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Kellner Canyon Trail #242
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mini location map2009-06-07
18 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
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Kellner Canyon Trail #242Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2009
DarthStiller
Hiking13.50 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   2.57 mph
3,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
rdavisiii
sarichter
wallyfrack
This was one of the strangest hikes I've done in recent memory. We started off the day with Wally being the last guy to show up, when he's usually the first. As he pulled up, without getting out of the car, he said, "The alarm didn't go off, I can't go. I don't have anything together. I couldn't find your cell number, so I just drove up quickly to tell you." Wow. One man down and we're not even out of my driveway yet.

We had a fairly normal trip to the TH, until we got to FR112, only a few miles away. At this point, a 60+ lb. black dog ran out of someone's yard making a beeline for the path in front of my vehicle. I swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid him. I tried to get back into the right lane, but the dog was now running alongside my car, chasing it. As I was trying to speed up to cut him off, Joe, Ron, and Stephan were all warning me about the two dogs ahead on the road who were now bearing down on us. WTF!!! Before long, I was swerving along at about 15 mph, with 3 dogs barking like crazy (at 7:15am) trying to catch my car, all while in the wrong lane on a windy two-lane country road. I finally was able to get in the right lane and sped up another 5-10 mph, at which point the 2 bigger dogs just decided to run faster to keep up with us. As I finally pulled away at 35 mph, I could see them in the rear view mirror chugging along at full gallop. It looked like a scene from No Country for Old Men. Just around the next bend after finally getting in the proper lane, two huge Forest Service tanker trucks were coming the other way.

Within another half mile, we ran into a road block. Signs were posted saying "AREA CLOSED" and two Forest Service trucks were parked at a pull out. I talked to the 2 guys there and found out that there's a forest fire that started May 30 towards the top of mountain on the southeast side. All the trails we wanted to do were still open and safe to hike on, but FR112 and the Icehouse CCC TH were closed so that could be used to fight the fire. After rethinking our itinerary, we decided to drive to the top of mountain and begin on the Kellner Trail and hike down first, doing a CW loop instead of CCW as originally planned. Now all we had to do was drive back thru the pack of wild dogs. Fortunately they weren't around on our way back. Maybe Michael Vick was involved.

We finally started our hike at the top of the Kellner Trail at 8am. It was actually very chilly, below 60 degrees, which seemed to be helped by the wind and the shade. At about 1.6 miles in, we stopped to take pictures of a split boulder that fell onto the trail, we heard a hiker who calling towards us as he was booking down the trail. Who was this guy? He seemed to know who we were. Was a he a fellow HAZ hiker? Yes, in fact, it was Wally. WTF!!!! As we drove away from my house after he bailed, I had mentioned that you knew he wasn't going back to sleep. But to not only catch up to us, but to guess which way to drive to find us and how decided to change the hike itinerary at the last second was astounding. I think Wally needs to change his HAZ handle to Superman. If someone else has it, too bad. Joe, make it happen.

The rest of the hike down was normal. Once we got to the TH we weren't allowed to park at, no one was there. So Stephan stole the 24"x36" topo map they left of the area (and where the fire was) and threw away their empty water boxes. Give a Hoot, Tonto National Forest Service Personnel, don't pollute. Jackasses.

Once we started up Sixshoter, Wally and Joe were gone. Sixshooter Trail became a bit of a slog on the way up, but that was offset by the pleasant cool breezes and shade of the pines. I really love this area every time I get near the top. At the junction of the Sixshooter and Telephone Trails, Stephan and I made some markings to let Ron know to stay on the Sixshooter Trail. Once we got to the Sixshooter/Ferndell Junction, I knew we had to wait for Ron so he would know to start walking on FR651 back to the car. Once we got there (at Ferndell Spring), my GPS said we did 13.5 miles.

While we were waiting for Ron, Wally and Joe pulled up in Wally's car. So Wally gave us a 1.6 mile head start and finished quick enough to drive back 2 miles on FR651 to pick us up and shuttle us back to my car. And he's oldest guy out of all of us. WTF!!!

So, while pretty much nothing worked out as we had planned, things still worked out on this hike very well. Probably even better. Thanks to all who showed up, no matter when they finally decided to.
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