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96 triplogs

May 07 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Shaw Butte via NMVC, AZ 
Shaw Butte via NMVC, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar May 07 2019
jacobemerick
Run/Jog4.15 Miles 792 AEG
Run/Jog4.15 Miles      47 Mns   5.30 mph
792 ft AEG
no photosets
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Quick run before meeting. Made sure to tag the Peak this time. Saw a few other masochistic runners out there. Weather was fantastic.
_____________________
May 05 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ 
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 05 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking4.53 Miles 773 AEG
Hiking4.53 Miles   1 Hour   11 Mns   3.83 mph
773 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
no photosets
Morning workout. Took a nice fall on loose gravel at 1.2m, hurt back and left a sweet bruise on one hand. Then had a wardrobe malfunction (backpack unzipped and some barbells fell out) within sight of the lot. Not the most fun or glamorous outing, but at least my time is still decent.
_____________________
May 05 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Hieroglyphics Trail #101Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 05 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking3.09 Miles 576 AEG
Hiking3.09 Miles   2 Hrs   9 Mns   1.75 mph
576 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Family hike! Left lot at 10am with the hope that the heat would help acclimate kiddos to the coming summer and would burn them out after a full (restless) chore-day on Sat. It worked. The hike up was a drag, especially for the 5yr old, who spent the entire time complaining about gnats and tripping over every rock on the trail. Freeze pops, icy water, and making friends at the spring gave them a huge second wind that carried through to the descent. Celebrated a successful hike with Oreos and a splash pad visit before returning home.

Plenty of other hikers on the trail, parking lot was less than half full and most people were super friendly/happy to be out there.
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Apr 27 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Queen Creek Cyn / Road - Little England WallGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Climbing avatar Apr 27 2019
jacobemerick
Climbing
Climbing
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
From the Atlantis parking area, we followed the old road S, went through the old tunnel, and climbed a few routes at the W entrance. *think* this is L England, not sure. Anyways, on the left side of the tunnel there are two routes, a 5.5 and 5.7?, and then on the right a spicy 5.7. Everything had bolts. Toproped the 5.5 to warm up, then led climbed (while on belay) to see how it felt. Also tried both 5.7s and... yeah, not there yet, barely made it halfway up one. Others in our groups danced up and made it look easy. Nice and shaded until eleven.
_____________________
Apr 18 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Shaw Butte via NMVC, AZ 
Shaw Butte via NMVC, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Apr 18 2019
jacobemerick
Run/Jog3.30 Miles 619 AEG
Run/Jog3.30 Miles      39 Mns   5.08 mph
619 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Quick run before education. Was running low on time so I turned around after 25 mins. Funny how the distance passed quicker going downhill.
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Apr 13 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Tonto National Monument - Lower DwellingsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 13 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking3.00 Miles 650 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
650 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another family outing. Started at Boyce - Thompson, then circled through Miami and hit up the ruins. Arboretum was great, as always, and we took advantage of the cooler temps to do the 'High Trail', which was a bit boring compared to the lower sections, still something different. First time at the Monument for the wife, she was super interested in the history. Mandatory treats were had at AJ.
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Feb 23 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Dragonfly Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 23 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking3.80 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles
420 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took the kids out for a hike shortly after one of the big snow/rain events of the winter. Creek was quite full and some parts of the footbridge were underwater, just made the crossings more fun. Biggest obstacle was the mud. After one sloppy half-mile my 2 yr old had mud up to her knees and elbows, and she kept right on leaping towards the puddles. We also bumped into an injured baby snake on the way down, took the time to explain to the kids how to be safe around hurt animals and treat them with respect, and together we moved him off-trail to someplace safer. Route was Spur Cross :next: Dragonfly :next: Jewel, then a short hop along the road to return to parking area.
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Jan 21 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Peralta to Fremont SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking5.94 Miles 1,933 AEG
Hiking5.94 Miles   5 Hrs   2 Mns   1.32 mph
1,933 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Eldest and I both had the day off so we dropped the younglings off at daycare and headed out to the Supes. He (5yrs old) did mostly fine on the climb up Peralta Trail, two breaks along the way, though the complaining was thick for the last half mile. We had a healthy pause at the saddle before heading over to Cave Trail. He perked up as we headed downhill, frequently impressed by the alcoves along the way and the big views. That hairy section by the bathtub was even more hairy while trying to coach a kid on down-climbing, he followed my instructions carefully and we made it down safely. As expected, there was always several cairned paths to chose from along the way, and we made some bad choices that led to some bushwhacking for the last half-mile to Bluff Springs. All in all it was a terrific day with him and we got back in town just in time to pick up the younglings, still clad in dusty boots and glowing from the experience.

