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KactusKutie's First Backpack, AZ
mini location map2017-09-29
23 by photographer avatarAZWanderingBear
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KactusKutie's First Backpack, AZ 
KactusKutie's First Backpack, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 29 2017
Backpack12.83 Miles 1,781 AEG
Backpack12.83 Miles2 Days         
1,781 ft AEG34 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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Last year our neighbor started going hiking with us. She liked it. Several of us created a HAZ name for her - KactusKutie. She sort of liked it. A couple months ago she and her family went on a camping trip with us. She sort of liked it. Then she wanted to go backpacking. We did. She liked it.

Headed up to the Mogollon Rim with Stephanie (KactusKutie) and MJ (AZBeaver) to hit part of the Cabin Loop (Barbershop and part of U-Bar). A little cloudy as we began to climb up towards the Rim with MJ proclaiming loudly that we were going to drown. She does have a history of being caught in torrential downpours on the Rim. We took Rim Road in for the views. Saw turkeys on Rim Road and then some elk as we turned on FR 139. The clouds cleared nicely as we hit the trailhead on FR 139.

I haven't been hiking much over the summer, so Barbershop was going to be a lung burner for me given the elevation. Cool temps (high 60s) and a light breeze helped. The ladies kept pace admirably. Steph's new pack was working well for her. MJ was nursing an injury from a previous backpacking trip, so we kept her pack light. While Barbershop is relatively short, running east-west it is a roller coaster in and out of the tops of Barbershop and Dane Canyons as well as smaller tributaries. The climbs had all of us breathing hard and happy to top out each time.

The big tooth maples and other trees are well into their Fall color. The aspens still need some time. Barbershop Spring and Creek had plenty of water. Heard the occasional elk bugle.

Beyond the unction of Barbershop and U-Bar, the hike was an easy stroll on an gentle downhill grade to Dane Spring. The pipe at Dane was gushing pure cold water at several gallons a minute and no one else was around. We had found our home for the night. The ladies explored various level places for their abode, MJ's two-person Big Agnes tent. After settling on a good choice I began setting up my hammock nearby. The girls were pretty quick with their tent, though Steph was a bit skeptical that it was indeed a TWO person tent.

With camp basically established, we found our mugs. I had humped a liter of Shotfire, a decent Shiraz from Australia, for us. It made for a nice camp warmer. After gathering some firewood, MJ broke out her JetBoil and concocted had a 3-course dinner of re-hydrated broccoli cheese soup, a shepherds pie of Idahoan instant potatoes enforced with dried milk, butter and cheese and sliced summer sausage, and a finale' of Backpacker Pantry's Key Lime Pie. Steph helped start the fire which felt really good as the evening chilled as did a mug of hot apple cider later.

MJ turned in early leaving me and Steph to discuss all those topics best aired around a camp fire. The tiniest field mouse I've ever seen came out to play on the flat rocks we'd used as our kitchen. He was unfazed by our presence, the fire, or our headlamps shining on him. He even did a little scampering dance worthy of Michael Jackson. You just can't buy entertainment like that.

The night passed uneventfully. Elk bugled fairly regularly. I was trying out a new top quilt for my hammock set up and it performed well. The sun warmed the Rim a bit before the girls emerged, Steph having conquered her fear of freezing to death while camping. Breakfast was a coffee/hot chocolate mix and oatmeal. Camp came down quick enough and we set off for the trailhead encountering a single backpacker and two day hikers along the trail.

We drove out north for some different scenery. On FR 96 close to East Clear Creek, there appeared a "Road Closed" sign just before a small bridge and some other barricade signs on the other side of the bridge. The bridge looked intact except for some damage to the rusted railing. I wasn't about to backtrack 20 miles so I asked the girls to move one of the barricades on the opposite side. They jumped out, crossed the bridge, and proceeded to discuss and plan their attack on the barricade. I eased the 4Runner over the bridge and it held up nicely. After watching the extremely slow progress with the barricade relocation, the driver's side ditch seemed a good option and was manageable in 2WD. The ladies were both impressed and nonplussed.

A late and much needed lunch and libations at That Brewery in Pine followed by a quick drive home ended the adventure. The ladies performed admirably and seemed to enjoy themselves. MJ is settling in as solid backpacker developing good skills. For a first backpacking trip, Steph did fantastic. She literally trounced her fears and trepidations. There are undoubtably more adventures in her future.
Wild Turkey
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Barbershop canyon creek Medium flow Medium flow
Nice flow and pools at Barbershop Trail

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barbershop Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Coyote Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Standing pool

dry Dane Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at Barbershop Trail crossing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Dane Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Pipe running nicely
All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
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