Salt River (Floating)

June 10, 2015

Salt River. Wow! What a terrific day we had floating down the Salt River. It almost didn’t happen due to the weather but again, as usual, the rain didn’t happen and the clouds kept us in the shade all day.

Judy’s nieces, Mariah and Ariana came for a visit from Nebraska and she wanted to show them a good time experiencing all Arizona has to offer. This was a great idea. Nancy took her 2 grandkids, Isacc and Christian, and June’s daughter, Jessica and grandson, Grady . We rented tubes from Salt River Tubing Company that also supplied a shuttle to and from the river. June’s grandson, Grady said the bus ride was the best part of the whole trip. The buses are very old and rattled the whole time. I could see where he would be enthused about it.


.20150610_Salt RiverFloating Down the Salt River

The minimum age is 8 years old for this few miles down the Salt. However, the tubes supplied are adult size so the kids hung on to them like a swimming pool noodle. Not too much danger in this area as most of the time they were able to walk on the bottom. However, a couple of us felt better with a floatation device on.  There were about 5 places light rapids had to be maneuvered and the kids loved them! So much fun and excitement.

We took little 6 pack ice coolers and hung them over the side with rope. June brought a full size cooler but did have a few issues when she got too close to the bank. About half way down the river we stopped and enjoyed our picnic lunch and had a great time watching people but Judy’s granddaughter, Mariah  found it more entertaining to use a holey lunch bag to try and catch minnows. While trying to catch them she came up with a baby crawdad too. Soon the other kids wanted to participate and they too were able to catch some small creatures. Christian followed Mariah’s example of catching little minnow’s in a plastic baggie.  He was very excited to get one and wanted to take it home and keep it for a possible future fishing trip.  Mariah said he would be able to keep it alive in a plastic bottle with the lid off.  On the way home, he left the plastic bottle in Judy’s car.  The next day he asked if we knew how Larry was. He named his minnow Larry.


Sunscreen applied often or totally covering up is a must. 3 hours floating down the river can really give you a burn. Sheets or large towel covering the tubes seemed a little more comfortable but not necessary. Umbrellas were helpful also. A good idea the next time is to rent tubes with a big bucket attached for holding all our extra stuff. We saw other people with them to hold big speakers to listen to music. We didn’t really appreciate the noise but the kids seemed to really like it.

Nancy brought huge marshmallows we used to bomb each other and others floating down. The kids thought that was way too much fun. Nothing like a slimy marshmallow thrown at you. When the marshmallows got too small the birds swooped down and had a tasty treat.

We saw so many unusual birds. Black and white Cranes, Red Winged Black Birds, Cardinals, and Roadrunners, just to name a few. Also, 4 wild horses watering at the river’s edge.

We left Phoenix around 9:30 and got back around 5. What a great day!

Supply list:

  1. Put all supplies in zip lock baggies and keep your ID in a really secure dry place.
  2. Ice Chest(s)
  3. Rope to tie ice chest onto your tube. Bungee cords work at some things.
  4. Drinks: Water, soda, etc.
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Umbrella
  7. Snacks, Picnic lunch
  8. Huge Marshmallows
  9. Money, ID. Tubing Company only takes cash and you have to leave your ID so they know you’ll bring the tubes back.
  10. Optional: Towel or sheet to cover tube
  11. Optional: Floatation Device
  12. Hat
  13. Paper Towels for all sorts of issues
  14. Hand Sanitizer
  15. Zip Lock Trash bag




Havasupai, Arizona

03-15-2015 Sunday, left Phoenix for Havasupai around 1pm. We arrived at the Canyon Hotel in Seligman in time to enjoy a glass of wine to start the St. Patty’s day adventure. We all ate dinner at Lilo’s café. Very good and very busy. New people to the group were Dana (HDmama), who we met in the Superstitions in January,  CArias, who we met on the JMT a couple years ago, and Audrey, Nancy’s niece.  Also, had a couple from Canada, Michelle and Allen, and Peggy P. Yes, there were a lot of us, 13! Baker’s dozen to celebrate St. Patty’s day.  8 of us stayed at the Lodge and 5  stayed at the campground. Never got a picture of everybody at the same time.


IMG_1198              IMG_1201       IMG_1199

Stopped in Williams to visit with Jackie                                                                                   Canyon Lodge, Seligman

03-16-2015 Monday, we left for Supai about 60 miles on Indian highway 18. Pretty rough with big pot holes. Don’t go too fast! Got to the check in around 9:30 where we left our duffle bags with the Indians to have them brought down to the bottom.  Maximum weight 130# per mule, max number of duffel bags, 4.  $135.00 to the Lodge or $185 to the campground.

