We finished section hiking AZT but one of the take a ways from that project was we wanted to revisit areas that we liked and enjoy it without the agenda of completing the AZT. One of those areas is the AZT #15 over the Tortilla Mountains and into Ripsey Wash. Started from the AZT trail head on Florence-Kelvin Hwy south into the Tortilla Mountains. The climb is about 1400 feet in 5 miles to the top and has very cool ridgeline hike before it drops down into Ripsey. The ridgeline section about mile and half long has sweeping 360 views and really makes the traverse something that made us want to come back. Once over the top it begins some really good trail and switchbacks down into Ripsey Wash.
In Ripsey Wash the goal was to find a few springs that were marked on the map and old Windmill site. Along the way we found several tanks and one was concrete spring box in Ripsey Wash about 1/4 mile upstream from where the AZT crosses the wash. This spring box is good to know especially if thru hiking the AZT. We had lunch near the spring box before continuing on looking for the windmill.
Wasn't 100% sure the Windmill was still there but sure enough it was right where it was marked on the map. It also had a closed building for water and extensive piping to a trough so it's a regular water source for cattle. After that I went in search of another spring which was more vague and I think it's just mismarked on the map because there was nothing to be found. Either way it was fun to hunt for water in the desert in this area and explore Ripsey.
The other plan was to make a loop so we headed down Ripsey Wash instead of going back on the trail. Ripsey is frequented by quads and Jeeps so the hard packed sand made for quick pace. We covered 3 miles in about 50 minutes before exiting Ripsey and following alternate jeep trail. Looking at satellite I could see old roads so tried to piece together a route though the desert. We did find some old road sections and worked for about 60% of the route but the last mile or so was hopping small ridges and crossing washes. Good to see this area again and revisit the AZT. Ran into several AZT day hikers and one thru mountain biker. After the hike we went to Los Hermanos for dinner and ran into @Tortoise_Hiker, @Dave1, and @wallyfrack. Great to catch up with Denny, Dave, and Wally!!