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352 triplogs

Mar 31 2016
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Grand Canyon Gems Attempt, AZ 
Grand Canyon Gems Attempt, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 31 2016
sirena
Backpack11.50 Miles 1,000 AEG
Backpack11.50 Miles2 Days         
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Skindy500
writelots
The piece of Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon between the Boucher and South Bass Trails is known as the Gems because the side canyons are named after precious stones. It's got a narrow window of opportunity because the side canyons only run during certain months. Wendy the Permit Whisperer had gotten 5 nights starting on March 31st at South Bass and ending at Hermit and had invited me and three others to join her. I had been looking forward to this piece for a couple of reasons: it would connect my line from Tanner to Elves Chasm, it's one of the more remote pieces of the Tonto, and I'd get to go backpacking with two of my favorite women, Wendy and India.

We met up with John and spent a chilly night in Roger's tent trailer the night before, camping in the forest outside the park. It was 11 degrees when we awoke at 5am to get packed and meet our shuttle. Tim Wilson met us at the Backcountry Office to shuttle us over 30 miles of dirt road to the South Bass Trailhead. We enjoyed swapping stories on the ride as Tim deftly maneuvered through the rutted road.

I hadn't been on the South Bass Trail since my Royal Arch via Point Huitzil trip in 2011 and I was so excited to see the dome of Mount Huethawali below rising up from the Esplanade. We started down the trail, stopping briefly to look at the small granary. Took a break on the Esplanade to soak in the views, get a snack and look at maps.

The walking on the Esplanade before it drops into the Supai is delightful- flat and fancy, lined with rocks to protect the precious cryptobiotic soil on either side. There were so many flowers in bloom and the types changed as we descended in elevation.

We descended and traversed through the Supai to the Redwall break and switchbacked down to the canyon floor. We met a group of Canadians taking a break and as I walked up and said hi, one of the women asked, "Are you Sirena? I read your blog!" So nice to meet readers of the blog out in the Canyon! They had a fantastic itinerary for 13 days to Bright Angel but I didn't envy their food carry. There were blooming Redbuds in the Redwall that matched Wendy perfectly and white Cliff Fendlerbush.

The temperatures rose as we descended to the level of the Tonto Trail. We met a group at the ledges we'd stayed at in 2011 and one of the members recognized Wendy from the Arizona Backpacking Club. He introduced himself as Frank Feagans, and I recognized his name from the Grand Canyon Hikers and Backpackers Association. After I introduced myself, he said that it was nice to meet me and that he started hiking the Arizona Trail because of me. How nice to hear!!

We dropped our packs with Roger and hiked down to Bass Tanks for some much-needed water. It was getting hot and we were happy to finally reach the waterhole. After filtering, we had a hot little hike up the hill back to our packs and the turnoff to the Tonto Trail going East. I was so excited to put my feet on fresh trail I'd never seen before, heading to connect my line to Hermit.

We contoured along Bass Canyon and decided since it looked like the weather was turning to make camp on a point instead of pushing into Serpentine Canyon. We found a spectacular spot and as we started to set up, the winds picked up and it started to rain. We wrestled with tarps and tents and then got situated as the hardest rains fell. I enjoyed my view out of my tarp of Holy Grail Temple.

The rain let up and we emerged for dinner. John came around with hors d'oeuvers of oysters with mustard on crackers served on a Tapeats slab. We could see dramatic clouds across the way on the North Rim, and then around sunset we were treated to a 360 degree spectacle of rainbows, orange beams of light and snow on the distant North Rim. Unfortunately my photos came out blurry, luckily my companions captured the scene.

There was a chance of rain so I kept the tarp up but slept under the stars. I was awoken several times by buzzing and it took me a bit to realize they were mosquitoes! So strange- that never happens in the Canyon.

We got going around 8am toward Serpentine, Tontouring up and down the rocky slopes toward the bed of the drainage. I felt great and hiked ahead for a bit, loving the feeling of being in my favorite place on a fresh piece of trail. I thought about my plan to traverse the whole Canyon from Lee's Ferry to Pearce Ferry and where I should spend the month of October doing a big chunk.

There was plenty of running water in Serpentine Canyon, but we'd heard that it can cause intestinal distress. Nevertheless, several of us filtered an emergency backup liter just in case we needed it going toward Ruby, our next water source. Temperatures were heating up and the umbrellas came out. We hiked over to Emerald Canyon, lush with greenery and wildflowers of all colors. Only one more side canyon, Quartz, to go until Ruby.

After contouring out of Emerald, I was hiking on a level piece of trail when all of a sudden I felt a "pop" in my left calf followed by pain. I hoped that it was just a cramp that electrolytes or maybe some massage would fix but when I tried to put weight on it going uphill, pain shot down my leg. Me and Wendy, India and Roger sat for a bit and tried an Ace bandage and some ibuprofen to see if it would help.

I hoped that the rest and wraps and meds would help. It didn't. When I tried to walk on it, even with a lighter pack, my leg was painful and weak on the uphills. Not a good position to be in deep in a canyon. The rim loomed ominously far above. Even if I backtracked, I'd have to hike out at some point. Frank, who I'd met the day before, was with another group and said the exact same thing had happened to him in December on the Arizona Trail. He offered some K tape and sincere condolences.