Oh, and the trail traffic was minimal. Maybe eight groups on Peralta Trail and no one on Cave Trail. We picked a perfect day to do this one.
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Jan 19 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
National Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking16.12 Miles 2,609 AEG
Hiking16.12 Miles   6 Hrs   52 Mns   2.99 mph
2,609 ft AEG   1 Hour   28 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Helped as trail guard during the National Trail Trek, hiking along the length and mingling with participants. Everyone was in great spirits, trail wasn’t that crowded, and only minimal injuries to attend to. Shockingly green along much of the mountain.
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Jan 05 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Shaw Butte from NMVC, AZ 
Shaw Butte from NMVC, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking8.50 Miles 1,610 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles
1,610 ft AEG42 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Was aiming for sub-hour, almost but not quite. To atone for the miss I dropped twenty pounds and did it a second time. 🤷‍♂️
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Jan 01 2019
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Saddle Mountain Loop, AZ 
Little Saddle Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking2.62 Miles 450 AEG
Hiking2.62 Miles   2 Hrs   22 Mns   1.30 mph
450 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
With the recent weather happenings my heart wanted the Mazzies but my fatherhood responsibilities had me solo parenting, so I compromised and took them to the Mazzies. Expected to find a light dusting and was greeted with inches on the ground before Sunflower, an incredibly icy 627, and otherstately scenes along the trail. Kids were totally enamored with this adventure from start to finish. Highlights:
- 5 yr old teaching his brother how to make snow angels
- 3 yr old getting a dumped on by a tree branch and, instead of crying, releasing the deepest and most authentic belly-laugh I’ve ever heard
- 1 yr old wolfing down mitten-fulls of snow as fast as she could scoop

One of the best adventures we’ve ever been on. Can’t wait to take them deeper into these mountains.
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Dec 30 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking2.54 Miles 322 AEG
Hiking2.54 Miles   2 Hrs   28 Mns   1.11 mph
322 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Sister and her bf joined me and my three kids on a late morning hike. Temps were nice and we quickly shed outer layers. Trail was well cairned and I let the 5 yr old do most of the route finding. Kids started whining at the final saddle so we decided to skip the final climb to the horn’s base. Overall, the section near Willow Creek was the most scenic, and it was nice talking with adults after so many kid vacation days.
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Dec 21 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ 
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking4.62 Miles 777 AEG
Hiking4.62 Miles   1 Hour   11 Mns   3.90 mph
777 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
no photosets
+better pack
+more weight (2x20 felt much better)
+tunes via headphones

-yesterday’s hiit left my legs on E

Embraced the shuffle-jog more on the flats. Would love to crack an hour with 40lb, might try on fresh legs next time.
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Dec 15 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Hackberry Spring from Horse LotPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 15 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking2.30 Miles 255 AEG
Hiking2.30 Miles   2 Hrs   2 Mns   1.42 mph
255 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Family hike. This time hauled along the parents and sister and her boyfriend, so a total of eight humans (mostly Emerick) and one dog tromping down the trails. We only made it to the tributary turn-off before the parents wanted to turn around... Can't blame them, my boys were being naughty. Anyways, there was plenty of water in the tanks along the creek, though they were starting to get a little mossy and old. Enough to splash in. 20 month old walked most of the way from the ranch back to the parking lot :y:
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Dec 05 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Upper Mazatzal Loop, AZ 
Upper Mazatzal Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 05 2018
jacobemerick
Backpack51.92 Miles 9,373 AEG
Backpack51.92 Miles2 Days         
9,373 ft AEG
 
1st trip
After traipsing around the wilderness for three years, this adventure completes the last of the Mazatzal trails for me. Saved this one for last, as it was one of the OG planned routes and I figured that I would need every bit of experience, both in terms of hiking and gear, in order to knock it out in two days.

