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Saddle Mountain - AZT #22
75 Photosets

2015-10-20  
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mini location map2015-04-02
12 by photographer avatarSredfield
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Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Volunteer avatar Apr 02 2015
Sredfield
Volunteer5.30 Miles
Volunteer5.30 Miles1 Day         
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Work continues on the Saddle Mountain Passage, AZT 22. Six hearty souls hiked into McFarland Canyon to replace sign posts. That’s a long way to walk to plant two posts, but there isn’t any other way to get it done.

We found a nice juniper post just up the trail north of the junction in McFarland Canyon, so we dug out the old post which was over half gone underground and very loose. Someone has cut off a portion of the existing sign, not sure what that was about; we’ll replace it. The new post went into the same hole, and we tied the old sign to it until the new signs are ready and installed, hopefully before long.

Next up was the junction sign at the old Story Mine road. Starting out we weren’t 100% sure it was gone, but some ATA equestrians had been past the spot a week ago and didn’t recall seeing it, so we bet on it not being there. We walked past this spot on the way in and it was indeed gone. The area surrounding the sign has lots of old trash scattered around, likely from mining days so it is probably artifacts by now. While it’s in a designated Wilderness, it is only slowly returning to “wilderness.” We had to find an oak tree from across the little canyon for the sign post since there was no juniper to be had here. We are betting it lasts longer than we do.

Same old drill, some of the crew digs the hole, some prepare the post. John M is getting quite adept at hewing off a flat spot on the log for the sign to bolt to. Then we set it in, someone eyeballs plumb, and we tamp the dirt back in around the post. Two down!

This is a great section of the AZT! While it lies on an ancient mine road, the 360-degree views are pristine. It contours around under Saddle Mountain towards Sheep Mountain and Mount Peeley in clear view to the north. The Mogollon Rim, Sierra Anchas, Mt Ord, the Superstitions and more complete the views.

This area burned in August of 2012, but is recovering quickly. The Forest Service hired American Conservation Experience youth crews to do the emergency stabilization work along the trail, and they did an outstanding job. The big armored washes that they built are holding nicely, and several big drains that they cut in are working well. ATA should hold a work event to address the ankle-killer rocks on the steeper sections just north of the Mormon Grove Connector.

Nearing the end on our way back out we were wondering if we’d see any through hikers, when Brad and company appeared coming up the trail. Sorry, I only caught one name. They had started at Sunflower and were going to Pine where they will complete the AZT!! Congratulations all around.

On the way out we noticed that the sign near the now-burned Mormon Grove corral at the connector trail is gone also. Having a little energy left, we dug the hole for the replacement post and set rocks in to hold it until we get the signs completed, again, quite likely rather soon.

Thanks to Joe L., Tom K., William P., John M., Stuart C. for another great day on the AZT!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
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Sredfield's
167 Photosets

  2015-04-30
  2015-04-08
  2015-04-03
  2015-04-02
  2015-04-01
  2015-03-26
  2015-03-06
  2015-02-27
  2015-02-24
  2015-02-13
  2015-02-05
  2015-01-07
  2014-12-18
  2014-12-14
  2014-11-17
  2014-11-14
  2014-09-06
  2014-08-19
  2014-08-17
  2014-08-05
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