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577 triplogs
Nov 02 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Trans Supes hike, AZ 
Trans Supes hike, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking25.00 Miles 5,100 AEG
Hiking25.00 Miles
5,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners 8 partners
agendron
deserttarheel
hike az
Hoffmaster
nonot
tahoemike
te_wa
wallyfrack
Just got back last night from doing the first half of this trip, that was enough for me. Day One we started at Miles Ranch TH and hiked West Pinto, Campaign, Fireline to Reavis Ranch. Myself, Wally, Nonot, Agendron and desert tarheel made the side trip to Circlestone. my GPS counted 11.2 miles for the first day and 3300' AEG. Circlestone was very interesting and the views up there were some of the best I've seen in the Supes. Four Peaks, Two Bar Mtn, and even Lost Dutchman state park were prominent.

Day Two was 13.8 miles and 1800' AEG. Myself, Wally, Agendron and Hoffmaster went north and took Frog Tanks Trail to Angel Basin. For all the bad things I heard about this trail, it really wasn't nearly as bad as billed. The catclaw is there but hardly is thick enough that you can't avoid it. The trail is very easy to follow throughout and the majority of the hike is downhill into the canyon. The views throughout were also very good. Even when you into the canyon, looking up the adjacent canyon and the huge hoodoo-like rock formations were very nice. The last 1.5 miles were rough, with a lot of crossing the creek and river rock, and alot of up and down hikng on either side. At the end of it I was ready to move on, but this trail is very much worth doing.

Wally was the first one out to Angel Basin at 2:30pm and the rest of the group had been and gone, leaving us a note. He went on a caught up to them so that Kurt could get his beer from my truck, as I was the slowest hiker and wouldn't make there before they would want to leave in order to have enough daylight to get to Reeds Water. I gave Wally my keys to facilitate this. Hoffmaster and Agendron went down Fish Creek to get water as Agendron was running low. they both overtook me by the time we got to Angel Basin and made their way up to Tortilla Pass. When I got to Tortilla Pass, they were both there waiting for me and asked if they could have the extra water in my truck and were thinking they would spend the nite at Woodbury. they then proceeded down to Woodbury. I got in radio contact with Wally and found that he had caught up with the group and arrived at Woodbury. they had all decided to spend the night there and divy up the water, including all the melted ice for Kurt's beer. Mike (I think) left a bright red note tied to a century plant across a wash crossing announcing: "ALERT! Everyone proceed to Woodbury TH. Change in plan. EVERYONE." I ran out of daylight before reaching Woodbury and ended up losing the trail by the windmill area. I was able to follow my GPS to get me going in the right direction without wandering aimlessly, but I couldnt see too far and kept running into brush, prickly pears, cholla, washes and ravines, etc. Wally had his radio turned off but finally decided to turn it on. I asked him to go to the top of the hill with his lamp so I could use it as a beacon. After a few more minutes, I found the jeep road and was at woodbury, done for the day. everyone was set up for camp, eating, resting, and having some beers. I ran out of water halfway down the JF Trail from Tortilla Pass and took one my 32oz propels I put in my cooler. I handed out the other one and 3 extra cokes to everyone. Afterwards Wally and I proceeded to Jack in the Box to replenish.

The group is planning to proceed to Reeds Water today for water and then camp at LaBarge Spring. Wally will hike into there from First Water today and finish the hike with them after spending a night in civilization. Me, I'm done. I'm still limping with blisters on my feet and eating ibuprofens like candy. Great time, but I'm glad I'm done.
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1 archive
Oct 21 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Hawes Trail SystemPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 21 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking13.00 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   2.36 mph
400 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Started this hike early at 7:42 am as a final training hike for the Trans-Supes hike. The goal was hike with a full backpack as training and also to finish up trails and sections of trails that I haven�t done yet in this area. I finished what I planned and what was on the Beartooth map, but also found a few more trails not on the maps. One trail at the southwest corner of the Hawes Pass area goes directly south into the Las Sendas subdivision. It�s a very easy, level trail mainly for residents. After that we took the Hawes Trail, running along the south boundary, all the way to the east corner and up to the tower, ending at the service road. The views on the top are very nice, but this can also be achieved by a ride up on the service road. On the way up (over 1000�) we saw a trail that turns south along Usery Mt. above the subdivision. We decided to save this for another time. After hiking back down, we took a different route back to the trailhead, doing a total of 11.8 miles for the day. I felt much better than the week before, probably due to the trails being easier and the weather cooler.

