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Ellen S - Arizona Trail Journal - 2020

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No Butt
State: AZ
Country: US
Begins: Mar 13, 2020
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, May 1st, 2021
Start: E Verde River
End: Tubb Ranch
Daily Distance: 44
Trip Distance: 717.5

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 13
Journal Visits: 1,325
Guestbook Views: 10
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Arizona Trail Map

Knocking 'em out

We spent a few days finishing off some of our remaining miles. Our original intent had been to do the entire Mazatzal section but...first we were delayed by a storm that moved thru the area, then by an abscessed tooth that needed treatment. So I guess some of this will wait for fall, since the temps and water availability are a problem now. Frustrating!

We started by hiking into LF Ranch along the E Verde River. We'd only hiked this closed road once before, so it was fun to do the ups and downs and remember how it was in the past. We quickly reached the turn-off of the trail to the river. The Verde is a pleasant place to linger and an easy crossing this time of year. Not the best place to camp, because the LF Ranch has peacocks and their 'meow!' calls can disrupt one's sleep. After crossing the river, the trail climbs atop a plateau. We spotted a petroglyph on the way up that we'd not seen before. Only makes sense that the water-rich area would have been heavily used by game and Native American groups in the past, but we'd not seen much in the past. The hiking along the plateau was easy. We quickly reached Whiterock Tank, our water source for the day and took an early lunch. Climbing up to the top of Whiterock Mesa, there were an assortment of interesting rock formations. In the past, I've thought they looked like bones. They actually are remnants of corral reefs that converted to limestone over millennium. We ended the day by climbing up Hardscrabble Mesa. A new portion of the Arizona Trail has been built to take one more directly to Oak Spring. Since we had hiked the old trail there a few months ago, we opted to take the old route up to a now-abandoned trailhead; we trudged uphill on some of the rockiest trail yet. Guess no one will maintain this area now!

We headed to the Flagstaff area to finish off bits and pieces there. After a great breakfast in Pine at the Early Bird Diner, we headed north. On a day with high winds, we walked from Cedar Ranch to Tubb Ranch. The next day, we walked from Kelly Tank to Cedar Ranch, meeting Hob, a thru who is working on completing his 3rd triple crown. We enjoyed his stories (he's being treated for rabies after a fox bit his toe). He and his wife have hiked and biked the world, and have so much to share! Before we ran into him, we found a small prehistoric ruin along the trail. There was a small grassy area, indicating that there perhaps was once a spring there. Yeah But noticed a few pieces of pottery along the trail. We walked a short distance off the trail to where we thought a ruin might be and found quite a bit more. No rocks in the area, so any dwellings would have been of more perishable materials.

Another day, we hiked down from Aspen Corner near the Snowbowl to Kelly Tank. We met a couple of female thrus who were understandably excited to be approaching the end of their hike and the Grand Canyon. There were a few patches of snow. The aspens hadn't leafed out yet.

Finally, we walked from the Snowbowl Road into Buffalo Park. Being a weekday, only a few mountain bikers along these portions, and all were polite in warning us. (On a weekend, it can be downright scary to get whizzed by bikes on these slopes!) There were some beautiful trees blooming in downtown Flag; would love to know what they were! A pleasant way to end this bit of hiking.

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