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AZT 17b Hike out after Trail Maintenance Event, AZ
mini location map2016-11-13
22 by photographer avatartibber
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AZT 17b Hike out after Trail Maintenance Event, AZ 
AZT 17b Hike out after Trail Maintenance Event, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 13 2016
Hiking7.50 Miles 672 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   6 Mns   2.31 mph
672 ft AEG      51 Mns Break
1st trip
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So now that the work is done, my back is still sore, we gotta get back to the TH. After doing some minor trail work and carrying tools back to the campsite and finishing packing up camp, Roger and I headed back to Picketpost TH. The Four Wheel group would be taking part of our gear so it made for a pleasant hike back carrying less.

Took the short-cut out of camp (you really can't see it on the way in), we headed up the bigger hill and around a drainage to the other side. We were hiking up the trail that is above the campsite when we were stopped dead in our tracks. There was a very large four-arm saguaro laying across the trail :o . It wasn't there when we came in and no one had made mention of it. So we gingerly crossed over it before yelling down to Wendy at camp about the predicament. We were concerned that the horses would not be able to get across it due to the way it had fallen across the trail.

We continued up to the saddle and then around and contoured our way alongside the mountains enjoying the views, mostly to the east. A couple miles in we stopped for a snack in the wrong spot.... ANTS! so we moved down the trail a little further away from the ant hill (which Roger would later take revenge on). However, while snacking a darn ant or something took a bite out of me. It still hurts four days later. After I murdered the little beast we looked across the way and could see all the way to the Pinals and one of the peaks that has the tower. By Monday nite the bite area got red and I could feel a lump, oh joy ](*,) !

We decided to hike to about the 4 mile mark where we would have our lunch. The hike going toward Picketpost is always so rewarding especially when you get views to Apache Leap and the Superstitions at various points along the way. I also like where the ground is more bare with just some flora growing out of it here and there; something unique about that.

Finally we were rounding the corner and heading west after our lunch break in what little shade there is out there. I made mental notes of some of the trail that needed some tread work, mostly above some of the washes. Found out today that a major crew will be heading out at the end of the month to address some of these areas on 17 and 18 so that's good news. There is also some pruning and grubbing that needs to be done but it's really not too bad.

It was starting to get a little warm and I started getting beer on the brain as we swung around the west side of Picketpost. Still hard to believe we can hike up that! but what a great memory for me with Jack and Randy as we had such a great time with such a difficult task. We hiked alongside the wash that runs kind of east/west and came across the section where Marcos took a dive off his bike. Hopefully the crew will be able to shore up that section. It has bedrock and falling away trail. The bedrock is substantial enough but the trail part, not so much.

We were about a mile from the TH when 4 of the bikers we had encountered on 17b when we were working earlier this morning came upon us. We asked them about the downed saguaro. The first guy said he didn't notice such a thing. We said what, how could you not :o ?! Well come to find out, he had biked that section and didn't see it going (it hadn't fallen yet) and he didn't see it coming because Wendy and Harry had taken ropes and a pic/saws to move it to both sides of the trail (Wendy says it was pretty soft inside). Then we asked the other bikers that had approached and they said they noticed it to the sides of the trail when they were biking out.

Now how impressive is that. The saguaro fell around 9 THAT morning after the bike riders had passed and by the time we told Wendy, they had it off the trail by noon! What a crew we have on the Arizona Trail :app:. As we rounded a corner we could see the Four Wheel drive support group at the TH. This was around 2:30ish so we hurried a bit to get there. They apparently had arrived at the campsite on FR4 twenty minutes earlier than planned thus their earlier arrival back with our gear.

We were happy to be at the TH and headed right toward the cooler with the beer. One of the nice gentleman of the Four Wheel crew even carried my pack to the car :) . One of the Four Wheeler guys told me FR4 was worse than the 650 of Montana Mountain. I was quite surprised. They said they did take their tools and did some work on FR4 today.

Five of us finished the weekend with food at Porter's Cafe before parting ways and the drive home. I stopped at McDonald's for an ice cream cone... no DQs around.

I have videos for these Arizona Trail Maintenance weekend trip reports but they're not ready yet as I'm having to work off my laptop as the motherboard is hopefully being repaired at wherever it was that I sent it... It is a bit more challenging using the laptop.

Part 1 including going over the downed saguaro
Part 2
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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