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804 triplogs

Aug 10 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37, AZ 
Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 10 2019
tibber
Hiking9.72 Miles 758 AEG
Hiking9.72 Miles   4 Hrs   6 Mns   2.83 mph
758 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
We left town around 7:30AM and met up at the IMAX around 10:45AM. We left Tonto Jr to pile into Shawn's truck for the supposedly short drive to the buses at the VC. The short drive was at least 30 minutes as the line getting into the Park was very long and moved slowly. And then once we boarded the bus, the driver waited for awhile as he tried to pile more passengers in so that the bus was stuffed to the gills.

We put on our gear and headed along the paved trail enjoying the views into the canyon when they were exposed. I was last at this trailhead in 2010. We didn't know we had missed the turn south until Shawn asked if we were going the right way so we had to backtrack a bit. There is NO signage indicating that obscure dirt trail is the AZT. This was the first of our "oops" we missed a turn.

So you hike to the paved road and across altho I accidentally took a small shortcut. Once across the road you are into the forest but can still hear the noise of the road. You come to the powerline road and we continued across as I saw a carsonite but this was NOT right. So we're moseying down the trail and Shawn once again asks if we're going the right way. I look at HAZel and say, we're right on the trail. Tracy looks at her app and it says we are NOT on the trail.... again. The trail has been re-routed from HAZ's official route so we had to cross-country a bit to get back to the powerline road.

You once again cross a highway and then you are on a paved path for way too many miles and you're near the road and campsites. Certainly not the AZT experience one expects. It was past lunch time due to our late start so we thot we might as well take advantage of the picnic tables along the campsites and pulled over. We watched ravens picking away at the food some others had left on their table.

Back on the paved path again until you get to cross the road again on to more paved path and in the line of the helo traffic from time to time. During this whole hike we would see only one other person and it was a bike rider. My entertainment was kicking off even the littlest rocks from the pathway (no pine cones to crush this time [ Triplog ] ). The pain of walking on this pavement was not pleasurable for any of us as we were all whining. We finally got to the end of the park and took a short break on a log to let the burning feet sensation subside enough to continue on.

Once you go thru the tunnel it's all dirt. I had commented that I was surprised we didn't record any 20 minute miles on all that pavement as you feel like you're going a pretty good pace. So Shawn says, I'll try and do a 20 minute mile with you. Well by that time, the pavement had turned to dirt but I thot "what the heck" and at the 7 mile mark we gave it a whirl. Well within minutes I barely could see Shawn and then I was hearing all sorts of bird commotion so I wanted to record it. So I'm walking as fast as I can while I film the sound.

We then came to an intersection that Shawn blew by so he had to back track. Not that it mattered because once again within minutes he was almost out of my site. I then had to stop to get a hike-by picture of a flora I hadn't seen before. Finally we hit the one mile mark and HAZel said I had done 17:29 minutes. Shawn was probably about 5 minutes ahead of me including the detour so he probably did around 12 minutes. He just kept going as did I until we came to the intersection by the rock outcropping where he was sitting waiting for us.

To summarize:
toddak wrote:
The section between the SK trailhead and Tusayan is probably the least enjoyable stretch of the AZT I've done so far - highway traffic noise, helicopters overhead, several miles of pavement walking on the Greenway. Routing a new trail a couple miles to the east on a more direct line to the SK trailhead would be a big improvement, but I imagine the NPS isn't very receptive to the idea of building new trails inside the park.
My response: The AZT Section Crew just did this yesterday and we are in total agreement with you.

We walked over to the IMAX and then over to Wendy's where Shawn bot Frosty's. We dropped Ambika at the hotel where she was meeeting her family. We then went over to the Yavapai Lodge and had a louszy dinner before picking up Shawn's truck and headed over to Grandview Point tower campsite. The next morning, they rolled out about 5:30 and I wasn't too far behind except Tonto Jr no start. I quickly texted Tracy and fortunately, they weren't too far away so came back for the jump.

I didn't turn off Tonto Jr until I got home except for when I got home, I thot my garage door remote wasn't working so I went in the house and then realized the electricity was out. I went and flipped the breaker and then the neighbors came out to tell me the electricity had gone out at 3:15AM and they were waiting for it to be repaired. The workmen were at the street behind us. However, the repair time wouldn't be until 2:30. So I took Tonto Jr to Pep Boys and got a new battery, hung out at Starbucks and then picked up lunch when I got the notice, electricity was on.

And now a whirlwind weekend was done but my shins were going to be killing me; they did and they have.


[ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Turkey Vulture
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
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.
Jul 14 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Marias River, MT 
Marias River, MT
 
Kayak avatar Jul 14 2019
tibber
Kayak12.22 Miles 6 AEG
Kayak12.22 Miles
6 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Check. I finally got to float a part of the Marias River by the Romain Farms. It's something I've wanted to do since the 2013 Romain Homestead Reunion. The weather has been very tenuous during my whole stay in Montana and today wasn't any different. There were clouds here and there; it looked a bit iffy but I said, "Let's go." So after lunch we drove over to cousin Brian's where they were loading up the four kayaks in the back of the pick up. Connie and I would drive them to the bridge and Brian and Kim would set up the shuttle at the Coulee near the pumphouse where we would pull out.

Connie and I waited longer at the bridge than we thot we would for them to come meet us. Come to find out, the road was a little more treacherous (see photos) than they anticipated; especially for Kim's little SUV. Connie and I would see what they meant in a few hours. Connie and I thot the river looked like it was running high and fast. Brian agreed. He said it is actually the highest he has ever paddled it. He said they were probably releasing water from Tiber Dam that they had been holding back due to so much water down stream from late winter and spring weather. So I did my Chumley imitation and checked the cfs chart for Tiber Dam when I got home and it showed 1900 cfs for July vs the normal 600 cfs (Oct-Mar); altho I suspect for the summer months the release is a little higher. The chart showed 1647 in Jun, 982 in May and Apr with 701.

So off we went. Me on my second kayaking trip ever, first time on a river. I was a little apprehensive especially since Brian insinuated that the worst that could happen if I tipped over is I could stand up. That was before he saw the river. Well not today cousin, not today. He gave me a few pointers, mostly to paddle three times on either side; not sure why but it seemed to work. For the most part, the river just took us so we didn't have to paddle a lot except to change direction or go from one side to the other. After several switchbacks, just after Wolfe Coulee we came to an outlet for Cottonwood Creek that we paddled down a little. However, you can no longer access the creek from the river via kayak as there is a road across. There is a culvert but you can't get thru it.

From here the Hoodoos started to appear in earnest. We did see lots of ducks and geese and some pelicans and hawks along the way. We would also see deer and eventually a Bald Eagle. Brian says it's mostly the Goldens that hang along the Marias so this was rare. We also saw a section full of swallows and their nests. Occasionally there are little islands so you have to pick your route. To the north there were more roads down here than I thot and it is farmed more than I thot. Of course, irrigation logistics are easier down here.

In the distance we could make out something white. At first I thot it was on land but as we got closer it appeared to be more in the air. Then we saw the power lines across the river but it wasn't until we were almost upon it that we saw an electrified pelican :o . It was really quite the site! Looked pretty good for being electrified. A little past this, around 6 miles we paddle by Hay Coulee where there appears to be a ranch operation. After the coulee the cliffs spring up again so we get to enjoy the Hoodoos. Brian feels by this time that the storm is heading north so we can relax and dawdle. About the 8 3/4 miles we paddle by Horse Coulee.

It was most intriguing when you got to paddle right under the Marias cliffs; especially with all the various rock formations and colors. Of course, the sky would be changing colors off and on and we were still keeping an eye on it. Well as you will see by the photos, they sky started to get dark and Brian said, "we gotta move". So as much as we wanted to continue to enjoy this river and its scenery at our leisure, that time was over. We paddled a little more quickly now not knowing what we would be in for in just a few moments. Brian wasn't exactly sure how far we were from our "get out" point but soon he remarked we were pretty close. It seemed from the moment he said that, the weather changed and we were all paddling a little faster now :scared: .

