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Happy Jack - AZT #28
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mini location map2017-09-27
17 by photographer avatarjwwilhit
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Happy Jack - AZT #28Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 27 2017
Hiking29.40 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking29.40 Miles
2,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This passage was #2 on my quest to complete the AZT...All be it slowly. I finished up Mormon Lake AZT #29 in the morning and hiked North to South into this one. Let me first thank all of the peeps who volunteer to keep the trails alive. I can't imagine the amount of effort it takes. So great job! When I did the research on this passage I heard a lot of "...road walk..." talk. There is a fair amount of it but all "roads" are not created equal. There is a good chunk of what I call the nice, soft, well used roads surrounded by gorgeous scenery. But I never read about the roads literally made from jagged rocks of various sizes that just seemed to go on forever. If I didn't know I was on a "road" I would have thought I was in a dry riverbed. It felt like God had a bunch of rocks leftover and decided to drop them all here. My trail runners along with my 30# pack were not up to the task and both of my feet developed serious blisters as a result. I managed to gut out the rest of the passage but I can barely walk right now. Wear better shoes, get your feet in backpacking shape, and don't underestimate the "suck factor" of the rock roads in this passage. Other than that I saw all kinds of game; Bugling Elk, Turkey, Deer, Cranes and the coolest sight I have ever seen in the wild. Two ACTUAL bald eagles attacking 6 or 7 ravens in the air. It was a sweet mid-air battle. I did get off trail three times. Mainly at road junctions. The Pine Springs junction is perhaps the most perplexing on which way to go. In fact I was concentrating so hard on trying to figure out which road to take that i completely bypassed Pine Spring which I needed to stop at. Ended up backtracking about 500m so I could get some of the best water of the trip. Sketchy to look at because of the reeds and moss (?) floating but once you moved it aside it was very clear. I appreciated the efforts of the "trailmasters" to get one off of the road. There were some really nice single track sections along the way. 50 miles in 3.5 days so two passages down and a bunch to go.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Pine Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
I walked past this one originally. It was worth the back track. The ponds had some reeds and muck floating on top but I gently moved it aside and found some of the best water of my trip. pretty clear with some floaties but again tasted great through the Sawyer inline.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sheepherder Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Lot's of water here. No cattle in the area so the only traffic was Elk and other wild animals. Some reeds around but there was a great rock outcropping that allowed me to easily fill up my bottles. A giant blue crane came in and landed while I was loading up. Clear water with some floaties but the taste through my Sawyer inline was just fine.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Shuffs Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Lots of water with lots of little frogs jumping in. I didn't fill up here but if I needed it I would have.
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