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Highline - AZT #26
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mini location map2015-05-03
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Highline - AZT #26Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 03 2015
Hiking20.20 Miles 4,729 AEG
Hiking20.20 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   6.31 mph
4,729 ft AEG   1 Hour   13 Mns Break
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South bound: Devlin to NF 32 Sunday would be the day we could get in another AZTrail trek. We set up a shuttle with Tonto Jr at Geronimo and then would camp up at General Springs Cabin. We had a nice dinner at Pine before driving up to the top of the Rim. And despite Tracy and I both believing General Springs cabin was always right off FR 300; it appears that is just not the case. Of course the last time I was here was 1997 (not 1996 like I previously thot) but I was so insistent we walked right from the cabin down the Tunnel Trail. We had a little fire before calling it quits for the nite. I tried to drink a little wine but ended up spilling it on my pants; hiking pants are amazing as the red wine came right off. The nite time temp was predicted low 40s and we got a couple times of light rain.

The next morning we had a bit of breakfast, packed up our gear into the truck and started hiking. We read the sign on the monument and then began our #27 trek off the Rim. Not too far down I could see a guy with two packs on; that had to be Two Pack and sure enough it was. Shawn had met him on the trail last week and I had met them on March 28th down at Arizona Trail Day at Colossal Cave Campgrounds. We visited for a moment. This is Liz's first backpack and she was still cheery as ever considering she had been backpacking for over a month and had just climbed 1000 feet in less than two miles. Their next layover would be in Flagstaff... "for a burger" as Two Pack would say. Two Pack is not his real name and I'm sorry to say I don't remember what it is. This is the second time we've run into thru hikers that had "burgers" on their mind :lol: ... can't blame them.

We continued on down this steep trail as the views slowly opened up; especially toward the Mazzies that had nice morning light on them. Soon we reached the intersection with the Railroad Tunnel trail. We discussed whether to check out the tunnel and were on our way when Tracy got dizzy so we decided to save that for another time. Tracy had not been feeling well for a couple days. The trail then slowly winds thru some forested land before taking you alongside the headwaters of the E Verde Creek. This was a real treat as you could hear the water from time to time and we also had to cross over some water running toward it.

We saw a stone structure just up a little to the right (west of trail). Ambika went up and checked it out; said it had 3 rooms. The stone walls were about as tall as she was. Don't know any of its history. Along the way I saw these bushes that had a white blooming flower on them. I thot they were raspberries :-k but Ambika didn't think so. Some of the bushes were pretty substantial. Hopefully she got some good pics of the plants as I mostly took video. The trail continues to take you down and down to the junction with the Highline. The telephone poles are a bit of an eyesore for much of this and then there is the huge pipeline that is exposed in a couple areas. Above the Washington Park TH we checked out the signage and Shawn made some notes. Most of the signage is great if you're hiking from south to north but if you're going the other way, you might miss a turn.

From here it was rolling hills thru occasional manzanita and bear grass scattered about. We went thru this one area that had been burned before arriving at the road and Mail Creek. The vehicle wooden bridge had been damaged so it was taped off. We then headed up the hills when Shawn told Tracy who was struggling that this was her last bail out point and she decided we should do that. So we tried to lighten Shawn's pack for his hike back up to the Rim to get his truck. It was around 9:45 AM. We agreed to walk down the road (after resting at Washington Park), if Tracy felt like it, to meet him. I think we figured it would take a couple to three hours with the drive. Around 10AM we hung out for about 1/2 hour at the Washington Park residence area.

We then headed on down NF32. We encountered a couple and their dog Maddie who were cleaning up debris alongside the road next to the community and asked some questions about the community. It really is quite nice in there with the creek and all :) . We would go thru a couple more community areas observing the homes, some way nice and a few that probably needed some work. We checked out a HUGE forest service water bladder and continued on our way to Chase Creek where we decided to pause for lunch. Just as we were finishing we saw Shawn's truck coming up the road. We had gone about 2.6 miles from Washington Park community. It was noon.

We went back and retrieved MYTONTO Jr. at Geronimo Campground and headed on down the road but not before stopping at Mazzie Joe's house to drop off some sharpened saws. We look forward to finishing off the remaining 15 3/4 miles of Passage 27 which will be easier to do now as far as shuttling with a car camp at Geronimo.

Part 1 at camp on Sat nite, down to RR Tunnel intersection on Sun - [ youtube video ] ...
Part 2 continuing on Colonel Devin Trail next to headwaters of E Verde - [ youtube video ] ...
Part 3 finishing off Colonel Devin to the Highline Trail to just past Wash Park - [ youtube video ] ...
Pine Thermopsis
Named place
Named place
Mail Creek
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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