Then the wind.... it came so fast you hardly had time to react plus it got really cold. Luckily for us, the wind blew us to the south shore which is where we needed to go. For the most part, any paddling you tried to do was fruitless. I was trying to avoid getting stuck on shore when I still had a bit to go to get to the pumphouse. Since the river was high, we were able to paddle a little bit through the high grass until you could get close enough to jump out in almost knee high water and carry your kayak.

At this point Brian barked out orders as he helped to get his 70 year old sister out and to shore. I helped carry Kim's kayak and then went and got my own. We loaded the kayaks and roped them in while the storm was going off all around us. Little did we know that just across the river, it was getting pummeled with hail. Here is the weather review: https://www.weather.gov/tfx/Severe_Wind ... _14th_2019. I cannot tell you how lucky we were as we had no protection. We were also lucky that when the storm hit we only had 1/2 mile or so to go. Then we had to get the vehicle out through some difficult road conditions. By the time we got up on the bluff, the storm had more or less dissipated. That's how fast it was moving.

We encountered a farmer from the north side of the river that was out surveying the damage. He said his harvest wouldn't take as long now. :( He said the storm took out a couple trees at the farm too. We would later see one of the downed trees as we drove a little north of the river to survey the damage once we saw there was hail where we had put in at along with broken branches. It looks like the storm cut about a two mile swath. We were so lucky.

Here is video of the drive around our farms from the day before if you're interested: [ youtube video ]
This is the video from Wendy's tour of the Romain farms with Brian including our old place in 2017: [ youtube video ]
This is video from Dead Indian Coulee with my cousin Brian and Ambika in 2010: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Historical Photograph
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
lots of milkweed
_____________________
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.
1 archive
Jul 08 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Elizabeth Lake Day, MT 
Elizabeth Lake Day, MT
 
Backpack avatar Jul 08 2019
tibber
Backpack3.45 Miles 493 AEG
Backpack3.45 Miles
493 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
July 8th, Day Two of Six: Elizabeth Lake Foot (ELF) to Elizabeth Lake Head (ELH) with the thought of day-hiking up to Helen Lake. We took our time getting ready for our short hike up to Elizabeth Lake Foot. Our main hope is that it wouldn't be as buggy as it was here at the foot. Even when I was taking pictures of the lake on this sunny beautiful morning, you could see the skeeters in the video. I had my bug net on. We took only the food we would need for the day and morning and left the rest in the Bear Box with a note that we would be returning the following morning to retrieve it.

While we were having breakfast, the service dog we heard came running into the Food Court area. We were quite surprised that the dog was allowed to roam free but I guess that's better than being leashed up as bear bait and left at the tent site. The Glacier Guide fellow was in the process of making a very nice breakfast for his charges. We visited with all of them a bit more. A couple also passed through on their way back from Helen Lake campground. Only one of the Helen campsites was open due to snow cover and the bridge was washed out as well.


We finally loaded up and started on the trail. It's so nice to be able to hike next to the lake in the open for the most part altho you do go thru some forest. Right off the bat there is lots of Sitka Valerian and a big patch of Blue Stickseed; the biggest patch I had ever seen. And of course, high above you is Natoas Peak and the beautiful intensely blue water of Elizabeth Lake on the other side of you. (Elizabeth Lake named for one of Ranger Joe Cosley's girlfriends, Helen is one of the others; we would be below Sue the next day).

There were lots of wildflowers along the way, some I had not ever seen before. And as you look far to your left you can see the Ptarmigan Trail below Seward Mountain that leads to the Ptarmigan Tunnel which was slated to be opened July 12th. A crew would be heading up tomorrow to camp up there and blast it open. And now we would be hiking right on the beach for a bit and then back into the forest, back on the beach and our last trek thru the forest to the campground. As we were hiking on the beach I wondered if people had ever encountered a bear here as that would be an interesting scenario :scared: .

Once at camp we started looking for the food bar. We were looking high and did a couple circles before we finally saw it. It was a tall one! We were very careful not to wrap our skinny rope as retrieving it from there would not be an option. We went and set up our tents after looking at a couple different options that would accommodate both of our tents nicely. We had lunch and loaded up what we would need for our day hike to see Helen.

It was a little warm as we continued hiking thru somewhat high Thimbleberry Brush. We got to the one section that was absolutely people high and decided we just weren't in the mood to fight the brush for 2 1/2 miles and decided to head back to camp and spend the afternoon at Elizabeth Lake beach. We were also pretty tired from the previous day's hike. So we went back to camp, had some way too limey Margaritas from Packit Gourmet. While we were making our margaritas we got a brief glance at a very surprised marten that was coming across the little foot bridge. We then headed to the beach that was about 1/3rd of a mile to get you out of the forest.

Here we set up our camp chairs and enjoyed the beauty of the lake and the mountains. Plus there were some incredible waterfalls behind us that I got some great video of as the water tumbled down Natoas. It really was a glorious day :y: to spend here altho missing Helen Lake was definitely a disappointment but we just weren't up to it today. Not sure what time we headed back to make dinner. The weather was starting to close in on us after the dinner hour. I don't know what time our camp mates finally arrived. It seemed to take them awhile to set up their tents. I gave Tina a blow by blow play of their progress. I'm not sure they got to eat dinner before the rain started and never stopped. I filmed a little of the pitter patter on my tent, read a little and seemed to once again, fall fast to sleep in Glacier dream land.

Hike to Elizabeth Lake Head, a very beautiful hike: [ youtube video ]
around Elizabeth Lake Foot area and a little rain at the end of the day: [ youtube video ]
_____________________
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.
Jul 07 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
The Belly River TrailNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2019
tibber
Hiking10.07 Miles 1,636 AEG
Hiking10.07 Miles   7 Hrs   11 Mns   1.72 mph
1,636 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Glacier National Park Backpack, Day One of Six - after packing and re-packing food for our 5 nite backpack, alas, my huckleberry beer would not be able to make the trip for today :( . Oh that pack was heavy, what's two days more of food, ha! After having a mediocre breakfast at best at Nell's (Swiftcurrent Motor Inn) we took both our vehicles to the TH as Tina would head north to Calgary and I would head east to Chester after we got back. There were a few vehicles at the TH and another couple was just heading in. We would have around 9 1/2 miles today with a nice part of it downhill.

At around 8:45 we finally were ready to go with our heavy packs aboard. It had rained the night before so it was a humid start on a slightly muddy trail through the thimbleberry forest and the forest. And so the bear calls begin. Six days of bear calling. It seemed Tina did most of that as I don't like to yell out when I'm filming. I try to make up for it when I'm not. The good thing about this time of year is the berries aren't out yet so the bears are mostly doing ground foraging. We did see moose tracks that we seemed to follow for quite awhile.

Fortunately, the first mile or so of the trail is on a wide tread so you got a chance to get your sea legs. It was nice to be in the shade for the first part of this hike because once we got down to the meadows, the shade would be less. In amongst the thimbleberry was other flora like loads of Yellow Angelica and some Milkweed. Other flora was scattered about as well. It seems like it takes awhile to get down this two mile stretch until the views to Sentinel and Bear Mountains finally reveal themselves. Part way down Tina took a fall and while it isn't normally that big of deal she was recovering from stitches on her knee so it was already tender. Nothing broke open so she was good to go but it was a scary moment.

At around the 2 mile mark you start into the first meadow and pass by the beaver pond which is usually good for a photo or two. It didn't seem as pretty as I remembered it. You continue a little in the meadow and then thru a grove of trees, which you do off and on and into another meadow. The problem with a lot of the trail down here is it's a bit rutty and now mucky from all the water. So sometimes you had to step off the trail to avoid slipping on the mud.