We did have an unfortunate run in at the start with a rather ignorant and rude mountain biker. We had been hiking about 10 min. when this biker was coming in the opposite direction. We both were approaching a bend in the trail and he start to speed up to get around it before I did and made no effort whatsoever to yield the trail. On top of that, he was yelling something at me as he passed by and brushed me. Once he passed us, he stopped and said that the trails there are mainly for bikers and that I was supposed to yield the trail. I said , �Bikers yield to hikers�. He repeated that the trails were mainly for bikers and that I needed to learn the rules. I have never heard of any trails where hikers are supposed to yield to bikers. Especially ones maintained by the National Forest Service, as this was in the Tonto. I have seen on maps for county parks tracks that are dedicated exclusively for bikers, but no hikers are allowed on those at all. I found it really unbelievable that this guy would take the stance that the rules were the opposite of what is known as common trail etiquette, not to mention how he attempted to bump me off the trail while carrying a full pack. Other than that unfortunate incident, the hike did go very well.
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1 archive
Oct 14 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Soldier Camp/Cane Springs Loop, AZ 
Soldier Camp/Cane Springs Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking13.50 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   1.59 mph
2,200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
agendron
I did this hike with Agendron as a training hike for big Trans-Supes in November. I put on as close to a full pack as I could put together. I think the temperature must have hit the 90's because it was pretty hot. I took 6 liters of water and drank all of it with a mile left to hike. I am now have serious doubts of my ability to do the Trans-Supes hike because doing two 16 mile hikes on consecutive days seems inconcievable right now. Hopefully the weather will be cooler for that hike, but my feet were also hurting quite alot by the end. This hike was made much more challenging than it would normally be by my taking a full pack and the higher temps.

The views of 4Peaks were very nice, especially the closer we got. Lots of nice views of the Superstitions, 4Peaks, McDowells/Fountain Hills, etc. The last portion of this hike is on the 4WD FR401, which gains and loses elevation quite a few times, which makes the end portion rather grueling.

Agendron is from France and has been here only 6 months. He's been up to Humphrey's Peak and the bottom of the Canyon (as a day hike) so he can hang pretty well. He seems interested in the Trans-Supes hike. On the ride out he said he hadn't ever seen a rattlesnake. Today he saw not only that but a coyote for the first time on the ride back to 87.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
_____________________
1 archive
Sep 02 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Parsons Trail #144Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking7.40 Miles 356 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   5 Hrs      1.48 mph
356 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
wallyfrack
Did this one with Wally. Temps were cooler than Phoenix, with the shade and breezes helping. We kept looking in the caves for ruins but couldn't make any out. Saw a small black rattlesnake about half way up and a couple centipedes. Not too many people along the trail.
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Aug 26 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Charles M. Christiansen Trail #100Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking13.73 Miles 350 AEG
Hiking13.73 Miles   6 Hrs      2.29 mph
350 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did this hike with some former coworkers who are training to a Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike in October as a day hike. We started at 6am at Dreamy Draw and hiked over to 7th Ave/North Mt. and back, for a total of 14 miles. The clouds early on helped keep the heat down so it wasnt too hard on us. We started with 5 people but by the last 3 miles 2 dropped out. The one lady was wearing sandals and they started to blister the back of her ankles pretty badly, and her knee was apparently also bothering her. My former boss made a phone call and got his girlfriend to pick them up by Cave Creek Road. The rest of us continued on to our cars, wrapping up at noon. I haven't hiked this area in about 5 years, and after getting buzzed by some rude mountain bikers, I now remember why.
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Aug 12 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Hawes Pass - Lead Trail, AZ 
Hawes Pass - Lead Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking6.80 Miles 445 AEG
Hiking6.80 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   2.47 mph
445 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
wallyfrack
This hike is listed on the Beartooth map as the Lead trail. I wasn't sure how to pronounce it (leed or led) until we got there. From all the empty bullet casings, shot up signs, clay pigeons, bottles, hot water tank, etc, it was clear its Lead (as in Led Zep). Its basically an out and back from the Bush Hwy to Usery Pass Rd. On the way back I found an actual spent bullet, complete with rifles grooves on the side and gash in the front. Wally and I also spotted a dead dog. We could smell it before we saw it. From the way the wind was blowing we knew which way to look and saw it about 15 yards off the trail. All that was left was a spine and ribcage and one leg, mosly all picked clean. The head, however, was fully intact. pretty gruesome looking. To me it looked like a pit bull, which makes it even more suspicious sitting out in a remote area like that. On the way back we also a couple helicopters flying over to Usery Park. I guess a couple hikers there got in trouble. There was a storm threatening to the east for the entire hike, but it never hit us. There was alot of lightning in it, so it was probably just as well, although the rain would have been nice to cool us off a bit. No pics on this hike, it would just be more of the same from my last two recent visits here this summer. Except for the dead dog, and I don't think anyone really wants to see that.
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1 archive
Jul 22 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Twisted Sister - Upper & LowerPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 22 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking5.50 Miles 472 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   2.00 mph
472 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This trail is listed on the Beartooth Map as the Upper and Lower Twisted Sister Trail. It goes the north side of the Usery Mts. and then back down to the Bush Hwy. Nice views of Four Peaks, downtown Phx, Red Mountain. There are also a few mining shafts that have been filled in. Nothing eventful other than surviving another 100+ degree day while hiking.
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Jul 07 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Peter's CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking5.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.00 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
gblunt
wallyfrack
For this hike it was four of us: me, Wally, gblunt, and my friend Ted. We started at 8am, following the shortcut that Wally knows from the time he did this hike. We started his shortcut, but then lost the trail over the hill, and decided to just go down to the wash, which looked much clearer and less of a bushwhack than going further up the hill. The way in was fairly easy, the heat not having set in yet as it was still early in the day. There were a lot of breezes that flew through the canyons that helped a lot with cooling us off.

