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Sep 21 2022
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 Guides 103
 Routes 262
 Photos 9,788
 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Maricopa Trail - White Tank/I-10Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Sep 21 2022
kingsnake
Mtn Biking5.46 Miles 274 AEG
Mtn Biking5.46 Miles   1 Hour   43 Mns   3.18 mph
274 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Thunderstorms predicted until at least mid-day. Decided to make the trip out west anyway. Didn't look too bad at north end of White Tanks. Black at the south end. Torn whether to bail, start from the library on Olive Ave., or follow my plan: Bike 5.5 miles up to the library, turn on my GoPro, then head back, continuing on to the Culvers on Verrado Way @ I-10.

Stuck to plan.

Light rain for about 10 minutes mid-way to library. But I was sucking wind. Slippery rocks did not help. Bit off more than I could chew, considering I hadn't really biked in well over a month.

Got to library, decided to bail.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Only one species -- golden crownbeard? -- but that one fairly often.
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Sep 19 2022
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 Guides 103
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
North Mountain National Trail #44Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Sep 19 2022
kingsnake
Run/Jog0.84 Miles 600 AEG
Run/Jog0.84 Miles      15 Mns   32 Secs3.24 mph
600 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
CLIMBING RINJANI - 3 Days of Mind-B...
CLIMBING RINJANI - 3 Days of Mind-Blowing Scenery
Partners none no partners
Thought I was doing okay. Made final turn at 12:25, which is 30-60 seconds faster than normal. Thought, " :pk: , if I really push, I have a chance to break 15:00!" As I approach the antenna gate touch sign, I wonder, "Should I be ready to click my watch as I touch it?" Decided not to. Touched sign. Looked at watch 15:31.57. By the time I clicked it, 15:32.03. "Darn, just missed setting best time because I wasted .46 seconds." Though, in honesty, probably best time as what are the odds my other best time was 15:32, but less than .03? Get home, look at my records, and I actually DID set my best time. It was 15:52, not 15:32. So, yeah, beat my best time by 20 seconds. 💪
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Sep 15 2022
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 Guides 103
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 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
West Leonard CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2022
kingsnake
Hiking9.69 Miles 712 AEG
Hiking9.69 Miles
712 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had heard there was a “6 out of 10” deadfall obstacle in the canyon [ photo ] , but was unsure where. Concerned about another Crackerbox Canyon, I kept a close eye out for bail points.

That said, the first two miles of West Leonard Canyon were not bad at all, with minimal deadfall.

The first cave was big enough for three people and their gear. The other two caves were only big enough for one person each.

I started noticing dead, brown, maple leaves on the ground, with a small grove 1⅔ miles down West Leonard Canyon. But up high, the maples were nearly devoid of leaves. Of the few leaves remaining, a fraction had fall color. Weird, because peak fall color is around the first week of October. 🤔

The transition from mostly canyon crawling to meadow walking occured just past a small check dam created by wire mesh.

Two hours to reach the meadow was more a function of scanning for bail points and taking lots of pictures. (175 on the day!)

I often find elk bones while canyon crawling the Mogollon Rim. I did not find a rack, but I did find a nearly complete skeleton, scattered over less than a hundred feet. No meat on the bones, but it still must’ve been a fairly recent kill, as usually the bones are too widely scattered to visualize the complete animal.

I also found four mylar balloons. You know, the balloons people release by the jillions at birthday parties and during the memorial at the end of every episode of “The First 48”. The Mogollon Rim seems to be a cosmic magnet for the things. 🎈

As I began the final mile of canyon crawling, still water turned to trickles, puddles into pools. Some up to two feet deep, but mostly avoidable. Even the few wild tangles of deadfall were not an issue. I never did find the “6 out of 10” deadfall obstacle.

My hikes up North Mountain paid off: Following nearly the same route out of the Middle Leonard Canyon as I did last year, I made it to the top six minutes faster. After some mild cross country hiking, I picked up FR 300H. It was nearly 2:00 p.m. by the time I took my first real break, 20 minutes for lunch, on a log just shy of eight miles.

Even though today was a beautiful, partly cloudy day — no downpour like last year — there were still a number of large puddles along FR 300H. Since I was walking, I settled for ripping through the puddles driving back on Rim Rd. instead. Heck, I even do that cruising down 12th St. 😁

After refreshing at Woods Canyon Lake with ice cream and beer, we stopped at Culvers in Payson for a proper meal on the way home. No custard at the latter, because I was practicing “restraint”.

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/750944837
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cag Shot
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] West Leonard Canyon
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Autumn - Color Foliage
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Coneflower, Virginia strawberry, foothill paintbrush, wandbloom penstemon, silky evening primrose, western yarrow, orange jelly, Canada violet, fleabane, alpine leafybract aster, ragleaf bahia, Richardson’s geranium, Apache lobelia, and several fungi I have no clue about.
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1 archive
Sep 07 2022
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 Guides 103
 Routes 262
 Photos 9,788
 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
General Crook Trail #64 - Prescott NFPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 07 2022
kingsnake
Hiking11.56 Miles 623 AEG
Hiking11.56 Miles   4 Hrs   39 Mns   2.49 mph
623 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have ongoing projects day hiking / biking the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, Black Canyon Trail and Maricopa Trail. Of course, that is not keeping me busy enough, so I figured I would add the General Crook Trail to my plate. 😆

I started hiking out the back of the Old Cherry Rd. pullout, in a small wash. Really, more of a break in the very dense brush. In ⅓ mile, the trail crosses the road. But the trail on the other side is blocked by a barbed wire fence. Seeing no gate, I walked down the road 100 yds. to a cattle guard, turned right along the fenceline for 100 yds., then picked up the trail again. 🙄

In ¼ mile, the trail dumps back onto the road, which I followed through a cluster of small ranches. Just on the east side of the ranches, after just over a mile, was the signed start of General Crook Trail #64. My recommendation is start here.

The next ⅔ mile down to the old stage stop on Ash Creek was the highlight of the day. The creek had 1-2″ of trickling water, there was a large stone corral, a foundation with a scattering of period nails, and some truly massive trees. Hiking to the stage stop would be a fun short hike for oldsters and families with small children.

