Cabin to Cabin Loop, Mogollon Rim, AZ

June 1, 2020 perfect time to get out of Phoenix & head to cooler country. Temps ranged from 50’s to 80’s but UV rays were 10! We backpacked to 5 cabins, Pinchot, Danes, Buck Springs, Aspen Springs cabin & Fred Haught (which really is just a stone fireplace, still picturistic) We did this in 4 days, 3 nights, making it enjoyable days to scout around. We started from Fred Haught TH   ( see directions below)

Right near the TH was Pinchot Cabin ( Gifford Pinchot father of U.S. Forest Service) & still being used in emergencies.

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FR 95 blow out on the Fred Haught trail

U-Bar trail # 28 is approx. 6 miles to Danes Cabin. I consided trail moderate with a nice spring 1/2 way for a rest break & site for 2 tents.
Once you get to Danes Cabin there is a nice spring coming out of a pipe & large camping spots in the area.
Buck Springs cabin still is being used by forest service & firefighters, 3 mile round trip off of Barbershop trail. Barbershop was named after a long ago sheepherder that use to cut cowboys hair. 🙂 This trail seemed to be a bit more challenging just because it has more ups & downs. Coyote Spring is the best place to filter water, but it could run dry in a dry season. Barbershop Spring you needed a cup to dip into.
Houston Brothers Trail # 171 (ranchers in the time) was delightful going north with the Maple, Manzanita, Aspen, Pine trees. Even had time to stop for a siesta break under beautiful Maple tree!

McFarland Spring had nice campsites along with the Aspen Springs cabin but I could see where that could be crowded at times, both springs were running nicely.
By going this route you will end up back at the Fred Haught TH #141 or #22 (depends on what sign you look at) where your vehicle will be parked. We stopped long enough to dump our garbage & get refreshments & head to Fred Haught stone fireplace approx. 3 miles farther. Beware where it shows blowout on map & many signs on rd 95 is really a blow out ! (see pics) We did it this way since we did not have a 2nd car to be dropped off at General Springs Cabin or a shuttle. It was perfect as it was a 6 mile day, no water between Pinchot & Haught spring. The spring that shows on map is Quien Sabe Spring which was just mud hole.
Day 4 was a leisure hike back to car except for the blow out & made it home before rush hour.
Directions for Fred Haught TH, coming in from highway 87 follow FR 95 approx. 11.15 miles to FR 139a for .1 mi, there is a sign there & small parking area. GO ACROSS THE ROAD NORTH you will see a cairn & then a trail sign.

All of the trails were marked with tree markings or cabin loop signs.

Pinchot cabin
Dane’s cabin
Dane’s Spring
saw 3 on our route
Aspen Springs Cabin

Circlestone, Reavis grave,Reavis Ranch, Az

001-DSCN1020 1-DSCN1034   A trip I have been wanting to do for a long time so finally the time has come! Connie, June, Nancy & I headed out from Pnx, it took 2 1/2 hrs to get to Rogers Trough & 200 miles later. Temps were in the 70s for the high & 29 to 32 for low.
First we stopped off at Reavis Grave as the girls had not been there before. The cross had been redone & looked like a postcard. Manzanita, wall flowers & Fuchsia were in bloom to set the scene. 007-DSCN1028 010-DSCN1031 127-DSCN1187 128-DSCN1188 004-DSCN1023
Our goal was to find Circlestone which the next morning we set out to hike up Fireline Trail. It was right on target that I had down loaded on my gps so here is the coordinates to help anyone else out. The cairn was large on fireline trail at this time – N 33.48761 W 111.13240. The trail up to Circlestone was steep but cairns were placed so no issues. N 33.47777 W 111.13430. This is also located NE of Mount Mountain the highest Mt in the Superstition’s. When you read about Circlestone there are a few theories but most agree it is a ancient solstice & equinox sun watch station, ceremonial site. Built by ancient Sinagua which dates back to 1250AD. This is also called Az Stonehenge, we have a few around the state.042-DSCN1078 049-DSCN1090
051-DSCN1093040-DSCN1076Circlestone in Superstition MtsThe next day we did a day hike to the ranch which was only 1/4 mi from where we camped, to my surprise all the apple trees were in bloom! Oh my gosh I thought most of them had died off since they are quite old, so this fall there should be plenty of apples. I miss the old ranch house, only a foundation stands, vinca still come up around the steps, old machinery still lay around. I had seen the place before it burned down but no matter what its still beautiful! We also met up with a solo hiker that was doing section hikes of the Arizona Trail, she was a stewart from passage 40b, I believe her name was Liz Good. 101-DSCN1155077-DSCN1126


