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711 triplogs

Nov 15 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
South Fortuna Mountain TrailSan Diego, CA
San Diego, CA
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
1,100 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
raywing
My old backpacking pal, Ray, and I had done this hike a few years back, in the Mission Trails hiking park in San Diego. It's his neighborhood trail, which he hikes weekly. I forgot to turn on my GPS, so I used the miles and elevation from his phone app. We didn't do the entire loop, but a slightly shorter loop. We did climb South Fortuna Mountain.

We had a nice time reminiscing. We've been friends since about 1971, since my very first backpacking trip. Although it was a Sunday, and there were a fair number of people around, it didn't seem really crowded. There are lots of trails to choose from in this area.

The weather was unseasonably warm, and pretty clear. We could see the Guadalupe Islands out to sea (in Mexico) plus peaks familiar to me since I have climbed them, including the table mesa near Rosarito Beach, in Mexico, plus Cuyamaca Peak, Lawson Peak, etc. I have never climbed El Cajon Mountain, the front end of which is known as "El Capitan." I guess it needs to go on my list.
Named place
Named place
Cuyamaca Peak Fortuna Mountain
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Nov 14 2020
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Torrey Pines State Beach S & Natural ReserveSan Diego, CA
San Diego, CA
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking5.22 Miles 488 AEG
Hiking5.22 Miles   2 Hrs   37 Mns   1.99 mph
488 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It had been a long time since I'd hiked at Torrey Pines. When I was young, still living in San Diego, we used to park by the golf course and walk into the park from the south. But that "secret" route is effectively closed off now. You could walk in that way, but not via the golf course, and there is nowhere to legally park nearby.

It was a Saturday, a gorgeous day. Breaking all my personal rules, I went there anyway. My personal rules include the following:
1. Never hike in a popular place on a weekend.
2. If hiking in a popular place, (even if it's a weekday) always start at butt crack thirty, so that you may find at least a short time of solitude.

I didn't start until about 10 a.m., which is practically supper time in my world. There was no parking along the beach (on 101), so I parked on Carmel Valley Road. I walked south on the beach and up the paved road into the park. This road used to be Highway 1, and was the route my parents would have used to go to Los Angeles, before 101, and later on, the 5 freeway, were constructed. I remember going to LA on 101 when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I also remember that while the 5 was being built we used to take a Sunday cruise to see how it was coming along. I also remember that the first time we drove it there was virtually no traffic.

So, anyway, I walked up the steep road, along with hundreds of other people. (I was probably the only 4th generation San Diegan in the crowd.) Then I walked along the road to the south side of the park, and down the North Fork of the Broken Hill Trail to the beach. My original intention was to hike to the beach, then south to Black's Beach, and then walk back via either beach or trail. But since I had parked so far away, and since there were thousands of people around, I lost interest. I did see some interesting birds, however. I walked back to my car along the beach.

The Broken Hill Trail (and perhaps all the trails in the park) has cable barriers (see photos) on both sides of it, throughout its length, to keep you on the trail, and off the vegetation. This kind of killed my feelings of communing with nature. Additionally, it seemed that half of San Diego was hiking UP the trail as I hiked down. However, as I reached the lower end of it, I saw that another trail joining it, the Beach Trail, had way more people on it.

I doubt if I will ever hike at Torrey Pines again. If I ever do, then I think it should be on a weekday, starting at butt crack thirty, not during a pandemic, and in bad weather.
Flora
Flora
Torrey pine
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Nov 11 2020
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Black Point Hill - BlytheInland, CA
Inland, CA
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking2.30 Miles 424 AEG
Hiking2.30 Miles   1 Hour   4 Mns   2.19 mph
424 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This must be the local exercise hill, since I saw two other hikers. I asked them if they know of any other trails, but they didn't.

I noticed one of the peaks nearby in the Big Maria Mountains Wilderness may be fairly easy for me to do. It has sheep trails up it, and is not steep. Maybe I'll get to that one before I move away from here in early December.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
3 archives
Nov 09 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Cunningham MountainSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking3.80 Miles 1,859 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   1.71 mph
1,859 ft AEG   1 Hour   52 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was perfect for today. I wanted a hike that was short and steep, with a trail or road to follow. I messed up my shoulder in a minor mishap, so I don't want to do any scrambling or go on any really rough terrain. (Biking and paddling are definitely off the list for now, too.) I'm trying to let the shoulder heal.

I had the whole place to myself. It was sort of chilly but I had brought layers. I forgot the Nikon, so all I have to offer are phone photos. My phone takes lousy photos.

It was fun finding that old register from the Desert Peaks Section.

I thought it odd that the benchmark has a spot for the elevation but they didn't engrave it on there.

Not much in the way of wildlife. I saw bighorn sheep tracks and droppings, and a ground squirrel, that's it. I didn't see a lizard, or even any birds.

