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Colter - Arizona Trail Journal - 2020

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City: Fairbanks
State: Alaska
Begins: Feb 25, 2020
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Feb 27th, 2020
Entry Lat: 31.49
Entry Lng: -110.54

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 194
Journal Visits: 2,880
Guestbook Views: 212
Guestbook Entrys: 8

Arizona Trail Map

(Click image for full size)


Winter on the Arizona Trail

Sometime around midnight a cold wind started howling. Even though our campsite was protected from the brunt of it, the roar was impressive. The temperature plummeted. In the morning my water bottles were half frozen.

Walking up the ridge after packing up we were buffeted by strong winds. The wind chill must have been near zero. When the sun came up I put on my clip-on sunglasses and after a while a gust tore them off and spun them off into the next canyon.

The trail climbed to over 9,000 feet where it was a different world. Big evergreens and aspen and stretches of snow frozen solid. A plus, better than post-holing.

Bathtub spring was heaven. Hidden from the wind the warm sun streamed down onto soft pine needles. A pleasant stream of water flowed into an old bathtub, a major water source for wildlife and hikers. Bright Eyes caught up and we chatted and ate lunch. She’s led an interesting life, including being a wilderness survival instructor.

It was cold whenever the wind hit. The trail descended 3,000 feet. I spotted Bright Eyes ahead. She was filtering water she’d found. We camped just above in a big, beautiful spot on soft pine needles.

I slept great in the silence of a wind-free night. I packed as the sky brightened and started walking.

It was a pleasant day of hiking on a nice trail with mostly gentle climbs and descents, up and down drainages and through scattered juniper and manzanita, with many beautiful views. I saw two whitetail deer feeding. There was frost on the grass in shaded areas until 10 but by noon it was almost hot on the climbs. I ate lunch along the tricling water of Parker Canyon.

I talked to a hiker from Washington state while I was setting up this blog on a hilltop. He is a fruit grower and a nice fellow. Bright Eyes arrived soon after he left.

I found Bright Eyes camped a half mile below but I hiked on to put in a few more miles. Near dark I got water from a stream where cattle had been drinking. Thank goodness for a good filter. I hiked uphill to a flat spot where I rolled out my sleeping pad in the junipers and shook out my sleeping bag and I was home.

If you click the Arizona Trail link on the left of the page you can see a map of the trail and my position.

I will be updating only sporadically. Thanks for reading.

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Journal Photo

Lewis And Clark Trail

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