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Red Hills - AZT #24Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 07 2019
Hiking9.60 Miles 1,674 AEG
Hiking9.60 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.72 mph
1,674 ft AEG      55 Mns Break
1st trip
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The last day would be a long day in spite of it being a short day. My blisters were going to cause me grief and they did; especially the last miles but nonetheless, we got 'er done. And now for the climb out of this drainage; got you warmed up really fast, but it wasn't long and the trail was decent enough. We contoured our way in the manzanita cleared pathway to where we would see what looked like an old road. I thot we would be turning right (east) but no, this is the Arizona Trail as you have to travel in the opposite direction for several miles before going in the right direction toward the Trailhead :lol: .

There was lots more flora here, some new, some still smelly, the verbena that reminded me of a gardenia smell. I'm not a fan of gardenia smell. As we got to the junction where you turn the wrong way, we could see rays of sunshine in the eastern distance hitting the landscape; always a cool site. And now we continued going up the side of this mountain until we hit fir trees for a bit which was a nice surprise. As we topped out in this section and started heading back down the other side, the rain started slowly. However, as we made more progress switch-backing our way down this side, the 20% chance of rain increased significantly.

Tracy and Shawn had pulled over into an area with a couple very small trees and were huddled under a piece of plastic trying to shelter ourselves from the 100% rain. I had my umbrella up already but decided I needed to get my rain jacket out. Shawn thot that would be a good idea and then the rain would quit. Well guess what, it did start to let up fairly quickly after I had put my jacket on.

So off we went and we would soon all be taking off our rain gear. There was some more pretty flora and you could look up at the rock cliff bands above you as well as see all the rain in the distance. It seemed to linger out there which, of course, was better than lingering here. The trail would go up and down quite a few times but it was good trail so that was nice. The flora continued including some cold poppies which were a surprise to see in this elevation. We got to the Bull Spring Trail Junction and would now be hiking on that trail (Bull Spring Mesa was above us - behind us to the west) alongside Bull Spring Canyon with its ridge to our ESE.

Eventually we would finally head east more or less for the rest of the hike. We took a break here and then headed on down the trail thru some of the area that looked like it had experienced some burn. Back a ways I had noted this red rock area and wondered if we would have to go up that...but of course. So we still had to go up and down hills and thru a nicely treed area before one last rockier than heck hill to the TH. What a relief to get here. Shawn and Tracy put on some big smiles so I could get a couple photos of them as we celebrated the "DONE" factor :app: .

We still had the 3 1/2 mile road walk with its hills too. Shawn thot it was supposed to be fairly flat but it really wasn't except for the first and last 1/2 miles. We did enjoy the views along the way and the vistas but it wasn't easy plus it was a little warmer now with the humidity in the air. We found some more flora as well so that was a nice distraction from the mission to get to the car.

[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

I think I got these nearly 40 miles of passages pretty well Tibberfied; I would say Tibbernated but I feel the Mazzies got the best of me. It was hard to shoot much video due to the terrain; altho for those of you that make it thru my videos you are probably eternally grateful. I don't think I would do this trek again or if I had known. I'm just past that stage I'm afraid. I'm grateful for the AZT Section Crew plugging along without nearly the whining I engage in which you can hear on the video commentary from time to time.
Kudos to those that zip thru this stuff; I do envy you. But can you twirl a baton :lol: "?

PS the geocoding and time of photos is not right. I think the photos are off by 12 hours.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
so many wildflowers. I had lots more photos. Surprise was the California poppies, even though they were closed.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Brush Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
the area behind the campground has plenty of water and the drainage had water almost the whole way.
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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