We would encounter hikers from time to time now that were on their way out. Some of them had been quite ambitious so we felt a little silly about the 10 miles we were doing; altho we were doing 5 nites so had heavy backpacks. Most of the other folks were probably a couple decades less old than us. We did enjoy our quick visits with people from all over the country and the world. I should have thot to record their stories. (A couple of young girls had come over Boulder Pass from the NW side of the park. That's 57 miles in 3 days over two passes and you can't camp up there right now. Another set I think came from Red Gap Pass over nite so 26 miles in 2 days). Most hikers, at this point, were hoping they were a little closer to the TH then they were.

A little past the 2 3/4 mile mark you get a little closer to the Belly River for about the next 3/4 of a mile. We took a break about 3 1/2 miles in just off the trail or about 1/2 way to Gable Campground where we would have our lunch. We continued in and out of the meadows and both of us remarked how we didn't recall so much of the little ups and downs. Tina had hiked it last year when they did the whole Northern Traverse. I had last hiked this trail on 7/7/2013. What are the odds that I would hike it on the same day EXACTLY 6 years later :o? At about the 3.8 mile mark you hit one of the big meadows and it was loaded with flowers, all kinds, all sizes. It made a nice foreground to Sentinel and Bear Mountains in the background across the river. It definitely had that "hills are alive" feel to it.

At the 4.4 mile mark you hike closer to the river again. There were lots of little drainages coming off the side of the Lee Ridge and they were all running pretty full and fast which would be the case for most of our trip. And by now, those tall looming mountains were coming into view all around you. It is just awe-inspiring :worthy: . I guess it would be equivalent to seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. We've seen it before but every time it's just breathtaking.

At exactly 6 miles we made the short detour into the permitted Gable Campground for our bathroom and lunch break at a little after 12:30. Gable is a big campground altho it's totally in the trees. After a pretty nice break we were off not knowing what was ahead of us as neither of us had been in the Belly River drainage. The clouds had rolled in again as we made our way around the cross-fenced Ranger Cabin area. In 2013 the flags were at half-mast in honor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who had lost their lives. Today the flag was flying high and free.

As we rounded the corner a bunch of tall yellow flowers lined each side of the trail. I'm guessing they were Groundsel. I should have studied the flora before I arrived but I had a lot going on before the trip and just didn't even think to do that. Fortunately I would remember some of them though not necessarily correctly. I was glad Tina seemed to like learning about the flora as well. But now, it was back into the forest for most of the rest of our hike. Once again you are surrounded by thimbleberry but a new surprise was beautiful stalks of fluffy Beargrass on each side of the trail for very long stretches. It was incredible. Little did we know we would be hiking with this for many miles up and down the Belly River and Mokowanis Drainages. So very cool :y: . So, if you don't like Beargrass with nice poofy heads, don't be watchin' my videos :lol: .

The trail was a bit mucky here and there again as well and your views were pretty much limited. About the 7 3/4 mile mark you reach the single hiker planked bridge across the Belly River. It is still a little nerve-wracking to cross those bridges over such long expanses. Tina knocked it out in fine style. I tried to film while crossing; what was I thinking. Anyway, once you're across you are at a major intersection as if you go right, N you will be going to the Mokowanis area but if you go left, S you will be going to the Belly River area (Elizabeth and Helen) and on the Ptarmigan Trail. We would be coming back this way but today, we were headed to visit Joe Cosley's Elizabeth Lake (named after one of his girlfriends).

You hike above the Belly River with occasional views to Gable Mountain. It's a pretty mountain because even though a good part of it is bare, it is very colorful. You can hear the river below you as you continue toward Dawn Mist Falls. We had discussed not taking the detour to the Falls because of our heavy pack but by the time we got there, we opted to do it at the 8.35 mile mark. Well that was a good decision as it's easy trail and a little over a tenth off of the main trail. And needless to say, it was really gushing. We could actually hear it long before we got there. So we admired the Falls as they came in and out of the sunlight.

You head back up the trail and are soon back at them again at eye level. Here is the only place we a couple hikers got ahead of us. I think they ended up at Helen Lake. Well we were almost to Elizabeth now as this is the half-way point between the bridge and Elizabeth Lake Foot. A couple more times you get close to the river. It was running pretty high and fast from all the storms that keep passing through this past spring and now summer. We had a short sideways rain storm at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn the previous evening. Less than a mile and 1/2 later we finally arrived at Elizabeth Lake. We placed our food in the storage box and then found a nice camp spot in the trees but with a slight view of the lake.

We headed back to the Food Prep area as it was Happy Hour time :) . Sadly the mosquitoes thought so too so they showed up in earnest. We had to get our bug nets and thank goodness we had them. I felt bad for those people who didn't as they apparently didn't do their Rx. One of the rangers at St Mary where we confirmed our permit said it was terrible and she wasn't kidding. You had to make sure your whole body was covered with something and also spray the bug spray heavily!!!

One of the Glacier Guides was there with a couple he had been guiding; it's his summer job and he's from Indiana. I'd say he was one of the older guides. He said this was one of his worst as the couple could hardly move (they were young) so it was a long haul down from Red Gap Pass where they had spent the nite at Poia Campground. Mind you, the guides carry all of the food and the stuff to make the food in. It was quite the operation he had. If it hadn't been so mosquitoey I would have filmed it. I think he was happy to be able to vent.

Next up was the ranger who had come to post signs that the Poia Campground was being closed due to bear activity. He let us know to pass along for folks that had reservations there that they could stay at the Ranger Station, a little over 3 miles away. There were a couple gals that came thru that ended up doing just that and fortunately they had a car at Chief TH. Earlier we would hear a dog when we were setting up camp but didn't know what quite to make of it as dogs are not allowed in the backcountry. The ranger had spoken to them and didn't seem happy about it at all. Well this couple came strolling in from their site and said it was a service dog. Ya right! They were very interesting to say the least. He was from Columbia. She was a part-time nanny and backpacked in-between.


Just a quick note, my camera gets knocked for shooting poorly in low light and sadly it didn't let me down in that regard. So some of the low light pics were a little out of focus. I need to remember that in the future.

from Chief TH toward Gable Campground: [ youtube video ]
last few miles toward Gable Campground thru the meadows: [ youtube video ]
from Gable toward Elizabeth Lake: [ youtube video ]
from almost the Belly River to Dawn Mist Falls: [ youtube video ]
Dawn Mist Falls to Elizabeth Lake: [ youtube video ]

By the way, Tina made a 6:30 video of our whole trip if you want a sneak preview of the whole backpacking trip in a nicely condensed version: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
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.
Jul 06 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Saint Mary Falls and Virginia Falls TRNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2019
tibber
Hiking5.12 Miles 1,212 AEG
Hiking5.12 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.64 mph
1,212 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another trip to Montana :y: started with a 6:30AM Allegiant Flight to Gt Falls where I met my cousin who let me use her car (Tucson with turbo) for my Glacier Park trip which saved me a bundle. I picked up some stove fuel and then after having lunch headed out for Glacier Park. The weather was a bit tenuous as I headed down the freeway (80MPH posted) until the Highway 44 cut across to Highway 89 (70MPH posted). It was so green everywhere as they had a wet spring and a wet summer so far. The only thing about the cloud cover is you couldn't even get to see the top of the Rockies. The wildflowers were out in force on the prairie; don't know that I've ever seen so many. Needless to say, I had to pull over a couple times and get some photos thus it took me a little longer to get to the Park.

I met up with Tina from Calgary who I knew through glacierchat.com and we had dinner at the Swiss Lounge in Many Glacier. I started out with a Huckleberry Smash and from there, let the good times roll. The next morning we met up with Pete, another glacierchatter (their Chumley) at the Rising Sun Two Dog Flats Restaurant for breakfast. He had driven in from Whitefish (5AM) and left his vehicle at St Mary Falls Shuttle stop and hitched to the restaurant. We drove to Sun Point which I hadn't been to since it had been renovated. I also hadn't hiked in this area since the 2015 Reynolds Creek Fire which pretty much burned the whole area we would be hiking today.