The day only gets better as once we got back to camp I ran into a gal from Flagstaff, Deb Linda. We did a trip in Colorado a few years ago, so we got caught up on what was happening & hope to hook up with her for a hike in the future, it’s such a small world! We met 2 Arizona Trail Hikers coming out but only got one name which was Porcupine- Kara from Alaska.
Be aware of bee’s we had to go by 1 nest coming & going, rattlesnakes are out do to the warm days.054-DSCN1098035-DSCN1070 This time of year it gets very cold at night so be prepared for that as day temps you sweat like its summer and freeze like its winter! Also best to be aware of unusual activity from animals as at the trailhead mentioned rabid fox in area. Here are a few flowers & bushes that were in bloom, fernbush, catclaw acacia, juniper, oak, ponderosa pine, western wallflower,firecracker, desert marigold, thistle, fleabane, tidy tips, tufted evening primrose, verbena, love grass.

Take time to check out the rest of the pictures on the media, great time by all!




2016 Superstitions- Apache Lake “Boulder Canyon to 1st water Trailhead

DSCN0454First backpack for the New Year. Starting off the season with a Rookie Carolyn Mahon Cope, first time with a backpack on & she did great, also Glenda Cope, Connie Simmons, Nancy Vail Colleen Hunt & Judy Eidson. The Rookie was promised a Paris hike, this is what it’s called from Hikengirls nice & easy- like a hike where you can hike out incase you run out of trail ale ;).

Well this wasn’t quite that way, but regardless there were plenty of water, snack, rest & veiw breaks.




DSCN0536It was slow going as Boulder Canyon got its name for a reason! Most of the 1st day was cloudy which gave a relief due to no shade trees & very exposed. The evening temps were chilly but had a nice fire, it did get below freezing during the night.


Day 2 We decided to hike to next location over by Hackberry Spring, where we found lots of boyscouts which we expected due to MLK holiday But found a nice location away from all the noise. We had not set up camp yet before Glenda Cope had tripped & hurt her wrist. Wow just got my Solo Wilderness 1st Aid in Nov & already got to practiced it twice. My diagnosed was correct she fractured her wrist. So I did what I was trained & did a line & traction which pain level went from a 11 to 7. That made us happy along with Advil, cold water bags, & ace bandage with a nice sling. It was to late in the day to hike out, so made her as comfortable as we all could including a bit of wine & she was set for the evening.


We had one more incident which is where Connie spilled boiling water on her leg!20160116_190424

Day 3 I’ve hiked all the trails in the Sups but years since I hiked out to the horse parking lot. This is not on any maps, & I could not remember if it was more bouldery than the hike up to Garden Valley & 1st water but knew it was shorter so we went for it & it was the right decision. We all felt we needed a burger & beer at Dirt Water Springs.
The doctor on Monday confirmed Glenda did have a fracture, which as of now she is wearing a brace. Connie’s leg is healing. The Rookie got a 1st hand on a Paris hike, not quite what she visualized, but she said she will be back !