The gas line road discussed by Jim_H and others is definitely the way to go in. It is a little over two miles south of the road described in the original write-up. It's a straight shot into the area. It will be very obvious when you are near the actual road that goes up the mountain, because you can see it snaking all the way up.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
Dead plants!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Are you effin' kidding?
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Nov 06 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Black Point Intaglios and Hill - Blythe, CA 
Black Point Intaglios and Hill - Blythe, CA
 
Hiking avatar Nov 06 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking2.87 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking2.87 Miles   1 Hour   28 Mns   2.07 mph
420 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Having a shoulder injury (long story) means I will not be paddling or bicycling much over the next month or more, until it heals. I'm RV camped through early December near Blythe, California, on the Colorado River, where there is virtually no trail hiking nearby. However, there are a few hills and mountains in the vicinity with microwave towers, and roads to the top. I don't want to do a lot of off-trail peak-bagging with this shoulder injury, because the potential for falling is pretty high in this type of extremely rough terrain.

So, I started up a dirt road leading to a little hill with a microwave cluster on top. It's just north of Blythe, off CA Hwy 95, near the river. The scenery was pretty bleak, but the view of the river valley was nice. I was surprised when I soon came upon a sign next to a fenced-in area, saying it is an archaeological site. I went into the area, wondering if it would be a village site or an intaglio (aka geoglyph, or very large petroglyph on the ground.) After looking at the area, I decided that it might be an intaglio, but I'd have to look it up when I got home. I couldn't see much. There's a well-known geoglyph site, called Blythe Intaglios, about 4 miles to the north of this. There are several of these sites on the Arizona side, some of which I've visited in the past, such as the Bouse Fisherman.

Sure enough, when I got home I found that the site is called Black Point Intaglios, and I found an aerial photo, which will be included in my photoset. The information said the intaglio is supposed to represent the Universe. Okay...

I continued up the dirt road. I came upon another sign saying there is a BLM Wilderness Area behind it. Again, I had to look it up when I got home. It's the Big Maria Mountains Wilderness Area. Might be fun to explore.

The view from the top of the hill is pretty nice. I could see the river snaking its way across the farmlands, and could clearly see the small dam, called Palo Verde Intake, the only one I know of on the Colorado River which has an actual canoe/kayak portage trail around it. (Palo Verde Dam also has a small walking trail with a nice footbridge over a canal, but it is closed at this time due to Covid.)

The summit of the hill has no structures on it, which made it good for taking a rest, taking in the views.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Nov 03 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Girdner Trail #162Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking3.33 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking3.33 Miles   1 Hour   56 Mns   1.78 mph
420 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
mbhaas
A short hike with a friend on Election day. We were staying, along with another friend, at fancy digs she'd booked through her timeshare. I'm not used to such luxury, but I adjusted very well, haha! We were able to walk from the resort to the trailhead in 5 minutes.

After starting out, we picked a loop we saw on a signboard that looked doable. She'd had an injury recently, and this loop was just the right distance.

It's very, very dry. Do I even need to mention that? Everyone knows that. It had sprinkled the day before, very briefly, but not enough to get anything even slightly damp.

So, our friend says he thinks the car is a late-40's Mercury. Any other opinions? [Edit: I have since found a photo for comparison, which I added to photoset. @LosDosSloFolks check it out!]

_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
2 archives
Oct 08 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Carrizo Wash Palm Oasis, CA 
Carrizo Wash Palm Oasis, CA
 
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking3.89 Miles 190 AEG
Hiking3.89 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   1.85 mph
190 ft AEG   1 Hour   36 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike can be reached via high clearance vehicle, four wheel drive, or via the boat-in campsites at Carrizo Wash, in Picacho State Recreation Area, California, located on the Colorado River not far from Yuma, AZ. I reached the area while on a 6-day/5 night solo kayak trip from Blythe, CA to Fisher's Landing (Martinez Lake), Arizona. I camped at Carrizo Boat-in campsite, available only to boaters. There are other campsites you can drive to in the area, such as 4S camp, plus the main campground at Picacho. The palm grove itself is just outside the state park boundary, on BLM land.

You can see the palm trees on Google Earth (or by using satellite function on the HAZ map set.) A friend had told me about it, and I first checked it out on Google Earth, and sure enough, I could see them, looking like little green stars from overhead.

The hike is a total slog through the sand up the wash. The feral burro/donkey population is way out of control in this area, although the BLM has recently captured 48 of them, I was told later. A drop in the bucket. The donkeys have totally fouled and just about destroyed the palm oasis. Its lovely little pool is filthy, and the burros eat whatever parts of the palms they can get to. Also, I don't know how the native bighorn sheep can survive, with this kind of competition.

