rocky conditions both during the climb and after.

But once that was over, not sure why I struggled so much, we were basically home free from any other climbs. About 1/2 mile later we hit the part of the trail thru the lava-looking rock; the really only scenic part with the contrast between the rock and the trees. I actually more or less stayed up with Karl as we traversed thru this for about 1/2 mile. I think he slowed down a little too.

After we got thru this section Karl asked if I wanted a break and I said no, let's go another 1/2 mile but we didn't end up stopping until a little over 2 miles from the end. It was getting a little chilly as we were higher now from where we started this morning. I continued to do my best to keep up : rambo : with Karl as we were now in pursuit of the high point of the hike. Once my breathing went back to normal, we knew we hit the high point but it would only be 5785 or so. Karl remarked that we had done nothing but come up hill :sweat: the entire hike.

I can't remember who said there was a tank; we had totally walked past it which is unusual for Karl. So we headed back a bit to go over to the very full Saddle Ridge Pasture Tank. We arrived at the vehicles at 5844 elevation (the actual high point) and took some pictures by the AZT sign on both sides. This was a nice get for the Arizona Trail Section crew getting two connecting trails done! Karl and Kathy are now up over 200 miles : app : .

We were anxious to get the car tricks done so that we could get our post hike meal at El Rancho which was fabulous as usual. Thx guys for driving. Only 1 video :o [ youtube video ] ... and it's only a little over 4 minutes :o . I was running low on battery power with the new camera.
AZT Totals for Ambika, Angela, Shawn, Tracy:
Segment 37 E 14.5 in 2013
2014
Segment 18 all 19.06=33.56
Segment 20 N 13.53=47.09
Segment 26 11.74=58.83
Segment 34 S 14.09=72.92
Segment 30 S 15.73=88.65
Segment 29 N 9.82=98.47
Segment 32 all 14.96=113.43
Segment 31 partial 10.26 for Angela = 123.69 for the others 14.26 = 127.69
Segment 25 N 11.79 = 135.48 for Angela and 139.48 for the others

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Polk Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
I'm not good at guestimating but it was flowing pretty good.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Saddle Ridge Pasture Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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