Look and listen while hiking. The mules come running down the trail with no leader so stay close to the mountain and move out of the way as soon as you hear anything different. Peggy got knocked down by a pack hanging on the mules.


Highly recommend the first cafe you come to as you enter the village. Wonderful root beer floats and Indian Fry Bread! Recommend here because the cafe in the village is only open at certain times and are very rude about telling you they are not open or when they are open.

When calling for reservations have your questions lined up, they do not offer any more information than what you ask. But once there, what a difference from the last time, the trail was clean, there were people doing maintenance on the trail and picnic tables were put out in a few places closer to town. Sorry to say there are still starving horses in the village, however, the work mules seem to be in pretty good condition. I was caught off guard when a resident took up conversation with us and made us feel welcome.

IMG_1251     IMG_1257           IMG_1266

The Lodge is nice. No frills but comes with shampoo, soap and towels.  Outside our room were a couple picnic tables and 2 grills. We ate hamburgers and beans at the café for dinner. The Lodge had picnic tables where we enjoyed the sunset and a little wine along with the game of Spoons. Now that is a fast game!

The grocery store has just about everything you could need.

03-17-2015, Tuesday, we hiked down to the falls. First was Navajo Falls with 2 falls. Wow! Beautiful! Then came Havasupai Falls. Magnificent! Then the campgrounds where we met up with the rest of the gang.  Right at the campground by the 2 story, really nice bathrooms, you can buy Indian Fry bread and soda! We were surprised to see that.


Walked to Mooney Falls where lots of changes have happened over the last 10 years. Yes, it’s still a “take your life in your hands” type of descent to the falls.  Connie got to the bottom with great trauma as she’s not getting any younger. Holding on to the hand and foot holds down slippery rocks, slippery chains, and slippery wooden ladders and lots of slippery rocks at the bottom is quite a challenge even for the younger people.  At the bottom, Connie put on Crocs, slipped, fell, and broke her wrist! A trail angel helped her get up and then he was gone. God bless our trail angels! She did manage to climb out with 1 finger on the broken arm and using the other to pull up. Could have been a whole lot worse being a canyon!

IMG_1293      DSCN4749  IMG_1320 IMG_1321 IMG_1322 IMG_1346   DSCN4764

Our St. Patty’s day potluck went on with lots of fun food and decoration. Thanks Judy! You never fail with the St. Patty’s festivities.


Wednesday, We started hiking about 7am and got to the trailhead around noon. Stopped Delgadillos Snow Cap for ice cream, malts, and hamburger.

AZT Pass 16-17

  • AZT Passages 16-17, In 2008, we hiked through these passages. At that time the trail was marked intermittently with many ribbons and cairns going in different directions. Some were surely put there as a potential trail to follow but as we tried we encountered miles of bush whacking through mesquite trees, thorny bushes and cat claw and found ourselves further away from our waypoint. We did find our way but with much distress. But not this time! Thank you Arizona Trail Association and all the volunteers!
    January 16-19, 2015, Starting at Picket Post Trailhead, we knew we would have more water holes than in 2008 as the area was covered with snow and rain just 10 days before. Pass 16 was greener with many damp spots but nowhere a sign of a puddle. FR4, Trough Springs and the metal tank was totally dry and no sign of water in the creek, but then a miracle, Judy found a small pot hole by the road. Our spirits were lifted with the discovery. Another few days and this would have been gone too. Several Jeeps and quads went by so I think we may have been able to bum some water had we not found the pothole. Not sure they would have given us 9 liters. We were each able to get 3 liters to carry for the next 11 miles. Arriving at the dirt tank we found we had to share the water with the local live stock. It certainly needed filtering, boiling, and Clorox for good measure but always thankful whenever and wherever we find water.
    Day 2: 1 mile from camp was Ajax Rd. There was 1 1/2 gallons of water left by a trail angel but we already had 3 liters each so we left it for the next hiker in need. The new trail must have been a feat to construct. It was beautifully done. The new AZT book described it as “dramatic geology and one of the best sceneries compared to the Grand Canyon.” We agree! For several miles we were blessed with the shade of the mountain making the experience even more delightful! We were still hopeful to find water in the catchments but it was as dry as Pass 16. Eleven miles later we arrived at the Gila River near Cochran. This area may be quiet during the week but arriving on a 3 day weekend was anything but quiet. There were SUV’s, quads, kids, people using axes and chain saws (after dark) and at midnight a couple of people were target shooting with a 6 shooter and rifle for an hour and 15 minutes. With no moon we could only guess what they were shooting at. None of us slept very good this night.
    Day 3: We started out early today to avoid the heat of the day. It was in the low 70’s but still seemed very warm carrying the extra water weight. Putting deodorant on our feet helped with the sweating perhaps avoided more hot spots. We were told there was no water going forward even though we bordered the Gila River for 15 miles. However, we did find 3 places to access the Gila through Tamarac forests (salt cedar)so next time we won’t carry so much water. Other times we were high on the ridges overlooking the Gila and railroad track. We passed several mines and examined artifacts of mining equipment. Around 3pm and 10 miles later we found a beautiful spot we would call home for the night in a large wash near the Gila. Tomorrow we would be ending our trek at Kelvin Bridge so it was unanimous to relax and talk about our adventure around a nice fire. We devoured anything we had left except for breakfast food. The stars were amazing. We could see forever into the universe! Thank you God! You always give us more than we expect.
    Day 4: This morning it was 6 ½ miles to Kelvin Bridge where we would be picked up and taken back to Picket Post TH for our car. The original trail followed the railroad track but the new trek goes up the ridge, following the mountains coming close to Ray mine. We agree these passages are amazing but be prepared to carry extra water.
    Helpful hints: Carry at 3 liters of water or cache at FR4 & Ajax Rd. Absolutely need an umbrella, big hat and blister aid products, 2 cold breakfasts and dinners to conserve water usage. Carried apples that had lemon juice on them