General Crook Trail turns east, ascends a small hill, then bends south. It starts out as foot trail, gradually transitioning into old jeep trail by the time it reaches the old wood & wire corral at AZ-169 after 3⅓ total miles.

While taking photos, I noticed some fire ants milling around, but I figured three feet distance was enough. It wasn’t. One stung me on my neck. I could feel numbness for the next hour. 🐜

After a short walk on FR 9604K, the trail splits left. Vegetation gradually decreases as the trail heads east from FR 9604K. Shade is basically non-existent. There is erosion in the trail surface, but it is otherwise mostly obstacle free. However, it does disappear in some areas that have cheatgrass or even riparian vegetation. Other than a yellowjacket-infested puddle in Racetrack Wash, I never saw water after Ash Creek.

A little over halfway into my hike, at five miles, the trail crosses a quality dirt road at Hackberry Wash. There is a foundation and a spring box painted “John 3:16-17”. This would make a good turn around point from either direction, but my always helpful wife was shuttle driving, so I continued.

At six miles, the trail apparently has a junction with Black Canyon Trail. It has a fiberglass post marked to that effect, but my information is that the BCT runs from Orme Rd. to FR 9604F. Puzzling. 🤔

After crossing Sour Water Wash, the trail turns into jeep trail for ¼ to the Gray Wolf Regional Landfill fence. On a small hill to the left is a solar array. The landfill is off limits, so I turned right, finding a “T64” marker a few yards later. I followed that catclaw-riddled foot trail down to Racetrack Wash.

From the 1915 spring box, I followed the landfill fence east for an easy, but trailless, ⅔ mile. I turned north when the fence did, continuing along the fenceline. After ⅓ mile across a small playa, I turned east, resuming General Crook Trail. There were cairns, and trail tape, and they didn’t always agree. It was a trudge to the FR 9604F trailhead.

Hiking Video: https://vimeo.com/748481497
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Ash Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
My wife said she didn't see anything, but I found lots! Rusby’s globemallow, silverleaf nightshade, plenty of dense blackfoot daisy clusters, common sunflower, Stansbury’s cliffrose, Trans-Pecos morning glory, some kind of buckwheat, fair number of southwestern mock vervain, sacred datura, dense goldenrod clusters, plus several others.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Aug 30 2022
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 Guides 103
 Routes 262
 Photos 9,788
 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
North Mountain National Trail #44Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Aug 30 2022
kingsnake
Run/Jog0.84 Miles 600 AEG
Run/Jog0.84 Miles      15 Mns   53 Secs3.17 mph
600 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
82°, 49% rh, at 6:00 a.m.

15:53 to top of North Mountain, including dodging two sloppy wet arrays of poodle semi-rhea. #UrbanHiking

At least there were no boomboxes or Ypres-level perfume clouds.

Missed tying best time by a second. 😏
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Aug 17 2022
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 Guides 103
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 Photos 9,788
 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Knoll Lake CampgroundPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 17 2022
kingsnake
Hiking8.15 Miles 789 AEG
Hiking8.15 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   2.08 mph
789 ft AEG
 
1st trip
At first, it looked like there was a trail out of the boat ramp trailhead, past the pit toilet. But the trail seemed to come & go, and in any case is not numbered like Bear Canyon Lake Trail #112. It was obvious the lake was well down, exposing 50 horizontal feet of large, uneven, rocks. I tried side-sloping inside the tree line. Though not as rocky, it was steep, and I was not hiking as fast as I wanted.

Also slowing me down were frequent stops to photograph flowers.

Knoll Lake’s water ran out ¾ mile south of the boat ramp. I aimed up East Leonard Canyon. Normally, I canyon crawl down canyon, climb out, then take forest roads back to my trailhead. Today’s hike showed why.

Though there were sections of animal trail or bracken fern, or even a 200 yd. long meadow, there were several obstacles, and plenty of wait-a-minute vines. The canyon was slow going. It took me 1h 50m — including photos and puzzle solving — to cover 1¾ miles. With the high pre-storm humidity, I was soaked in sweat. 😅

There were also two major obstacles, near the beginning of East Leonard Canyon: The first, a tangle brush and deadfall that stretched across the narrow canyon bottom. It was steep, so I didn’t relish climbing up and side-sloping. After a few minutes of puzzling out routes, I managed to work my way between the brush pile and the right hand wall.

Not 100 yds. past that was the second obstacle, a tall pour flanked by steep walls. (Brush-choked and nearly vertical on the left.) In front, was a several feet deep pool, and the rocks were slick with moss & moisture. I might have tried it dry, but ended up going right, slipping multiple times on the muddy slope.

I figured East Leonard Canyon would start to flatten out, and be less brush-choked, but after 2⅔ total miles, I decided to bail up to FR 9715Q. It was still steep, but using roots and solid looking rocks for steps / foot brakes helped.

A ⅓ mile later, I turned left onto General Crook Trail, which is marked by reflective white chevrons nailed 8-10 ft. up trees, and spaced every 100 yds. or so. Usually, the next chevron is visible from the one you are standing next to. General Crook Trail looks like an old, pine needle-covered, decommissioned forest road. The easy travel was a relief.

I was only on General Crook Trail for a little over mile, past dry Lake No. 4, before turning north onto FR 9715J.

I’d been hearing thunder for awhile. While on FR 9715J it began drizzling. No big. After ⅓ mile, I turned right onto an obvious foot trail marked by white blazes shaped like the letter “i”. The blazes marked the unnumbered trail down to, and along, the east branch of Knoll Lake. A little over a mile, the “i” marked trail was the most pleasant part of my day.

I’m not sure what Knoll Lake’s % of fullness is, but it’s low compared to sat view. When I arrived at the southeast finger of the lake, it was crossable dry 200 yds. north of where the satellite shows water 50 ft. wide. When I stopped for a short break, it commenced raining in earnest. ⛈

Where Bear Canyon Lake has an informal trail on its east shore, I had no such luck on Knoll Lake’s east shore. It was slow going, negotiating more rocky slopes, both exposed shoreline, and up in the trees. Moving as fast as my old, fat, rearend could, it took me 50 minutes to hike the remaining 1¼ miles back to the boat ramp trailhead. Then it really started pouring.