FR 194
Road walking in the dark. Bumped into two hunters, didn't even realize the season was starting in a few days.

Saddle Ridge #14
Once my eyes adjusted from the two-track to a single track it was pretty easy going. Cairns are big and tread is (usually) easy to make out, a dark line in the light grass, even with no moon to speak of and a few dozen candles strapped to my head. Sun waited until I was 4 miles in before it began to lighten the sky. After that it was smooth sailing, easy going over the pleasant trail, and the snow-dusted North Peak beckoned me onward with icy promises. Watered up at Whiterock Spring, which is heckin' beautiful. Only annoying section is that drop off of Polles Mesa, that got a little painful. Briefly checked out Polk Spring and then crossed the East Verde with little fanfare. That half mile of trail on the south side dragged.

Bull Spring #34
The haul up and over Copper Mountain was just enough to warm me up. It's better defined than I remembered - then again, last year, I had been stumbling down this way hours after sunset, so I may have been biased. Conceded to giving my legs a twenty minute break near Bullfrog Spring to down some water and caffeine before the main climb of the day. Then it was off to the races, a steady march up to the pass, and I passed the time looking around at the other roads criss-crossing their way up these hills. The tread on this trail is smooth and easy enough to let the eyes wander, a rare treat in the Mazzies.

Trail began to fade immediately after the AZT junction, which is to be expected, though it was never hard to track through the waist-high brush, even without a cairn in sight. Beyond the pass there are two minor drainages to swing through, the first of which has an old mining exploration and trailside tank to check out, before the drop into the valley of Bull Spring(s). Along the way I began to pick up the smell of something big and dead and I wondered if something would be fouling up one of the two water sources ahead (ick!) or if I'd stumble upon a kill (yay?). Never found the source of the smell. Anyways, took a break at Bull Spring to pull up to full capacity, struggled a bit to find a steady tread in the area, and then proceeded to LF Hilton, which is in rough shape.

Wet Bottom #269
One of the two sections of trail that I feared the most - yet it had such a great start. No sign at the junction by the cabin, just a curve in the trail. As soon as it crosses the drainage a steady line of cairns show up (a promising sight, after the cairn-free Bull Spring Trail) and a wide, rocky tread marches up the hillside. I was feeling a little tired at this point (over 20 miles behind me) and I noticed, with some dismay, that after the climb there was a second little drainage and valley to walk through. At least there were some good rock tanks down here, so I took the time to guzzle one of my bladders and refill it.

The west side of the valley marked an important point. First, there's a spur trail to Childer's Seep (which I didn't have the time or energy to check out today). Also, it marks the edge of the Willow Fire boundary. This, this is what I was looking forward to the most: a Mazatzal trail near 5000', south of the East Verde, that was spared from that fire. It was immediately gratifying. Old junipers and pinyons and other trees that I'm not smart enough to name (no ponderosas) clustered on the top of this mesa. The route swung back and forth, offering views north to Limestone and south to Wet Bottom Creek and Midnight Mesa, mostly shaded along the way. The cairns were large and the tread, even when it was covered by low branches, was well-defined. I did lose it a few times, either due to impatience or grassy sections.

When the trail began to drop is when it got harder and harder to follow. There were a few obvious re-routes done in more recent years that deviated from my track and, sometimes, didn't even make sense to me. One particularly memorable example was where the route dropped steadily down a drainage with small, humble cairns, only to suddenly be re-routed 300 yards for a mild switchback using huge, chest-high cairns, and then revert back to the little rock piles and original tread. And then, below contour 4400', the trail hugs the north side of a ridge and all bets are off, with game trails, thick growth, and loose ground all conspiring to cause mayhem. I fought this for almost an hour and made a mile of progress and decided to call it a night.

Found a pleasant saddle with a flat spot protected by a large pinyon and quickly set up camp, getting the basic structure in before light left the sky. After the initial rush I took my time boiling water for dinner and tea before settling in with the Kindle. By eight I was completely out and, with the exception of a few rollovers, slept right through the night, one of the better sleeps I've had outside. Woke up an hour before light and just barely got my camp packed up before it started to drizzle. Made oatmeal and coffee under the soft, inconsistent patter of tiny droplets.