The beginning part of Peter's Canyon had the boulders to climb over, which presented us a challenge. It was very interesting at first, but soon got warisome with the heat. I bailed early on the bouldering before the rest of the group and cheated, taking the trail on the left side, which at times didn't seem much easier.

By the time we got to the first cave, I was completely soaked in sweat. I cooled off a little, got some water, and then we headed to the second cave, which was little anti-climactic, as it was not as big as the first one.

The hike back out was a lot tougher than going in, since the heat was in full force. Plus, the miles of walking over river rock was also taking its toll on our feet. I couldn't tell which was burning more, my neck or my feet. Luckily, Wally was able to locate the shortcut on the way back, which probably saved us close to a half hour hiking time. By the time I was done, I drank all of a 100oz camelbak bladder plus a 34 oz bottle to refill, and five 17oz bottles of Propel. The GPS said 4.79 miles, and after downloading the track, my computer said 5.31 miles. It seems like 5 miles is the overall distance to with on this one in terms of what we hiked, shortcuts and extra walking included.

When we got back to the car, we were all very spent, and all out of water. We stopped at Tortilla Flat for lunch, which was good for the AC as well as the lunch and extra fluids. It made the drive back easier to handle. This was a great hike to see the caves, experience some off trail hiking, and for the experience of pushing our limits in the heat. Very much worth the overall experience.
_____________________
Jul 05 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 05 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking5.00 Miles 2,398 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.25 mph
2,398 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a nice hike to escape the heat the rest of AZ was experiencing. Even in Flagstaff the day before it was in the 90s. Up at the 9000� level, however, it was much cooler. The cloud cover that came over that day also helped keep the temps down a little. I decided to take a double jogger stroller for this one, so as to avoid having both my wife and I each carry one of our kids. Once you get up to the Waterline Trail, which is basically a service road, the hike is very easy. Getting up to there from Lockett Meadow, however, was very challenging. The trail is much wider than most trails, but it is steep and rocky enough to make pushing a stroller uphill with two 30+ lb kids a lot of work. It was only 1.5 miles up there, but it took over an hour to do it. Once we got to the Waterline trail, we walked another very easy mile, and then headed back. The views on the Waterline trail are still very nice, although not as nice as if you head up to the Inner Basin. It turned out to be a good workout for me, a nice escape from the heat, and a nice way to keep the kids in touch with the outdoors.
_____________________
Jun 24 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Hawes Trail SystemPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking13.00 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   6.00 mph
400 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This area is referred to as the Hawes Pass area in the Beartooth map of the municipal and county parks in the Metro Phoenix area. Its the undeveloped area where Power Road turns into the Bush Highway. Before finding this particular Beartooth map, I never knew there were trails here. I believe that most of them are fairly new. There is some development bordering it to the south, but the views to the north of Red Mountain and off towards Four Peaks and beyond make the area worth a visit. At times there are also very good views of Camelback Mt. and the Estrellas far to the west. I particularly like this area since it's a short drive to my house and I haven't yet done all the trails here. There are enough loops here to make it possible to do a short hike, which is necessary when hiking in June-August.

I decided to do this hike to finish a few of the trail sections I hadn't yet done, and to try to condition myself to the heat some more in preparation for my July 7 hike to Peter's Cave/Peralta Headquarters (?). I had my route planned out and the mileage on the map added up to 6.4 miles. After I had finished, the GPS said 5.1, and on my computer after downloading the track it said 4.7. I'm going split the difference and go with 5.1 as my official distance. I started the hike at 1:18pm, right at the heat of the day and finished at 3:27pm. I saw no one else on the trails while hiking up there, but it did seem like some people were hiking along down by the river. Nothing eventful happened other than the 110 degree heat. Most of the trails are fairly level, so it wasn't that difficult. The fruit on the saguaros is almost ripe. I tried one but it wasn't very sweet yet. There were still quite a few that weren't picked clean by the birds, so that usually means they need another week or so.
_____________________
Jun 03 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Woodchute Trail #102Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 03 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking7.10 Miles 741 AEG
Hiking7.10 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.03 mph
741 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wally and I and my friend Ted did this hike last week. We did it as an out and back from the Potato Patch campground off of 89A. We hiked out to the meadow at the edge of the top area of Woodchute Mt. before it descends down to the other trailhead. We turned around right where the barbed wire fence it with the two consecutive gates to open. The weather was warm but still much cooler than the 104 degrees forecast for Phx. Lots of pines throughout most of the hike, which also made it nice to escape the desert for a little while.