So we geared up and headed on down the trail. The views are definitely more expansive since the fire with the naked trees. The bark of many of the trees was now black and white in many cases so that was interesting to see. Of course this hike takes you right along the lake with great views to the surrounding mountains. The lake was very smooth so far today thus creating some pretty reflections. The wildflowers were also out in force and perhaps a little different now that there wasn't any shade. Thus I created a new Flora Family, "Scrawny" as some of them seemed thin and not very full. Not too far into the hike some hikers said they saw a fox. We could see movement down by the lake but didn't actually see the fox.

Soon you are at the first of three falls, Baring. The Baring Cabin burned in the fire altho I had never seen the cabin so it must have been off trail somewhere. It is a pretty little falls and was flowing fast. We didn't linger long before heading further down the trail.

As we were rounding a corner, Pete had talked about a marmot that hangs out down here and true to life, it was there today. With the beautiful backdrop and lighting, it made for some very nice photographs :) . A little later we would see a bluebird and an Eagle. The eagle had its eye on St Mary Lake so maybe looking for a late breakfast. The trail is in very nice shape as always and this hike is really a different experience with the lack of shade. They chopped down quite a few trees after the fire.

As we get closer to St Mary Falls the hiker traffic picks up but it doesn't deter from the beauty of the area and especially the beauty of the falls with that aqua blue water. It was fast flowing from all angles and thundering pretty good. We went up top as I always like the view of the St Mary River as it comes into the falls. The burn area is evident up here as well.

Next we hiked our way toward lower Virginia Falls. This one area we hiked by no longer has the succulents or fungi plants since the trees burned and there isn't any shade provided. The mist from the falls still keeps the area moist but the sun exposure was just too much I guess. The weather today was still cloudy and acted like it wanted to rain but it never did. However, the trail was muddy in spots. This would be the case for my entire hiking in Glacier. We crossed over a fairly new bridge for our view below Virginia Falls as it was coming down hard and fast and unless you needed a shower, you didn't want to get at the foot of the falls. Fortunately you can still get a pretty good picture from here.

As we hiked back we encountered more people and more flowers had woke up so that was nice; the most False Solomon's Seal I've ever seen. Once back at St Mary Falls, the crowds had gotten larger of course as the ranger-guided boat tour had arrived. One family's kids were down on the lower rocks where it was really slippery and very close to the water. Pete mentioned it to the ranger and the parents eventually got the young kids to come up but without supervision and one of the little ones slipped a little but didn't go down, thankfully. The number one killer in Glacier is from falling into the water.

As we headed back the sun started to come out so the humidity picked up. But it made for a different view. The ranger eventually caught up with us and we asked a few questions that we had about some of the flora. This was her second year here and she was from NY. I noticed a lot of female rangers this year. We parted ways with Pete at the St Mary Falls Shuttle stop, had lunch at World Famous Johnson's, had huckleberry everything :D at Two Sisters and headed to Swiftcurrent Motor Inn cabin to prepare for our 5-nite backpack into the Belly River the next day.


[ youtube video ] Drive via Gt Falls, Browning, Duck Lake to Swiftcurrent Motor Inn at Many Glacier
Hike:
Part 1 Sunpoint to Baring Falls [ youtube video ]
Part 2 to St Mary Falls starring John9L's favorite animal [ youtube video ]
Part 3 St Mary River/Falls to Virginia Falls [ youtube video ]
Part 4 Virginia Falls area back to St Mary Falls Shuttle stop, Johnsons and Many Glacier [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Saint Mary Falls Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Virginia Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Virginia Falls Heavy flow Heavy flow
_____________________
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.
1 archive
Jun 30 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Happy Jack - AZT #28Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 30 2019
tibber
Hiking5.10 Miles 680 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   2.57 mph
680 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Well this would be a big day for the Arizona Trail Section Crew. Not the hike itself but its conclusion. Once again we glamped at the North Place and were treated to a french toast casserole for breakfast. We set up our fairly easy shuttle this time starting at where we ended during last year's Arizona Trail in a Day. We had already completed the bulk of this passage back in 2017. We had planned on doing this last part the day after AZT in a Day but the weather forced us to cancel.

From the AZT 28 TH, we head to the NE toward our AZT Super Gate before we start veering to the NW. The hike stays flat for most of this with little ups and downs and the trail is in nice shape. We once again walked through what we assume was controlled burn as the bottom of the trees were naked but still had its canopy. We came to Hay Meadow Tank where a lot of cattle had gathered to the south. They were quite talkative.

In one section we would come across a multitude of Carsonites thus we called it Carsonite Lane and a meadow of Deers Ears. Eventually you drop down into Jack's Canyon and walk at its bottom for awhile before traversing a couple drainages and make your way out. And for us, the end at FR 82. We touched the new AZT Gate which wasn't there a couple years ago. Now we could link up Passages 20 through to part of Passage 35 :y: . It only took six years :lol:, but it's done. Our AZT in a Day Passage goal this year will be to complete the rest of Passage 35.

We've done around 566 miles (around 70%) and still have tough mountain ranges (Supes, Rincons, Huachucas) and a canyon to get thru. Don't know if I will participate in some of those bigger elevation gains. Based on my calculations we have about 225 miles left. We hope to knock out about 40 of those miles Aug 29-Sep 2 up on the N Kaibab Plateau via car camping in-between.

Here is some videos from our hiking:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Hay Meadow Tank
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hay Meadow Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
yucky looking though as the cattle were right there and probably been drinking out of it so it looked real muddy.
_____________________
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.
Jun 29 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Blue Ridge - AZT #27Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 29 2019
tibber
Hiking6.59 Miles 669 AEG
Hiking6.59 Miles   2 Hrs   16 Mns   2.91 mph
669 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
a big weekend for us as we are connecting a whole lot of miles from Passage 20 to part of Passage 35. We got to stay at the North Place which is always a great place to spend part of our glamping for the weekend. We are looking forward to seeing Tracy's bear pictures framed the next time we come up...
We didn't have to get started early either which is nice. One of the highlights is always the PANCAKES!

It's now been a couple weeks since this hike and I just got back from 10 days in Montana and a whirlwind at my house so my memory is not the best. I think I'm just going to tell my story via pictures and videos. I do know I was very happy to finally get to hike the Fred Haught Trail that so many people have raved about in the past. It lived up to its reputation. The trail appears to be in great shape too.

We did do tree removal. Well actually Shawn did the bulk of it.

Highlights: the beautiful forested terrain, ferns, and the water of course
Lowlights: the still burning campfire [ youtube video ] and the temp got a bit warm toward the end of the hike.

Videos will usually include ferns, and more ferns, tree removal, water:
Part 1 [ youtube video ]
Part 2 [ youtube video ] (including the campfire put out)
Part 3 [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
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.
Jun 23 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mescal Mountain Loop, AZ 
Mescal Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 23 2019
tibber
Hiking5.29 Miles 792 AEG
Hiking5.29 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   2.12 mph
792 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
Partners none no partners
We had to drop off some more art for the Romain Room at Sedona Consignment (off of Coffee Pot Dr and 89A) so we thot we would make a weekend of it. Please feel free to drop by and take a look. We stayed at the Green Tree and apparently there was a jeep caravan staying there as well.
The next morning we headed out to the trailhead. I had my window down and could hear this buzzing. I said, "that can't be cicadas" can it? as it sounded like an electric fence on steroids. But that's exactly what it was. I was surprised when we got to the Trailhead that there weren't more cars. We decided to do the loop counterwise as I had done it clockwise a couple years ago with Kelly.... should have gone the other way.

Anyway, we started down and then up as we made our way to the trail junction with Deadman Pass and then headed south and around on the Mescal Trail up to the side of Mescal Mountain. We already encountered our first bike rider of many today. On our way up we stopped to look back at the fabulous view. As we hiked we would discover we almost needed ear plugs as the cicadas were so loud. We thot they would eventually stop buzzing but it more or less continued the entire way :o .