If you like geology, the conglomerate walls of the canyon are interesting. There is a big shady ledge the burros hide underneath (see photos).

When I arrived I looked upstream into where the canyon becomes a slot, above the palm oasis, and saw a large owl flying up into that canyon, disappearing around a bend eventually.

After I took a few photos I retraced my steps, got into my kayak and headed downriver to another camp.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Sep 15 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Bowknot Bend, UT 
Bowknot Bend, UT
 
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking1.66 Miles 511 AEG
Hiking1.66 Miles   1 Hour   59 Mns   1.69 mph
511 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike is accessed via the lower Green River, and is very popular with canoeists and kayakers. It is a very narrow ridge, where the Green River makes a huge bend back on itself, and from the ridge you can see the river on both sides. (See GPS route for a clear idea.) It's 7 miles around the bend, via the river. It's less than a one mile hike to the top of the ridge to see the other side.

I was on my second trip down this stretch of the Green. We did 100 miles over 11 days, a fairly leisurely length of time, although last year we took two weeks to go the same distance. This allows for a lot of side hikes and layover days. This is a NON whitewater trip. It can be done using a commercial shuttle outfitter, and also there are commercial tour companies who do canoe trips, (for a big price), OR you can do part of it on your own, as far as Mineral Bottom. If you are interested in doing this, see links I will include below. Also feel free to send me a p.m. We use the shuttle service and take out on the Colorado River, riding the jetboat back to Moab.

The lower Green is just about my favorite adventure, and I hope to do it again many times.

Several of us hiked up, while a couple others who chose not to hike found us a campsite across the river on a sandbar, which I'll include in the photos. I hiked slowly to encourage one of the women who really wanted to go to this famous place, but whose fitness level was lacking. When she made it to the top she was so happy she burst into tears. Once she had settled in to look at the view, I hiked out along the ridge so that my camera could capture both sides. (I don't think this camera has a panorama setting, at least, I can't find one.)

Shuttle and jetboat service, kayak and canoe rentals: Tex's Riverways, Moab, UT. https://texsriverways.com/

Guidebook: Colorado and Green Rivers in the Canyonlands Guidebook, by Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
4 archives
Aug 29 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Antelope MountainAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking4.07 Miles 842 AEG
Hiking4.07 Miles   4 Hrs   2 Mns   1.33 mph
842 ft AEG      59 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
outdoor_lover
Back in August I spent a week in Springerville, going through a self-storage unit I have there, a task I had been putting off for years. Pam was camping nearby, so I took time off my dusty duties to hike with her up Antelope Mountain. It was a very smoky day, and seemed to get worse as the day went on. I don't remember which fire it was, there were so many.

We had a nice hike. We didn't know each other well, but had kept in touch over the years, and I'm glad we did. It was nice to get better acquainted. Pam helped me with my camera settings, since my Nikon is similar to hers. However, as you can see, she's the one who's the accomplished photographer! [ photoset ]

On the way back to Springerville, I flew by a bunch of bighorn sheep gathered at a watering trough next to the highway. I didn't stop, but called Pam, who was driving the opposite direction on 260. I told her that she might like to come back and see them! She did, as you can see from her photoset. These bighorns were re-introduced here some years ago, and the herd has grown a lot since I lived nearby (1999-2010 and 2012-2013).

I finally added an "official" GPS route to this hike. So, it's official. Now you can go hike it.
Culture
Culture
Corral
Named place
Named place
Ellis Wiltbank Reservoir
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Aug 26 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
South Fork Trail #97Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
1,100 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Debz
This past August I went to Springerville for a week to organize and try to get rid of a lot of stuff out of my old self-storage unit. A friend, Deb, from Flagstaff showed up and shared the old KOA cabin with me at Casa Malpais RV Park.*

Along with another friend, Beth, who lives in Eagar, we went out to hike South Fork. We started at the main (north) trailhead, following the creek up. Crossing the creek, we hiked to the top of that crazy steep part of the trail, then retraced our steps. Before heading up the steep part, we attemped to continue up the creek trail, but gave up due to poison oak and lots of brush. When they rebuilt a burnt fence across the creek, they put the gate on the wrong side of the creek, so you can no longer easily follow the old trail. Most people never went past that gate anyway, they took the official FS trail which ends up at Mexican Hay Lake.

The last time I'd hiked here was in November 2011, about 6 months after a purposeful backburn by firefighters in this area, trying to stop the spread of the enormous Wallow Fire. It caused a lot of damage to the watershed in this little canyon. Yes, the fire in South Fork was a "backburn." I have that info from friends in the firefighting community there.

The area is recovering nicely. A nice variety of plant life has grown up, and the aspens and pines are coming in. There will be a lot more aspens than there used to be. In the long run, I think the fire was probably a good thing. Plus, there is still a lot of pine forest along the trail--it didn't all burn.