The only thing of note that happened what the false start we got off to thinking we were at the trailhead when we were almost a mile away. About a half mile in from 89A there is a parking lost, restroom, and huge sign that says "WOODCHUTE TRAILHEAD". This is NOT the traihead. We started hiking up the dirt road to the trailhead and expected that to soon fade away into a trail. After a quarter mile we saw some cars driving out. After about 10 min, we saw a small sign that said "Woodchute Trailhead, 1/2 mile". My GPS said we only did .27 miles, so I went back to get my car and take it to the real trailhead. Ted and Wally forged on ahead and waited for me to arrive and we took it from there. This should be signed better so as to eliminate the confusion.
_____________________
May 13 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Kings Canyon TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 13 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking7.40 Miles 1,837 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   1.56 mph
1,837 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Wally and I hiked up to Wasson Peak via the King Canyon trail, returning via Hugh Norris and Esperanza in the east unit of Saguaro National park. At the trailhead, both the King Canyon trail and the Gould Mine trail start. A board with a map that shows all the trails in the park is about 200' up the King Canyon trail (why is this not at the trailhead?). There is also a trail register, which revealed that Pope Benedict XVI had just hiked there the day before. Funny that wasn't on the news.

We took King Canyon and worked our way up to the Mam-ah-Gah Picnic area. At this point, we actually got off the trail for a bit and went into the wash. Fortunately, not too farther up, the trail crosses the wash again and is clearly marked with a big metal trail marker.

From the Mam-ah-Gah picnic area to the junction with the Sweetwater trail, there were more saguaros, which were all in full bloom, making for a lot of nice pics. On the way up, the Sweetwater trail was very prominent across the valley, cut into the hillside and looking similar to the mid section of the Reavis Ranch north 109 just north of Castle Dome. At the Sweetwater junction, increasing views of Tucson and Mt. Lemmon were possible, although not very good due to the position of the sun and hazy weather.

From Sweetwater up to Wasson Peak, we began to notice the first of many abandoned mine shafts that were sectioned off with barbed wire, rebar, etc, all of which were tampered with to allow access if you wanted to enter. We did not. By the time we got to the peak, the weather was beginning to get hot, but not too bad. Just below the peak, we began to notice commercial jets flying into the airport just over the peak. Seems like every time Wally and I hike, we're getting buzzed by airplanes (see my triplog on Superstition Peak 5057 on 3/18/07). Once we got up to the peak, however, no planes came by until just after we left. Bad timing, or not. From the peak it was possible to see a lot more of the trails throughout the park, as well as mountain ranges all around. We picked out Picacho Peak to the north, but not anything much farther.

On the way down on Hugh Norris and Esperanza, we noticed a lot more abandoned mines. The biggest one was just before the junction of Esperanza and the Gould mine trail. A huge grate was over the shaft, allowing us to see in, but a barbed wire fence was all around it. There was also some small structure there built from rocks, almost like a little house. We noticed another one of these down by the picnic area that seemed to have a pit that was covered inside and wondered if it was used for mining. After seeing a trail marker that has the word "Restrooms" blacked out, it became apparent what this second structure was.

The real adventure on this hike began when it ended, as we tried to get home on I-10. an accident occurred south of Picacho just before we started our drive back. After sitting for a bit in traffic, I called my wife to update me with what the ADOT website said. At first it said closed from 1:30pm-2:30pm. At 2:40pm we were still sitting so I called again and the website said closed from 1:30pm-5pm. Time to bail. We turned around on I-10 across the median and headed back to Tucson. The traffic was already beginning to back up on the nearest exits going the opposite way from all the others who bailed. We ended up going all the way down to Ina Road and taking 77 and 79 back up to phoenix (mesa), after a couple stops at gas stations to find our way. There were also several frustrating stops at all except one traffic light and a particularly excruciating wait for a southbound mile long train that we first saw pass us while we sat on the highway. I think the total time it cost extra was only about an hour and a half to two hours, but at times it seemed like more. On the way up 79 I called my wife again at about 4:30 and the website said I-10 was closed until 5:45pm. Good call to bail. Later that night it said Ina Road was detoured for the I-10 closure, so it seems like something big occurred there, although I never found anything online or in the news.
Culture
Culture
Reference Mark
_____________________
Apr 29 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Cuff Button Trail #276Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking6.20 Miles 1,026 AEG
Hiking6.20 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   1.13 mph
1,026 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Grasshopper
topohiker
Hiked the eastern half of the Cuff Button Trail with The Grasshopper and his friend Ken. We had two vehicles, Grasshopper in his Jeep and me in my Xterra. We communicated by our walkie talkies since the trip to the "trailhead" is just as much an adventure, if not more so, than the actual hike itself.

To do this hike from the eastern end, it requires taking FR287 up to FR305, making a left and driving to where the road tends to fade away into a trail. After that, drive another half a mile and the "trailhead" has parking for about 3 cars, max. I drove FR305 just under 3 years ago doing this trail as a shuttle hike from the Miles Ranch TH. At that time, my friend and I drove back on FR305 as far as we could with only two 2WD 4-cyl. vehicles. Since it had been so long since I was out there, I had some troubles remembering where to turn at times. On top of that, the area has changed somewhat. I thought that the two gates you pass thru were on FR287, but it turns out they're on FR305. Besides that, the one gate has been removed and a nice new cattle guard has been placed there and the second gate was already open. Before we turned onto FR305, I decided to go straight and thru a gate right ahead of us. Taking that road took me right into Horrell Ranch amongst cows, horses, and a pen of very annoyed barking dogs. I decided to turn around quickly and radio The Grasshopper not to follow me in before someone walked out with a shotgun.

