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Fmfl, AZ
mini location map2016-07-01
67 by photographer avatarAZHiker456
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Fmfl, AZ 
Fmfl, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2016
Hiking43.78 Miles 6,651 AEG
Hiking43.78 Miles   19 Hrs   36 Mns   2.57 mph
6,651 ft AEG   2 Hrs   33 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Fourth of July weekend 2016 was among the worst few days of my life. Rather than re-live these moments in my normal, detailed fashion, I’ve packaged the less than pleasant memories of my 5 hikes into a single triplog:

7/1 (AM) – Mt. Elden via the trail (6.19 miles). Let’s just say if I of all hikers adhere 100% to the trail, then it probably means something isn’t right… and when I clock in [up that trail] a grand total of 10-15 minutes faster than my best up Mt. Wrightson :o , you can guaran-damn-tee something is seriously off. Given that I fell over the day before while doing laundry, I suppose I should’ve felt happy / some sense of accomplishment just have summited; but the pain of having been reduced to almost nothing [athletically speaking] was just too much to bear… and the phenomenal views at almost every turn of Doyle & Fremont [two of the final three peaks I summited before getting sick less than a month prior] certainly did not help matters.

7/1 (PM) – Buffalo Park (5.02 miles). My equilibrium may have been damaged to the point of severely handicapping me [athleticly speaking], but there’s nothing wrong with my legs / lungs, [which failed to even remotely feel challenged / tired as pitifully slow as I was rendered up Elden]. Thus, later that afternoon, I attempted to unsuccessfully blow off some steam around the exceptionally well-maintained trail system in/around Buffalo Park. I had to call it quits after only 5 miles because my eyes could not handle anymore spinning. Despite logging over 11 miles for the day, a lot more piss and vinegar needed to be released… and frustrating WAS… in the form of me tossing and turning in the trunk of my Forester until about 5 AM.

7/2 – East Newman Hill & Kendrick Peak/L.O. (9.47 miles). Unless my equilibrium recovers, my doctor insisted that I AVOID trails. However, [still in denial], I proceeded to knock down another Flagstaff area bucketlister: Kendrick Peak/L.O. The off-trail terrain was excellent enough in the direction of East Newman Hill that I was able to grab that one as well on the ascent… but aside from that, I didn’t even consider the multitude of other incredibly amazing-looking off-trail opportunities that surrounded me… in fact, despite the EXCELLENT trail conditions, each step was a battle to stay on two feet, and there were stretches of perfect trail where I was struggling to log 30-40 minute miles.

7/3 – Hell’s Point (11.60 miles). After the way I BATTLED to summit Kendrick the previous day, reality finally sunk in and I pretty much listened to what my doctor told me [in terms of avoiding trails and sticking to just paved and/or excellent dirt roads]. I was car-camping in the Upper Verde River Wildlife Area for the next two nights and arbitrarily selected “Hell’s Point” as my destination. Route Scout topo shows many of the gazillion and one dirt roads in this area, which came in very handy. Although the road got a touch rough at times, it was nothing a Forester couldn’t handle had I been driving instead of “hiking” it; and, although I felt pretty impaired, I didn’t felt like I was putting my safety at risk, [something that could not have been said of the previous two days]. At Hell’s Point, the dirt road ends about a quarter mile or less from where the topo shows the edge of the Verde River and a trail leads the rest of the way toward, [and then down to] the river. Friends in the area told me I “MUST see” the river, even if I was unable to hike down. Luckily the portion of trail from the end of the dirt road to the river’s edge was excellent, allowing me to get there safely. When the river suddenly came into view, the exceptional beauty somehow took me back to the time before I got sick and brought such peace. It looked more like a canyon than a river, with beautiful walls of red rock; and at the bottom, [although dry], lush green grass with brick red dirt. While I couldn’t even break 20 min mile pace on an HCV road, this so-called “Hell’s Point” at the road’s end treated me to views more spectacular than most summits.

7/4 – Upper Verde Dirt Road Wanderings (11.50 miles). No real destination or plan… I was busy and intended to do only a few miles but for the first time in almost a week noticed a slight improvement… enough to be able to [safely] dip below 20 min mile pace on excellent dirt roads, which was a huge motivator; thus, I logged as many miles as I could, given the time I needed to get back.
Velvet Mite
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