Paria River from White House Trailhead to Lee’s Ferry

5-4 to 5-9 2015
Nancy Vail our trip leader got our permits 4 months earlier, Glenda Cope, Connie Simmons & Judy Eidson
2015 Paria we are at horseshoe look out heading to the Paria
Phoenix to Lee’s Ferry is 250 miles, Cousin Bob (Connie’s Cousin) from Page picked us up at the long term parking. Because it was raining the day before & when he picked us up he talked us into staying at his place for the night & giving us a great tour of Page area, we welcomed the idea!
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The Paria Ranger Station and Visitor Centeris located on the South side of Hwy 89 between mile marker 20 and 21


Permits are required for both day hiking and overnight trips in Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch. Walk-up permits are available for day hiking at the trailheads, but overnight permits must be obtained through the Paria Canyon online permit application system. Overnight permits can also be obtained in person the day of your hike, IF there are any permits available.

The BLM only allows a total of 20 people per day to enter the canyon on overnight permits, and that is across all of the trailheads. An overnight permit is $5 per person per day. Dogs are also allowed for an extra fee of $6 per dog per day.

For overnight permits, the reservation system opens up at 12pm Mountain Time on the 1st of every month, 4 months before the month of your hike. Refer to the BLM’s chart below to determine when you need to apply.

Paria Canyon Backpacking permit lottery calendar

Paria is a challenging, exciting, & beautiful 38 mile hike. Hiking conditions change in the canyon with the season. In 1993 I hiked same month & week 50% was hiking was in water, this year 95% which meant more quicksand, muck & made it more difficult.
Generally the route through Paria Canyon is river bed itself, however mile 28 has large boulder clog the river which they call boulder slide. Most hikers leave the river at this point & follow a route on the right side of the stream. See my notes coming on day 5.
Day 1: Once you start on the White House Trail GO DOWN THE PARIA, not the well maintained trail to the left. The hike was beautiful but from the beginning we were walking in the river.Right before our break I mentioned to watch for  quicksand, WELL all I wanted to do was wash off my sandy sock in the creek & yikes up to my knees in quicksand, , Connie jumps into save the day with a cracker in hand & a broken wrist that is trying to heal. She now is in the same boat as I am! As I try to push her up onto the bank I quickly go up to my thighs.Nancy holds out her hiking pole gets me out now we save Connie.
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I will never forget the look on her face! ( I never heard of anyone getting in trouble with quicksand in the Paria, but I guess it’s worth checking into) We did go over the procedures of it happening like going onto the belly! ;))
The narrows are beautiful, we made camp near the confluence, set up camp & did an evening trip to the log jam up Buckskin Gulch. We saw one sacred mouse in this cold dark section & wondering what he was doing in there.

Day 2: It had rained through the night but had cleared up before day break. The canyon was crisp, clean & clear for the rest of the day, it was extremely scenic, but with rain in the last couple days made the river run higher than normal. It’s always murky, sandy & silty but just more so when has just rained. My GPS & Nancy’s SPOT did not work well in this canyon at all. I never had this happen before but because of it being a narrow canyon I guess it could not get a satellite. So if any one uses either one of these instruments you may need to have other means. Glenda’s Fit Bit seem to work & have close mileage. I never put a lot of faith in it only because I had one & I returned it do to not being correct, but it may have been I never moved my arms like I should had. Big springs was running but keep a close eye out for them. Many of the springs are easy to miss. We filled up  here & camped near wooded terrace.This was a beautiful campsite with a huge covert in front of us. It was large enough to have a least 3 groups of backpackers in the area in still be private.

2015 Paria River-0052015 Paria River-003

Day 3 Our highlight today besides the scenic canyon was Judd Hollow with the old pump the history that follows that, swallows, wild flowers, & cactus in full bloom. But once again I find my self in what I think is quicksand but it could have been muck, it happened so fast. All I no I was in the middle of Paria I went up to my thighs in whatever & water to my waist, once I yelled out, I put my 2 hiking poles which must of been in a sandbar & it just popped me out. What ever happen I has grateful. Not long after that we come to a narrow & 2 large boulders that makes it very deep & no way around. Of course we are a bit paranoid now since that last incident so out of the blue a solo hiker comes by we tell him we want him to go 1st, he plows right through it like it was nothing of course we follow like little chickadees. Once again we thank the good lord it was nothing major. All this was quite an adrenaline rush! Some how we missed Wrather Canyon with all the excitement I think we were just walking on not paying attention. I did see the arch in 1993, so we will have to come back to see it for the others as it is worth it. We camped at nice site which I felt we were lucky to find a spring or seep that was running well but not on the maps.