We drove down FR305 and made a right turn at an intersection after I had decided to go straight. Grasshopper had done some research on Kanode's website to know which way to go. I did not. After a ways down FR305, the trees and bushes began to creep into the road more and more causing the dreaded Arizona pinstriping. For Grasshopper, this is no issue at all. For my vehicle being less than a year old, it is somewhat an issue, but I bought this car for these kind of trips and I used to get AZ pinstriping on my old Amigo and after a few coats of wax, the scratches do buff out. After letting me know this was the right way to go, I was surprised to hear Grasshopper's friend ask me on the radio, "Are you sure this is the road?" Yes, I did remember at some point on FR305 you look for tire tracks the way you look for footprints on a faint trail.

At one point we encountered the first section where the branch jutting into the road was rather formidable. A scratch from this could cause serious paint damage and maybe even more. Fortunately, I had my collapsible hand-saw that I use for yardwork with me. The blade is pretty thick and has two rows of teeth, so its pretty formidable itself and cuts thru most branches like they're made of butter. We spent a few minutes pruning that section of the tree obstructing the road and were on our way.

Since I had made it out and back on FR305 with a 2WD 4-cyl. 3 years earlier, I decided to keep my car in 2WD as long as I could. That worked pretty well until I got to a point where a drainage/stream crossed the road and I got stuck in it. My back wheel was right behind 3 big rocks and the car stalled out. When I got out to look, the rocks had knocked off the front splash guard. As I began to remove the rocks, Grasshopper asked me a few questions about why I got stuck and advice on how to avoid it again. That's when I told him:

"Well, I'm not in 4-wheel yet."
"WHAT??!! WHY?!! I've been in 4-wheel since we got on the dirt road. That's bad for your drive train to do that. Put it in 4WD!"
"Yeah, you're right. What's a drive train?"

After immediately switching over to 4WD for the remainder of the drive in, crawling over the rocks and wash crossings was extremely easier. I needed Grasshopper's help to spot me in certain places that get me nervous that I'll roll it. Much of the wash and stream areas have very uneven areas where its very narrow to drive thru with steep drop offs. Once section had a choice of a very narrow section on sand that was about 3 feet up or the section adjacent to that that had huge river rock all thru it. After the junction of FR305 and FR306, we encountered a big tree branch across the "road". I walked over with my handy-dandy hand saw and began cutting. Within about 10 min. we had the 1' diameter branch cut and moved out of the way. The Forest Service owes us for all the trimming we did. About 200' further, we parked and finally began the hike.

Grasshopper and Ken did Cuff Button in the last year from Miles Ranch and only got halfway. They had a point marked on a GPS where they got to and their goal was to make it to this point and thereby complete this trail. I had done this trail in its entirety and remember all too well the equal parts of manzanita and catclaw along the portion on the hill. If time allowed, we were planning to hike up FR306 and finish the last half mile of Trail 213 that I never finished in December.

Things went well for the first 2 miles (?) or so in the wash. Lots of shade, moderate temps, nice scenery. Grasshopper brought a new pair of clippers and was (it turns out prematurely) using all his energy clipping the branches. Ken and I were far ahead of a lot of times because of this and we would periodically stop and wait. We found the spot where the stream goes to the southwest at Burro Spring to follow a route that will take you back to Miles Ranch TH if you ever decide to do this as a loop hike from there.

Finally, the trail left the wash and began up the hill. Now the fun part begins. Almost immediately I found a big heavy Motorola walkie talkie with a red "J" painted on it. (If anyone lost this, contact me.) Ken and I got up about a half mile before we decided to stop and wait for Grasshopper. We also got rather tired of pushing thru all the brush. We called a few times and got no response. Finally we remembered that we had our radios and decided to turn it on and were able to talk to him. The manzanita bush was so thick that he thought the trail ended and decided to turn around and go back into the wash. We informed that he was on the right trail and to just push thru the manzanita and the trail would be on the other side. I asked him about his clippers and he said he had already worn his hands out clipping so much in the wash.

Grasshopper soon arrived and we began to make our way up further. The manzanita got thicker and was interspersed with equal parts catclaw. We were all scratched up pretty good. After a while, we lost the trail and ended up in a camping area. We looked a little while for the trail with no luck. Our GPS's said we were about a quarter mile away from Grasshopper and Ken's goal waypoint. After a few minutes, I decided the shade in this camping area was too tempting. I told I was going to take my lunch there and wait while they completed their mission. As I settled in, sat and ate, I could hear them go off to the left and come back, go straight up and come back, etc. It took them about 10 minutes to find the trail again. Grasshopper invited me to come up once they got there. I thought about it and after 15 minutes I called on the radio:

"Did you guys make it up there yet?"
"(very out of breath) Almost. Almost there."

So I waited another 5 minutes.