It was a gorgeous day, with nice friends. It was fun to introduce two old friends to one another, who found a lot in common.

Mileage and AEG is a guess, because I forgot to put fresh batteries into my GPS.


*Traveler hint: Cabins at Casa Malpais RV Park are the cheapest digs in Springerville under a roof, especially if you book it for a week. It was $25 per night by the week, $40 if less than a week. There are two of those old KOA cabins, with no bathrooms. They do have a fridge and a microwave, however, plus linens and towels. The RV park bathrooms are spotless, with good showers, and practically unused, because everyone is in an RV. Plenty of places to bike and walk right out the door, if you know the area. A city walking trail along the Little Colorado River is right there, plus great road biking, etc. etc. Yes, it is the same Little Colorado River that runs into Grand Canyon.
Fauna
Fauna
Abert's Squirrel
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
6 archives
Jul 25 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
3rd St. Bike Rt. & Aviation Bikeway, AZ 
3rd St. Bike Rt. & Aviation Bikeway, AZ
 
Road Biking avatar Jul 25 2020
azbackpackr
Road Biking19.31 Miles 315 AEG
Road Biking19.31 Miles   2 Hrs   31 Mns   9.99 mph
315 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Another exploration of Tucson by bike. We took the 3rd street bike route to U of A, then went on to the edge of downtown. After stopping for coffee, we rode back via the Aviation Bikeway, a first for both of us.

Since monsoon season has more or less arrived, things have cooled down a lot. August was always a favorite month for me when I lived here. Kind of cloudy, and balmy without being really hot. Even as I'm posting this around 11 a.m., the weather service is reporting only 85 degrees.

We mostly followed the 3rd Street bicycle route west, going through residential neighborhoods, which took us to the University of Arizona central mall. We rode through the campus and out the other side, eventually making our way to a coffee place at 6th Ave. and 7th St. After drinking my mocha, I grabbed photos of murals, one on 6th Ave., and the other one on the back of the Borderlands Brewery building, by the tracks at 7th and Toole. Other murals were visible, but we didn't take the time to go look at all of them. It would be fun to do just a murals tour.

We had a map of the bike routes, and after a couple of false leads, found the beginning of the Aviation Bikeway, and went over the famous "Rattlesnake Bridge" which is for bikes and pedestrians only.

The bike path is separated from Aviation Highway, and has landscaping, and a few rest stops with benches. It also has a lot of homeless encampments.

When we got to Craycroft, we opted to get back to the bike route that follows residential streets. Yes, a lot of the photos feature the backside of my ex-husband. Symbolic? Nah, but he is a lot faster than I am, even on his city bike.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
2 archives
Jul 22 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Vault Mine - Agua Caliente - Super Trail Loop, AZ 
Vault Mine - Agua Caliente - Super Trail Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 22 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking7.84 Miles 2,085 AEG
Hiking7.84 Miles   5 Hrs   51 Mns   1.95 mph
2,085 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The Vault Mine Trail is nice and steep, gets you up to a good altitude quickly. I started hiking a little before 6 a.m. The ground was damp, but the creeks are not running at the moment. The air was pretty muggy during the early morning, but after the cloud cover burned off it was a lot drier. I really enjoyed this loop. I hadn't set foot on the Super Trail since the mid 1990's, as far as I can recall. Last hiked Vault Mine in '99. And I had not hiked very much of the Agua Caliente trail before.

I saw a dozen turkeys (the true avian kind, not the humanoid variety) near the cabins as I drove up Madera Canyon Road, and several deer. During the hike I saw birds, bunnies and lots of lizards. I saw one hiker on the Vault Mine Trail, zero on the Agua Caliente, and half a dozen or so on the Super Trail.

Nice quiet day in a very small but vibrant wilderness area.

Named place
Named place
Mount Wrightson Sprung Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
A few penstemon, columbines, daisies. Not many.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sprung Spring Dripping Dripping
Must be dripping, since there is water in the trough, but I didn't see any drips. The trough could use a good cleaning.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
3 archives
Jul 21 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Tucson Bike LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Road Biking avatar Jul 21 2020
azbackpackr
Road Biking16.54 Miles 245 AEG
Road Biking16.54 Miles   2 Hrs   9 Mns   9.10 mph
245 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Story story story: Well, the time has come that I can't keep up with my ex on a bike. A year ago I could. And 15 years ago he could barely ride a bike.

15 years ago he weighed almost 300 pounds, (he's about 5'9") and got himself a Fuji comfort bike, and started doing some hiking, too. He lost about 150 pounds, and has kept it off. Now he has a nice road bike, a mountain bike, and a single speed road bike. Oh, and he's 71 years old, and wears slip-on sneakers from Walmart, an old t-shirt, and cutoffs. He has Tucson bike pals who wear all the fancy "kit" on their carbon fiber bikes, and their shoes clip in, but they like riding with him. He keeps a good, fast, steady pace.