On my way out, I stopped 200 yds. east of FR 9715J to search for the G.D. Bantz grave. (I would have hiked to it, but was trying to beat the rain.) Afterwards, returning to my car, it was in a ditch, 50 ft. away from where I left it. In drive. Egads. Thank God I did not have my brain fart on the cliff edge of the Mogollon Rim! 😆

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/741445877
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Four Peaks Knoll Lake
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sunrise
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Spreading fleabane, but white and purple. Lupine on dam. Pinewoods spiderwort and Apache lobelia on rocky west shore. Regular sightings of Mexican silene. Nuttall's linanthus, ragleaf bahia, western dayflower (most common of all), Columbia monkshood, yellow coneflower and Richardson's geranium. Fly agaric the only mushroom I could identify, but many more types than two weeks ago around Quaking Aspen Canyon. Species I did not photograph include pygmy bluet, Parish's yampah and, I believe, wandbloom penstemon. (I did not look close.)

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max East Leonard Canyon Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Between Rim Rd. and Knoll Lake.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Knoll Lake 26-50% full 26-50% full
I'm not sure the % of fullness, but it's low compared to sat view. For example, the southeast finger of the lake is crossable* 200 yds. north of where the satellite shows water.

*dry upper, wet midsole.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Aug 13 2022
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 Guides 103
 Routes 262
 Photos 9,788
 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Peavine National Recreation TrailPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Aug 13 2022
kingsnake
Mtn Biking13.16 Miles 315 AEG
Mtn Biking13.16 Miles   2 Hrs   11 Mns   6.03 mph
315 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Prescotstyle proposed biking Peavine Trail to Iron King Trail. Since it is only three easy miles to the Entro siding, I got to Sundog Ranch Trailhead early to get in some extra miles. 🚴🏻‍♂️

First I rode up the west side of Watson Lake to the boat ramp. Then I doubled back, heading down Sundog Trail to the industrial park. Not feeling like going all the way back to Sundog Ranch Trailhead just to come back to where I was, but a few feet over, I heaved my bike over a gate, then rode down into the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve.

After an hour on my own, I finally met up with Paul at the south end of Watson Lake.

There were TONS of people walking & biking on Peavine Trail and Iron King Trail. A couple of the more serious bikers got a kick out of Paul riding a unicycle. But there were way too many fat, lazy, cheating 🎃s on “e-bikes”. 👋

Flowers in the Watson Lake, Peavine Trail and Iron King Trail area were going bonkers with all the rain Prescott has been receiving. (The next 10 days are predicted to rain as well.)

Our humid ride complete, Paul and I retreated to his place for lunch & liquid replenishment. Is there a more refreshing post-hike beer than an ice-cold Pabst?
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Watson Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Big patches of sacred datura and silverleaf nightshade. Plus bindweed / morning glory (?), cliffrose, peavine, scarlet penstemon, dalmatian toadflax, fleabane, globemallow & many more!
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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Aug 03 2022
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 Guides 103
 Routes 262
 Photos 9,788
 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
East Clear Creek-Quaking Aspen Loop, AZ 
East Clear Creek-Quaking Aspen Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2022
kingsnake
Hiking9.28 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking9.28 Miles   3 Hrs   54 Mns   2.38 mph
600 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
From AZ-260, drive east on Rim Rd. There’s logging going on around Baker Butte, which has actually improved the road surface. In 5.6 miles, turn left on FR 308. In one mile, park on the left, in the FR 308C triangle.

Hoping to beat lunchtime thunderstorms, so I started hiking at 8:30 a.m. Splitting the difference between FR 308 and FR 308C, I aimed for the low ground. It may not be immediately obvious, but head straight north, and in about 100 yds. the ground will start folding. Stay low.

When canyon crawling, I avoid roads, otherwise what is the point? But after 10 minutes, I picked up FR 308H, which was the low ground in several stretches. For the next 1½ miles, I alternated between the road and 25-50 ft. off to its side, depending on where the flowers were — and there were a lot! 🤗

After 1½ miles, the low point crossed FR 308, which turns north-northwest at West Kehl Canyon, heading towards FR 147 at Poverty Flat. The crossing would be a good place for casual hikers to loop back to the trailhead on FR 308C. Why?

Though there were no major obstacles in the feeder canyon, like Hi Fuller Canyon [ photo ] , nor ungodly tangles of deadfall like Crackerbox Canyon [ photo ] . But travel was slower going than most of my Mogollon Rim canyon crawls. And the feeder canyon got as narrow as 6 ft. I kept my feet dry for awhile, but the point of canyon crawling is to stay low, not mid-slope, so I gave up and just sloshed down the now audibly flowing creek.

Not just terrain, but photography slowed me down. I ended up shooting over 300 photos. Because low & close makes for more interesting photos, that is a lot of up & down. Plus, it had been drizzling for 30 minutes.

When I reached East Clear Creek proper, I found a 4-way intersection: Straight ahead, down ECC. Right, another unnamed side canyon. Back, the way I came. Left, up ECC to Poverty Flat. I turned left. It was easy travel for about 200 yds, but then I encountered the most tangled part my hike: boulders, pools and choking vegetation. I literally canyon crawled. 😆

By the time I reached a gateless barbed wire fence 3¼ miles into my hike, I had had enough. For the next 2½ miles to Cienega Draw, I either hiked across grassy Poverty Flat, or actually on FR 147.

After 5¾ miles, I realized FR 147 was bending away from my trailhead, so I dropped into Quaking Aspen Canyon at Cienega Draw. The low point wasn’t bad, but looking ahead it looked like it might be closing up, so I bailed 50 ft. up to FR 308K. At 6⅔ miles, I split left onto FR 6108, where the Quaking Aspen Canyon was now a slight crease like I started on.

Less than a ¼ mile later, I split left again, onto FR 308M. Like the other lettered forest roads, it was decommissioned. Really, really decommissioned. In another ¼ mile, I gave up trying to follow FR 308M climbing up through the vegetation to FR 308, which I followed ⅔ mile back to my FR 308C trailhead.

On our way back down to Verde Valley, I spotted a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser with a HikeArizona.com sticker. I wonder who that was?

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/737294955
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
IThe widest variety, and greatest density of flowers, I’ve found on the Mogollon Rim was between the trailhead and Poverty Flat. What I believe were oxeye daisy (???) were most common. Tons of coneflower for ⅔ mile above the pipe. Fair number of common self heal.