"Did you guys make it up there yet?"
"(very out of breath) Almost. Almost there."

No way was I going any further. They finally informed me once they got there and took a 20 min. lunch. I started back downhill a few minutes before they did, taking my time. Going back downhill in a few spots it was tricky to stay on the trail, but after some searching, it was findable. They caught up with me at the corral at the end of the wash. From there it was pretty uneventful hike back to the cars and drive back out on FR305. No blisters on my feet at all this time, looks like the new soles on the boots are finally broken in. we finished about 3:30pm (after starting at 10am) so there was no time to explore up FR306. we were also pretty much low on water, also.

On my way back, I made a stop in Superior to gas up at 10 cents less per gallon than in Phoenix, ($2.89, what a bargain!!!). I got home just as the clock struck BEER:30 and ate a nice steak dinner off the grill.
Culture
Culture
Corral
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1 archive
Apr 08 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Pine Creek Loop #280Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking2.55 Miles 452 AEG
Hiking2.55 Miles
452 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did the Pine Creek Loop up off of Highway 87 this last Sunday with my wife and two kids. We had them both in backpacks, since my son can't walk yet and my daughter at 2 is not big enough to do a full hike yet. We started her off walking a little bit, but she quickly got tired and we put her in the pack.

I took a lot of pictures on this hike as the scenery was very nice, but our camera is having problems getting recognized by the computer again, so I had to reformat the card to try to fix it and lost them all. So, sadly, no pics on this one. I did submit a GPS track, that my Delorme programs lists the distance of the loop at 2.56 miles. The GPS said it was 2.45 miles, so maybe this one isn't quite 2.75?

We did the loop counterclockwise starting with the south part first. That makes it much more difficult to start out, especially with a 30 lb. child (+ backpack, + water) up that steep section. My wife, who doesn't hike as much as before we got married and had two kids, was complaining and moving rather slow. Once we got over the pass, it was literally all downhill. Lots of wildflowers. The weather was a bit hazy at times but cleared up by the time we were done. The views into Pine Creek were nice, I was hoping to see some wildlife but no luck. I plan to do the entire Ballantine Trail from the Ballantine TH to the Cline TH as a shuttle hike maybe after the summer. The distance doesn't seem bad but the 3550' climb might be a bit too much at even this time of year.
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Mar 23 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Reavis Ranch via 109 NorthGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking18.60 Miles 2,040 AEG
Hiking18.60 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   1.96 mph
2,040 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is normally done as an overnight backpack trip, but I did it as a day hike. That's unusual, but even more odd than that is that it took me only one more hour to do this than to do Superstition Peak, which I did 5 days earlier. My feet were pretty blistered from that hike, so I was kind of concerned going into this one that my feet wouldnt hold up so well. Turns out everything was fine.

My friend from PA, Ed, made a stop out for this one. Ed is Mr. Extreme Sports and loves all outdoor activities like this and mountain biking, skiiing, kayaking, etc. He's currently traveling across the country for a year doing these types of things and odd jobs along the way to support himself. Two days before we did this hike, he decided to run, not hike, the Grand Canyon. He made it down and up South Kaibab in just over 6 hours. So for this hike, he was pretty sore and stiff from the word "Go".

I woke up that morning at 2:30am, we were out the door at about 4:20am and started hiking at precisely 6:18am. There was one car, some kind of volkwagen, at the trailhead. The weather forecast was 50% chance of rain with a high of 67. it was kind of chilly when we started, so we decided to go with extra clothing to protect from rain, cold,etc. After a few miles, I took off my raincoat. I ended up being soaked most of the hike from sweat from that rather than rain. by our two hour mark, we made to castle dome, which was when I decided to shed the raincoat. within an hour after that, we made it to the junction with the Plow Saddle Trail and saw the rain coming towards us from the southwest. we put the coats back on and began to make our way down Plow Saddle to Frog tanks. by the time we got to the Frog Tanks junction, the rain was gone, not to return. we lucked out on that front to get 15 min. of rain from the 50% forecast. halfway from that junction back to Trail 109, I took the raincoat off again. Of course, 5 min after I took it off, we started to hear thunder again. the rain threatened, but passed over as we made our way to the ranch.

We decided to end the trek in at the junction of 109 and 117 (Reavis Gap). I've been to the ranch twice and saw all there is to see. since this was a long hike to begin with ,I saw no need to prolong it any more than we needed to. it was my son's 1st birthday anyway, and even though the party was the next day, it would be nice to spend some time being Mr. Dad like I should.

Towards the end of the grassland portion of the hike just before castle dome, the trail got very muddy and stayed that way on and off the rest of the way. once we got back on Trail 109, I noticed tracks from the people staying at the ranch making their way back to the trailhead. we must have missed them since we took the Plow Saddle/Frog Tanks way in and 109 out. on the way on 109, we saw about 3-4 groups of people on their way in to spend the weekend. the first group was 4 guys. they said they were spending 2 nights. Ed said he couldnt haul enough beer in for 2 nights. I told him that hikers know to take whiskey instead of beer for the overnighters, that's why its so popular in western lore. just then the one guy in that group tapped the pocket on the strap of his backpack and pointed out his flask, already ready for easy access.