We came to a flat spot and I had to face the truth: I couldn't go on and was going to have to use the SOS function on my InReach satellite communicator. 8 years I've been carrying a satellite communicator and never had to push the button. I was so glad to be able to text the SOS dispatch and tell them the nature of the emergency, so the rescuers knew what to expect when they got there.

The dispatch texted back to say they were on their way. We didn't know how long it would take, but had an incredible spot to wait, fluffy clouds and Canyon views all around. John, the last one in our party, had gone ahead but backtracked after waiting for us and was surprised and sad at the turn of events. Things can change so quickly- one minute all is wonderful and you're hiking through the Canyon feeling like you've just won the lottery, and the next- pain and despair and the end of the trip.

Only one hour later, we heard the sound of the helicopter and we waved a shiny piece of reflectix to show them where we were. It was incredible to see the helicopter maneuver into the landing spot on the Tonto Plateau.

Marcos came out first to assess the landing spot and check in with me to see how I was doing. We were marveling at the flying expertise required to fly and land in the Canyon when just like a movie, the pilot took off the helmet to reveal a beautiful blond woman who introduced herself as Heather.

Medic Drew listened to my story and looked at my leg, confirming my suspicions. I felt bad having to call for help, but really there was nothing I could have done to avoid the injury. I thanked all of the rescuers profusely for putting their lives at risk to come get me.

I gave good-bye hugs to my hiking companions and got suited up to go for my very first helicopter ride in the Canyon. I've always wanted to see the Canyon from a helicopter- but I thought it would be part of a tour. Heather lifted off and away we went, traveling over the same path that my next 4 days would have covered. As sad as I was to be injured and leaving the trip, the ride was so exciting- seeing the Colorado River rapids, side canyons and temples of the Canyon from a different perspective is always welcome, no matter what the circumstance.

The helicopter eventually gained altitude and just like that, I was above the rim and landing at the airport in Tusayan. Trip over. What a strange turn of events- just hours ago I was walking deep in the Canyon, and now I was back at the Rim with all the tourists. Ranger Scott gave me a ride to the village and I took the next shuttle to Flagstaff.

I am so grateful for my hiking companions Wendy, India, Roger and John for being supportive and hope that they enjoyed the rest of their days hiking to Hermit. Nothing but the highest regard and appreciation for Drew Yamamoto, Marcos Escobedo, Ranger Scott and especially pilot Heather Sour for getting me out of there safely. Also thanks to Sarah for a place to stay in Flagstaff and to Li and Jerolyn for the ride to Phoenix, where Brian picked me up.

My DeLorme InReach turned what could have been a lengthy wait for help into a timely extraction. A million thanks to Leigh Anne and Dr. Denny Thrasher, who donated the InReach to me for my 2014 thru-hike.

I went to the doctor four days after it happened, nervously awaiting the diagnosis. It was just as I suspected: a partial tear of the medial gastrocnemius muscle. No hiking for 6 weeks and I will have to do some physical therapy to rehab it. I'm also wearing a very attractive compression sleeve that goes all the way up to my thigh.

I was supposed to take my brother Shawn and his girlfriend Sarah on their first backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon for a four-day trip, hiking in on April 11. Instead I had to get them ready and send them off on their own.

This hike was going to connect a line for me from the Tanner Trail to Elves Chasm, looks like it will have to wait for a return trip.
Flora
Flora
Blackbrush
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
So many wildflower and cacti blooming!
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Jan 14 2016
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Romero Canyon Loop TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2016
sirena
Hiking2.00 Miles 210 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles
210 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Brian and I took Roscoe on his first hike with water and he loved it! Had a blast wading in Sutherland wash and rock hopping. Sunset was incredible.
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
1 archive
Jan 13 2016
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Snowshoeing Mt. Lemmon, AZ 
Snowshoeing Mt. Lemmon, AZ
 
Snowshoeing avatar Jan 13 2016
sirena
Snowshoeing4.00 Miles 200 AEG
Snowshoeing4.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
First time snowshoeing- Leigh Anne and I drove up to Sunset Trailhead and did a loop that took us over to Bear Wallow, up the drainage, back down the road and over to Soldiers Trail by some cabins and back to our vehicle.

It was a lot of work, but fun to see the mountain covered in snow. We were breaking trail on the first part and it was nice to be on snow that wasn't completely trampled by the masses.

Being from Chicago, I have to say I much prefer the kind of snow you can drive to, recreate in, and then get away from. No shoveling required.

Afterward, stopped in Summerhaven for fudge and some Gateway Community outreach. A great day on the mountain!
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Jan 10 2016
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
La Milagrosa / Agua Caliente Canyon LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2016
sirena
Hiking6.15 Miles 970 AEG
Hiking6.15 Miles
970 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
writelots
Wendy and I decided to skip the snow-covered mountain and the crowds in favor of this loop neither of us had done before. (I had previously done the loop that stayed in the canyons, this was on the ridges) It turned out to be a fantastic day of slab-walking, icy creek crossings, waterfalls, and hardly any other people.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Agua Caliente Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max La Milagrosa Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
1 archive
Dec 20 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
AZT Yo-yo Finish, AZ 
AZT Yo-yo Finish, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2015
sirena
Hiking3.80 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles
900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Recently I got to be a small part of a friend’s inspiring journey and I wanted to share an article I wrote:

Traversing the Arizona Trail- Twice!