Once up on the ledge it is such great hiking and such great views. It was slightly shady here as we made our way around to the south side. My niece is a bit of a picture-taker so we stopped a few times for her to be come one with the landscape. Once again we would encounter some more bike riders as we made our way around the corner. But before we did, we noticed a trail that went up the side thinking it might be a climbers route or something. Later we would see some hikers hiking above us but they certainly weren't climbers so maybe there is a higher trail.

It's real pretty along this south side and interesting where the trees seem to be more plentiful above us. You have distant views to Courthouse Butte and the like too. The trail splits for the bikers so Mia took the biker-rated difficult (high trail) and I took the biker-rated extreme (lower trail). We eventually determined that the difference in the rating must be due to the Extreme being on the edge and having more challenging entry/exit points. My older cousin (by 9 months), Wendy Romain Walsh, rode this and had mentioned to me as well that for her it was a bit frightening.

We made our way around the mountain and over to the Long Canyon Trailhead. Along the way we encountered a few more hikers and bike riders and lizards and beautifully budding and blooming agave. The cicadas were flying around as well and occasionally they would hit us; not sure why. A couple hit my hat so it became more of a helmet it seemed. The temps were starting to warm as we made our way up Long Canyon Trail which looks like a wide open road for a bit. Here we saw some different flora though not much blooming.

We stopped just after the junction with Deadman Pass to eat our apples. While there a couple helicopters flew above and we saw a bike instructor with two students trying to pedal up the hill by here. We would run into them off and on for the rest of the hike. As we came up the Deadman Pass, Mia says, "yep, we sure should have gone the other way" ](*,) . We ran into a family that didn't have any idea where they were hiking really and had very little water. We told them the trail does loop but it's about 4 1/2 miles. They decided to turn around. We waited for them a bit at the Mescal Trail Jct to let them know they could reach the side of the mountain from here in less than 1/2 mile. I guess they originally thot they were doing a hike up to the spire but this wasn't even the TH for that I don't think.

My niece is having hip issues so this was a good test to see what they could handle. And for me, any hike right now is a good hike. Here are a couple videos, you will hear the cicadas throughout:
Video 1 to the south side [ youtube video ]
Video 2 finishing off the hike [ youtube video ]
_____________________
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.
Jun 15 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mtn Circumference Trail #308Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 15 2019
tibber
Hiking2.51 Miles 383 AEG
Hiking2.51 Miles      51 Mns   2.95 mph
383 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Temperature was around 84 degrees with a little breeze. Hiked it counterclockwise. Third weekend hike in a row with 100% hello or good morning. Quite a few people out.
_____________________
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.
2 archives
Jun 09 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mtn Circumference Trail #308Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 09 2019
tibber
Hiking2.47 Miles 487 AEG
Hiking2.47 Miles      53 Mns   2.80 mph
487 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
two Sundays in a row: 100% on Good Mornings and Hellos :D . I forgot to mention last Sunday that they had a Trail Work in Progress sign up on the east side. That's been completed and it looks like they laid extra rock on some of the eroding parts of the trail, just like on the west side.

A little breeze to start the hike but not much at the end and because I got out a tad earlier a little more shade in places. Lots of people out too. One lizard and about 5 birds that have the white lined tails.

This time the Q-T's frozen cappuccino machine was working :) . Last weekend I had to go to two of them and neither machine was working.
_____________________
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.
Jun 02 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mtn Circumference Trail #308Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2019
tibber
Hiking2.48 Miles 398 AEG
Hiking2.48 Miles      54 Mns   2.76 mph
398 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
100% on the Good Morning, Hellos :y:... A few folks out enjoying the morning. Nice shade on the west side.

I'm just trying to keep some semblance of my legs remembering hiking and this hike is better than no hiking at all. I've been incredibly tied up so can't get away to hike unless you count cemetery grave decorating, as I had just returned from Idaho. We decorated a little over 100 gravesites in 3 cemeteries around Cottonwood ID.

My photoset is pictures from the air Lewiston ID to Phoenix.

Not often will I buy a cocktail as these flights are so short but this time (1 hr 20 min flight) I had my credit card out ready for my order and of course, it was too rough according to the Captain, to have cabin service. Wouldn't you know it. I thot it wasn't that bad. Well at least I kicked :pk: at poker.

The video from Lewiston to SLC isn't ready yet.
Part 1 from SLC to Phoenix [ youtube video ] landscape views
Part 2 half-way from SLC to Phoenix airport [ youtube video ] I'm sure a lot of you will recognize the surroundings. Altho I got a little seasick filming once we got to the Cave Creek, Carefree, Phoenix area :sk:

PS I have to tell you my airport story. I was listening to a pianist in the food court at Terminal F (the old B) in SLC. He was playing lots of golden oldies. I so enjoyed listening I decided to quickly finish my food so that I could go tip him a $5 spot. He thanked me and as I started to walk away he started playing Moon River. Well that just happens to be my favorite song and one I played a lot back in the day. He did a beautiful rendition of it. But I thot, what are the odds that he would pick that song to play at that precise moment? :o
_____________________
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.
1 archive
May 07 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Red Hills - AZT #24Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 07 2019
tibber
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
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
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.
1 archive
May 06 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 06 2019
tibber
Backpack11.26 Miles 2,193 AEG
Backpack11.26 Miles   9 Hrs   15 Mns   1.45 mph
2,193 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
At 6:30​AM ​we had to wait a few minutes for Shawn, imagine that :lol: . Back out on to the rocky trail. It wasn't too far along when Happy Feet came up from behind. We visited for a moment. Her shoes didn't look in the best of shape. She is a trip leader for Outward Bound out of Calif. I can't remember which trail she thru-hiked last year. Anyway, she was in a very cheery mood and had stayed at Horse Camp Seep. She would eventually catch Shawn and Tracy so I was able to get her picture.

We finally got to the far end of the North Fork of Deadman Creek. There was water and is a nice campsite here as well. And now it was up into the trees and a more grassy trail westward bound. This was a nice change. Of course, the highlight of the day was not too far now as we climbed our way to Rocky Top. It was quite the area and extended for awhile before you actually top out. And there was internet so Shawn wanted to send a picture. We explored just a little before starting down this tall mountain.

We would eventually be heading north after switch-backing this pretty narrow trail down. It seemed to take a long time and then we level out and head toward yet another saddle. Lots of manzanita on this last trek coming off the mountainside. The views change a little here as you look over to the Park. We had a bit of a filtered sky so for some reason, it seemed a bit ominous as we approached this part of the hike. We continued the trek and as we neared the bottom we came upon lots of lupine scattered among the fallen trees. It was really pretty. We finally caught up to where Shawn had stopped to pump some water. We also ended up taking a bit of a break here. And then it was another up and down and around and another one too but a little more interesting before finally reaching the Red Hills Passage junction.

We had lunch here. It was a bit warm. I had a great new lunch to try of chicken salad packet and taco sauce and a tortilla. It went down really well and of course, we had some potato chips. I can't recall if that was the last of them? And from here it was down into a pretty forested drainage :) . We followed it for awhile. It had a nice bit of water in it as well. And once again, tree removal occurred. Not long after we started climbing up again and hit some bedrock. Across the way you could see the Red Hills rocks area which was pretty cool. The sky was slightly cloud covered. And just when you think the up is over, it's not and it's a rocky rise but thankfully not too long.

We finally arrive at our last intersection of the day where we take a break. The next part of the hike you stay high for a bit and travel thru the burn area with lots of naked little trees scattered amongst the manzanita. The views to the west, north and slightly east are pretty awesome. But that is soon ruined by the straight down trek that was a bit slippery at times. When you have a heavy pack on, it all seems a bit exaggerated as to degree of difficulty. And the down goes on a lot longer than you think it should. One time I remember looking NE and saw a bunch of cottonwoods way down below at the other end and wondered, do you supposed we have to go clear to there before camp?