Me, I like to ride my road bike, but I also like to coast along, look at birds and scenery, and stop to take photos of the sunrise! Tomorrow, he can ride, and I'll go hiking. Maybe if he comes up to Flagstaff we'll see how he does on the Waterline Trail, 1400 feet of elevation gain from 8000 to 9400.

We started before sunrise. It wasn't terribly hot when we finished. There was some cloud cover early this morning. From the vantage point of the bike trail, you probably wouldn't know the Catalinas had such a big fire recently.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
I was too busy trying to keep up to look for flowers. Pretty sure there are no wildflowers right now.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Jul 13 2020
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 13 2020
azbackpackr
Backpack22.10 Miles 2,603 AEG
Backpack22.10 Miles1 Day   23 Hrs   2 Mns   
2,603 ft AEG   5 Hrs   40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
This was my first backpacking trip in a couple of years. I went by myself, camping two nights. I had never been to the area before. Believe it or not, I'd never been on Road 300, except maybe way over by Heber. The closest I'd been to this area (other than driving 87 and 99) was car camping at Rock Crossing and also kayak camping at Blue Ridge reservoir.

I didn't take my better camera, just the little waterproof Fujifilm, so the images suffer. I really need to get myself a better pocket camera, maybe a Canon Powershot, or a Nikon waterproof.

Day 1: Parked at General Springs cabin. This cabin has been restored to the standard that all the others SHOULD be restored to, lest they fall down pretty quick. The fastest way to destroy a log building (other than by forest fire) is to let it have a leaky roof. I think I am going to write a letter to the Supe. There are volunteers who will do this work. John Azar comes to mind, but there are others as well. (I seem to recall a certain Hazzer did a restoration on one of them, without permission?? Can't remember who. This was quite a few years ago?? Is this person still around? PM me if so.)

I started up the AZT/Fred Haught trail. Didn't meet any hot Freds, alas, but eventually, not far from the washed-out part, I met a backpacker named James, who said it was his very first backpacking trip. He was doing fine with it. Very nice guy. We chatted a while. He gave me good advice about crossing the gully where the bridge washed out.

Once I had settled into hiking with the big pack again, I started feeling happy with the hike, with the terrain, the plants, trees and singing birds. The trail tread was good, and the trail's followability, if that's a word, was easy. Even after the AZT peels off, the Fred trail is easy to follow. This kind of surprised me, as I seem to recall reading that route-finding skills might be needed. I did have it loaded into my GPS, but didn't need that. I also had the Guthook for the AZT in my cell phone, which I peeked at occasionally. The pack wasn't too bad, less than 30 pounds, but not much less. Water is heavy, and I did carry some. I don't have the SUL thing quite dialed in, though. But I do have a Nemo Hornet 2, a sub 2 pound freestanding tent, so la-di-da!

Meeting James on his first trip made me think. I don't know how many backpacking trips I have done, but the first one was about 49 years ago, in the spring of 1971, as I recall, with my good friend Ray (who is still my friend). We went to Alder Canyon in Anza-Borrego. That trip resulted in many blisters on my feet, plus bruises on my hips and shoulders, but I couldn't wait to go again. At that time I had a Camp Trails blaze orange aluminum frame backpack, a Sierra Designs sleeping bag, and a Svea white gas stove. I was 18, if I have the date right. (It might be 48 years/1972/19 years old. Ray doesn't remember, either.)

Meanwhile, back on the Fred trail, I reached the place where the bridge is washed out. It was not difficult to follow the "hiker workaround" to cross it. After hiking around 8 miles, I made camp across the creek from the Pinchot Cabin. This cabin is in dire need of a new roof. If a roof is not installed, the cabin will rot, and this nice little piece of our heritage will just become a crumbling pile of logs. Please do write to the superintendent about this, and the other cabins. I intend to do so as well.

My camp was very nice and flat, next to the stream. I made my little home in the woods as comfy as possible.

I had brought only a Steripen, which worked fine. It was the first time I had ever tried one. I am not convinced it's such a great thing, however. But it works fine in clear water. I used my cup to fill my Nalgene bottle, so that I wouldn't contaminate the rim of the bottle with untreated water. This is the bad thing about the Steripen. You definitely don't want to dip the bottle into the creek, and then use the pen in it. You have to have one container you are willing to contaminate, in order to fill the one you are going to treat. I carefully poured water from my cup into the bottle, then treated it. I wasn't worried about the metal cup, because I would not be using it until I cooked dinner in it, killing any germs. I'm thinking about getting a different water treatment. I have one of those squeeze bag things, don't like it. I have a Katadyn, which is big and heavy, I use for kayak trips. I have an old Hiker Pur, too heavy as well. How about an MSR miniworks? Any recommendations?