IMG_1189 IMG_1175 IMG_1165 IMG_1151 IMG_1134 IMG_1125

Picket Post-Kelvin Bridge 40 miles

Picket Post-Kelvin Bridge 40 miles


January 5th, 2015 First hike of the year is always amazing in the Superstitions. Started hiking the Peralta Trail to Freemont Saddle around 10. The terrain is always rocky but that is what gives the Superstitions so much character. Along the trail we met Mike, a volunteer, trimming the bushes along the path. Later, at the Saddle he showed up again just in time to show us how to get to Geronimo’s Cave. It’s about 1 mile from the Saddle. You can also access it from the lower trail on the Peralta. What a great lookout place for Geronimo! You can see in all directions. No wonder he liked it here. Almost stepped on a Bull snake on the way back. Continued over the Saddle to find a compact, icy, snowy path. With perseverance we were able to get down to an altitude with little evidence of snow. However, the trail was in dire need of maintenance. We camped at the base of Weaver’s Needle. We thought the creek would be running but could only find water in the holes. Our water filter, Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System, quit working. Nothing would come through it even though it worked on several trips in the past and it has always been cleaned out after every trip. The weather couldn’t have been better even though it was 82 degrees hiking out.

IMG_1030IMG_1040  IMG_1061IMG_1057IMG_1064IMG_1075IMG_1096


11-07-2014 Spent the day with all the girls in Jerome. Could not have asked for better weather. Parking at the edge of town proved to work out well no matter where we walked. Bloody Marys are excellent at the Spirit Room. We all gave a cheer to Colleen who was going to the “Jerome Tattoo” for a little “smiley face.” Had lunch at the Haunted Hamburger Restaurant. It was a little strange how the sandwiches are served but were good. Later in the evening we drove to Prescott to spend the night at Judy’s cabin but we were quite jolted when we got a phone that her husband had been in an off road roll-over accident close to Table Mesa road. Her husband had 4 broken ribs and collapsed lung. His passenger had huge cuts on his head and hand. Looking at the pictures it’s a miracle they didn’t die. They did survive and was able to walk away even with their injuries. Thank You God!IMG_0980 IMG_0983 IMG_0986 IMG_0997  IMG_2599IMG_2603IMG_1002