I also photographed silky evening primrose, red cinquefoil, Columbia monkshood, red and yellow pea, New Mexico checkermallow, wild bergamot, pineywoods geranium, alpine false springparsley, alpine leafybract aster, yellow columbine, western dayflower, dandelion, Richardson’s bitterweed (???), Mexican silene, Richardson's geranium, western yarrow, paintbrush, fly agaric mushroom, a MASSIVE cauliflower mushroom, and a half dozen mushroom species I cannot identify.

Species I did not photograph included pygmy bluet, woolly mullein, scarlet penstemon and lupine.

For those keeping track a home, that is at least 31 species!
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jul 18 2022
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 Guides 103
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 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
C&O Canal MP 124.5-130.7, MD 
C&O Canal MP 124.5-130.7, MD
 
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2022
kingsnake
Hiking6.98 Miles 125 AEG
Hiking6.98 Miles   2 Hrs   14 Mns   3.13 mph
125 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Today, I hiked he C&O Canal from Hancock (MP 124.5) to Cohill Station (MP 130.7). Hancock is a “trail town”, complete with a canal-side bicycle shop (C&O Bicycle). Cohill Station, is a just a name on a map for what was once a Western Maryland Railway siding.

I started hiking at 8:10 a.m., almost an hour earlier than planned, due to rain being expected late morning all across Washington County. Even though I was not bike riding, I still wore my Camelbak, and good thing too as it was 94% humidity!

Unfortunately, besides threatening to rain later in the morning, it had rained the night before, so every time I stopped I got swarmed by mosquitoes. At least the towpath drains well.

Berm Rd. closely parallels the north side of the C&O Canal for 1½ miles. There is no potential bail point until almost five miles later at Cohill Station.

MP 126.5: White Rock Campground has the usual handleless well hand pump, portapotty, picnic table, grill, fire pit, direction & distance sign and doggie doo bag dispenser. Camping is free, and I saw a bike tourist taking advantage of the site. I was surprised he was still in his tent at 9 a.m.

Somewhere along the way, I stepped off the C&O Canal towpath into the what appeared to be a firm, or at least not watery, canal bed. I immediately sank into 4″ of mud. 🙄

Round Top Hill (1,358 ft. el.) is a stand-alone ridge that stretches two miles south-southwest from MP 127.2 to near Leopards Mill Campground. It is exceptionally steep at its northern end, above Devil’s Eyebrow, climbing 950 ft. in only ¼ mile (a 38% grade). As I approached Round Top Hill, the upper ⅔ was shrouded in low-lying clouds.

MP 127.4: The first feature of Round Top Cement Mill I noticed was the stone-faced kilns 30 ft. up on the bluff-side of the canal. Trying to beat the rain, I skipped exploring the kilns like I did back down the C&O Canal near Dargan Bend. [ photo ]

Round Top Cement Mill, in operation from 1838 to 1903, provided cement for the construction of the Washington Monument — the one in DC, not the original along the Appalachian Trai [ photo ] — and the U.S. Capitol building being most prominent.

MP 130.0: Camping at Leopards Mill Campground is free. The campground has a portapotty, picnic table, grill, fire pit, direction & distance sign, doggie doo bag dispenser and … DRUM ROLL! … the first functional water pump in over 20 miles. No joke. I’m serious. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye. 🤞

Lock 53 is just past Leopards Mill Campground and is the first C&O Canal lock I remember that is impassable due to dense brush. The canal sure, but not any lock I recall. Lock 53 also had some foundation and cement steps that appeared to be lockhouse remains.

MP 130.7: I arrived at Cohill Station just as a light sprinkle began. There’s a boat ramp to the left, but a narrow footbridge to the right, so the only “boat” getting across that is a kayak. Parking is in a pull out just across the bridge.

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/735430515
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Phlox paniculata, white bergamot, dame’s rocket, European black nightshade, Japanese wineberry, Carolina vetch (???), crown vetch. The Maryland Biodiversity Project is a great resource! https://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/

I was surprised at the lack of fungi.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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Jul 15 2022
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 Guides 103
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
C&O Canal MP 112.2-124.5, MD 
C&O Canal MP 112.2-124.5, MD
 
Road Biking avatar Jul 15 2022
kingsnake
Road Biking28.81 Miles 198 AEG
Road Biking28.81 Miles   3 Hrs   17 Mns   8.77 mph
198 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
In Maryland to celebrate my son’s 40th and my 60th birthday. My first wife actually went into labor on my 20th birthday, but my son was not born until the next day. I’ll never forgive her … Kidding! 😇

This was my first “away” bike ride: Today, on the C&O Canal, from Hancock to Ft. Frederick, then back (MP 112.2-124.5). Wait. Take tha back. Just remembered a couple of bike rides in the Netherlands years ago ( [ photoset ] )!

I rented a Trek hybrid from C&O Bicycle in Hancock. Since they don't have bike racks for rent, I would have to first ride from Hancock to Ft. Frederick, then double back for my GoPro video.

I started biking southeast, “downhill” towards Ft. Frederick, at 8:50 a.m. I rode for about seven minutes on a single track, then stopped to check my GPS. When I restarted, my rear tube literally unraveled from the tire, wrapping itself around the axle. There was no fixing that mess! The tire would not rotate, so I was forced to literally push the bike 1⅓ miles back to C&O Bicycle. I slid it along the grassy towpath edge to lessen the resistance, but my arm was still sore the next three days. 😫

The good folks at C&O Bicycle were very understanding, replacing my bike, getting me back in the saddle by 9:35 a.m. I used my ride out from Hancock to Ft. Frederick to take photos, and fix in my mind where the cool stuff was for the return ride, when my GoPo would be rolling. Including stops, I made the 12½ miles to Captain Wort’s Sutler at Ft. Frederick in just over 90 minutes.

After refreshing with an ice cold ice tea and ice cream drumstick at Captain Wort’s Sutler Shop, I began my filmic extravaganza. The only real elevation change of the day was 60 ft. downhill in ⅓ mile to the C&O Canal.