The final four miles of trail passed by quickly, becoming steadily better defined the closer I got to the next junction. The only nasty bit was a valley (more like a mesquite maze surrounded by a moat of catclaw) that I eventually did find a way, but not the right way, through. Took a while to pick up the trail on the far side. Squaw Butte became more defined as I descended and the morning drizzle faded in and out, never enough to warrant taking my poncho out for. Reached Highwater at 900, which was the planned campsite for last night, putting me a solid 3 hours behind schedule.

Highwater #20
Feels like I was just on this thing. Watered up at Canyon Creek, otherwise kept my feet moving northward. The rain and mist was starting to thicken and I was started to get worried that my contingency plan (spending a second night out here) might not work with these cold temps and wet weather. This time I followed the trail all the way to the proper junction w/ Verde and found a lonely pole, no sign, to mark it.

Verde River #11
The second feared section of trail, and it was... impeccable. Seriously. It is in at least, if not better, as good of condition as Highwater. Shortly after the junction it cuts right down to the river with a series of rocky switchbacks and then, complete with good cairns, marches along the sandy banks with a few jumps to avoid different obstacles. The first two miles has a lot of bovine traffic, and they stuck to the tread. I was surprised to see a well-defined trail so remote and took advantage of it, putting on the afterburners to make up time.

Rain was coming down pretty steady by now, which, coupled with the wet brush, had my shirt, pants, and boots completely soaked. The temps were in the mid-50s so, as long as I kept moving, this wasn't a problem. Thanks to the well-defined trail and flat going there was no real need to stop, so I didn't. Sure, there were plenty of cool things to take photos of (Squaw Butte kept stealing the show, but there was also Red Wall Rapids, a few very rugged washes, and even a campsite or two), and there were also long stretches of straight path through creosote. Things got a little hairy near the end, when I got impatient on the far side of 2878' and decided to take a more direct route instead of backtracking to the tread and had to play spider-monkey on some rock walls above the Verde. Made it to the East Verde in one piece and let a deep sigh out - it was almost all known trail from here.

Watered up, changed socks, and launched towards the final 11 miles with just a hair over three hours of daylight left. Initial climb to Deadman Mesa Trail was new ground and was steep and rocky and simple to follow. Then I swung east and began the long climb to Twin Buttes. There were two things that I wasn't ready for. The first was fogged glasses... the harder I climbed, the more I steamed, and harder it was to see, which forced me to take periodic breaks to wipe the fog away (cue flashbacks to Midwest hiking). Second was the mud. Everyone complains about the rocks on this trail, yet the mud is so much worse. Even a 20' section of mud would add pounds of clay to each boot, weighing me down and throwing my balance off. I would pray for rocks just to knock some of the clods off.

This quickly became a muddy death march. Thankfully the trail is easy to follow and I could dedicate my focus on sliding one foot in front of the other and not hunting cairns. At least I saw some elk, and cattle, and even a very fat rabbit to break things up. Was within a mile of the boundary when I had to haul out the headlamp, which didn't help at all, and I stumbled-tripped, all balance and coordination wiped out by the haul, in a generally correct direction until, ten feet from the metal posts, a pair of headlights flipped on and completely blinded me. Two hunters (a different set) were very friendly and offered me a ride back down to my Jeep below, which I couldn't agree to fast enough.

Mazatzal Miles: 275/275 (100%)
Fauna
Fauna
Elk
Culture
Culture
Campsite
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage Sunset
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Along the Verde, so lovely.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bee Tree Tanks 26-50% full 26-50% full
Super muddy. A gang of elk were going to town in it.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bull Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both cement trough and metal ring were full of clear water, minimal green stuff near bottom, tasted great.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bull Trap Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Plenty of shallow pools, tho Bull Spring up a ways seemed more appealing / dependable.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max East Verde River Medium flow Medium flow
Plenty of water, though there are still dry crossing spots if you hunt for a bit.


