Judy writes Blue Ridge Resv to Pine Trailhead hike 35 miles 4-14 thru 4-17 2007
Drove Blue Ridge to Allen Lake 30 miles 4-18 2007 Connie, Nancy & Judy
Had a great system worked out with 1 car at Pine Trailhead, drove to the top of Blue Resv, & started hiking at 11a. Nice trail out of Rock Crossing, a bit rocky going to East Clear Creek but a great day, weather perfect. Antisapating snow & rain the next day I wore my sportstiva boots, that with the 1st 4 miles I developed a great blister, along with falling a couple of days Prior, made me look like hop a Long Cassidy. My first time I felt like my hiking poles paid off. E. Clear Creek had water in it, a few small tree’s down, but most of the trail was great. Followed a old dirt road part of the way, which made it an easy Section & with a blister was glad of that. We stopped at Box Canyon 8 miles around 3:30p. A great place to camp with sandy beach, trees for bear bag, & plenty of fire wood. We have switched over to tablets to purify water, which made Nancy happy as she was our pump gal. Connie still is not Satisfied with the taste, so anytime she can boil she does. Wind died down to have a nice campfire, food was smoked Pasta dish & trail ale. We heard some type of animal that Made a loud scream, I thought maybe a female elk, Nancy thought Mt Lion, & Connie a rabbit, we will never know. Tried out a new sleeping bag – REI Sub Kilo 15, not sure I like it as it got to 35 digress & felt draft.
4-15 Got started at 9am, made good time to General SpringsCabin, a beautiful area that we hiked thru (near FR 300) Very windy, so girls went into cabin as I sat outside & changed out socks & tape on blisters. History was abundant in this area, concerning the Battle Big Dry Wash, Apache Indians, General Crook, etc. As we continued hiking south, we past the Battle Big Dry Wash marker, & started a very steep, rocky decline past the “tunnel”, which we decided we would check out at a different time. Found the head waters of E. Verde River, past aqueducts,& many springs. Reached Washington Camp but did not stopas cabins in area. We are now on the Highland Trail for the next 17 miles. We past the gaging station, & beautiful cabins in the area, lots of ups & downs, & also getting into the burn area. Chase Creek had water, but past this location up thinking N. Sycamore would be a better location. 10 miles & at 4:15pWe reached our evening stay. Chase now looked a lot better!Wild pansy’s by the creek & evidence elk all thru the area. Nancy was extremely tired & got the chills, so we let her Rest as Connie & I got a nice camp in order. No trailAle tonight as we were to tired to enjoy. Beans, tortilla’s, cheese Hot sauce was the evening meal. 28 degrees sleep ok, but realized The cool air was coming thru the zipper, the baffle would rollBack every time I turned.
4-16 Did my morning duty’s & got a fire & coffee going for the girls by 6am. Saw a Painted Red Start had not seen one in over a yr. We started out at 9a, we decided to make this an easy day, so we Hiked till 12:30 & stopped off at Weber Creek outside of Geronomo Camp, 4.5 mi. A lovely spot with a fire ring, & plenty of trees’s & water. Washed clothes, bathed, hot tea with trail ale, some beaded, Others took a nap or journeyed. 67 degrees for the high & a Least 6 Painted Redstarts flittering around. Low 39 degrees.
4-17 Warmer a.m. plus a long day as book said strenuous. Our earlier start was 8:45a, hum? Was hiking out of the burn Area, so was continuing to get green, & scenery we could see for Miles. We resupplied water at Pine Springs,but trough full ofLeaves, & tank had only about 2’’ in it. ConnieFound the spider plant that she had read about, which had many Spiders all over it & I got a boot full of mud. About a ½ mile farther was red Rock Springs that had a great trough over flowing & nice campsite near by. Started to see Robins, abundance of spring flowers. The last 2 ½ miles Was very steep, switchbacks & rocky till you get to the bottom & become a great day hike/picnic area. Made to the truck by 2:30p with a cold beer waiting for us. 7.6 miles. Great lunch at the strawberry Lodge, I would recommend. After a car camp at Blue Ridge Resv we drove the next 30 miles on dirt road highly recommend the Coconino National Forest Map & Gps. Do to so many roads criss crossing & signs down it’s essential to have at least 1 if not both. Saw lots of Elk & deer herds along with squirrels, wildflowers & plenty of dirt tanks with water in them. Sharp rock gauged the side of my tire so the 1st time for all of us to change a tire, with one person reading the manual & the other 2 changing we were done in about 30 minutes. We were well prepared in case we had trouble with backpacks & plenty of water. Made it back to Phoenix in less than 3 hrs.”