The first interesting feature of today’s segment is Big Pool, a lake at the bottom of Ft. Frederick’s hill. Part of the canal itself, Big Pool is 1½ miles long, and 250 yds. at its widest. I saw some folks fishing on it. Just past the north end of Big Pool, the towpath passes under a branch of a decommissioned railroad bridge (MP 113.9). I was surprised there was no graffiti. 🎣

MP 114.4: There is a connector across the canal to the Western Maryland Rail Trail, which parallels the north side of the canal from the hamlet of Big Pool (pop. 85), 28 miles to even tinier Little Orleans (pop 54).

MP 116.0: Licking Creek Hiker Biker Campsie has the usual portapotty, picnic table, grill, fire pit, direction & distance sign and doggie doo bag dispenser. The well hand pump had a handle, but a dozen pumps did not produce a drop. Camping is free. Just beyond the campground is Licking Creek Aqueduct, the shortest on the canal at only 50 ft. long.

MP 120.2: Another connector across the canal to the Western Maryland Rail Trail, and a paved trailhead with room for several dozen vehicles. Not sure if it has pit toilets: I didn’t check. This milepost is the eastern end of Little Pool, another canal lake, which is half the length & width of Big Pool. The west end of Little Pool is coated with lilypads.

MP 120.7: Little Pool Hiker Biker Campsite has the usual amenities. Camping is free. The well hand pump had no handle, which I thought odd, as I assumed the ones I noted missing back down the canal were purposefully removed by the Park Service during winter. 🤔

MP 122.7: Lock 51’s highlight is the ruins of limestone and red shale lockhouse. Lock 52 is 300 yds. past Lock 51. The Bowles House, which doubles as the Hancock Visitor Center, is on the far side of the canal. Another hundred yards on is Tonoloway Aqueduct. The cement to build Tonoloway Aqueduct came from someone actually named Captain Hook. Argh! 🏴‍☠️

MP 124.2: Other than climbing ten feet out of aqueduct crossings, the only other elevation gain between Ft. Frederick and Hancock is a 10 ft. mound anchoring the bridge to the Western Maryland Rail Trail’s Church St. trailhead. From there, it’s “downhill” the final ⅓ mile to the Hancock Boat Ramp (MP 124.5).

🚵🏻‍♂️ Bike Video: https://vimeo.com/732943165
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
I only remember spotting two species, and those in Hancock. One chicory, the other undetermined.
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5 archives
Jul 06 2022
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Nash PointPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2022
kingsnake
Hiking7.83 Miles 831 AEG
Hiking7.83 Miles   3 Hrs   16 Mns   2.40 mph
831 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The hike to Nash Point is a straightforward 2½ mile stroll (one way) west on FR 9365R from AZ-87, with 570 ft. AEG (round trip).

I started hiking at 8:45 a.m. I was surprised to find an electrical access panel cemented into the ground. (I found four or five more, one with an above ground metal box, at least one open.) Curious why, as the Nash Point mesa is Coconino National Forest, not private land ripe for development.

There are several short jeep trails south off the road, to the rim overlooking Strawberry. Nothing really interesting at any of them, just old campsites and garbage. Nice views south though, particularly of Milk Ranch Point and Strawberry Mountain.

There were plenty of large, billiard table flat, sitting rocks along the road There was also some spot shade. But the two rarely coincided. One interesting tree looked like juniper but had deciduous leaves. 🤔

After Nash Tank, at ⅔ mile, the jeep trail starts descending. The views southwest open up, particularly to Hardscrabble Mesa and Deadman Mesa. The jeep trail gets rocky, but still okay for hiking. After 1⅓ miles, there is a split in the trail: Left is obvious, so that is the way I went. It is also wrong. Go right, the non-obvious way. It clears up in 100 yds.

From a very old gate, the jeep trail climbs 250 ft. in ⅔ mile to the base of Nash Point’s knoll. The knoll is a 30 ft. high jumble of boulders. I may be easier to scramble up from the north, but I didn’t realize it at the time, and in case wanted to search for cliff top views of Fossil Creek.

Working my southwest from the jeep trail was easy, but slow as I kept an eye out for snakes. (The only wildlife I saw on Nash Point’s mesa was the tail end of a sprinting bull elk.) As I turned the south slope of the knoll, and began heading northwest, the brush got a lot denser. Surprisingly no cat claw, but I did get my hat knocked off several times. 🙄

My OP was at the top of a steep & narrow draw. I had a good view, but the best views (and good places to sit), were too sketchy for me. From the OP, I bushwhacked back through the foliage, then climbed 250 ft. up to the south end of the Nash Point knoll.

The 30 ft. scramble to the summit of Nash Point is not difficult — there’s never more than a five foot stretch — but beware the many cracks & gaps that could trap a foot and snap a leg bone if you lose your balance. Be careful. 🚑

Once on top of Nash Point, the view of Fossil Creek Canyon was not all that different from the OP: Still beautiful and expansive. But the summit did give a better perspective of other distant mountains, mesas and canyons. (None of which I could identify.)

It was getting quite toasty, so I wasted no time booking back to the trailhead. My hike concluded, my wife and I headed down AZ-87 into Pine for some cold beers and tasty wood-fired pizza at Old Country Inn: Meat Pie for her, East Coast Clam for me. 🤤

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/728279633
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Bee spiderflower, scarlet penstemon, twistspine prickly pear, century plant, paintbrush, spreading fleabane, and (?) rough menodora.

dry Nash Tank Dry Dry
Doesn't look like it's had water in years.
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Jun 29 2022
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Larson Ridge to Chevelon CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Jun 29 2022
kingsnake
Mtn Biking14.40 Miles 770 AEG
Mtn Biking14.40 Miles   2 Hrs   49 Mns   5.11 mph
770 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I have not done an away hike or bike either of the last two weeks. For … reasons. Worse yet, my already borderline eating habits have gotten worse, due to the lack of time at home. I feel like a pig. Though it’s been over a month since I hiked, today was a planned bike ride, so that’s what I did.

FR 237 looked like it would be mostly flat, with a couple of short, small climbs — excepting the final ½ mile, which I planned to hike to a knob that on sat view looked like it would have great Chevelon Canyon views.

After negotiating one-lane construction on AZ-260, my wife and I arrived at the Larson Ridge Trailhead just after 8:00 a.m. I started biking at 8:30 a.m. (It takes awhile for me to get ready.)