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Day 4 Today the clouds hung around a little longer but was nice hiking. We thought we had most of boulder alley behind us but there was still plenty to overcome, once we got to the last campsite on the map we decided that is where we would make camp. Good thing as we threw down our packs due to rain & wind. A mistake on my part as my Tarptent/ Moment broke a pole in the wind, I should of sat it out & put it in a more sheltered area. Once the 1st gust past I mended the pole with duc tape,  then next 50mph wind came all I could do is sit on the tent, all of us had our umbrella’s so that was our shield from the sand blast. Now it was time for our last shot of trail ale!
We never got supper as the rain & wind hit again about 6p, we all went to our tents, it rained on & off the rest of the night.
Day 5 It was still raining at 8a but we decided to leave anyway, which it did end soon after that. I was looking forward to the trail which was coming up to the right & would by pass boulder slide. This is a remark I found Mile 28, large boulders clog the river, obstructing this way. Most hikers leave the river at this point and follow a route on the right (south) side of the stream where some scrambling through boulders is required. Choosing to follow the river through this section may not be possible during periods of higher water, and requires negotiating a route through many pools and over large boulders. Hiking in the lower canyon consists of traversing long silt terraces or benches with fewer stream crossings. Do not go this way if possible.
2015-5 paria
The stars wasn’t lining up, we get in about 1/2 mi & find the trail is a foot wide. I go test it out very soft with all the rain & plunges straight down 200 feet. The 3 girls say no way, so we head to the river bottom. The above statement was true, if you don’t have to do this don’t. We hiked about 1 mile I decided to climb up a ridge to see if I could see anything at all, about 30 min later I spotted a clearing in the distance, I hike another 1/4 mi, sure enough it was the trail, yippie! The girls climbed up, we were all worried about Connie as she had to protect her arm, I’m sure Glenda & her was saying many things under there breath. Even if the GPS did work , it would of not made any difference, there is no trail. Per a friend Cierrz “It is what it is!”

It was great trail after this, (compared what we had just gone through)we stopped off at Wilson Ranch for a lunch break. I checked out the area, the building is gone, but the corral & old machinery still in the area. There is a spring, water was on the trail but you could not get to it as it was back in a lot of brush & fence line. The gate into Lonely Dell was a welcome sight.

This was a great hike, don’t expect to find much of any trails, Paria River is the trail on much of it. Keep close eye on mileage if you are looking for major springs, bring a filter for a backup, sturdy water shoes would be good, although my old pair of boots worked fine. If you want a major well groom trail this is not the hike for you, if you want solitude, beauty & some adventure go for it!

Havasupai & Grand Canyon Backpac trip

This is to add to connie trip to Havasupai Canyon.


5 of us went on to the campground that was Dana Phillips (hdmama) Glenda Cope(happycheeks),  Colleen Hunt(wineO), Dr Connie Ayres(Cierrz) and I Judy. I will not go into much detail since she has already. But here are some adl facts that maybe helpful. Seligman Hotel – Canyon Lodge 928 4223255, two men from Germany own the place and was very accommodating they let us use there freezer for our ice packs for the cooler. Each room is decorated differently such as John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe etc, it follows the theme of highway 66 as Seligman had that highway 66 theme going on in each of the yards.

Havasupai tourist enterprise 928 448 2141 or 2237. $35 entry fee $5 environmental fee $17 for each night of camping plus tax. if you wanted to rent a horse it was a $187 round trip, forIMG_0837 DSCN4764 11083842_10202868064017134_9100842308033843367_nIMG_1322

,130lb 92448 2121.