I spent the afternoon playing my ukulele, singing badly, and reading a memoir about bicycling across the US. I have Kindle loaded onto my phone, and it always serves me well on camping trips. I fell asleep about 7, and didn't get up until 6 a.m. This is a very long sleep for me! I slept great.

Day 2: I lazed about camp, and as I recall, I didn't get started hiking the second day until about 9 a.m. or so. First, I walked back over near the cabin, and got onto the Houston Brothers Trail. I had in mind I would check out McFarland Spring as a possible camping spot, but when I got there, it was too early in the day, and I had not covered enough ground. I reasoned I might be dry camping that night, so I filled up my bottles, making my pack a bit heavy, and waddled on. There was one cabin I passed that didn't have a sign with a name for it. It was at Aspen Spring, as I recall. It also is being left to rack and ruin, although at least it has a metal roof. There are so many people with skills who would love to volunteer time to fix these cabins, it just boggles my mind it hasn't been done. There are people with pack mules who would help bring supplies in, just for the fun of it.

There was another backpacker camping at Aspen Spring. I had seen him pass my camp the evening before. We never did speak. I saw him a total of 3 times, always at a distance.

I passed a couple of day hikers, going the opposite direction. We stopped to chat briefly. They were car camping near Pinchot Cabin. I didn't see anyone else the rest of the day.

Eventually, the Houston Brothers trail leaves the riparian area and starts cutting across the grain of the land. So, you go up and down and up and down and up and down. Uhhhhhhh. And up and down and up and down... Not having a topo map (both my and my daughter's printers are on the blink) but only the GPS route, I had a hard time really visualizing what was coming up. I just figured I had better hike at least 6 miles or more. I passed the junction with the Barbership Trail. Since Covid-19 is happening, I am doing my own hairdressing, (with frightening results), so I opted out of looking for a haircut, and soldiered on along the Houston Bros. trail.

I'd stopped earlier to treat a blister. I was tired, it was kind of hot, and I decided, around 2 p.m. or so, to look for a flat spot with lots of shade to camp. I ended up in a copse of Gambel Oaks, a place where elk had bedded down, next to a fenced-off area. There are a number of these areas, fenced to keep the elk and cattle out, to allow the land to recover. It was not a great campsite, but I made do. I saw no one else that day. It was really early, but I was tired. I kept myself busy, reading, writing in my notebook, and scaring the bears away with my singing and playing the uke.

Little did I know, if I had only hiked up another small hill I would have found a much better campsite. Oh, well. I made that place work for me.

Day 3: I have a peculiar form of insomnia. I wake up at 2 or 3 a.m., and cannot get back to sleep. This actually serves me well on camping trips if I want an early start, and I did. I got up at 3 a.m., set up my Luci Lite, donned my headlamp, and started taking the camp down, making coffee, etc. I didn't hurry. I read a bit, drinking my coffee, and by the time I was ready to go, I could see my feet without the headlamp on. I started hiking at 5 a.m. I reached Road 300 near 6 a.m. I had thought there might be a portion of what @Jim_H calls the "Generally Crooked Trail" to follow, but I did not see it. I walked along the road. Very soon I saw Milepost 16. I was also seeing lots of great views. I saw no vehicles at all for some time, not even people camping. About Mile 14 I noticed that the Crook Trail was paralleling the road, so I walked on it. It has recently been worked with a little machine in that section, one of those mini-tractors, I'd guess. Soon, it crossed 300, went along for a bit, but then led back to 300 and disappeared. Eventually I ran into a big crew of people from Arizona Conservation Corps, out of Flagstaff, who are working on the trail. They directed me to a new section of it that goes toward General Springs Cabin. They were working that section with hand tools. I complimented them on their work.

The ACC camp was set up at General Springs Cabin area, which was where Wanda the Honda (2006 CR-V) was waiting for me. As always, at the end of a hike, I just want to go home and take a shower. So, I did.

Yes, and of course, I now want to go back and do the other half of the Cabin Loop, to include the U-Bar and Barbershop trails. I may start at the north end for that loop. I am not sure when I'll have time to do it, but I'm hoping to go in August or September.

Thanks to all who posted info and GPS tracks for this hike. I hope my rambling essay is helpful as well.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
2 archives
Jul 04 2020
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
O'Leary PeakFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking10.35 Miles 2,208 AEG
Hiking10.35 Miles   5 Hrs   46 Mns   2.52 mph
2,208 ft AEG   1 Hour   40 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a good one to do on a busy holiday weekend. As far as I could tell, only one other hiker went to the summit, and possibly a couple of trail runners did as well, before I got there. I started hiking at 6:15 or so. This hike can be hot, but it had rained the day before, and it was quite cool. It never got very warm until I was halfway down, but by then it was late morning.