I was surprised there was a white-on-green mile marker "1", under the powerlines, on the east side of FR 237. As I had only been riding for ¾ mile, I knew he distance was measure from AZ-260, not the trailhead. I also spotted mile markers 2 and 3, but nothing beyond that. 🤔

As I wanted uninterrupted footage for my biking video https://vimeo.com/726478641, I did not divert down any side roads, nor did I explore off trail.

There's some very good vehicle camping spots along FR 237, but not a lot of campers. (Not in mid-week, anyway.) Just two vehicles passed me on Larson Ridge. The only pedestrian was a lady with a leashed, but overly energetic, dog. 😒

About 6½ miles down Larson Ridge, on top of Hill 7398, I was not sure whether FR 237 continued straight or split left. I went left, but that seemed to be another camping spot, so turned around, then went straight, passing by some blocking boulders and a fallen tree. Just past where mile marker 7 should have been, trying to lift over a rock, I dabbed.

I was close to where I planned to drop my bike anyway, so I hid it behind some bushes, then continued on foot. Good thing too, as the descent was not only steep, but rocky, with several step-ups there's no way I could have negotiated up hill on a bike. I'd genuinely like to see a strong rider do it.

I made it from Larson Ridge Trailhead to the north end of FR 237 in about 45 minutes, total biking & walking. I spent 30 minutes exploring and enjoying the views of Chevelon Canyon. My return trip took two hours, because I took a lunch break and shot 134 photos along the way.

It's not an exciting trip -- especially if you are hiking or like flower hunting -- but it has a great payoff. 👍
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Palmer’s penstemon, aromatic false pennyroyal, red and yellow pea, yellow evening primrose, western yarrow, pineywoods geranium, showy goldeneye, spreading fleabane and, at final knob, Arizona thistle and scarlet penstemon. Nice patch of lupine on Hill 7433!

p.s. Spotted what looked like a mint species on an unreachable outcropping just off the OP.
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Jun 08 2022
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Campbell Mesa Trail SystemFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Jun 08 2022
kingsnake
Mtn Biking10.41 Miles 467 AEG
Mtn Biking10.41 Miles   1 Hour   39 Mns   6.31 mph
467 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
My plan was to bike a 10-mile “mega loop” including part of Ansazi Loop, most of Campbell Mesa Loop, all of Walnut Meadows Loop, part of Sinagua Loop, and all of Continental Loop. And, if I felt frisky, do it a second time. Or maybe just do one of the shorter loops again. 🤔

I started biking up the dark gravel road past the info kiosk, under the powerlines, onto singletrack Anasazi Loop. After 200 yds., Anasazi Loop splits: Left for clockwise, right for counter-clockwise. I went left.

I passed several hikers on Anasazi Loop and Continental Loop, always approaching cautiously. Everybody was friendly, with the exception of a gal with headphones on who had no clue I was behind her. Stay alert! Stay alive!

There are many small climbs on the Campbell Mesa Trail System, but the two steepest ones are 75 ft. @ 5.9% on Anasazi Loop as it approaches Campbell Mesa Loop, and 60 ft. @ 4.0% on Walnut Meadows Loop from the Arizona Trail intersection. There’s climbs that have more gain, or more distance, but those two are the steepest. This fat man made it up both without dabbing. 💪

… Which was no easy task due to the often rocky trail surface. (Rocks either causing loss of traction, or a step you need to lift over on climbs.) Frequent switchbacks on MTB-optimized trails, such as Campbell Mesa Trail System, also make it harder to maintain pace. Personally, I’d trade switchbacks for the risk of bombing a descent.

At 1.4 miles, at the top of that 5.9% climb, Campbell Mesa Loop splits left from Anasazi Loop. At 2.5 miles, I initially split left onto Flagstaff Loop Trail. I only went a few yards before correcting my mistake. At 4.9 miles, after a couple of moderate climbs, I made a sharp left off Campbell Mesa Trail onto Walnut Meadows Loop. 🧭

Because of the switchbacks on Walnut Meadows Loop, I slow rolled the sketchy bits down to the Arizona Trail intersection, at the 6.2 mile mark. Stay right, or you will end up at heading towards Fisher Point. The 4.0% climb up from that intersection was thankfully less twisty, so I made it up without too much problem.

At 7.6 miles, I split left onto Sinagua Loop. It looked like my route would take me on a long climb up a powerline road, but luckily it was only a few hundred yards. Just after re-entering the forest, I headed straight across a trail intersection, paralleling the powerline back to the dark gravel road. I went straight across that as well, past the information kiosk, onto Continental Loop, which I rode counter-clockwise.

The mild climb up Continental Loop, to the bluff above the Rio de Flag, has really nice views of Mount Elden. The surface was mild. However, the downhill to close the loop was probably the rockiest part of my ride. Being somewhat straighter, I attacked it as much as an old guy can, and my experience was actually smoother than Walnut Meadows Trail.

Because I knew I was running low on GoPro battery, I rode Continental Loop as fast as I was able. I made it back to the dark gravel road with 100 ft. of power to spare. I would definitely ride Campbell Mesa Trail System more often if I lived closer! 👍
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Blue wirelettuce (?), foothill paintbrush, Dalmatian toadflax, lots of tiny fleabane, lupine on the hill near the AZT connector. Maybe more, but that's all I can remember off hand.
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Jun 02 2022
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Bear Canyon to Mule CrossingPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2022
kingsnake
Hiking11.38 Miles 759 AEG
Hiking11.38 Miles   4 Hrs   51 Mns   2.35 mph
759 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was a frustrating drive up to the Rim, with the most hair-pulling occurring following a Forest Service vehicle from AZ-260 nearly all the way to FR 34. She was driving 20 mph on dirt, swerving, and even occasionally brake stabbing. Obviously had never driven on dirt before. Did I mention she was Forest Service?

I finally started hiking around 9:00 a.m.