Sinyella Cafe is the first cafe you come to that was very good. It had picnic tables outside in the shade, plus a store behind the building. It had cold drinks and a nice selection of goods, very family friendly. They have approx 6 solar outhouses now at the campgrounds that was a huge improvement. Also just before entering into the camping area Havasupai Indians was selling Indian fry bread, oh yum!

Elevation at the village is 3250 and the Hilltop i s 5200.


Once we hiked out of Havasu, 3 of us Dana (HD Momma), Dr Connie Ayres(  Cierrz) & I drove over to GC Yavapai Lodge to spend the night.

IMG_0931 The next 5 days was organized by Ken (Hazelnut) with the Arizona Backpacking Club (abc)   this could of not worked out better. Neithe Cierrz or Dana had been in the canyon before. We met up with Ken, Zac, Nova, Xd on the Kaibab trail, our 1st and last night was at Bright Angel campground, day 2& 3 was at Cottonwood campground. None of them had bp the canyon before either, so they went & did a day hike to N. Rim.IMG_1005IMG_0956

I investigate Roaring Springs, 2 side canyons. The pump house seems so empty since the Ackerman’s left, I missed the lemon aid stand. Ken did do some fishing & caught a trout, released. Our trip back to Bright Angel was great as we did 2 side trips, 1 to Upper Ribbon Falls, then to Lower Ribbon Falls.IMG_1050  IMG_1035IMG_1025IMG_1119

Our hike out took about 5 hours, which was some of the most beautiful Red Bud Trees I have ever seen.  Perfect trip in the canyon once again, I’m so blessed I live so close to 1 of the seven wonders of the world!

Things to know:

1.Phantom Ranch Cantina closes at 4p so they can prepare for dinner, opens up again at 8p.m. They have candy, apples if any left over from snacks, peanuts, tea, pop, bagels, beer & wine. They will make up lunch bags to go, order if possible day before, cost is $13.50. I felt well worth it.

2. Water not turned on at Cottonwood Camp ground till May, so bring your own water purifiers.

3. I got bit up on expose area of feet by no seeums. They stayed with welts for about a week. (even in March)

4.Plant book of the area would be good as many bushes & cactus was in bloom.

Check out Dana facebook page on trail journal

HDMama’s 2015
Continental Divide Trail Journal

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Judy’s Boot Camp

Judy’s Boot Camp

March 24-28, 2006

Day 1: Began our hike via the Peralta Trlhd, Trail 102, 84 degrees. There is a steep incline past Fremont Saddle but there was a running stream to soak our feet about half way to camp. Spent the day hiking around Weavers Needle. Some of the area was burnt. Throughout the day we saw a few day hikers but no backpackers. We camped after 7 miles behind Blacktop Mesa. June developed a couple of blisters with new boots & feet that looked like a baby’s butt, they could be on an advertisement.

The view from our campsite would be Weavers Needle. What a mysterious mountain. Nancy & Connie seemed to filter water for hours! When we started to cook our dehydrated dinners we discovered that Judy had left part of the stove at home. (OK, don’t panic. we can do this) It will be a good experience to deal with no stove. We will just build a fire and put Connie’s new $50.00 Titanium pot on it. Problem is…who’s going to hold the pot over the fire? It’s always amazing what you can fine to solve a problem. A coffee can that was left behind will serve as our “flat top stove” for the evening. Too bad we hauled fuel.

Prior to this trip Connie spent hours working on new ideas of how to make good tasting meals. First night out was Shrimp Creole! Fantastic! Directions: At home-follow your favorite recipe, (don’t add shrimp) when cooked, drain liquid into open pot. Place vegetables on cheesecloth or screen and place in dehydrator till dry. Cook liquid to a paste then dehydrate on plastic wrap in oven or dehydrator if equipped for liquids. Keep veggies and paste in separate sturdy Baggies. At camp place desired amount of paste with vegetable and add 1-1 ½ cups of boiling water and 1 pouch of shrimp-in-foil found at the grocery stores. Wait 15 minutes. Bon Appetite!