Coronado National Memorial, Arizona
: On December 20th, Kathy and Ras Vaughan of Whidbey Island, Washington became the first people to yo-yo the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail. For 93 days, this adventurous couple—known by their collective trail name as UltraPedestrian—traversed the state of Arizona twice. Starting at the US/Mexico border on September 18th and hiking to the Utah border, then immediately turning around and heading back to Mexico, the couple covered a total of 1,668 miles. They endured everything from 100-degree temperatures to several snowstorms during an unseasonably wet year.

“We wanted to experience the trail as completely as possible, seeing it in both directions and taking on a challenge that no one else has ever experienced before,” said Ras. The Vaughans thru-hiked the Arizona Trail in spring of 2014, with Kathy establishing the fastest known time for a female in 35 days. Not only is a yo-yo twice as long as a regular thru-hike of the trail, but extreme weather is more likely. They completed the trail self-supported and hiked in and out of the gateway communities, adding 68 miles to their journey to resupply rather than accepting rides.

“Meeting people along the trail and in the gateway communities helped us understand the connection between the people and the places of Arizona,” said Kathy. “The challenge of the trail helped us improvise solutions to the problems that came up, whether it was dealing with gear issues or weather conditions.”

They had a SPOT tracker so that folks could follow along and shared frequent updates from the trail on Instagram and Facebook.

I had met them briefly last year on the trail and had a bit of fun doing some trail angeling during the yo-yo, showing up in the middle of nowhere with treats and beverages and words of encouragement. I offered to pick them up at the Mexican border at the end of their journey and they let me tag along for the last two miles.

Congrats to this incredible couple! They will be coming back to Arizona in February for a speaking tour and are writing a book, I look forward to both.

About UltraPedestrian

UltraPedestrian is Kathy and Ras Vaughan, who strive to take on unique challenges and inspire others to “find their own version of epic.” Kathy holds the women’s fastest known time for the Arizona Trail and Ras is credited with innovating Only Known Times, including a sextuple Grand Canyon crossing and a unsupported (no resupply) Washington Traverse on the Pacific Crest Trail. Their website is Ultrapedestrian.blo ... .com and they are on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at @ultrapedestrian.
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Dec 15 2015
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Sweetwater Preserve LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 15 2015
sirena
Hiking8.60 Miles 536 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles
536 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
SkyIslandHiker
writelots
We had originally planned for The Cleaver, but rain and icy weather the night before nixed that idea. Instead we went for this lovely stroll through the Tucson Mountain foothills. These trails are so fancy and hardly gain any elevation, it was nice to be on autopilot for a change.

Weather was chilly at the start but perfect on the hike. There are some really beautiful stands of saguaros in the preserve. Nice that they allow dogs, I'll be back with my puppy Roscoe.
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Dec 09 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Alamo Canyon-Buster Ridgeline Loop, AZ 
Alamo Canyon-Buster Ridgeline Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 09 2015
sirena
Hiking5.35 Miles 1,470 AEG
Hiking5.35 Miles
1,470 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
It's the last month before the Bighorn Sheep restrictions go into effect in the Catalinas, so I wanted to do something in the area. I had visited Alamo Canyon three years ago with skyislandhiker aka Santa Rita Bill and really enjoyed it- it was time to return.

I parked at the Romero Ruins and took the trail for a short distance across the wash and then turned right at a cairn on an unnamed trail with surprisingly good tread. This trail took me to a little waterfall at the state park boundary. It had warmed up enough for me to wet my head in the creek before hiking on.

A trail continues past the park boundary that stays above the creek on canyon right. I took the trail until a large boulder jam in the creek, where I descended to take a break. There was a huge racket as a pack of javelinas moved to get downstream away from me. The giant striped granite boulders, golden ash trees and running water made for a perfect spot to settle in for a while.

The gnats descended just as I was going to take a nap and I had to get a move on. I wasn't in the mood to go farther up the creek, but I was intrigued by a cairned path I'd seen in 2012 that seemed to go up toward the Buster Mountain ridgeline. I'd also seen the top of the route on the ridgeline, today was the day to connect the dots.

The steep route out of the creek took me through an expanse of beautiful banded gneiss on the way to the ridge. It was fun following the well-cairned route. Much of it was on gravel, which made me happy to be hiking up rather than down it.

I reached the ridgeline saddle and took another extended break. Some of my water had spilled into my pack so I didn't hit the peak, instead I spent my time taking pictures and even had a little dance party at the saddle.

I wanted to time my descent with the sunset and started down the steep route down the ridgeline. Tall grasses made route finding a little challenging, it was much more overgrown than in previous trips because of all the rain we've gotten this year. Made it off the mountain in the fading light and was excited to see the sunset paint pink and purple stripes above Pusch Ridge.

The sunset was one of those rare ones that changes and develops different characters way after the sun goes down. The entire mountain took on a subtle pink hue and fiery waves of orange, pink and red streaked the sky. It felt like it went on for hours and I kept stopping to take picture after picture. Timed it perfectly to arrive at the parking lot just as the sunset had finally faded. What a great way to end such an enjoyable day on the mountain.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
1 archive
Dec 03 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Sabino - Bear LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 03 2015
sirena
Hiking13.25 Miles 2,350 AEG
Hiking13.25 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.04 mph
2,350 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Sabino and Bear Canyons are in full glorious fall color and there is water everywhere. A great time of year for this loop. :y:
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Substantial areas in Sabino and Bear Canyons and moderate in the East Fork.
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Nov 26 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
South Side of the Sombrero, AZ 
South Side of the Sombrero, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2015
sirena
Hiking2.10 Miles 901 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles
901 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Thanksgiving hike up Peak 3263- took a route up from a parking pullout off Picture Rocks right at the speed limit monitoring sign. Hiked up the steep gully east of the cliffs and made a loop back down to the saddle.