The woman working the fire tower wanted to chat, but said that even with masks she wasn't allowed to have visitors inside the tower this year. Understandable. So she stayed on her perch and I stayed on the ground, and we chatted.

The views are great. Sunset Crater, the peaks, the long views to the south and east.

This is the longest hike I've done since hiking Humphreys Peak in August a couple of years ago. My left foot and both hips were a bit achy, but not to the point of real pain. I'll need to rest the foot for a few days, ride my bike instead.
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_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jul 01 2020
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
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 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Clear Creek ReservoirNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Kayak avatar Jul 01 2020
azbackpackr
Kayak6.28 Miles
Kayak6.28 Miles   3 Hrs   12 Mns   2.23 mph
      23 Mns Break
 
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This is always a nice paddle, but these days the place is so well-known, it's better to go on a weekday. I was surprised when I got there to find it now costs $7 for a day pass, ($15 for camping) and the parking lot is paved! I really didn't mind paying. If Winslow wants to take better care of their facilities, and needs extra funds for that, I'm all for it. It has always been kind of shabby at the parking lot and also at the campground. More about the grafitti later...

It wasn't one of those perfectly windless days, which lend themselves to mirror reflections of the cliffs in the water. There was a breeze, but not an onerous one.

I wasn't sure, with my new sea kayak, how it would be getting all the way to the bitter end of the floatable water, where you can start hiking. But I did. This boat is fiberglass, so you really don't want a lot of abrasion and scratches, but I delicately avoided (most of) the underwater rocks in the upper end. I didn't go hiking on up. As before, I just wasn't prepared for it, although this time I was wearing Chacos, which are not slippery. I walked up a short distance.

When I got back down to the parking area, I considered paddling past there, on down to the dam and back up again, but it had become hot, crowded and a bit windy, so I left that for another day. It's actually better to do that part first. Next time I plan on getting there at the crack of dawn. Better conditions and fewer people.

About the grafitti: If you've been here before, you've seen all the painted rocks, especially by where people swim. In the summer of 2018, at the AZT festival in Flagstaff, I talked to people from Natural Restorations, that nonprofit group dedicated to removing grafitti, about the problem at East Clear Creek reservoir. They seemed interested, and asked me to send photos. Well, I didn't get around to sending photos until the following March. They responded right away, and they were still interested. But I didn't hear from them again until January 17 of this year when I received the following email: "I just wanted to let you know that we have not forgotten about this project, it just took us a REALLY long time to find the property owner. I just got off the phone with the property owner and they are very excited about our help on the project and will give us permission. We need to get up there in the next month or two to measure the square footage of graffiti to start planning for the project and hopefully getting funding from REI again this year to tackle the project. Thanks again for reaching out to us about it and sending a picture!"

Well, we all know what happened to lots of projects after January of this year. The grafitti is still there. I may reach out to them, to let them know I'm paying attention. And as you have read, the property the grafitti is on does not belong to the city of Winslow, so they probably can't do much about the painting.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jun 29 2020
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
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67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Salt River - New Kayak upstream and down, AZ 
Salt River - New Kayak upstream and down, AZ
 
Kayak avatar Jun 29 2020
azbackpackr
Kayak5.60 Miles
Kayak5.60 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I went down to the Valley on Monday, can you believe that? I didn't have time to visit all of you, sorry. I was buying a kayak from a friend. I saw the ad on Craigslist, I emailed to inquire about it, and it turned out I knew the guy, Bob, and his wife pretty well, having been on a number of kayak trips with them. The boat is an Impex Montauk 16-foot fiberglass sea kayak. This one has no rudder, but a skeg instead. Having no rudder will help me to improve and learn various skills such as edging turns, rolls, etc. This is my 3rd sea kayak, but the first without a rudder. Rudders are nice, but they also make you lazy. You can get away with not knowing some key skills that are good to have. The storage capacity in the Montauk isn't much better than my 15'3" Necky Eliza. But I've always done fine on long trips using backpacking gear in my boats. My main interest with this boat is to start improving my skills. The problem in Arizona is finding instruction. There are some whitewater people around, but they usually don't know the Greenland rolls or other sea kayak skills. In fact, most of them have never heard of Greenland style. I may just have to watch a lot of videos and go out and try stuff.

