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Inner Basin Waterline, AZ
mini location map2017-06-18
34 by photographer avatartibber
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Inner Basin Waterline, AZ 
Inner Basin Waterline, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 18 2017
Hiking14.72 Miles 2,146 AEG
Hiking14.72 Miles   6 Hrs   41 Mns   2.47 mph
2,146 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
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Yep, I did a 14er!...

Finally got to hook up with Kelly. We wanted to do the Granite Hot Shot hike but obviously, that's way too hot for me so we had to go higher. Kelly thot this would be a nice hike for me as I am not in real good hiking shape with respect to elevation. It ended up being the perfect choice; even with adding the additional mileage since we decided to go to the Abineau Junction.

Our drive up and back on the I-17 would be interesting today. Not too far south of Flagstaff this happened: around 8:30 we saw a man right in the middle of the freeway while we were going 75 MPH. A motorcycle rider from the other side of the road gave me the slow down signal earlier (at first I thot he was a trooper and that I missed that 65 MPH change sign) so I did, and we see this man in the middle of the road acting like he wanted us to pick him up. Hard to believe there would be two separate incidents in this area as NO, this was not the naked man that attacked the trooper. However, we did see a trooper heading south on I-17 as we were passing by Flagstaff but that was 15 minutes later so perhaps that was the trooper involved in the other incident.

I had forgotten about that tricky road going up to Lockett Meadow. We did see a car that got sucked in one of the curves. There was a fire crew that were there helping to pull him out so we proceeded. We were glad there was ample parking and geared up for our day. Unbeknownst to me, I had left my window open and lucky for me, nothing had been disturbed (including my purse).

Now, on to the hike. We were surprised at the deadfall we saw on this lower part of the trail. Nothing too major but more than one would expect. As usual, once you hit the aspen section, it's non-stop awe and wonder at it constantly for over a mile. The trail climbs at a very nice angle but I did get my poles out, mostly so I could still keep Kelly in my sites. We've been thru this section before (almost exactly four years ago :o ) but you still can't help but be struck by its AWEsomeness!

Once we made the turn on the Waterline Trail after passing by the buildings, we were instantly happy with our choice of trails for the day. You get some peeks at the terrain over yonder from time to time and then of course, we get to walk side by side and chat and enjoy the tree lined road. This hike is a gradual up-climb the whole way. Once again, like the lower Inner Basin trail elevation, the grade is subtle UNTIL that last mile.

We had lunch while sitting on a covered spring box at Reese Canyon before tackling that last mile and 400 feet in thinning air. I did find a snowbank to sit on for a quick moment so that was kind of fun. The view from the Abineau Junction was great so it was worth it. Kelly hiked the first 6 miles for me and I hiked this last mile for her so it all worked out :) as I had planned at turning around at Bear Jaw Canyon. So after talking with some other hikers and telling them about our lunch spot we headed back down. Had to stop at the snow pile again and lob a couple snowballs at Kelly and a tree trunk.

Needless to say, going down went pretty fast. The sun was now ducking behind clouds so the light changes were fun to watch. We ran into a couple bike riders as they were heading up and then they passed us on the way down. We hiked the 5 miles down to the Inner Basin Junction with the green buildings and stopped for a break. The last mile of that stretch seemed really long. And now, it was back into the Aspen section with a little different light than this morning. Still as spectacular as ever and we soaked it all in with some more photos because one can never have enough aspen forest photos, right?! The birds were also singing making our day out with Mother Nature on this Father's Day even more pleasant.

We stopped outside of Flagstaff to pick up fuel and a snack as we had a dinner engagement with the Mays; the best way I can think of for your post-hike meal. Plus we wanted to catch up with them about what's going on and in the works. We were running late because we added those extra miles and then, we almost didn't make it at all as they were taking people off the freeway at Cordes Jct around the BumbleBee fire. However, they hadn't finished putting the cones down so we were able to sneak thru and avoid that situation. I got the siren from the officer but quite a few folks were still getting around where the cones had not been laid yet... thank goodness; otherwise, it would have been a long drive home and I was already tired.

Anyway, this will now be my workout hike rather than Kachina. I don't like that sun exposure on part of the Kachina Trail as well as the lightning exposure so I think this hike with plenty of shade and beauty is the ticket for me. Thx Kelly for coming up with this and putting up with my babbling about Wayne. Also thx to the Mays for a most wonderful post-hike meal.

Part 1 Inner Basin [ youtube video ]
Part 2 Waterline [ youtube video ]
Part 3 Waterline and Inner Basin [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
some lupine, columbine in lower section

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Locket Meadow Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
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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