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Tmcorcoran - Arizona Trail Journal - 2018

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Tabasco
City: Peoria
State: Arizona
Country: USA
Begins: May 21, 2018
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Jun 9th, 2018
Start: 761.7 Jacob Lake (Orderville) Trailhead
End: 781.6 Near Basin Canyon
Daily Distance: 19.9
Trip Distance: 436.8
Hours Hiked: 9.5
Daily Ascent: 700
Daily Descent: 1900
Min Elevation: 6400
Max Elevation: 7500
People Met: 0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 176
Journal Visits: 3,224
Guestbook Views: 30
Guestbook Entrys: 4

Last PLB Location

Arizona Trail Map

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Summit Valley

Leaving the Kaibab Plateau

This last leg of just 2 days is all we have left. We had a big breakfast at the Jacob Lake Inn before starting out with a full stomach. Didn't get to the trailhead until 8 am. Once again the trail surprised me. I thought we'd be walking out of the forest and onto desert with just sand and rock. Maybe we will at the end but we were among trees for the whole day today.

Going north out of Jacob Lake we watched the forest change as we lost elevation all day. We are descending the Kaibab Plateau. The aspens are gone. The ponderosas looked very unhealthy and diseased for while, lots of the trees look like they are dying and have blue paint on them but I don't know what is killing them. Will someone come in and cut them down and haul them out? Don't know. Fortunately we were soon back among healthy looking pines. The aspens were replaced by oak, then juiper, I believe it is the Utah Juniper. We descended down a drainage for a while and then boom, suddenly we were in a huge long and wide valley called the Summit Valley. Like the others it had trees on the hillside but on the flats was not grassland, but thousands of tiny 3 foot high juniper bushes that looked like they had been planted there on a farm. Never saw anything like it. We walked on a very straight trail at the edge of the valley for quite some time. Finally we left the valley for what I can only describe as a desert forest. Mostly junipers, some pines and spruces, about 30 feet apart with sand and rocks separating them, and a few prickly pears and yuccas here and there.

We really have not seen much wildlife this trip but today I saw a toad on the trail and took a picture. Pretty bad when it's noteworthy just to see a toad! Also a Kaibab Squirrel but that was just on the AZT signs. No sign of other hikers either.

We made camp a little early at 5 pm with just 7 miles to the state line. It's very strange and a little sad to be so close to the end. Smurf and I usually talk about the trail and days ahead at dinner but tonight there was not much trail to talk about, so we spoke of other things.

I am going to cowboy camp tonight and look at the stars. The moon won't rise till 4 am so it should be a clear dark and moonless sky. And I broke all the rules of lightweight hiking by trading my mophie phone charger for binoculars this leg. I don't know how many ounces I added but I'm hoping it will be worth it.

Entry 31 of 32
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Tabasco's AZT Hike - North Half

The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a continuous, 800+ mile diverse and scenic trail across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. It links deserts, mountains, canyons, communities and people. Learn more: www.aztrail.org

 

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