After crossing the spillway, a gravel path descends to a flat between the spillway to the left, and a creek to the right. I went left because there was a rock “bridge” and a little more space on the canyon bottom. I followed a human foot trail for the next ½ mile. There were so many beer cans -- mostly Bud Light, of course -- that I didn’t bother picking any up. I did pick up other garbage -- including my first balloon of the season -- though. ♻️

The log jam is really something to behold. I hoped the jam meant less deadfall down canyon, and for the most part that is true. I low-crawled once: I stood up too soon, and got stabbed in the neck by a sharp branch stub. Thankfully, no arteries were penetrated.

The only other bloodletting threat in the canyon were mosquitoes, and I didn’t see any north of the log jam, not even when the canyon got wet again. Other critters I encountered were a few lizards, the usual scattered bones, and quite a few butterflies: The ones that stayed still long enough to photograph were spring azure and Queen Alexandra’s sulphur butterflies. 🦋

Besides the "booby trap" (or whatever it is) and the lean-to, I found some fallen branches tied in a X with parachute cord. At the end of my hike, there were some teen boys swimming in the lake. I wonder if they were Boy Scouts, and these were their projects?

A ¼ mile north of the log jam, the canyon passes under a high tension powerline. It’s an open area, roughly 100 yds. wide, so any possible shortage in the powerline doesn’t spark a wildfire. The Bear Fire, which ignited three days prior to my hike, ¾ mile northwest, was started by humans. Luckily, it was out by the next day, having burned only 15 acres. 🔥

I did get confused at Mule Crossing, first starting to follow FR 89, then contemplating the wrong spur to exit the canyon. The correct spur is beween Willow Creek and Bear Canyon. I made it up in seven minutes.

The forest road is covered in about an inch of dust. With one small exception, it is easily SUV-able as far south as the powerline. I saw tire tracks south of the powerline on FR 92A1, where the Forest Service says it is no longer legal to drive. (Yet there were no signs.) Other than a short stretch of forest clearing, there was plenty of shade. 🌲

It was around 3:30 p.m. when I finished, so rather than stop at Woods Canyon Lake for Good Humor ice cream, we headed straight into Payson, hitting Culver’s for dinner and their Flavor of the Day: chocolate custard with M&Ms, Oreo bits and Dove Chocolate drizzled with chocolate syrup. 💉

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/717326868
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Bear Canyon Willow Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Northern bog violet, spreadfruit goldenbanner, Canada violet, alpine false springparsley, spreading fleabane, dandelion, field chickweed, western wallflower and New Mexico groundsel.
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May 25 2022
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Lookout Connector - WMTSPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2022
kingsnake
Hiking10.08 Miles 1,314 AEG
Hiking10.08 Miles   3 Hrs   49 Mns   2.64 mph
1,314 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
As I discovered hiking the WMTS the last two years, Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside get pretty toasty mid-day in June. Hoping for somewhat more moderate temperatures, I moved my annual visit up two weeks.

I was at first confused by the blazes, thinking “LC” was Lookout Connector, which is actually blazed “LK”. The black-on-white, reflective, diamond-shaped blazes are posted roughly every ¼ mile, counting down to the summit of Juniper Ridge. There are also simple “White Mountain Trail System” blazes, and some no-OHV markers. I often found them having fallen on the ground.

Flower coverage was light. The highlight was spotting what I thought were several dozen scattered Gunnison’s Mariposa Lily. (The only other one I’d seen was, ironically, on Juniper Flat in the Sierra Ancha, 50 miles southwest.) Instead, they were doubting mariposa lily.

Manzanita need fire to germinate. And germinate they have since the Rodeo-Chediski Fire! Though there are spot manzanita earlier on Lookout Connector Trail, the FR 9807K spur and the final ¾ mile climb up Juniper Ridge are particularly thick with them.

Earlier on Lookout Connector, most of the burnt trees had fallen. Heading up Juniper Ridge, the dead still stand: their blackened branches vainly beseeching the heavens. I call it the "Ghost Forest".

I’m not real comfortable meeting new people, so I never ask a fire lookout if I can come up for a visit. I’m sure since the Corona 🍻, and now the Monkey Pox, the Forest Service might not even allow stranger visits. Finding a fence around the Juniper Ridge fire lookout made it easy to avoid being asked. Even on the ground, there are great views from northeast to southwest.

Other than swapping water bottles, and photographing a few late blooming flowers, I can’t recall stopping on the return trip.

On way back up FR 136 to AZ-260, we passed ASNF Engine 372. I asked the captain if they had smoke, and he replied just a snag. Whew. Last thing the area needs is another blowup!

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/714928126
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Fire Burn Area & Recovery
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Fair number of alpine false spring parsley along Los Caballos Trail #638 and spreading fleabane along Lookout Connector Trail. New Mexico thistle near summit of Juniper Ridge. Scattered clusters of doubting mariposa lily in middle section. Also, ceanothus(?), toadflax penstemon, baby aster / rose heath, silvery lupine, New Mexico groundsel, slender phlox.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 18 2022
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Long Valley Loop - Mogollon Rim, AZ 
Long Valley Loop - Mogollon Rim, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar May 18 2022
kingsnake
Mtn Biking19.33 Miles 1,082 AEG
Mtn Biking19.33 Miles   3 Hrs   8 Mns   6.17 mph
1,082 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My first "away" mountain bike ride, for which I prepared by riding what I call the Mega Church Loop, around mostly flat Moon Valley and Sunnyslope. The lasso part of this loop is shorter, but with one good climb and several smaller ones. I maybe could have done that, but my brother Chris -- who is a much more experienced rider -- threw in a diversion to Potato Lake that zapped me.

From Fortyfour Canyon, we rode FR 613 past Windfall Spring and Dirtyneck Canyon 4.4 miles to FR 147. There are climbs of 80 (3.8%), 70 (3.7%) and 90 ft. (3.3%) along the way. We turned right on FR 147. From there it is only a few hundred feet to FR 612, but Chris -- who originally wanted to to do the loop twice -- WTH!? 😳 -- suggested a diversion to Potato Lake, so I compromised and went along.