At castle dome we saw about 2-3 more groups of hikers on their way in. I mentioned to Ed that I dont think anyone we saw on their way in appeared to be under 50. the last group all looked to be in their 70s. I hope one day to be a member of that club. Also at that point I felt the first big discomfort in my left foot. the back of my ankle was forming a nice blister and I could feel it. Ed recommended I inspect and take care of it. I did, and after some new moleskin, I was as good as new.

The rest of the hike was ok. the sun came out more, making for some better pics towards the end than on the way in. We finished at about 4pm and stopped at the overlook at the top of Fish Creek Hill so Ed could take some pics. I was very surprised we finished this so quickly and I wasnt very beat up afterwards. I think the hike to superstition peak 5 days earlier helped alot in terms of leg and foot conditioning.
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Mar 18 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 - CarneyPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 18 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking7.80 Miles 3,408 AEG
Hiking7.80 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   0.92 mph
3,408 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
wallyfrack
Just wanted to add to the triplog for the hike up to 5057 I did with Wally yesterday. The mileage is now 7.8 miles due to the extra walk from Peralta Road since the Carney Springs TH is now closed. Very nice hike. The weather was very clear, unlike the day before, which made for some good picture taking. We got off the trail after West boudler saddle, bushwhacked our way up to the ridgeline, where we found it again and stayed on it until we were done. While we were off trail, our trek, oddly enough, followed the same pattern as the trail, which led us to believe that we may have been on a faint trail. we did see cairns in many places. the worst part was the bushwhack up to ridge. Had to fight through alot of holly and manzanita to get there. On the way back, I discovered that we were a mere 20 feet from the actual (and quite obvious) trail before we underwent the off trail adventure.

However, we didn't mind the extra work since it created the perfect timing to get buzzed twice by a WWII fighter plane, probably from Falcon Field. Here's a link to the video I posted on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djKZALXus80

The plane actually seemed alot closer to us than it seems on the video. We were able to make out two people in the cockpit, and I'm pretty sure I saw the one guy wearing a mask of some sort and a pilot hat with earflaps. I just talked with a friend of mine who is a pilot and he told me that what they did was actually illegal. Something about VMC (?) rules and 500' clearance from people, property, etc. Cool to see, though.
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Jan 21 2007
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Two Bar Ridge Trail #119Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   12 Hrs      1.00 mph
2,200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
With the recent rainy, cold weather we got, I got back to thinking about the first photoset I posted on HAZ and noticed that I never posted a triplog for it. I had always meant to write one up but never got around to it. I even forgot that I had posted this photoset, which is one of my personal favorites because of what we encountered. I've never been one to go back and post older hikes, but since this was one of the most memorable hikes I've ever done (and the photoset is already up), I think it's appropriate to make an exception.

I had been meaning to finish the Two Bar Ridge trail for some time. A year or two previous I did the Tule-Two Bar Loop back to the Tule TH. The plan was to do a shuttle hike from Tule to Upper Horrell, taking the Tule Trail to the Two Bar to Reavis Gap and down to the Upper Horrel TH. I needed someone who could provide a 2nd vehicle and also have a 4WD. I hadn't yet utilized HAZ for hiking partners, so I asked my neighbor Marty. This ended up being our first hike together and almost our last.

I think the weather forecast for that day was something like 20% chance of precipitation. Definitely no big mention of an impending storm. We knew to expect colder weather and maybe a little rain. The ride out was grey and dreary as expected. When we started it was very dry and the ground was bare. From the Tule TH we could see that there was snow on Two Bar Mtn. I remember mentioning to Marty how cool it would be if the trail went up into the snow line and how lucky we would be if that happened.

The Tule Trail is steep and overgrown in one section. After you pass thru the ranch it gets steeper. Once it levels out, you have to do some route finding. I had my first GPS at the time and had "programmed" the route in by setting waypoints along the trail in my Delorme program and then putting those points into the GPS and programming a route, which essentially connected the dots, forming a big black segmented line which was our trail. This helped in the route finding and would soon become even more valuable.

Soon after we leveled out, we were much higher in elevation and could see Two Bar Mountain much better and at that point the snow had started to fall. Marty made a video of me during this and fatefully mentioned that we were taking "a nice hike". As we made our way along, the snow started to accumulate. Stupidly, we had assumed that we were hiking our way more into the snow line that we saw previously rather than the fast accumulation that it was.

At the junction of the Tule and Two Bar Ridge Trails, we stopped and had a snack. The hike up was a good workout and some sustenance seemed like a good idea. At this point the accumulation was already about 3 inches or so, and the snow was still coming down heavy. The idea of just turning back hadn't even slightly entered into our thought process.

We started to make our way along the Two Bar Ridge Trail towards Reavis Gap. This section of the trail basically enters into a valley and then climbs out. About halfway into the valley, we had started to get a little concerned. By this time, everything was completely white and the accumulation was in the 6-8" region. We had our first conversation about turning back, but the going wasn't too tough at that point, so we decided to brave it out.