After dropping 500 feet in 3/4 of a mile on that somewhat slick surface, it was good to get to level ground as we crossed over and by another drainage. It's been a long day and we've actually made pretty good time so we'll get to camp a little before Happy Hour and we can relax and enjoy the last couple hours of daylight. But first we have to continue to put one foot in front of the other. By this time my blisters were feeling each step. I had put protective tape on my sensitive foot areas but it had slipped off the previous day.

I ended up with the nicest camping spot I think. It was nice to get set up, go pump some water with the others at a tributary of Houston Creek and then sit in my camp chair as others took a speed nap. I ate my summer sausage; it was so good. It is definitely going on all my backpacking trips in the future. We imbibed in a little vodka cocktail and then all enjoyed a leisurely dinner including a dessert of some Huckleberry bark I had brot.

Video 1 including Rocky Top [ youtube video ]
Video 2 [ youtube video ] continuing up and down and around some hills
Video 3 [ youtube video ] to the Red Hills Junction and down through the drainage
Video 4 [ youtube video ] and up to the top and down to Brush Springs campsite

And yes, I have lots of photos but I found in my Rx, not much was available for these two passages so you know me, I had to compensate for that :lol: PLUS, I could have included many more flora photos as there was quite a bit thru here as well but I limited those. Anyway, enjoy the hike with us.
_____________________
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.
May 05 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 05 2019
tibber
Hiking10.29 Miles 2,141 AEG
Hiking10.29 Miles   9 Hrs   37 Mns   1.40 mph
2,141 ft AEG   2 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
scatdaddy
Sredfield
Day 2 of 4: Bear Spring to Hopi Spring (Shawn did a full 40 mile trip report and photos [ triplog ] ). Not exactly sure of our break time as Kemosabe was in a clock rebellion. Never got it back until civilization at the end of Passage 24. When you're hiking with trail stewards including the Big Kahuna, there are many delays due to tree removal. Route Scout doesn't know that. We stopped at Y Bar Campsite while Shawn and Roger walked part of the Y Bar. We stopped at the Brody Seep Jct for a break. We stopped just past Chilson Spring while Shawn and Roger checked out Chilson's tub and exchanged chip duties. We had lunch. We stopped at Horse Camp Seep for probably about 1/2 hour. And we watered up at Hopi. So that adds up.

We got moving around 7:15 or so. We started seeing wildflowers right off the bat :) . Once again, we were surprised at how many wildflowers we would see and the great variety. As I looked around trying to figure out where the trail was going I soon realized we had to get up the side of this mountain. Luckily the grade is just right for first thing in the morning and the long switchbacks made it a much easier task. We admired a newly renovated switchback corner on the way. Once on top, you get quite the view east and the top of the mountain is pretty amazing as well. You could see the Y Bar way below and eventually the saddle we would get to.

Once at the very nice Y Bar camp site, the boys investigated a bit of the Y Bar trail as it also had some work done not too long ago. And then we headed north below the big mountain, Mazatzal Peak. You could see the trail way ahead and eventually the saddle that we would have to climb to. It's a long haul below this very big mountain and the trail is just a little narrow as you look down to the valley below. We could see far to the west and everything was very green.

We made it to the saddle which wasn't as bad an up as it looked and really not very long. Once at the saddle we got to enjoy a bit of a breeze as it already seemed a bit warm to me. We discussed the Brody Seep Trail and Roger showed us where we were heading altho I was somewhat familiar with that from my trip to Horse Camp Seep a few years back. Not too far from here we took our morning break alongside the trail.

Next junction would be with the Barnhardt but not before the boys analyzed what trail work would need to be done to shore up a drainage corner that was getting pretty beat up in spite of efforts to keep the trail in tact. From Barnhardt the territory was familiar to me as I remembered well that rocky section near that pretty campsite before the drainage. Rocks have been cleared from part of that trail and boy do you ever notice it; especially from where they stopped :lol: . I love that campsite with the big juniper tree and nice fire ring. There is a beautiful agave garden near it as well.

We continue west toward Chilson Spring area alongside the running water of the drainage. Once again there are ample wildflowers mixed in with that foxtail grass that tried to envelop everything around it. Once to Chilson Spring, Roger and Shawn go straight up to it. We stayed on the trail and walked up a bit to the intersection with Chilson Camp. It was now a lot warmer too so we tried to sit in some of the limited shade. We were there for quite awhile before Shawn, the new guardian of the chips, arrived. So we decided to have lunch before moving on to tackle more of the rocky trail. It was clear in some spots and it sure spoiled you but then just when you would say "awhhhh" it was over.

We continued via a few of the drainages and would always stop and check out the water of course. And up we went some more until we finally arrived at the intersection with Horse Camp Seep. Ambika voted that we all should go on down and hang for about 1/2 hour in the shade. Just as we were going down we encountered 4 horsewomen and 5 horses (one was packin'). They had come up from Doll Baby I think they said. Well kudos to them all as coming up that one long hill on the narrow trail that we would do tomorrow was impressive. Tracy and Shawn hung out in the shade, Ambika and I went and pumped some water. There is still quite a lot for this time of year I'd say. I do love this camp and area.

And now to finish off this day. It was getting warmer it seemed but at least the trees were taller to provide some shade. However, the trail, got even rockier and we still were heading UP. It's not a bad incline at all but the day was already long and we were feeling it. We took our time though and eventually got to the Hopi Spring intersection. Shawn decided that we would be heading straight up to it with our packs on. I was thinking with our packs off but no, let's put the big girl hiker pants on and get up the side of this slippery muddy hill : rambo : . So we did. We pumped our water for the nite and day. Shawn had developed an interesting system where by you use your hiking pole across the trough to wrap your pump line around to keep it toward the water's top I guess (https://hikearizona.com/photo-E.php).

On our way as we slid down the wet mountainside we thot we saw a flat area for camping but it was pretty wet so we ended back on the trail and just went a little further north before heading west toward some flat areas. We eventually found room to park and come to find out, this area is actually cairned by the trail which Ambika discovered. I had a nice soft log at my place so that's where we had dinner. We were treated to a pretty colored sunset before retiring for the evening :zzz: . Our start time would be 6:30AM.

and yep, another four videos.
[ youtube video ] from Bear Spring to below Mazzie Peak, including stop at Y Bar campsite
[ youtube video ] almost to Barnhardt Jct
[ youtube video ] toward Horse Camp Seep
[ youtube video ] to Hopi Spring and Camp and sunset
Culture
Culture
Trail Maintenance
Named place
Named place
Hopi Spring Horseshoe Reservoir
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horse Camp Seep Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
_____________________
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.
1 archive
May 04 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 04 2019
tibber
Hiking9.25 Miles 2,578 AEG
Hiking9.25 Miles   7 Hrs   23 Mns   1.57 mph
2,578 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
scatdaddy
Sredfield
Day One of 4 Peeley to Bear Spring (Shawn did a full 40 mile trip report and photos [ photoset ] ).
Where does one begin to describe the next 40 miles? Let me start by saying, if I had known, I wouldn't have gone. This was way above my pay grade at this stage in my life. The reward vs pleasure was a little low considering the degree of difficulty, at least for me anyway. The best way I can sum up the next four days is, "pure torture". Torture (bad) in the terrain but also torture (good) in the magnificence. I respect all of you that can hike and hike in those Mazzies; which are mountains by the way.

Thank you to Roger and Tracy for setting up the shuttle the night before. Thanks to Shawn and Tracy who would have to unwind the shuttle at the end of Day 4. It was very nice of you to handle all of that as it sure made my life easier.


The drive up is always an adventure and we were surprised at some of the shoddy tree clearing work. In one case it looked like the worker just leaned out of his vehicle's window and cut the log as it was sticking out where it didn't need to be. After Shawn was finally happy with where he would be leaving the truck we geared up to do what would probably be one of our hardest treks on the AZT. It was a little warmer than we would have liked thus getting up that hill was a bit tortured (notice a theme already). Once again we would see the Superstition Ridgeline and the Four Peaks just as we had seen a few weeks ago coming down the Oracle Ridge Trail (AZT #12).