Fun little climb and great views from up top. Didn't visit the peak proper, because I'd been before and wanted to spend more time looking around the southern end.
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
2 archives
Nov 01 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Tanner to Grandview, AZ 
Tanner to Grandview, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 01 2015
sirena
Backpack35.00 Miles 4,600 AEG
Backpack35.00 Miles6 Days         
4,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
November 1-6th

I had three events to work for the Arizona Trail Asociation- two in Tusayan and one in Page. Six days in between and I was determined to spend every second of it in the Grand Canyon. Late Sunday morning, we had a beautiful ceremony for the placement of a memorial bench dedicated to the Father of the Arizona Trail, Dale Shewalter and then I was off to finish writing up the event and last-minute packing. I parked at Grandview and looked for a ride. I didn't have to look long, parked right next to me was a fellow Grand Canyon enthusiast who had just finished a trip.

Day 1

I didn't get hiking until 3:30 pm on the Tanner Trail, but I wasn't planning on going very far. A mile and a half away is 75-mile saddle with good camping spots. The trail was steep, dropping 1700 feet and rocky through the Kaibab, Toroweap and Coconino. My pack was heavy with six days of food and 5 liters of water- enough to dry camp and have plenty for the descent to the river the next day.

It was a warm and windless night, even up at 5600 ft. and I found the perfect spot overlooking 75-Mile Canyon. I could see O'Neill Butte and Horseshoe Mesa and Desert View Watchtower loomed above. Camped under the stars, happy to be back in my beloved Grand Canyon again.

Day 2

The next morning, I had a bit of level trail in the Supai to start my day, contouring under Cardenas and Escalante Buttes. At the Redwall break, there is a short spur trail that goes up to one of the most fantastic views of the Palisades of the Desert, Comanche Point and the Grand Canyon Supergroup area upstream of Tanner. I spent almost two hours looking at the different landmarks and taking pictures.

It was so hard to leave, but the day was heating up and the river was still a long way away. I made quick work of the Redwall and the Muav, happy to have my umbrella for shade. The Dox Sandstone is soft and the trail is mushed into the side of the hill, making the left leg higher than the right. I reached Tanner Beach at 2pm and got in the chilly water to cool off.

The river was running brown from the last round of storms in an unbelievably wet year. It didn't look too silty (whitecaps instead of browncap waves), so I tried it through my Platypus gravity filter. That thing rocks. Filtered with no problems and is a cinch to backflush. Plus I can set up and eat, watch boats go through the rapids and my water is done.

I was getting ready to leave a couple of hours later to start the Escalante Route and hike to Cardenas Beach for the night when a man appeared and said he'd be hiking to the Hermit Trail for the next 11 days. I ran into him a couple of times, and was the only person I saw for the first five days. I had a couple miles to Cardenas, small ups and downs through various ravines. Hit the beach just as I was losing daylight. This is also part of the Hayduke Trail, an 800-mile circuitous route that goes from Arches to Zion.

For the last four summers I have worked as a river guide in the Grand Canyon with Arizona River Runners and Grand Canyon Whitewater. I've run the river over 20 times and hiked pieces of the route I'd be traversing, but it was totally different experience to be here solo. Cardenas is always one of my favorite camps, how blissful to have it all to myself on a warm autumn night (and to not have to get up at 4:30 am to make coffee for 30 people). I did some long-exposure photography and set my bed up on the beach.

The winds kicked up in the middle of the night and I was glad I'd borrowed a tent from a friend. Sleeping under the stars, as much as I love it, was not going to work for most of the trip because of the incoming storm.

Day 3

The next morning the skies were blue above, but as I made the climb to the Hilltop Ruin, I could see dark clouds downstream. Decided to skip the Unkar Overlook spur and keep moving because the rains had started. I put on my rain jacket and my trash-compactor bag rainskirt.

As I hiked along the Unkar Wall, I looked back and saw one of the most amazing rainbows I've ever seen! Dropped the pack and scrambled to get my camera, trying to take shots without getting the camera soaked before the rainbow disappeared. My heart soared- this is why I hike, for the privilege of seeing exquisite moments like this.

I moved on, hiking in the intermittent rain toward Escalante Creek. The trail winds and climbs toward a high saddle and I got another rainbow, a little less intense than the first, but still gorgeous. In Escalante Creek, I found running water and took several liters so I wouldn't have to settle the increasingly silty Colorado. I took a break at Escalante Beach before my last climb up to access 75-mile Canyon. The route climbs and then turns to give a great view of the slot canyon below. I contoured back to the access point and scrambled down into the canyon. It made me uneasy to break the rule of not being in a slot canyon while it's raining.

The cream-colored Shinumo Quartzite slot canyon is a gorgeous place to be. I remembered back to a river trip where I visited not once, but twice in one evening on a full moon. The canyon opened up near the river and I camped at Nevills Beach. Soon after my dinner, it started raining and I got in the tent and fell asleep early.

Day 4

I woke at 4:30 in the morning after plenty of sleep. It was warmer and had stopped raining. Spent some time taking long-exposure pictures and writing in my journal. Yet another thing I love about solo hiking. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and am never bored.

