Judy writes (Get) “Grand Enchantment Trail” Segment 5 3-20 to 3-22 2012
I’m always amazed how thorough Brett “Blisterfree, the founder” is on his maps, water doc’s & website.
There were 4 of us that started out on this segment. Connie Simmons & I had gone thru this passage when we did the AZT 2008 but there was a small portion from Beehive Well south to AZ77 where the Get splits off that we needed to do. Ronnie Simmons & June Storment wanted to get involved in the GET so was a good place to start since it was a cooler week with plenty of water. Ronnie only had 2 other backpacks under his belt so this made it a nice trek for him, plus the other 2 was in a drenching rain storms, so he figured all trips was that way even in AZ. (We dodge it by a day or two.) Weather was perfect, day temps in 70’s & night 40’s, with snow on all the peaks around us. Lots of evidence of cows but only saw a few on the ridge line. Spring flowers, Owls Clover, Desert Marigolds, Fleabane, Desert Chicory, Mexican Poppy, were in bloom. Anderson Wolfberry were edible but another week will be perfect. The Kingbird, Phainopepla, Cardinals, House Finches were plentiful, spring was in the air. We camped near Beehive Well, but would consider Putnam Spring for any hikers heading to Aravaipa, there was better camping & this time of yr plenty of good water there. The rancher did not have the generator going for the windmill since there was plenty of water at this time. But do to the cattle tank getting water from the tank across from it is just a holding tank water looked bad. We used the float but so much debris came from it we finally cleared off the dead bee’s & floaties on top. We purified & boiled the water before using. Ronnie entertained us with his homemade flute, that made it sing, & went to bed with the owls hooting & coyote’s howling. Even after 2 days of rain/snow all the dirt tanks from Freeman Rd to the well was dry, very surprising. even going down Putnum Wash it was dry till we got to the spring. From there to Pedro River there were only a few puddles.
We were quite surprised with a homeless (we think) 30 yr old (James)coming thru camp late in the afternoon. He did not know if he was on the right wash & was heading to Bylas near Thatcher. After checking his map we could see why, it was just a highway map. He ran out of water that a.m. so after giving him as much water as he could drink, filling his 24 oz up, plus giving him a extra 32 oz & 2 power bars we gave him directions on how to get to Pima down Aravaipa which is the way he wanted to go. He said he had a permit, but not sure that was the case. He only had a daypack with his flannel sleeping bag hanging below, torn blue jeans & a P coat on. He was very soft spoken & thankful for what we did & gathered wood for us before leaving even after we told him save his energy & we had plenty. We all felt something was quite not right so did not encourage him to stay. This was our evening campfire discussion. I’m a very light sleeper anyway so when the truck came by with no headlight at 2 a.m. & did not hesitate to turn down Putnam Wash I woke up everyone just to say stay on guard. Well before Long Connie came in June & my tent & Ronnie slept outside to watch over everything. Well now since Ronnie had two soaking wet backpack trips & this trip he’s probably wondering why we like to do this type of sport. Not sure again what this was all about ,but we did see James one more time hiking towards Aravaipa which he did not see us, & maybe the white duel truck on El Camino Rd, all a mystery. I had found a receipt for super spackle, goo, & super- trific power bars that I wanted to experiment with before going on a 2 week trip with my brother in Sept on the CDT in Colorado. All seemed to have the right portion of fat, protein etc for a long distance hike, so will keep trying different light weight projects till then. Do to the night before we left I was so happy Ronnie was driving & I got to be the zombie in the back seat. Buzzie cafe in Kearney hit the spot before the 330 mile trip home. Great time by all.