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Polk Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Beautiful area, lots and lots of water.

dry Red Metal Tank Dry Dry
Nothing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Red Saddle Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Lots of mud, murky water would be hard to reach and totally not worth it.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Rock Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
Almost as much water flowing into the E Verde as... the E Verde itself.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Saddle Ridge Pasture Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Whiterock Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Tank was overflowing with clear, cold water.
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2 archives
Nov 25 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ 
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 25 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking4.56 Miles 842 AEG
Hiking4.56 Miles   1 Hour   14 Mns   3.70 mph
842 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
no photosets
Quick workout before wife goes to work and saddles me with fatherly duties. Goldmine is steeper than I remembered. Lots of runners out this am, only a few bikers. Need to tweak my pack - 35 lb dumbbell in a basic backpack without hip belt was quickly unbearable.
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Nov 18 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Wave CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 18 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking3.52 Miles 959 AEG
Hiking3.52 Miles   3 Hrs   8 Mns   1.45 mph
959 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another outing w/ the kiddos. Trail is much more defined than I remember it, even has a 'Wave Cave' sign at the Lost Goldmine junction, though there's no sign at the fork for West Boulder Saddle, only a lonely post and cairn. 3 yr old had a hard time staying on his feet for the first mile and took two good falls and his anguish announced our presence for miles around, even though there was no blood and minimal bruising. Anyways, the last half mile was difficult for them and we took it slow and safe and reached the cave intact. They loved the cave and spent over a half hour dancing on the wave, kicking up the dirt, and even making dust angels, at my previously-clean Jeep's expense. Leaving was a struggle but it was getting crowded in the cave, and the hike down was predictably slow. 5 yr old, who had new boots on this hike, really enjoyed this adventure until he took a tumble and bruised up a knee, then this was 'the worst idea ever'. 1 yr old was carried to/from the cave, only getting out to toddle around the cave and enjoy a snack, and made happy sounds the entire time. Trail and lot was crowded but not insane, maybe a dozen groups out there before noon.

Aside: this is now the third 'destination' hike in as many weeks and, while they really liked the destination, all of them had crowded trails and felt a little march-ish for their little legs. As much as I want to try something like Fremont w/ them I think they need a relaxing wander without crowds, something that's more play than hike.
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Nov 11 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Red Crk - Wet Btm - Highwater - Verde 11, AZ 
Red Crk - Wet Btm - Highwater - Verde 11, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking26.76 Miles 3,046 AEG
Hiking26.76 Miles   12 Hrs   6 Mns   2.60 mph
3,046 ft AEG   1 Hour   49 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Took a page from the godfathers' book on this loop. If you haven't read their triplogs, check it out; I personally think the Eagle's video of Joe crossing at Red Creek Rapids is some of his finest work.

FR 18/Red Creek
Hope was to drive all the way to the Red Creek gate. The new Jeep, stock Renegade Latitude, was not enjoying FR 18, so I gave up halfway and walked a few road miles by headlamp instead. Didn't want to risk my ride out. Dropping into Red Creek felt like slipping into a cold bath. Always enjoy seeing my breath during a hike - reminds me I'm still kicking.

Red Creek was a fun walk, especially as the day slowly woke around me to reveal spots of color. Guessing two more weeks for the real show. Flow seemed normal, though there was visible trickle that started at the airport and flowed to the Verde, which I haven't seen before. Passed by one camp and one backpacker, otherwise a quiet morning. At the base of the creek was a gaggle of Jeeps and sprawling camp. They were nice, offering me breakfast and coffee and advice on crossing the Verde, so I felt a little bad when I had to cross the Verde in front of them clad only in boxers and shirt (water was about thigh deep).

After crossing the river I ducked into the reeds to dry off with some dignity before heading over to a short section of Verde River Trail. Already did this section of trail a year ago, so there wasn't anything terribly exciting. Awkward shuffle to find the start of the trail along the bank, steep climb up loose rocks, and then the sign for the start of Wet Bottom. It was a quick half mile.

Wet Bottom #269
Loose rolling rocks faded into solid tread and huge cairns which, coupled with the waking views, made for a dreamy section of trail. Lush green growth along the way made it all the better, even when it tried to hide the route. The climb passed too quickly and, upon reaching the junction with Highwater, I had a hard time turning away. An in-and-out to Bull Springs, with Racetrack Mesas and Limestone Hills to ogle the entire time, sounded so much more fun than playing along the Verde.