There are two routes to the Papago Wall, a low and a high route and I stayed low on the slabs above the water. There is a 30 foot scramble up the wall and then the route climbs to a rubble-choked gully called the Papago Slide. I didn't have any problems with the wall, but I took my pack off to hoist it up for one part and it would have been easier to keep it on. At the top of the wall, I saw the backpacker I'd met at Tanner below and he climbed up to join me.

The Papago Slide is a loose and nasty descent filled with every size of rock and I led the way, keeping plenty of room between me and him to avoid rockfall. There is a good route through it and it just takes being thoughtful with your movements. We got to Hance Rapid just as some boaters pulled in to scout from the opposite bank. It was super-fun to watch them go through. I hiked on to spend some quality alone time with Hance.

Hance Rapid is the first "10" on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The powerful waves churn through many rocks and holes and it is one of the most technical rapids on the river. To stand beside it on the rocks was incredible and I spent a long time thinking about my summers working as a river guide. I had decided at the end of this season that I will not be returning next summer- a bittersweet decision, but I am glad for all the things I learned, people I met and the opportunity to teach people about this amazing place. I've got some things in the works- a new website and lots of writing to do and part of that plan is to spend more time in the Grand Canyon on foot.

The rain was coming in again, so I put my trash compactor rainskirt on and got going. Red Canyon marks the beginning of the Tonto Trail, following the Tonto Platform as it began to rise from the river. The trail climbed and I got a good view of the historic Hance Asbestos Mine and the Granite Gorge. It rained on and off and when the clouds lifted there was a dusting of snow on the upper reaches of the Canyon.

I was trying to get to Hance Creek, my next water source, but all the time spent at the rapids was starting to catch up with me. I was probably going to have to roll into camp by headlamp. The trail contoured through Mineral Canyon and at the dry creek crossing, I heard the most wonderful sound- running water! Up a side ravine from the crossing was an ephemeral waterfall and I made my way over to it. This water meant that I didn't have to push to Hance Creek and that I could do a dry camp on the Tonto Platform, one of my favorite types of GC camps.

Even as I filtered water, the waterfall went dry. Right place at the right time, I guess. I Tontoured out of Mineral Canyon, looking for a place to camp and found the perfect spot complete with a little wall for a windbreak and nice sitting rocks. The views were outrageously good of Vishnu Temple, Wotans Throne and Angels Gate. It was the coldest night yet and very windy.

Day 5

The next morning, I was treated to an incredible sunrise and I spent hours writing, taking pictures and looking at maps for an upcoming adventure.

I got going around noon and hiked to Hance Creek. Upstream from the creek crossing are some lovely Tapeats ledges and I settled in for a day of not doing a whole lot. More writing, a short exploration up and downstream, and a nice chat with the other folks that were camped in the area. It was great to have a day to relax.

Day 6

I'd made a habit of listening to Miles Davis Kind of Blue in the morning while I got packed up and got hiking around 9:30 toward Page Springs. In most seasons this shady, fern-lined place would be a welcome place for a break but today it was so chilly I had to put several layers on while filtering. I enjoyed the historic trail construction in the Redwall ascent, especially the portion that has a giant quartz vein going through the trailbed. Got to Horseshoe Mesa and took a long break.

As I hiked up off the mesa I could see the area I'd traversed the last six days and downstream toward Zoroaster and Brahma Temples. Made it through the Supai and it was cold enough to need a fleece and hat while hiking uphill. I love the trail construction in the Coconino- riprap cobblestone and log cribbing to keep the trail on the hillside.

Patches of ice and snow appeared in the Toroweap and Kaibab, but not enough for me to put my traction on- if I'd been going downhill I'd have put them on for sure. I reached the parking lot feeling a lot better than I'd anticipated and made it over to Desert View Watchtower to see the sun set on my latest adventure.

It is hard to express how good this trip was for me. I've had a lot of great backpacking opportunities this year, but I haven't gotten as much solo time as usual. To move through the Canyon for days on foot with time to contemplate life, feeling like I have the whole place to myself- there is nothing better.
Culture
Culture
Mascot
Named place
Named place
Unkar Creek Rapids
Meteorology
Meteorology
Rainbow
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Sep 21 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
High DivideOlympic, WA
Olympic, WA
Backpack avatar Sep 21 2015
sirena
Backpack30.00 Miles 5,500 AEG
Backpack30.00 Miles4 Days         
5,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Fall color trip to Olympic National Park to write an article A Desert Rat in the Rainforest for Gossamer Gear: gossamergear.com/wp ... rest

See pictures for a recap of the loop- what an amazing place!!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Substantial in the alpine region, isolated in lower elevations
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Sep 12 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Arizona Trail Day - Flagstaff, AZ 
Arizona Trail Day - Flagstaff, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2015
sirena
Hiking3.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Arizona Trail Celebration Weekend in Flagstaff!

This year, we had a full weekend of events to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dale Shewalter's first hike from Mexico to Utah! I gave a talk on Friday that was very well attended, the big Trail Day event on Saturday in Buffalo Park, and on Sunday the Arizona premiere of the movie Unbranded about four men who rode mustangs from Mexico to Canada.