I had to pull over for a bit to regain my composure but after that, I was good to go. A trail runner (walker) in sandals and her dog passed by us and we would see her above a few times before she disappeared. And then once you're over on the north side, the trail levels out as it contours and heads slightly up to the infamous Mazatzal Wilderness sign. The trail up to Peeley is very well-defined now. When I last did this, it was kind of a guess. From here it would be new territory for me as we began contouring Peeley on our way toward Mount Catherine only to skirt around its east side. I thot Mount Catherine was north of Peeley (one of those two mountains) but apparently not. So it looks like those two mountains to the north are Peaks 5629 (west) and 5574 (east)?

At about the 5 1/2 mile spot, Roger showed us a nice lunch spot with a view. He went ahead another 1/2 mile to start tackling a downed tree where we would eventually catch up to him. We would continue our way with nice views from time to time. I was always trying to figure out where we would eventually be going let alone end up. Sometimes we got there the way I thot we would and other times not. It seems whenever we had a view we could see the Peeley TH and road quite a lot. At one point where we stopped I could zoom all the way to Shawn's truck. To our west there were distant views to Horseshoe Lake so I would spend some time zooming there as well.

There is so much burn up here, the scope being hard to fathom unless you see it in person. The trail, Steward Roger's section, is in pretty good shape for almost the entire way to Bear Spring and beyond. And in the Mazzies, that's sayin' somethin'! Roger is very dedicated to his home away from home. He and Shawn would soon spend about 15-20 minutes clearing one large and small tree off the ridge section as we were heading north. It took some doing. Many times they would end up just trying to roll the downfall to the downhill slide. Most of the time that went well and if not, they would figure out a way to make it work. I just tried to film it all.

Slightly beyond here, I think, we ran into a couple and their dog who were section hiking. They had come up via Barnhardt the evening before and would be finishing at Sunflower the next day. As we started to contour and climb the last hill on the west side, a lady German hiker stopped for a moment before barreling on her way. We slowly made our way up the hill to the ridge and the 7 mile mark before dropping quite a ways into Bear Spring. Nice views from up here. As I look at the elevation profile, it looks so flat but when you're not in the best of hiking shape and carrying a way too heavy pack in my case, even little hills are dramatic :lol: . And then you drop 550 feet in a couple miles to end the 9.25 mile day. It was pretty through here though and some more deadfall to clear, I mean film.

At camp, I was hoping everyone would want to rest their laurels before the 1/4 mile scamper to Bear Spring but no... so we set up the tents and then head for water. It's a pretty spring and 3 feet deep with clear water. My Sawyer plugged, apparently I had not backflushed it sufficiently the last time I had used it, so Roger helped us out and we exchanged filters as he would be heading home the next day via Barnhardt. Thank you Roger. He gave us the lesson on how to use it. Just as we were leaving another German hiker was coming in. Roger visited with him for a time. Maybe he can comment about some of the details of that conversation. I wanted to get back to camp for my beer.

When Roger returned he mysteriously prepared a Happy Hour snack. You will never guess what it was. I thot it was "River Time" as this is one of the snacks we got a couple times.... Oysters on a Trisket, OMG :D . Shawn on the other hand, was not so excited but he tried it and I don't think he liked it. The camp site is lovely of course with a nice view to the NW. Ambika, Roger and me visited until backpackers midnite and then headed off for slumber. Roger was the bear bait as he was in a bivy so I felt quite safe, ha!

I was surprised that there wasn't much information on Passage 23 and 24 so I probably over compensated and took a lot of pictures and movies when I was able. However, the terrain would preclude what I might have liked to film. I did try to document the Passages as best I could. If I were a better and more competent hiker, it would be a better show. I think for the whole trip I was probably around 35 gig and 2 1/4 battery. I also wanted to get an official route as I don't know when it's last been updated. On this portion, I do see that the official route includes the trip to Bear Spring and back.

Part 1 of 4: [ youtube video ]
Part 2 of 4: [ youtube video ] Making our way around the west side of Mount Catherine
Part 3 of 4: [ youtube video ] It's sawing time as we make our way toward Ponderosa Saddle and toward the high point of our hike.
Part 4 of 4: [ youtube video ] About the high point (around mile 7.25) to camp.
Culture
Culture
Campsite HAZ Food
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
many varieties, a lot of verbena and manzanita, dudleya, claret cup cactus

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bear Spring - Fisher Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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.
3 archives
May 02 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mtn Circumference Trail #308Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 02 2019
tibber
Hiking3.06 Miles 605 AEG
Hiking3.06 Miles   1 Hour   5 Mns   2.82 mph
605 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
So lucky today with the cloud cover as I got to do a no hat, no sunglasses hike again this week. I started at 3:15 today.
Jacaranda trees are blooming, so vibrant.

Palo Verdes are still showing off in the Preserve too and speaking of showing off, as I was hiking I heard a bird commotion. I looked to the north and there was a raven chasing a hawk or prairie falcon as one used to reside here [ photoset ] . The bird of prey was awesome as it alluded the raven. There was another raven trailing, couldn't keep up. And then the bird of prey did an awesome barrel roll :y: . The raven gave up. What a show I enjoyed for a couple minutes.

Next it was to the south of the Preserve for more entertainment as the coyotes struck again. They must start here and work their way north when I hear them around Happy Hour time. But this time, I actually saw one. Here's a quickie video of the street before the reserve and then the coyotes talking: [ youtube video ]

Not many hikers out yet this early in the afternoon. Have a big backpack this weekend so was glad to get some hiking exercise.
Flora
Flora
Black poui
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
just the palo verde in different stages of bloom
_____________________
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.
Apr 29 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Shaw Top Loops, AZ 
Shaw Top Loops, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2019
tibber
Hiking4.55 Miles 1,152 AEG
Hiking4.55 Miles   1 Hour   40 Mns   2.73 mph
1,152 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
"LEMON YELLOW"

Plan B since it was raining in Sedona....
more people than expected. Need a new HIKEARIZONA.COM shirt for city hikes that says: say HELLO! sheesh. But at least I got more replies back than not this time. It's always interesting to see what levels people will go to so as to avoid saying "Hello". I find that when I'm sucking air on the up parts and I find the oxygen to say "hello", you need to say "hello" back.

Wrapped the top a couple times.

Anyway, interesting day out with the change in light and the threat of rain. And the Palo Verde were putting on an awesome show just for me; thus all the pictures. Didn't have to wear sunglasses or a hat, YES!
Flora
Flora
Desert Lavender
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Palo Verdes were plush with blooms.
_____________________
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.
Apr 17 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mtn Circumference Trail #308Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2019
tibber
Hiking2.98 Miles 582 AEG
Hiking2.98 Miles   1 Hour   4 Mns   2.79 mph
582 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
was still a little sore from Sunday's hike down Oracle Ridge so I knew I needed to work those calve muscles and this fit the bill.

heard the 5 o'clock coyotes but they didn't go on very long. trail is in fine shape. the male hikers I encountered either can't hear or "hello" is difficult so I said "goodbye" to one of them as I walked by. all three times I moved out of their way too. I'm not being judgmental, I'm just sayin'

thot there would be more cars at the TH by the time I finished.

such a pretty time of year as the trees are blooming including the Palo Verdes and Orchid trees as well as all the roses and oleanders. So beautiful.
_____________________
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.
Apr 14 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Oracle Ridge - AZT #12Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 14 2019
tibber
Hiking12.53 Miles 1,824 AEG
Hiking12.53 Miles   8 Hrs   35 Mns   1.77 mph
1,824 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a good breakfast at Palisades cabin, our chauffeur took us to our drop spot at the Control Road. It was very nice temperature-wise altho we did start with a little extra jacket for the first mile or so before shedding. Of course, there was a little up for us to do right off the bat which was not in our mindset regarding this downhill hike. That "up" stuff would occur again after Dan Saddle.

