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mini location map2016-03-17
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Aylor's ArchPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2016
Hiking11.10 Miles 1,992 AEG
Hiking11.10 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   3.08 mph
1,992 ft AEG      29 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After yesterday's journey to Battleship I wasn’t quite sure what my body was going to feel like today; and thus wasn’t really sure what to plan for. I haven’t made the trek out to Aylor’s Arch in quite sometime. I would come to find out, just over 3 years.

This morning I woke up and with my legs feeling good I decided to give First Water another go around. I had previously talked with my fiance in the morning and told her I’d text her my destination for safety reasons. I made it to the trailhead roughly 15 minutes later than I did yesterday.

Starting down the trail my legs felt really good. I intermittently thought about that (and how Flatiron is destroying me), wedding stuff (less than 7 months to go), and a conversation I overheard while getting my gear ready in the parking lot. Two guys were talking about how a higher power had already found their future spouses for them, even though they had no idea what they looked like. The peculiarity of the topic really caught my attention apparently. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop but couldn’t help myself.

The trail is in really good shape. I was able to cruise through the various sections and in no time made it to where the rest of the journey is off trail. I passed a few separate groups on the way to this point. One thing I did make note of is during my last trip out here I vowed never to return due to this long, never ending, section. It really went by fast this time around.

Reaching the intersection of Dutchman and Black Mesa the slog of off-trail travel cropped up. I sort of remembered the way, even though I had only been out here twice. I recalled being in the creek bed and then hanging a left after an outcropping. I decided to follow the route I had loaded in my Garmin and Route Scout. It took me a bit to the left of the creek bed. After toiling through a bunch of crap I decided to head back into the stream.

Hanging a left turn I started up the gully towards the peak. My last time out here the trail was definitely more noticeable. Now, it was a tangled, overgrown mess of plants and loose rocks/soil. This part of the hike felt longer than the previous part. It just was up, up, and up.

Reaching the summit I soaked in the magnificent views of Weaver’s and then checked in at the mailbox. I looked at the summit registry and was shocked that there was an absence of entries. I quickly realized that this was the same small notebook that I had signed in to 3 years prior. Since then, a mere 2 or 3 pages since then might have been filled up if everyone had signed in line by line.

I pulled up the nearest rock and sat down and enjoyed the views. I also had time to reflect on how much my life has changed over the past 3 years. Getting out of a bad relationship, switching schools, meeting the one, and now about to do something I never thought I’d ever do again in a few short months. Pretty crazy how unpredictable life can be and how small, seemingly meaningless decisions, can have a huge impact on your existence.

On the way down the steep slope I had a couple close calls where I almost ate dirt. It reminded me a lot of descending Picketpost where you basically are continually in a controlled fall. Making it back to the main trail I cruised on back to the trailhead.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience. Upon Chumley’s advice I used Route Scout and I have to say I was quite impressed with it. I was concerned that it may just sap my battery, but returning to my car I still had 74% left; with the phone being in airplane mode the whole time except for briefly on the summit. I’ll definitely be using that more now that I see how it works. It is nice to have the mile announcements as I can tell if I need to pick it up or slow it down.
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