Julian, California

October 31, 2014 Happy Birthday David! This was a terrific idea to celebrate in Julian, CA. Drove up on Halloween with beautiful weather. By the time we reached Julian it was  quite nice but cooler. Bought our famous Julian Apple Pie and headed to the cabin we rented along with Nancy & David called Artist Loft on Strawberry Hill owned by Chuck and Nan. They experienced the fire that went through there a few years back so their house and all 3 of their cabins are new but look rustic. Most of it was rebuilt from reclaimed material from around California. The frame work is made with 10 x10 beams and the floor is 8″ reclaimed planks.  Spent the evening listening to music from Frank Sinatra, dancing and a couple glasses of wine.  Chuck recommended Jeremy’s On The Hill for dinner. Really good but if you order the brussel sprouts order the sauce on the side, it was way too salty. But everything else was excellent. $$-$$$. We woke on 11-1 to find fog, rain and 49 degrees. Thought we could wait it out and had Belgian Waffles and eggs.  Being the troopers we are we headed to town and shopped a couple stores. One of my favorites is the Birdwatcher store located behind the bank. Bought a bird clock that has a different bird on each hour and makes the song of each every hour. Love it! Also bought 3 cute little birdies to put on my windowsill in the kitchen. Nancy got a whirly-gig for her yard. Also stopped and had apple pie, cinnamon ice cream, and coffee at the Julian Pie Company.  If it hadn’t been so cold I would have loved to check out the town cemetery and other historical sites but will have to wait for the next time, it was just too cold. Back at the cabin we played some games and more music. Dinner was excellent at Romano’s Italian Restaurant located across the street from the Birdwatcher store. Very crowded but good food. The last day is always the hardest and we always find a way to procrastinate and this was no exception. Chuck and Nan are quite the talkers and so we stayed as long as we could listening to some of their very interesting stories. Stopped at Julian Pie Company to pick up our Thanksgiving Apple Pies. Hope they last that long. Someday we’ll have to go back to see all the stuff we missed.

IMG_0953 IMG_0952 IMG_0949

IMG_0954 IMG_0958 IMG_0971


Tahoe Rim Trail “TRT”




One and half day drive from Phoenix to South Lake Tahoe, temperature perfect – 40’ to 80’, no rain. Forest extremely dry, whole area in drought, bears coming into communities for food, bear hunting permit signs on trail.

On Eastern part of TRT had two dry camps. We cached water but still needed to carry 108 oz. H2O each in parts. Nancy developed a blister on both feet the first day. Waterproof band aids were life saver. They were nearly gone by the end of the hike. Passes were hard mentally for Nancy. We came across “Endurance Mt. Bicyclist” for 75 miles. Mega for the hardy, mostly younger men.

Western part of TRT had more streams and lakes that was a very welcome and mood lifting change.

PCT from Meiss Meadows to Twin Peaks shared the trail. Lake Tahoe can be seen from many view points of the trail. During last few days near Twin Peaks, started to see smoke but could not smell it.

* Items used in emergency kits – Pepto-Bismol, blister ointment, water proof band aids, duck tape to repair tent pole, benedryl for allergies – runny nose, Exped repair kit.

* Animals we saw – coyote, grouse, Canadian geese, water fowl, lots of deer (including fawn), hawks, beaver, marmot, squirrels, chipmunks that yelled at us.

* Funny stories – We met a young Englishman hiking the opposite direction. He asked us if we had seen any bears. We had only seen foot prints and scat. Said he had just seen one I think that day coming down the trail ahead of him and the bear looked at him. He slowly backed up from the bear and the bear nonchalantly walked off to the lake, swam across to an island then continued on to the other side. The young man grabbed his heart and said “gave me a bit of a fright!”

A young couple (probably in their 20’s) hiking the opposite direction stopped to chat with Judy. The young girl kept looking at Judy’s backpack, the one she has had since the 80’s. She finally asked what that was on her pack. Judy, thinking she was talking about the bag strapped to the top, replied it was her tent and sleeping bag. Than the girl said “so what was that metal thing? Her chair?” Her partner corrected her and said that it was one of those “external frame packs.” Shows how long Judy has been at this!

* Special day – It was Nancy’s birthday on the 29th. Celebrated at the Mellow Mountain Hostel. She said it was the best Birthday ever because she got to take a wonderful shower. And Judy had treats for her. A wonderful day.

* People we met that made a wonderful difference in out hike:

* Endurance Race 75 mile Mt. Bike Race
* 200 mile runners in 96 hours
* Elias Small and Wolfie from Mellow Mountain Hostel

* Swix and Kristi from Portland – also doing the TRT. They left us an uplifting note cloths pinned to
the Brockway Summit trailhead sign. What an uplifting treat!

* Rambling Hemlock aka Joan West doing the PCT. Due to a stress fracture had to bail but after 10
weeks rest started back up (into it 5 days when we met). Loved her Gossimer backpack, home
made skirt that she designed and was a delight to talk to. She was kind enough to stop and chat for
awhile. We had so many questions wanted to ask but knew she had an agenda to push on.

* White Trash Brigade – Robert Beercase and Rebecca who voluntarily clean up trash around the
lakes and trails one day every week (Robert and Becky talked a lot but was very excited about
what they do, keeping the lakes and trails beautiful. They were kind to take our trash and pictures
of us throwing our trash in their white trash bags. They gave free bandanas to anyone throwing
in their trash. They were very nice and friendly. After we loaded up with water we hiked 2 miles
further to Miller Creek near the Rubicon road. Not a great creek more of a puddle. Used Clorox
drops and boiled the water. But good camp spot.