Here's what we did for the trial run: We paddled UP the Salt River, from Granite Reef to Phon D Sutton. Bob is an old whitewater dude, so he has a big skill set. We eddied and ferried and eddied and ferried up, all the while he was explaining to me how the boat can actually find a sweet spot ferrying up the current, and just glide up without a lot of effort. Then we got to that little bitty rapid just below where the Verde comes in. He showed me several times how to surf up a little wave around some rocks, into the next eddy. I just couldn't seem to get it, the current would catch my bow, and around I'd go, swinging downstream into the rapid. I tried it several times. He said my angle was off a bit. Then I crossed the river there, and tried to eddy up on that side, but there was no eddy there. So, I sort of gave up, and we turned around and paddled back to Granite Reef. He said most people he takes upriver don't make it as far as I did, so that made me feel a little better.

He also showed me an area of shoreline he had been working on for a long time to get rid of the giant cane, which is invasive. He talked about the Forest Service and Game and Fish doing tamarisk and pink snail eradication. We spent time removing pink snail egg cases. He said if everyone who came down the river just spent 15 minutes scraping those things off with their paddles it would make a big difference, although he was pleased that there weren't very many on this day. He said that at one point he was trying to convince the Forest Service to have stewards for short sections of river, to remove the cane, snails, tamarisk, etc. He said if you cut the cane about 6 times with a hedge trimmer it loses its root energy, and eventually will not come up again. The one place he had worked on had very little. He said that last year he had made some progress with the cumbersome federal and state agencies, but then the Covid came, and kind of shut everything down.

It was a great day, fun, not too hot, very instructive, and I went home with the Montauk. I don't have a name for it yet. I'll listen to suggestions. The boat is red and white. I thought of Ibis, because there is a Scarlett Ibis, but it doesn't feel quite right.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
2 archives
Jun 27 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Little Bear Trail #112Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking8.76 Miles 1,246 AEG
Hiking8.76 Miles   5 Hrs   37 Mns   2.41 mph
1,246 ft AEG   1 Hour   59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Little Bear is my new favorite trail in this area. Great views, incredible variety of plants in the Shultz Fire burn area (10 years ago this month), plus there's some old growth forest along the route at at the top of the trail. It's not super crowded early on a Saturday. I saw one trail runner on my way up. I started about 6 a.m. I parked as close to the junction of Little Bear and Little Elden as I could, on Shultz Pass Road, and bushwhacked through the woods to get to the trail. I didn't want to bother with the Little Elden Trail, as I had hiked along it the day before.

On the way down, hours later, I saw 3 mountain bikers and two gorgeous Arabian horses with their riders. All were super polite and friendly. The mountain bikers saw the horses before I did, and alerted me and another cyclist, and we all got off the trail to let them by. So, everything was working the way it is supposed to, as far as who is yielding to whom.

Lots of flowers, and developing berries, such as serviceberry, Blueberry Elder, and blackberries.

Once I was up on the Sunset Trail there were a lot of mountain bikers. I had thought I might hike up to the top of the ridge to the junction with the Heart Trail, but will save that for another day, preferably a weekday. Again, the mountain bikers were very polite and friendly, but you do have to watch for them bombing downhill, and coming around blind corners, and it takes a bit of the peacefulness out of the hike, for me. I do feel they have a right to be there. I myself would be doing that kind of riding if I were capable. (I just do easier rides.) But I am also glad there are trails where they aren't allowed, such as in national parks.

Anyway, I really like Little Bear Trail. 5 stars!
Culture
Culture
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Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Jun 26 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Little Elden Trail #69Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking3.24 Miles 601 AEG
Hiking3.24 Miles   1 Hour   53 Mns   2.34 mph
601 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had planned to hike up the Little Bear Trail, but I went only a short distance up it. (I ended up hiking it the next day.) So, this was kind of a scouting trip. I decided that when I came back I would park on the road much closer to where the Little Bear Trail goes up the mountain, instead of doing the long traverse on the Little Elden Trail.

I was astonished on this hike, and on the next day's hike at how many kinds of plants there are in the Shultz Fire burn area after 10 years. The biodiversity of plant life is amazing.

There are a lot of Blueberry Elder bushes in flower, pretty spectacular, and the berries are edible later in the season. Serviceberries were forming as were blackberries.
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Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jun 24 2020
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Slate Mountain Trail #128Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2020
azbackpackr
Hiking4.71 Miles 871 AEG
Hiking4.71 Miles   2 Hrs   41 Mns   2.23 mph
871 ft AEG      34 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It's a bit of a drive from Doney Park for this little hike, but I had done it only once before, four years ago. I was early enough so that it wasn't unpleasantly warm hiking up. It was quite warm hiking down. I saw two other hikers coming up.

The views of the Peaks, and especially of Kendrick, are really great. Another nice thing about the hike is that it wraps all the way around the mountain, so that you get different views as you hike up.

On the summit, I saw smoky haze, but not definite smoke from the Mangum Fire, way over there on the North Rim. I could see the rim, and Siegfried Pyre stood out clearly. I didn't have a good camera with me (again) so I couldn't get a clear photo of it, so far away.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
average hiking speed 2.02 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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