Day 2: Started the day with a cold breakfast and a cup of instant coffee made hot using our back-up Nesbit stove. Only took 1 tablet to heat 4 cups of water. Started late, 9am, hot again about middle 80’s. Still seeing Weaver’s Needle through most of the morning heading to Charlie Boy for lunch. When we arrived we found some “pigs” left all their garbage. June was developing more blisters but with more duct tape we were back on the trail. Peters Mesa proved to be the climb from Hell! The trail was steep and difficult in places, and sometimes it was non-existent but marked by carnes, very rocky, and lots of cat claw. 2/3 of the way through we had to share our water. This climb was the hardest part of the whole trip. Found an “ok” campsite on the east side of Peters Mesa. Judy had fond memories of this location when she and her husband camped there. June had more blisters. More duct tape was in order. It had been a hard 7-mile day and we just didn’t want to go any further. There were pools of stagnant water left over from the rain earlier in week. Good enough for filtering and a sponge bath. Nancy again filtered h2o for hours. We were all beginning to wonder about the time it took to filter water. Nancy was having a hard time with this trip. Seemed to be exhausted from working to hard. Connie was taking Prednozone for Planter Fascia (heal bone spur) and was feeling no pain, anywhere!

Day 3: Started a wee bit earlier 8:30am, low 80’s. Had cold breakfast and coffee. Headed to Tortilla Well. Lots of cat claw on the way. Close to Tortilla Well saw some people swimming in the creek. Knew we had to be close. The water was flowing really good here. Spent 2 1/2 hrs. doing lunch and filtering more water. Met up with some other people that were out for the day. Judy was able to give a little OJT on how to use a GPS. Headed to Clover Springs. (This spring is not on most maps) Came across a strange solo backpacker. He was coming out caring a square 2 1/2 gal. jug of h2o & wearing blue jeans? It was around 2:30pm the GPS could not pick up signal. We had good batteries and a good connection but couldn’t pick anything up. Started working the “brain cells” to follow the map. The signal did come back about ½ hour later. Cardinals are always a welcome sight when we hike and this trip was no exception. To see vibrant red among muted desert colors is really a site to see. Hiked a total of 6.8 miles today. Nice camp. Connie and Nancy took a spit-bath in the water ponds. Tried to remember the song in “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, where the sirens were seducing George Clooney and his partners in crime by the creek but couldn’t quite get the melody right. But was good for a laugh anyway.

It’s always an adventure to backpack with Judy. She took over water duty. Said it was to give Nancy a rest and she wanted to try something different. Hidden by the thick foliage Judy filtered h2o with bandana, & used iodine tablets to purify. YUK! Not bad as long as it’s mixed with other things……like dinner! The entertainment was abundant this evening!!! Connie massaged Nancy’s sore feet and after dinner, Nancy and Connie sang, in harmony, “How Great Thou Art”. Not bad for amateurs. This seemed to cheer everybody up. Nice evening. Still needed more duct tape for June.

Day 4: We’re getting faster!!! Started out at 8:20am hiking on new trail for all. JF Trail to Tortilla Pass down to Woodbury Trlhd. This section proved to be somewhat difficult. Didn’t seem to be a popular route. There were lots of trees down, cat claw, and was very narrow. Once again steep both incline & decline but beautiful scenery! Instead of going on to JF Hdqtrs we stopped off at the Windmill near Woodbury Trlhd. June had mentioned earlier that her husband said he would come and rescue her no matter where she was so it was at this point Judy gave us the choice to “be rescued”. We stuck it out!!!!! Duct tape was becoming as precious as gold at this point as we had no idea we would be using that much. Nancy’s nose kept running so tissue was becoming scarce too. (Not good for a girl’s hike) Nancy was still very tired and Connie’s Prednozone was down to 2 pills. The total for the day was 6.5 miles. No need for filtering or iodine tablets tonight because the windmill was putting out about quart of water every 30 minutes. Just tied a bottle onto the pipe and checked every half hour. The exercise was good for the muscles only 50 trips to the well to get h2o. Mega deer droppings everywhere. June shared some trivia about 1905. 47 was the average life span at that time. (We are all in our 50’s….Not bad.) Also learned “watch your P’s and Q’s”, (pints and quarts at the tavern), the average wage was 22 cents an hour, and 95% of babies were born at home, people only took a bath 2 time a year and only washed their hair once a month. CHANGE IS GOOD!