* Bill and Mike – TRT Association volunteers doing trail maintenance.

* Trevor Thomas aka Zero/Zero – We met him at Echo Chalet after he had just finished a
press conference. He finished hiking the TRT with his seeing eye dog, Tennille. He went blind
In 2008. He has hiked the AT, PCT and many other long distance trails. We were fortunate to
meet him, Tennille and Tennille’s trainer. A very inspiring person to us and many other people.
Made Nancy look at her complaining as very incidental. Worth reading his blogs.

* Hotels we stayed at – Rodeway Inn, South Lake Tahoe; America Best Value Inn, Tahoe City.

* Phone #’s that are helpful – TRTA – 775-298-4485; Go Blue Bus – 775-589-5284; TART Bus (North shore) – 800-736-6365; Spooner Lake Outdoor Co. ( – 775-298-2501 $15 gave us a shuttle ride up to Mt. Rose Trailhead; Paddle Wheel Salon – very kind owner, Christina, gave us a ride to our car (had a cold one first) Mellow Mountain Hostel, 4081 Cedar Ave. 530-600-3272.

* Important – Need permit to camp in Desolation Wilderness area. Brockway summit is an important place to cache water. Beware of wind advisories as pine cones falling are very sharp and heavy so dangerous. Crossing highways – no over/under crossways. Make sure to look both ways.

* Places we ate that we enjoyed – South Lake Tahoe – Tep’s Villa Roma Italian and seafood; Tahoe City – Jakes by the Lake; Incline Village – Cocktails and Bar Food at Paddle Wheel across from Hyatt.

* Helpful things to know – Bikes from Tahoe meadows on trail on even days; Desolation Wilderness Permits $20 (we were checked on the trail by rangers); free fire permit needed even to light a match and for gas stove; check if camp fires permitted anywhere before you go; Camp Richardson is worth taking time to look around. Was told the Truckee River at Tahoe City was worth checking out for a raft or tube ride down the river. While we were there, the river was too low for us to enjoy that fun.

* Nature we saw at the Visitor Center while getting our permits – Wolf tree (very hugh), white headed woodpecker. Stream stocked with either cutthroat trout or salmon. Rent bikes in the area.

AZT Passage 22, Sunflower

March 22, 2014  We hiked a really beautiful 11.5 miles hike today through the Sunflower, Passage 22 of the AZT. Parked at the Bushnel Tanks sign and found the “access” trail leading to the main trail.  This was new and really was great to be able to get to the AZT so easily.  We haven’t hiked this area in such a long time. Brought back some really wonderful memories of hiking the AZT in 2008.  There was 3 places to get water if we needed to. Paw prints of unknown origin and lots of frogs by the creek.  The cactus are in bloom along with Evening Primrose, we think.

IMG_0224 IMG_0223 IMG_0219 IMG_0217 IMG_0216 IMG_0213 IMG_0210 IMG_0208 IMG_0227 IMG_0225

Desert Tortoise Trail

March 14, 2014    Had a hard time finding this one.  It is in the Fireside Community north of Jomax Rd. and 19th Ave. If you get lost ask someone where the community center is.  The hike in the Sonoran Preserve is always amazing. Hedgehog, Ocotillo and Cholla are beginning to show their beautiful colors! We hiked the Desert Tortoise Trail for the most part.IMG_0178 IMG_0180 IMG_0181 IMG_0183 IMG_0184

Sonoran Desert Preserve

March 10, 2013 November 2013  the Sonoran Desert Preserve hiking system was opened for public use.  We have gone on a few of the trail and it is absolutely beautiful! Today we started at the Apache Wash TH located about 5 miles east of I17 on Dove Valley Rd.  The Trail Head has wonderful amenities and the trails are very clean.  This is great for anyone who just wants to wonder through the desert.  Right now the cactus are beginning to blossom and within 2 weeks should be amazing.  We took the Apache Wash to Ridgeback to Sidewinder and back to Trailhead.  It was 4.32 miles.

A few weeks ago we hiked from Carefree Hwy and 7th St. on the Sidewinder Trl.  to the Ocotillo Trl and back to Carefree Hwy.  That was about 5 miles long.

This is a really super nice area to relax and enjoy the Sonoran Desert.

IMG_0163 IMG_0165 IMG_0167 IMG_0169 IMG_0176 IMG_0177