Highwater #20
Had a hard time getting into the groove of this trail. Tread was initially difficult to find, and the cairns, while big, had a tendency to shyly duck behind prickly pear and brush. Once it dropped off the mesa things got better and the northern views got more awesome. In fact, the trail was overall well-defined and in good shape (that drop into Canyon Creek was a work of art), although every wash was your typical Mazzie route-finding challenge. Pete's Cabin Mesa was some of the most verdant green I've seen in the lowlands and, as the trail entered this area, I was walled in by vegetation that felt more like an immature Midwest forest than usual open desert. It was fantastic.

The hike got less fantastic after this. Started when I tried to cut over on the 'bottom leg' of the triangle connecting Highwater and Verde River, which is the same route that Joe & Eagle took. Safe to say there's no trail here. There used to be, found some old cairns and tread, but everything is terribly overgrown by palo verde and prickly pear decades old. Should have continued north and done the 'top legs' of the triangle instead, maybe I would have seen the trail junction sign.

Verde River #11
Second frustration happened when I saw the humble state of the Verde River Trail. Tread was almost invisible, cairns were tiny and easy to miss, and everything was wildly overgrown. Compared to the other two trails of today this was by far the hardest to track. I'm not sure why there is such disparity between this and Highwater, both in the same general area - maybe this one is older and hasn't gotten love in a few centuries or something. Anyways, following it south offered good views of the river below and Canoe Mesa beyond and was mentally exhausting.

As soon as the route dropped below the upper banks of the river I was left trail-less so I ambled in the general direction of rapids. Thick reeds masked the way forward so I spent some time doing recon, hacking through to peer up and down just to backtrack and do it again. Confirmed the island was still there and that the upriver side would be easier to wade around than downriver, so I switched footware and hopped in. Water was deeper and slower this time. Got to the other side, filtered out some water, hopped on the bank, dried off and packed up, then walked a hundred feet just to bump into another channel and the realization that there were two parallel islands here and I had to do the whole ritual again. Third frustration. All told it took me 90 minutes to finally get to the western bank.

The haul up the other bank was quick and well-defined, if overgrown, and I welcomed the chance to move in a single direction again. Views from the top were sweet, always nice to look across at them Mazzie hills. Then the trail got, again, hard to follow, with small cairns and barely-there tread. Not quite as bad as the east section, still annoying. When the route followed the contour of a ravine or dropped down a hillside it was easy; flatland and saddles were difficult. The old two-track that picks up before Table Mountain was a most welcome sight.

Oh, and there were tire tracks along most of this section, complete with dug-up tread, knocked over cairns, and uprooted growth. Two tires, in-and-out, guessing it was motorized by the tracks and fresh enough to have happened this weekend. Depressing to see in the wilderness.

Red Creek/FR 18
It was nice to see this pretty section of trail with more light. It was even nicer to see my vehicle at the end.

Mazatzal Miles: 245.7/275 (89%)
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Yellows are starting to yellow. Another few weeks and Red Creek and Verde will be popping.

dry Canyon Creek Dry Dry
Dry at trail crossing, thought I heard something further upstream, didn't check.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Middle Red Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Nice and clear. Only one section of dry bed, otherwise flow all the way to Verde River.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Red Creek Rapids Heavy flow Heavy flow
Over 2' deep, challenging to cross.
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Nov 10 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Hidden Valley via Mormon TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 10 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking4.43 Miles 1,037 AEG
Hiking4.43 Miles   3 Hrs   31 Mns   1.48 mph
1,037 ft AEG      31 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took the kids up to Hidden Valley for... the third or forth time now? Eh, they really like the little valley, and even the littlest one can handle the sandy washes and (some of) the rock obstacles along the way. Lots of traffic out there, parking lot was full by 7am, and there were even four or five bikes on the Mormon trail climb, which was slightly annoying. Ran into a particularly friendly hiker en route who took our picture and chatted w/ us for about a mile, nice to have an adult conversation to break up the kid chatter.
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Nov 06 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Shaw Butte, AZ 
Shaw Butte, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Nov 06 2018
jacobemerick
Run/Jog4.04 Miles 767 AEG
Run/Jog4.04 Miles      48 Mns   5.05 mph
767 ft AEG
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Up and down the Butte from NMVC. Lots of people enjoying the trails and weather.
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1 archive
average hiking speed 1.71 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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