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Tortilla Mountains - AZT #15
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mini location map2018-11-23
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Tortilla Mountains - AZT #15Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 23 2018
Backpack10.58 Miles 1,313 AEG
Backpack10.58 Miles   7 Hrs   18 Mns   1.82 mph
1,313 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Day Two started out with a little uphill but not bad. Our goal was Trick Tank to add some water if need be. I was good but Shawn loaded up a little and so did Ambika. We followed the Power Pole Road for awhile; that thing was a bit treacherous in parts... well not for us but it would be a bit challenging in a vehicle. It was a clear beautiful day as we eventually veered north and west. Once back into the desert again we were presented with a nice array of flora and views of various mountains in different directions. And of course, the trail is pretty nice through here so it was a pleasure to take in the sights.

We went thru the new AZT long gate and were once again back on a road where we continued on to the mine that doesn't show up on the topo map. We spent a few moments here checking it out. We do enjoy these points of interest along the way. To the east Ripsey Hill (more like a series of a couple hills) across the way was sure pretty too. But alas, we must continue on the road again. We found another interesting bunch of PVC pipes sticking up from the ground not too far from the three test sites the mine company has been drilling. They do make a bit of a mess but it will grow back. Reminds me of a bit when we ripped new ground to turn a pasture into a field. Altho this was a MUCH SMALLER scale.

At about 5 3/4 miles in, we began quite the descent toward Ripsey Wash but we stopped dead in our tracks when we spotted IT. The BIG HILL in the distance :scared: . It seemed like it was a long ways away and would take forever to get there. It was only four miles away but we had all that time to think about it; even though it is only a Shaw Butte with 1/2 extra mile to get up the 700 feet from the wash.

It seemed a pretty good drop down to the wash and then you're in and out of that I don't know how many times. With a heavy pack, getting into the wash was a bit dicey at times as the trail in those areas really could use some TLC.
Being down here reminded me a lot of Passage 16 as to the terrain and flora. We soon stopped for lunch after Shawn checked out some sort of silver stock tank that I think had a tad of water in it per Shawn. I think it was around the 6 3/4 mile of our hike.

After lunch and in about 3/4 mile we ran into Karts. I heard about him from Tim Colby and had seen him on Facebook. He's a 67 year old who has already completed the AZT northbound this year and is working on finishing off the southbound trek for the oldest person to do both in a year. See my photo and you can get more info if you're interested. Anyway, that was fun and he and his shoe regiment were a topic of conversation for the rest of the passage and into lunchtime the next day.

Off we went knowing the stash of water and beer was less than a couple miles away per Tracy's guess during our lunch stop. Shawn and Tracy had stashed some water and beer for us at Ripsey Wash. So we filled up with water and Tracy decided to carry the AZ Wilderness Picacho Brown Pecan Pie Ale.... wasn't sure if she didn't trust me to carry it, ha! I don't know if she knew but that's one of my very favorites from AZ Wilderness Brewing Co.

As we walked in the wash it seemed a bit warm so we were glad to start the gradual climb. As we made our way a little higher the desert flora was pretty spectacular including a little meadow of torches (banana yucca in bloom). And then we passed by some more healthy and larger cholla and fully leaved ocotillo. I just kept looking over at The BIG HILL hoping we wouldn't go down before we started up. And at last, we finally started up the switchbacks. They are of varying sizes and degrees of steepness but we more or less plowed our way up. And thankfully the views opened up with every turn it seemed.

We finally made it to the ridge still wondering about my elevation gain calculations and how did I come up with those as they had to be off :lol: . We were still climbing and then down just a tad when the towel got thrown in at the first level area. I was concerned about being so high and in the line of all the wind we might get during the nite but this would be the place. We each found our spot with Shawn and Tracy taking the penthouse area (it was the biggest anyway).

We established the kitchen/dining right on a corner of the trail. We quickly got the tents up because it was Happy Hour :) and time for that Ale and other delightful snacks before dinner. We got to watch a marvelous sunset which was great from the top of whatever ridge we were traversing. And then the moonrise was confusing itself with the sun as it was a bright yellow. So fun. After dinner, Ambika and I walked a little ways back on the ridge where we could hear the trains and see lights all around us in the distance including two lights that we thot were hikers and then determined they were going too fast so it must be a car.

Around 7:30 I heard some people and thot it was hikers. They had paused before reaching us for a break. I had thot they were closer to Shawn and Tracy but they were actually northbound and were to our SE. As they passed through we said hello. It was two bike riders. They said they had seen us earlier in the afternoon at the gate (not sure which one). I told them I thot they were crazy to be riding this trail at night. I asked for his handle and it was THE Schillingsworth

Video 1 to mine from camping spot [ youtube video ]
Video 2 from mine toward Ripsey Wash [ youtube video ]
Video 3 almost Ripsey Wash, The Big Hill, Moonrise [ youtube video ]

Named place
Named place
Game and Fish Trick Tank
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
banana yucca

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Game and Fish Trick Tank 76-100% full 76-100% 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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