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Mazzie Swingset from FR 177, AZ
mini location map2020-04-02
14 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Mazzie Swingset from FR 177, AZ 
Mazzie Swingset from FR 177, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2020
Hiking8.60 Miles 2,397 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles   5 Hrs   14 Mns   1.88 mph
2,397 ft AEG      39 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
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Get-out-of-town-hike #5

Mazzie Swingset time again... three trips from west-to-east and two east-to-west, so now some three years since the last hike it was time to even out the two approaches.

Having mentioned on the last trip the thought of repairing the glider and possibly replacing the swing seats but had since forgotten, just before heading out the door I did a last-minute thrash through my toolbox for something to patch the glider at least... the seats can wait. (In another three years??)
Not sure exactly what it would require, between tools and hardware I added another six pounds to my pack... in the end, barely a few ounces would have sufficed... two hose-clamps and a screwdriver.

Although we saw a car at our chosen trailhead (just west of the Old FR 191/FR 177 intersection) when we hiked FR 386 a few weeks back, we had it all to ourselves today. Yes!

My left hip was not happy today so to keep my mind of the discomfort, I paid more attention to a fast-running Gold Creek well down below. All well and good, except for the fact I simply traded one discomfort for another... gumby-legs from the perceived exposure, I say perceived because the width of the trail/road was more than enough to stay away from the edge. Seems to me the older I get the more my fear of exposure & heights has heightened. Could it be I am more aware of my mortality? I wouldn't think so since rattlesnake don't faze me, much to Tracey's chagrin, of course.

It wasn't long before we realized just how much growth had taken place in three years. Bad enough that someone in the last year or so had been doing some clearing... actually such a haphazard job it was more like a hack-a-thon, leaving the trimmings on the trail. Initially we started picking them up and moving them off the trail but it soon become more time-consuming than we were willing to spend, after all we didn't want to be hiking after dark with possible bears around. Speaking of bears...

Just over a few miles out we came across a near-empty container of Jelly Donut-flavored Bear Bait... apparently it's a flavor bears can't resist. Ok, so now, do we need to be prepared for ANOTHER bear encounter? Tracey still has visions of our near-miss bear encounter in the Sierra Ancha back in 2018. Not far past it we encountered some months-old bear scat, which went somewhat toward easing our concerns, enough so that neither of us gave further thought to it until passing the container again on the return trip, and by then with no more fresher evidence we had no reason to worry.

Anyway, back to the chore of the nagging hip from the constant uphill slog... but not wanting to spoil Tracey's second-to-last day off for a while, I kept it to myself. Although it was in the low 50's the humidity was such (along with the uphill slog) I was wet through-and-through. Yup, just in time for us to cross over the saddle to the other-side-of-the-mountain and get a taste of the predicted 25 mph wind gusts. While we now had direct sun to provide a little warmth, pretty much all the way until the sharp uphill 170-degree turn I was on the verge of chills. At least it kept my mind off the hip.

As we headed up the slope we took on another task which kept my mind occupied... trimming the worst of the offending vegetation (mostly manzanita & some old-growth holly) the rest of the way to the swingset.

By the time we reached the swingset my stomach was the growling as was Tracey's so the first task was to eat lunch. And for once, I ate EVERYTHING in one sitting... 2 PB&J's, one peach fruit-bowl, two Kashi Dark Chocolate Almond bars, two Simple Truth Strawberry bars, a small round of Naan bread and one of the grapefruit-sized monster-oranges from our backyard. Oh yeah, and downed 3/4's of my LYTEshow electrolyte/water mix.

Just enough energy now to get on with the glider patch-job. Yup, without a welder, it can only be a patch job. Notice, I don't call it a jerry-rigging or jury-rigging, mainly 'cuz as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on which is correct. Whatever, job done, we did a back-and-forth a time or two and called it good enough.

Please note, as I scrawled into the seat, Use at your own risk!
If anyone is about to try it out, sit someone on both sides and be ready to jump off fast, not because the repair may come apart (I doubt it will), but it may tear away at the top.

Job done, time to hit the road for the return trip. Now on the downhill my fears of exposure were gone... replaced again by the aching hip. i guess some days I just can't win.

The only other task on the return trip was to check where the very ancient Forest Road 3322 headed off toward a mine we had visited seven years ago, thinking of a possible return trip. But due to the extensive overgrowth, as bad as it was back in 2013 I seriously doubt a return trip.
Ok, so maybe after rehashing the memories we, by that I mean I may just return... Tracey wasn't about to enter the mine last time so no reason for her to return.
Horizontal Mine Exploration video

Stats for the day:
Number of ANY wildlife encountered = None (Some bear scat, nothing fresh)
Number of Homo-sapiens encountered today = ZERO
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