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Reavis Ranch via 109 South
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17 by photographer avatarZort
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Reavis Ranch via 109 SouthGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2017
Hiking14.40 Miles 2,455 AEG
Hiking14.40 Miles
2,455 ft AEG23 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
They said it wouldn't rain so much on New Year's Day. They were wrong.

The drive from north Phoenix was highlighted by several different kinds of rain, everything from lazy, drizzly "Seattle sucks!" kind of stuff to "Erma Gerd, the wipers can't go fast enough and we're hydroplaning down the 101!" torrential, bucketing nonsense. We should have turned around right then, backtracked 12 minutes, and have been done with it. Alas, we were not that smart.

Getting to Queen Valley road was no big thing, and even Hewitt Station Road wasn't bad until we got to the Queen Creek crossing. The creek was flowing high, and it was too silty to see the bottom. Fortunately, as timing had it, we got mixed in with a Jeep/Toyota jamboree and benefited from watching others go first. I would highly recommend NOT crossing the creek under such conditions without high clearance, 4WD, and a guinea pig to show you all the hidden holes and rocks to avoid! :scared:

Other than being over the axles in water in Queen Creek, the drive was reasonable, though very mucky in places. I wished I had my Tacoma with off-road tires instead of Deb's 4Runner with street treads, because there were a few steep, muddy spots where stopping was not really an option and steering was merely a suggestion. Cue Paul Simon and a few bars of "Slip sliding away.." I know folks do this drive in passenger cars, but please don't try it after serious rains. Just don't.

The final push up to Rogers Trough TH was quite rough, slick in places, and very steep in others. Again, 4WD territory. Finally parked at the trailhead, we snacked in the truck and waited for the rain to let up, which it soon did. Sneaky, shifty, and perfidious that was!

The weather lured us out of our perfectly good truck and into the wilderness, and then sprang the rain on us again. The hike down the Trough became an exercise in looking for the shallowest places to cross the very lively waterway. To no avail, even the Gore-Tex boots were useless, as we were nearly up to our knees in places. Fortunately, the water was cold enough to bring on a pleasant numbness before too long. :lol:

At the junction where Reavis/109 splits off from the Trough we had a brief pow-wow. We discussed turning around, because, well, it had started raining more rather than the less we were sure we remembered the weather gurus predicting for this late in the afternoon. But we are a positive, hopeful lot, and we had faith that the skies would soon clear, that we would be enjoying dryness and hot food and warm sleeping bags by nightfall. In other words, we again weren't all that smart.

...Crossing the creek, once, twice, three times(?)...approaching the Reavis grave site, wet feet, say my hat is soaked now and where are my gloves!? The trail switches back, climbs, disappears into a very thick fog. Is fog when clouds touch the ground, I asked. I mean, literally, is that the definition? We agreed that's probably right. A quick check of the time and the GPS, and we saw that the top of the climb was near. Damn good thing too, because that wind was really driving the rain up the canyon, and it wasn't getting any warmer.

Just atop the Reavis Saddle, we decided we'd had enough. Bad planning and bad weather had us cold, soaking, shivering, and in a genuinely iffy mood. And ahhhhh, the pleasure of setting up camp in a cold wind and driving rain! It's just magical. Needless to say, the weather didn't improve, we didn't have our nice hot dinner, and with the temps now in the low to mid 30s we had to don all our layers to get warm enough for sleeping.

Wind in the junipers, rain on the manzanita, something colder and harder than rain (but not quite hail) thrumming on the tent for a while, harder wind, harder rain, and then finally, after about 12 hours of being hunkered down, the weather relented. We had enough time to cook, opting for ramen and Just Veggies for brekkie - instead of the de rigueur instant oatmeal. And danged if that wasn't some of the best ramen we ever had! Then, quick as we could we packed away all our wet gear into our wet packs, put on wet boots and hit the return trail with purpose and motivation.

Despite nearly constant rain overnight, all the little creeks, seeps, rills and rivulets were running just a bit less on our hike out than on the way in the previous afternoon. Even the main drainage down Rogers Trough, while still plowing down in impressive waterfalls here and there, was reduced. My boots only filled with water once, at the deepest crossing that had been knee-deep in foam and churning silt the day before. We were back at the truck in just about two hours, though it felt like even less time.

As with the hike out, the drive out was not as wet as the day before, though the roads were actually a bit messier and rougher after so many days of rain. The amazing amount of 4x4, quad and Rhyno traffic surely didn't help the roads any. Queen Creek was clearer but just a high, but we got across without difficulty.

Just some of the things we did wrong...
- Not getting good weather info = First mistake
- Going out in questionable weather without planning for the worst possibilities = biggest mistake
- Spending too long trying to keep dry crossing the creeks when it was futile
- Not bringing camp shoes = coldest feet annoying midnight pee mistake

There were quite a few things we did right, actually. Most importantly, when things were starting to get genuinely ugly we quickly set up camp and got as warm and dry as we could. Weather like we had can be really dangerous, especially at 5000' and above, and though our hands and feet got damn cold from exposure, our cores stayed pretty warm once we got out of the elements. No one had much fun, but no one got hurt either.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bear Spring Number One Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Water, water, everywhere!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Reavis Saddle Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Water, water, everywhere!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Rogers Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Water, water, everywhere!
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