It was a super-fun weekend and the weather was just about perfect. A great time spent talking trail and getting people inspired to get out there!
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Jun 07 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
O'Neill CraterFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2015
sirena
Hiking2.50 Miles 855 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
855 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have driven past this peak numerous times on my way to the warehouse for my river job and had an extra day in Flag to go explore. This was a really enjoyable short hike with great views and lots of walls, sherds and chipped stone. I took the route in the description and then went to check out the other peak on my way back.
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
May 25 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Trillium LakeNorth Central, OR
North Central, OR
Hiking avatar May 25 2015
sirena
Hiking5.00 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Went to visit Mt. Hood at the Timberline Lodge and Trillium Lake and the weather cooperated!! I'd been in Portland for over a week and hadn't seen it yet.(On a clear day it can be seen from the city)

Hiked the PCT a little bit to the south- there was a rotten snow bridge over a creek that made things a little more interesting. Got views of Mt. Jefferson, Oregon's second highest peak. Mount Hood is gorgeous and I'd really like to do the Timberline Loop Trail that circumnavigates it someday. Unfortunately my new camera took a fatal tumble- thank goodness for warranties!!

After Mt. Hood, the Memorial Day traffic was insane so I decided to visit Trillium Lake and see about the campsites there. While on my walk around the lake I found that there was at-large camping on the opposite side from the campground and found a great little free spot to spend the night. Late at night I went to the lake to get some water and the view of the stars reflected in the lake with Mount Hood was spectacular!! I was so disappointed to not have my good camera for the shot, but it is something I'll never forget.

In the morning I caught a flock of ducklings cavorting by the shore. Great way to end my trip to Portland!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
May 22 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Eagle Creek Trail to Wahtum LakeNorth Central, OR
North Central, OR
Backpack avatar May 22 2015
sirena
Backpack28.90 Miles 4,350 AEG
Backpack28.90 Miles3 Days         
4,350 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
In May, I attended the International Trails Symposium in Portland, Oregon to give a presentation about my work with the Warrior Hike program that puts veterans with PTSD on the National Scenic Trails to "Walk off the War". www.warriorhike.org

After the conference was done, I had scheduled some time to explore the area. Lucky for me, my gracious hostess and good friend Kimberlie Dame had the same days off, so we planned on going backpacking in the Columbia River Gorge. Hard to believe, but I'd never been backpacking outside of Arizona before- dayhiking, yes- but not backpacking! Years ago, I'd seen a picture of Kimberlie at Tunnel Falls and was mesmerized by the exotic beauty of the place. We put together a loop that went up Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls, to Wahtum Lake to intersect with the Pacific Crest Trail to Cascade Locks and the Bridge of the Gods which marks the WA/OR border, about 29 miles.

We made a quick stop at Multnomah Falls on the way out to Eagle Creek Trailhead. It was Friday of Memorial Day Weekend and we wanted to make sure to secure a campsite- this area is very popular with both dayhikers and backpackers. I started out with a liter and a half of water, probably the least I've carried in a long time but still overkill in this wet and overcast environment.

The trail was wide and fancy and soon we came to the Metlako Falls overlook and took the side trip, followed by Punchbowl Falls. Everything was so totally different than the desert environment that I'm used to- so many plants and wildflowers that I wasn't familiar with and this strange wet stuff everywhere!

We passed Loowit Falls and then came to an amazing slot pool- it was begging for a return trip in warmer weather with my inner tube floatie. We entered the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness and the trail was lined with giant ferns and trees dripping with moss. I could hear Tunnel Falls before I could see it- the sweet sound of rushing water dropping a large distance. Then I turned the corner and there it was in all its glory- the giant cascade, the fern-lined tunnel, the mossy columnar basalt framing the pool below. What a place!!

I wanted to hang out for a while and so we set up for a break and watched folks go by while I explored around. After we saw several groups of backpackers, we decided it would be a good idea to go claim a campsite along the creek. We hiked a short distance away and found a wonderful spot for the two of us. It was close enough to Tunnel Falls that I went back for another visit which included a dance party for one in said tunnel. I could hear the soothing sounds of the creek as I went to bed.

In the morning, we had a leisurely start and continued climbing up Eagle Creek. It was outrageously pleasant hiking, winding back and forth across the creek before ascending the Benson Plateau. As we gained elevation the scenery and the vegetation changed and we hiked into a misty cloud. So very Pacific Northwest- exactly what I had been expecting.

We ascended the gentlest switchback I've ever seen and then reached a sign for the PCT. My first time on this legendary trail! All day, I'd been making jokes about having a hot dog at a Memorial Day BBQ when we got to Wahtum Lake, but alas, there were some campers, but no hot dogs. Our view of Wahtum Lake was confined to the first two feet off the shore.

The trail climbed toward the Chinidere Mountain junction, which is supposed to have amazing views of five glaciated volcanoes- we took a pass because there would be no views today. It was a long day of hiking and we were famished when we reached our campsite. When we'd started, we weren't sure if we were going to spend one night or two out. We had enough food for two nights, but just barely- it would mean hot oats for dinner. Now I haven't been able to even look at a pack of oatmeal since my thru-hike last year, but I devoured those hot oats like they were my favorite dish! Kimberlie was nice enough hike down to Teakettle Spring for water and I played around with my headlamp and took pictures. We were amazed to find that we had taken the exact same picture of the trees above our campsite.

I slept well, even though it was punctuated with wet "plops" from the misty trees on my tent. The trail descended steeply down the hill and then came to a sweet open ridge where the clouds parted and I got a quick view of the Columbia River. Before long, we were below the mist in the big green ferns again.