The view to your left, west, is of the Reef of Rock and Samaniego Ridge which is pretty cool. I would stop way too often to get another shot of it as we headed along Oracle Ridge. You are going thru an old burn section from 2003 and notice it thruout this top part of the hike. The trail seemed to be in good shape for most of this part of the hike altho there were a couple steeper sections that required you to hold on with your toes.

A little less than two miles into the hike, Tracy had a rock come up and grab her and she fell :o . Once we got to a flatter section, we decided we needed to pull over and assess the damage. Well the bottom part of her leg was not happy with her at all and had swelled up pretty good. So we decided she should sit with her leg up on this conveniently placed flat rock (that never happens) and I pulled my iced-water platypus from my pack for her to put on her leg to hopefully decrease the swelling which it did. Plus she took some ibuprofen and Ambika had an ace bandage that we would use to wrap the leg. Fortunately, the cut on her knee was minimal and stopped bleeding fairly quickly.

In about 20 minutes we were on the trail as we still had 10 miles to go. Tracy somehow managed to hike like she wasn't hurting so that was good. We arrived at Dan Saddle which is also an intersection; I thot for just a road but it actually goes to Catalina Camp which I knew nothing about until I zoomed in a few miles later and exclaimed, "what's that building over there?". Meanwhile it was time to tackle the "UP" part of this hike. I think I had forgotten about this when I was putting together the Route Scout info. We had planned this trip over a month ago but the weather was not cooperating. Now, I was recalling, oh ya, there's a larger UP for this. Even though it was only 500 feet in about 3/4 of a mile, it seemed like a lot for a downhill hike :lol: .

Well at least the views were pretty awesome to the west as we were skirting the mountain on our right. The grade wasn't bad and it even snuck in a couple little switchbacks. Finally we leveled out and could start breathing normally again. As you continue on the Ridge I could zoom over to the east with some great shots of the Galiuros and Pinalenos, even though it was hazy. In fact, today I would do a lot of zooming and even with the haze, some of the shots turned out pretty good, thus so many photos :stop: . There was some interesting trail work in a few sections here too. Just before Rice Peak you see a long road before you that ends with it going straight up a hill which we commented on. Shawn says, "Don't worry, we will be hanging a left before the steep part." Whew! Along the way Shawn pondered additional AZT gates and it looks like there is an old trail that is no longer used to connect to the part we just came from along the road.

So now it was time to get around Rice Peak. Seemed tame enough at first but then it really went downhill. Those of you who have hiked this know exactly what I mean. Ya, it's on the road but holy cow that sucker is steep. In fact, in one section it becomes a negative edge road. We did encounter some ATVers here and they, of course, went up it like it was nothing. We continued to hold on for dear life because if you let go, you better be a fast runner.

And speaking of runners, as we're still going down a runner/hiker flies by us like we're standing still which we kind of were, well really we were just in slo motion. We were stunned. And then as we were getting closer to level ground we encountered a group of four ATVers before we finally found the flat. Shortly after that we pulled over for lunch. The runner's hiking mate stopped by and asked us if we had seen him and that's where we found out they were section hikers (very young). Their friend had let them off at top and was picking them up in Oracle. He was from Prescott.

Next peak to skirt around would be Apache Peak. The worst it had to offer was a scree field. Before arriving, however, Shawn scouted the possibility of avoiding one of the two gates you go thru at the saddle before going to the west of the Peak but that turned out to be a no go because of the fencing. And speaking of fencing, it was in really great shape. I may not get this right but Shawn said something about the boundary fencing is somewhat responsible for this trail as it is needed to maintain the fence. We stopped at another saddle for our last break of the day. It was in a grassy area where Shawn and Tracy poked around with their hiking poles to make sure no snakes were hiding here.

I think we had about 3 miles left. We started going down now thru a grassy and bushy area and then on a road for a short bit as we passed by a stock trough. It isn't on the topo nor Guthook so Shawn took a moment to add it to Guthook. And then there was this killer straight up hill just for good measure. Thankfully it was short but you did have to dig in : rambo : . Soon we would reach the intersection with the Cody Trail.

We started hiking east now on a beautiful section of the AZT with additional flora and boulders and the sun at our back for the most part. You wind a bit here and there before you finally get a view of the ranch above High Jinks. And of course the views across the San Pedro Valley were pretty cool too so I would continue to use my zoom. This would be my last trip with the ZS60 as it's being retired to back up status now. I finally spotted Shawn's truck so the end was near.

We had a great dinner at Nonna Maria's Ristorante in Oracle. All of us had pasta dishes. You get great food, a lot of it, and the price is pretty reasonable... a lot better than the nite before dinner at the Sawmill Run up in Summerhaven. So another completed Passage is in the books. And a few hours later, we were home safe and sound. It was nice to be able to all drive home in the same vehicle which we rarely get to do. Thx to Guru for the shuttle; it made this journey so much easier.

Videos:
Control Road to Dan Saddle [ youtube video ]
Dan Saddle to around Rice Peak [ youtube video ]
Rice Peak to around Apache Peak [ youtube video ]
Apache Peak to Cody Trail [ youtube video ]
Cody Trail to High Jinks [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
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.
Apr 13 2019
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 563
 Photos 25,267
 Triplogs 829

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Oracle Ridge - AZT #12Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 13 2019
tibber
Hiking1.80 Miles 103 AEG
Hiking1.80 Miles      42 Mns   2.57 mph
103 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
First a big shout out to Guru for shuttling us. We have decided he should become an honorary member of the Arizona Trail Section Crew as he's helped out on some big shuttles and this one saved us an incredible amount of time. For this segment we were able to drop Shawn's truck near High Hinks Ranch where we had finished the top part of Passage 12 a few years back. We all put our stuff, including sleeping bags and packs into Guru's vehicle for the ride up to Summerhaven.

As we were driving alongside the mountain, the discussion was, which side of the mountains are we looking at as Ambika said the front side? Well how do we know that's the front side and how many sides are there to the mountain and where would we be hiking... which was the other side. And it depends on which side is the other side. Well you get the drift. This side thing developed into quite the conversation.


We stopped and had a nice lunch at the Eclectic Cafe before starting the drive up the mountain. We did pull over at one of the stops to take in the view and snap some pictures. We drove all the way to the Marshall Gulch Trailhead to verify the gate was open for vehicles and on the way back up to the Control Road we're looking out both sides but don't see a trail. When we unloaded at the Control Road and geared up, we asked Shawn where the trail was and he said we were on it. Well that wasn't what we expected at all.

So back down the highway we went and thru the town, altho we did make a pit stop at the Community Center restrooms. Since the burn the town has surely lost a lot of its charm that's for sure. Once past the town you are hiking next to Rose Creek for the rest of the hike. There was quite a bit of traffic on the road (human and vehicular) and we did encounter a thru hiker who was double-checking his GPS to verify the trail and we said, yep, this is it.

Once completed we headed up to the General Store and looked around. I bot some fudge, it is still as good as I remember. Shawn engaged a thru-hiker that was having issues with his water system. He sounded German.

We had a very disappointing dinner at the Sawmill Run Restaurant. It was bad in many different ways. Live and learn. Fortunately Guru had picked us up a couple giant cookies at the Cookie restaurant and those were pretty good. We made our way to the Palisades Ranger Cabin that Tracy had booked for our stay. Shawn started a fire in the pot belly stove but smoke was leaking everywhere so we had to open all the windows and doors and turn on the fans as it smoked the place up pretty good. In the guest book we later read, don't start the fire. So we put a sign on the stove for future users because apparently the rangers or whomever doesn't read their guest book. In fact, these guests were snowed in for a day as the plow had left the snow in the driveway and there was no shovel to dig out.

Guru made us some very spicy Moscow Mules that really he should re-title East Indian Mules, wowsza! But we sipped away and chit chatted for awhile before retiring for the evening.

[ youtube video ]

Day Two, the main part of the hike via Oracle Ridge to High Jinks Ranch is a separate trip log and photo set and videos.
_____________________
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.
average hiking speed 2.28 mph
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