By the time we got to the bottom of the valley, we knew we were in for a long day. Any signs of the trail had disappeared as the accumulation was nearing about a foot. The pine trees had so much snow on them that the branches were hanging down, making it impossible to move along without hitting them and getting covered in snow. The only way we knew which way to go was to follow my GPS route. We bushwhacked our way thru the snowy pines, uphill in a foot of snow for a mile or more. Whenever we found the trail, it never got much easier to move along since the snow was so deep. Every few hundred feet, one of us would slip on the wet rocks under the snow and wipe out. I was getting nervous that one of these wipeouts would end up in a sprained ankle or worse for one of us. Every once in while we would brush some snow off of what we thought was a cairn, only to find a barrel cactus, and vice versa. This looked more like northern PA back when I went deer hunting. I still managed to take a few pictures during all of this because of the fascinating scenery of seeing the Supes covered in white, making this transformation from just a few hours earlier.

The last mile or so of the Two Bar Ridge Trail up to Reavis Gap was the easiest to follow. We were out of all the heavy brush and the grade was gradual, but the going was still fairly slow and interrupted by wipe outs. Once we got to Reavis Gap, it was all downhill from there, but I had done that section of the trail on a previous hike and knew that it's very steep. And daylight was beginning to be an issue.

On our way down the Reavis Gap Trail, we lost the trail again and ended up in a drainage. At this point I fell trying to make my way down a dropoff and landed on my back. I was ok but pretty sore. It was obvious that we weren't going to make it back before dark. I told Marty that we needed to get our headlamps out and get ready for walking in the dark. He suggested we keep going until it got dark and I countered that if we did that, we wouldn't be able to find our headlamps in the dark. Marty was getting a little panicky at this point but I kept cool knowing that we were close and still had an idea of which direction to go.

Once we made it out of the drainage, we made our way thru more low hanging pine branches as it got dark. By this time we were both getting soaked from all the snow falling on us and it getting frigid. It was also very tiresome busting our way thru the branches. At this point Marty and I had this exchange:

Marty: These branches would make good firewood.
Me: No they wouldn't they're soaked now. And we're not building any fires tonight, we're getting to the car and going home. If we have to stay out here, we're gonna freeze to death.
Marty: That's not such a bad way to go. It's peaceful, you just fall asleep.
Me: Yeah, after hours of shivering and convulsions.
Marty: But then your blood leaves your extremities, and your body core temp drops....
Me: Hey, can we talk about something else?! Like, maybe, "Do you see the trail?"!!!

And not long after that exchange, we did in fact find the trail. The snow had got down to a manageable 2-3" and there were actual footprints! Glory! And then I looked closer. One set of prints didn't look right. I hunched over to get a closer look and illuminate it better with my headlamp. It was of a bare footprint. It was definitely bare human feet. One set of tracks like that, and one other set that looked like they were tennis shoes. I called Marty over to look at which point he just about freaked:

Marty: Oh my God!! Who would be out here like that?!! That's insane!! Who would do that??!!
Me: I don't know, but did you ever see the Blair Witch Project?
Marty: Yes, let's get the he11 out of here!

The going was much easier at this point back to Upper Horrell, although the temps were really frigid. I was familiar with this section of trail and knew that a trail branched off going into the Reevis Mtn School of Self Reliance. It was at this junction that the tracks disappeared. And Marty freaked again. He was convinced that "they" were out there watching us. I tried to tell him about the school. They even have a website. It didn't seem to comfort him much, but it got him calm enough to keep moving.

Once the trail got up above the school, you could see the lights in the teepee looking structures below. Marty turned off his flashlight (which he kept winding up to recharge every 90 seconds) and waved me over to him.

Me: What?
Marty: (whispering) Let's keeping going quickly so they can't see us.
Me: Why are you whispering?
Marty: Because who knows who those guys are or what they're doing, or if they're watching us, or
Me: Then why don't we just keep walking like we were? We can't turn off our lamps because it's too dark. The longer we stand the more whoever you're worried about can see us.
Marty: Ok.

We finally got back to Marty's SUV at the Upper Horrell. The total hiking time was about 12 hours for 12 miles. I changed into a dry shirt and sweatshirt, but even with the heater on, I was starting to almost violently shiver. We picked up my car at the Tule TH and made our way back home. We couldn't get a cell signal to let our wives know we were ok until we got halfway to Globe along 188. And the first thing I had to do was check the voicemail from the Pinal Co. Sheriff telling me my wife called them to report me missing. Whatever.

The storm was so bad that apparently parts of 60 were closed during the day. Fortunately they had opened it again so we didn't have to spend the night in Globe. I remember that even after 45 minutes sitting in my car with the heater blasting, the second I stepped outside my car in Globe at the convenience store, I instantly started shuddering again. When I handed my money to the cashier to pay for my food, it was like I had Parkinson's disease. At least I had long sleeves and pants. Marty's only extra clothes were shorts and a t-shirt.

And a good time was had by all.
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average hiking speed 1.65 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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