We reached the Gorge Trail and took it to the Bridge of the Gods, but instead of crossing it, we immediately went looking for food. After a half-hour wait at a roadside burger stand, we ate and drank milkshakes and managed to score a ride back to the Eagle Creek TH with some friendly vacationers. It was a stellar introduction to backpacking in the PNW and I can't wait to explore some more!

I am really looking forward to returning to Portland in September, when I will be giving a presentation on the Arizona Trail at the American Long-Distance Hiking Association-West (ALDHA-West) 20th Annual Gathering. I have plans to explore Olympic National Park while in the area and look forward to carrying only a tiny bottle of water again.
Flora
Flora
Red Clover
Culture
Culture
Mascot Throwing a Wendy
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
1 archive
Mar 04 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Chasing Wildflowers on the AZT, AZ 
Chasing Wildflowers on the AZT, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 04 2015
sirena
Backpack38.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Backpack38.00 Miles3 Days         
3,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I had been watching wildflower reports and my schedule for the right time to get away for three days on the Arizona Trail from Picketpost Trailhead near Superior to Kelvin. This backpacking trip is one of my favorite pieces of the Arizona Trail in the spring because its dramatic rock formations and views look even better coated in poppies!

I met up with some friends from Superior who were kind enough to shuttle me to Picketpost. It was a gorgeous day after a couple days of rain. The visibility was fantastic and the air crisp and fresh. I got on the trail around 10:30 and saw many groups of equestrians out for a ride as well as a couple of hikers. My pack was loaded down with water and a pair of loppers so that I could do some trail work down by the Gila River. I am the Trail Steward of Passage 16c and I’d heard there was some brushy areas, so I came prepared to do battle with spiny plants.

The trail maintenance was a day and a half away, for now all I had to do was hike. I have done these two passages once a year for the last four years and still find it as exciting as the first time. There was water in places I hadn’t seen before, left over from the recent rains. The trail climbs up to what I like to call Stripey Butte Saddle, with great views toward the Pinal Mountains. I ran into a thru-hiker who was on the move, probably trying to make Superior before sundown. I love the views from this spot, but it was still early and I hiked on.

I filled up water at a cattle tank that was surprisingly clear and tasty. I had seven liters of water and one liter of coconut water as I hiked up to the saddle right before the gate that marks the “trailhead” between Passages 16 and 17. I use the term loosely, hardly anyone actually drives to this spot, the road in is beyond gnarly. I found a great spot for camp with views of Stripey Butte, the Pinals and the trail winding through the next canyon. An almost-full moon rose and illuminated my campsite so well that I didn’t need a light to write in my journal. It was a chilly, somewhat windy night but I had only gotten 5 hours of sleep the night before and woke up well-rested.

In the morning, I was taking my sweet time getting out of camp when Scott Morris and Eszter Horanyi rode up on their mountain bikes. Do yourself a favor and visit their blogs, they are always on some sort of fantastic adventure. They were using the AZT as part of a bikepacking weekend and were looking forward to going into Superior for Mexican food. We had a nice chat about wildflowers and such and they were on their way.

Finally got hiking around 10 am, reached the “trailhead” and soon afterward found a pothole of water in a rocky spot on the trail. Being the desert hiker that I am, I stopped and filtered a liter to drink on the spot and refilled what I’d used the night before. It was 10 miles to the river and I wanted to be able to take my time- and time is water in the desert. The trail contours high above a rugged canyon, passing some spectacular rock formations and craggy peaks. Views opened up into colorful Martinez Canyon and then I reached the high saddle and took a break. I love this saddle, but it makes a bad campsite in the spring, it doesn’t get sun till really late and is a bit of a wind tunnel. Spectacular views though.

The trail wound around some cliffs and then began the long drop toward the Gila River. I could see all the way to the Catalinas, 60 miles away as the crow flies. The wildflowers increased in variety and density as I descended, sometimes carpeting the whole hillside. I was giddy with delight! The trail goes by a notable spire with the unofficial name of Dale’s Butte, after the pioneer of the Arizona Trail, Dale Shewalter. It’s quite the landmark.

This part of the trail always feels like it is so much longer than 10 miles to get to the river. The trail is great, just circuitous routing to keep a good grade. Near the river, I made a visit to Red Mountain Seep to refill my water. It’s only 0.3 miles up the wash from where the trail hits the river access and there is a blue collection bucket sunk into the ground if you follow the big cairns up the hill. It was a welcome sight, as it had taken most of my water to get there since I had taken so long with pictures and poppy-peeping.

I couldn’t resist a trip down to the Gila River to soak my feet and take a break. The river was so low that I could see a gravel bar that would make walking right across a piece of cake. Not the case all the time. After my refreshing break, I finally got my loppers and my gloves out and geared up to do some trail maintenance as I hiked. My criteria was, if it’s spiny and it’s going to hit someone in the face, it’s got to go. The cutting part went easy enough, it was grubbing the spiny chunks of tree away from the trail that was tough to do without getting all scraped up. I hiked and trimmed until the sun went down and then hiked with my headlamp for a bit until I found a home for the night. Much warmer this night since I had dropped 2000 feet in elevation.