We rode FR 147 down, over Poverty Draw, and along East Clear Creek across Poverty Flat. There were drops of 100 (5.7%) and 80 ft. (5.0%). Potato Lake is 1/2 mile up FR 147B, past first a "no motor vehicle" gate, then next to the lake a "no bikes or horses" gate. Potato Lake looked about 25-33% full. On the way back, I made it up the first climb, but had to push the second. Either way, it's exercise. 😉

Afterwards, we doubled back to FR 612, taking that past Dry Lake, then down FR 141 across Long Valley, which descends 300 twisty feet in a mile (5.7%). I braked often, Chris probably did not. When I asked him what the grade was on his Strava, he said he didn't know because "I was too busy trying to stay alive." 😆

We turned south on FR 147, past the Long Valley work center. What goes down, must unfortunately go up (300 ft. but in twice the distance of the descent.) I struggled, walking twice. It wasn't just my cardio affecting me, but my shoulders were agonizing. I was riding a new bike, with wider handle bars, so maybe that was it? 🤔

After we turned back onto FR 613, I could no longer keep up. Chris rode ahead to bring back his SUV, while I slowly followed.

I don't think the Long Valley Loop is worth a full description, but if you want to bike it, the lasso is 8.9 mi., 535 AEG; the loop is 6.8 mi., 445 AEG; and the diversion to Potato Lake is 5.7 mi., 355 AEG. Total for the whole package? 21.4 mi., 1335 AEG.

🚵🏻‍♂️ Bike Video: https://vimeo.com/712465786
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] HAZ - Selfie
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
I saw maybe three species from my saddle, the only obvious one of which was some yellow primrose along Poverty Flat.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 15 2022
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Mega Church Loop, AZ 
Mega Church Loop, AZ
 
Road Biking avatar May 15 2022
kingsnake
Road Biking17.15 Miles 345 AEG
Road Biking17.15 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   9.80 mph
345 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wasn't sure my knees wanted to do this today. I used maybe a half gear less than previous. (If a half gear were possible.) Still somehow managed to finish 5 minutes faster than previous best. 🤷🏻‍♂️
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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May 12 2022
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Willow Creek - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 12 2022
kingsnake
Hiking11.62 Miles 601 AEG
Hiking11.62 Miles   4 Hrs   34 Mns   2.54 mph
601 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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My plan was to hike FR 9443 for a mile, to bypass Bennet Butler Ranch, drop into Willow Creek at the ranch’s north gate, hike down canyon to Paul’s Crossing, then double back on decommissioned FR 9443. It didn’t look like it would be too difficult, but on the Mogollon Rim, looks can be deceiving!

On the short descent from FR 34, just past the first split is a large log blocking decommissioned FR 9443. I was kinda surprised the log wasn’t at FR 34.

Descending to Willow Creek, I came in a bit south of Bennet Butler Ranch's north gate, so I followed the tree line north for a hundred yards. The creek bottom was grassy, with many shallow pools, but no flow.

Initially, it did not appear there would be many flowers, so I took pictures of everything I found, including garbage. I ended up packing out a Gatorade label, ten beer cans, and an empty quart of motor oil. By the time I started back on FR 9443, my pockets were full of crushed beer cans.

Despite the lack of flow in Willow Creek, there was plenty of evidence of relatively recent flooding, in the form of several patches of long grass bent in a downstream direction. I wonder how long it takes for grass to straighten itself after a flood?

Even though Willow Creek was generally easy going, I still managed to fall. Luckily, I landed on the most padded part of my anatomy. 😉

At Paul's Crossing, I turned onto FR 9443. Remember the road blocking logs earlier? Hoo, boy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Some are a single large log, some are stacked smaller logs, and some are smaller logs spread out horizontally. Almost all the roadblocks are placed so that it would be difficult for a vehicle to drive around it, upslope or downhill. I bet there are twenty roadblocks. Some are less than 100 ft. apart. 🙄

I had lunch just before Ives Mesa Tank. It was so relaxing, I lay down and shut my eyes for a few minutes. 😴

After I finished my hike, my wife and I stopped at Woods Canyon Lake’s bait shop, for a post-hike adult libation, a second lunch and — like I told the counter lady — the main reason I hike on the Mogollon Rim: Good Humor ice cream.

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/709955783
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Willow Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Dandelion were most common, but light, both in the canyon and along FR 9443. In canyon, I spotted Canada violet, northern bog violet, northern rockjasmine and ashen milkvetch. Along FR 9443, short-sepal bitter-root, and the yellow thing I cannot identify. Plenty of spreadfruit goldenbanner along Rim Rd.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
4 archives
May 09 2022
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 Guides 103
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Mega Church Loop, AZ 
Mega Church Loop, AZ
 
Road Biking avatar May 09 2022
kingsnake
Road Biking17.15 Miles 345 AEG
Road Biking17.15 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   9.35 mph
345 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
No tunnel trolls today. Restrooms at both ends of Cave Creek park locked at 6:30 a.m. Interesting. Lookout Mountain restrooms were unlocked at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday. 🤔 Mega Church soccer field on 19th Ave. had several portapotties, also locked -- with one exception. Someone must have busted it. Wasn't me. Knees more sore today, even though I finished in the same total time.

Oh!

TECH TIP: No GoPro footage. Why, you might ask? Because when you delete bits from your GoPro using your computer, the bits are still seen as "on" the GoPro, just in the hidden ./trash folder. So, your GoPro looks empty, but is full. So, to make sure you have your full storage available, after deleting files from your GoPro, empty your computer's trash. (Deleting the files in the chip's ./trash folder is not possible, even if the file is unlocked.)
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 05 2022
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 Guides 103
 Routes 262
 Photos 9,788
 Triplogs 768

60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Mega Church Loop, AZ 
Mega Church Loop, AZ
 
Road Biking avatar May 05 2022
kingsnake
Road Biking17.15 Miles 345 AEG
Road Biking17.15 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   9.35 mph
345 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Rode this ( [ popup triplog ] ) 17-mile loop for the first time in 9 years. Wasn't sure I could do it, but no problems, and finished four minutes faster than last time. The new-ish non-intersection pedestrian lighted crossing at the mega church on 19th Ave., just south of Greenway. Both south bound lanes stopped. One northbound lane stopped. The other zipped right on through. Luckily, I was on the south bound (west) side. Climb up to Lookout Mountain Park not nearly as steep as I remember. Three of the four tunnels on the canal had tunnel trolls. Six camping in the tunnel under 19th Ave at Hatcher. Two of them actually said "good morning", so I returned the greeting. :)
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
average hiking speed 2.41 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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