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Pine Mountain - AZT #21
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mini location map2016-11-20
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Pine Mountain - AZT #21Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 20 2016
Backpack8.77 Miles 672 AEG
Backpack8.77 Miles   4 Hrs   50 Mns   1.99 mph
672 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
Linked none no linked trail guides
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DAY TWO After a very restless night from the wind and the rotisserie of my body (I figure I lose weight doing that all nite), I awoke at 6:30, a little later than I wanted. You know how it goes, you wait for it to get light and then somehow you end up finally sleeping and then it's past light ](*,) . Yes, it was still windy but fortunately not cold and fortunately we had nice views with some pink on the clouds to the east.

We went back to the intersection so that Shawn could add a small wooden square AZT sign to the big sign they had installed Tuesday. We hiked up to the Ridge which got our hearts a goin' and warmed us up from the chill in the air. Once on top, you could see we were in for quite the hike down and so down and down we went. The trail was a bit slippery in places so you had to hang on. It drops 500 feet in 3/4 of a mile, part of it alongside a high part of the mountain when you finally reach Boulder Creek and then another 480 ft drop in the next mile before you reach Crabtree Spring (Shawn says it had water in it).

From here you continue on a plateau above the creek off and on for quite some time occasionally wandering in and around the little coulees. A few times we hiked the area where the cattle had obviously been hanging out. Most of the herd seemed to be lingering across the very wide creek bed. I could see a reservoir/tank near where they were. The cloud cover was pretty serious now. We got a glimpse of Mount Ord on our right for awhile. By the time we were done it seemed like we had done a semi-circle with Mt Ord.

I could see another mountain in front of us and wondered where we would be heading as we got close hoping it would be down and not up. And as I suspected, we went down into the very wide creek bed and hiked on it for awhile. That was pretty cool. There were cattle above us on that rather steep hillside.

We passed by the wrecked vehicles and Shawn shared the two suppositions; I'm going with the water flow control. Anyway, it's very interesting. We continued up a bit of a hill that I thot could have been somewhat of a dam but by the time I got to the top of it I kind of forgot about that. We came upon a very scenic part of the trail and Shawn shared the great story about how they found this trail that was much better than where they were aiming for originally. I think it would be great if Shawn would keep a journal about these types of things on the Arizona Trail.

We rounded the corner and got up in elevation where we got to see the autumn colored trees of Sycamore Creek :y: . First you got a peek off to the right and then off to the left and then the whole shebang (an American phrase, from the 1920s) stretched out before you. And though we were obviously a week past prime; it would surely be worthy of a day hike out here to see it in prime. Well I could hardly keep my eye off this as the others hiked ahead. We came to the creek crossing which had some water in it too. A little while later I asked ahead, "what about that last 2 mile break I like" and they put on their brakes as we had just started to go up another hill. We had a nice view here and fueled up.

The rest of the way you are above the fall-colored creek bed. The sun came out for a moment and the color sure got muddy looking; much nicer in filtered light. I had still fallen behind trying to get pictures with my phone as well. I was also taking movies as we hiked along the edge of the mountainside finally arriving at the sign we had visited earlier this year when we finished the bottom part of 22.

We passed thru the gate and unlike earlier in the year, we didn't have to rock hop over the water as it was pretty dry in this area AND now there are signs directing you to the road that takes you up to the parking area. Last year we stumbled around trying to get to the road. Best of all, THANKS to Roger, we didn't have to shuttle to pick up the other vehicle and headed straight for food in Fountain Hills; very happy with our weekend and completing a section all at one time :) .

Part 1 to Crabtree Spring
Part 2
Part 3 to Sycamore Creek
Part 4
Part 5 finishing off the hike and the connector trail
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
Autumn in Sycamore Creek a week past prime
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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