The next morning, the Arizona spring wind kicked in and it howled all day long. It kept the temperature down, which was good. I continued my assault against spiny face-slappers as I hiked along, missing the days when I used to get out regularly to do trail work. I took a much-needed break at the river and rinsed some of the dust off. Which was immediately replaced by more dust. Unfortunately, my loppers were getting dull and it was getting infuriating, the blade gnawing at even small-diameter branches of catclaw. Even so, I got most of the big stuff along the river trimmed. The trail in my passage rolls up and down through drainages on The Spine- it is a marvel of engineering that created such a nice trail in such a rugged place. I saw my only person since seeing Scott and Eszter, the rancher from Battle Axe Ranch, out looking for his cows.

I passed the A-Diamond Ranch and the trestle bridge and climbed up to the completion monument that was placed when we connected the Arizona Trail across the state in December 2011. The DS carved into the cement stands for Dale Shewalter, pioneer of the Arizona Trail. Thanks Dale!

The light was fading and I ended up getting back to my car in the dark. It was a great end to a fantastic trip- wildflowers, solitude, trail work, jaw-dropping scenery- I am lucky to have such spectacular places to play in.
Culture
Culture
Mascot
Named place
Named place
Red Mountain Seep
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
There were parts that were substantial, but it was moderate overall. Best concentrations were near Dale's Butte, Walnut Canyon area, and the 3 miles from the Centurion TH.
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Feb 26 2015
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Tortolitas SuperloopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 26 2015
sirena
Backpack17.20 Miles 3,560 AEG
Backpack17.20 Miles2 Days         
3,560 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Despite working for a trail organization, I sometimes get stuck behind my computer and an endless stream of emails and phone calls. I needed to get away for a quick overnighter and realized I hadn't hiked the new Tortolita Ridgeline Trail. I worked until 4 and got hiking by 5 on the Tortolitas Superloop. Made it onto the Cochie Canyon Trail for a great sunset- I almost missed the best part of it cause I thought it was over and started hiking again. Found a spot after hiking with my headlamp for a bit that had the only flat real estate around and set up camp. Had an enjoyable evening with a beautiful halo around the moon for photography.

The next morning, I hiked to the old windmill and got on the connector trail over to Wild Mustang. When I reached the saddle, I explored a well-cairned route that seems to go back under the rocky peak and toward Wild Burro Wash. Something to check out next time. There were great views of the Catalinas and Picacho Peak from the saddle. You go past a crested saguaro that has seen better times- a victim of the frost of 2010. I stabbed my little toe trying to sidestep a small saguaro. Those spines have some sort of poison that hurts beyond just the usual jab. Dug out a good-sized piece once I got home.

I made it to the Wild Mustang and took it to the new-to-me Wild Burro Tank/Goat Corral trail. This trail meanders through the desert until it reaches Wild Burro Tank, a solar windmill with a big metal tank and a wildlife tank with a covered float. I had brought all my water for the two days but took on an emergency liter from the tank just in case. Such a desert hiker.

After exploring the Goat Corral area I started up the Ridgeline Trail lazy switchbacks up to the ridgecrest. The trail construction in the Tortolitas is amazing! The new Ridgeline is a delight! It contours around, swooping this way and that to stay on the ridgeline and offers incredible views down into the Tortolitas as well as views of the Catalinas, Santa Ritas, and Picacho Peak. All of this and wildflowers too, many varieties including some fragrant ceanothus. I was super-excited to be on such a sweet fresh piece of trail so close to my home.

The Wild Burro Tank/Ridgeline loop eventually drops you back at Wild Burro just a little ways down from where you started the loop. It's a great tour of the interior of the Torts. I took the Wild Burro Trail all the way and made it back to my car with out seeing anyone for the entire time I was out :y: A great little 24-hour adventure.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro - Crested
Culture
Culture
Windmill
Named place
Named place
Tortolita Mountains
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Moderate in areas- brittlebush blooming near the TH, patches of other flowers along the loop.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Wild Burro Tank Quart per minute Quart per minute
Tanks were both full
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
1 archive
Feb 16 2015
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Sweetwater Preserve LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2015
sirena
Hiking2.50 Miles 336 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
336 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Short but super-fun hike with Mr. Sirena through the giant saguaros of the Sweetwater Preserve for my birthday. Took Saguaro Vista to Lost Arrow to The Spine to Wildflower Ridge Tr. So nice to be in the warm weather and sun after a week in the Chicago suburbs where the low was -21 :scared:.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Feb 12 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Freeman Kame Forest Preserve, IL 
Freeman Kame Forest Preserve, IL
 
Hiking avatar Feb 12 2015
sirena
Hiking1.25 Miles 135 AEG
Hiking1.25 Miles
135 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've known my friend Kristin since I was 4 years old and grew up two doors down from her. We spent most of our childhoods exploring the undeveloped fields and forests near our houses, it's a big part of where I got my love for the outdoors. It was freezing cold on my trip to Chicago to visit family but I didn't care, I wanted to go for a hike with Kristin and her gorgeous year-old German Shepherd. This little preserve is a real treat with oaky hills and a surprisingly high elevation for Illinois- 1012 ft!
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Feb 09 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Maple Lake Trail, IL 
Maple Lake Trail, IL
 
Hiking avatar Feb 09 2015
sirena
Hiking1.30 Miles
Hiking1.30 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Bundled up for a walk in the Meacham Grove forest preserve near my brother's house. Too bad most of the snow was melted on the sled hill, I love sledding! Saw signs for the North Central DuPage Regional Trail, turns out it will be a 35-mile trail when it's finished. Went back and played in the snow with my nephew for hours. In the evening, took a ride in the old neighborhood where I grew up.
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
average hiking speed 2.04 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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