Day 5: Woke up to rain, it smelled so good but Connie had visions of hiking through thunder, lightning and hail. We waited till 10am. It was just misting when we ventured out of our tent and stopped all together within an hour. About a mile from camp we came to JF headquarters. (The house has a JA on the front of it??? But JF on the side) This is really a special place. The house curtains were open so we could see how the inside was decorated. Had plenty of room for 8! The kitchen, dining and living room was all in one room but there was lots of space to walk around. It had an old corral, a windmill pumping water, and an old bunkhouse with deer horns mounted on the outside. Bet this place could tell some awesome stories! It was here that we got a little turned around. There was a carne to show the trail but we went straight instead of turning left. We would have found the trail but may have been more difficult. June’s eagle eye found the second carne. Taking Trail 108, Frazier Canyon, we ventured on toward Coffee Flat. The trail from JF Headquarters to Dripping Springs was through a creek bed. Creek hiking is always difficult due to ankle twisting rocks. Lots of *****-a-burs and Nancy found a dead rattle snake. Before now we weren’t looking for snakes…..DUH. Made it to Reeds Waters around 3:30pm. Judy had been there before so she knew water was waiting for us. The day was 6 miles long only to find out the windmill was not working and the trough was not full as forest service report showed! I think Judy has a water vein in her nose because she can always find water. Walking down to the dry waterbed there was a pool of water under a cottonwood tree! YEA! We had good h2o other than dead lizard floating. Using iodine tablets for cooking, dinner was a success. We filtered the water for hiking out. This campsite had lots of firewood! Saw cardinals, wrens and listened to quail trying to find a place to nest for the night. They are so adorable. Very nice camp!

Day 6: Earliest start so far 8:15am. We knew we had Miller Lites and Fritos waiting for us! Connie had a real craving for Mexican food. This was the best day we had for hiking. It was cloudy and a constant 70 degree breeze. It was really sad to realize all the Superstitions would just be a memory within hours. We stopped several time to soak up the beauty in all directions. Connie, June and Nancy spotted a rattlesnake stretched out across the trail. Thinking that Judy had placed another dead snake there we studied it for several minutes to be sure. We all took steps back when we saw its little tongue stick out and wiggle! YIKES! Good thing we stopped to check it out before going on! Saw lots of healthy saguaro’s and ocotillo. Hiked 5 ½ miles and got to Peralta Trailhead about 11:30am. Had a luke cool beer at trailhead. Didn’t take our usual “backpack with beer in hand” picture….took picture of the thing that got us through the whole ordeal……..our boots! Connie got her craving taken care of at Elvira’s Mexican Food in Apache Junction. Felt sorry for all the people at the restaurant having to smell us. Of course the bathrooms were at the back of the room so we got to share our fragrance with everybody. We got home around 3:30pm. Great Hike. Blister gal, June, is gong back to North Dakota to invest in duct tape, Nancy, who works to hard is trying to figure out how to call in sick, and Connie is trying to figure out how to make a 1/2 pill into a triple dose. And then there’s Judy who knows how to leap over tall buildings in a single bound!

Something to remember for future hikes are activities around campfire

Total hike: 38.7 miles

Tough terrain: Moderate-Strenuous

Hedge hauges were starting to bloom

Rained prior to hike

Winter: 140-day draught before rain

Water in most creeks, east side of hike had most water

Rather warm 70-85

Took summer sleeping bag/ perfect

Found out we did not need stove, but nesbit stove came in handy

can do with out water filter if needed, tablets were ok

duct tape is a must

don’t break in new shoes on any over night hikes

walkie talkies came in handy

callused feet are necessity

earlier starts are a must

lots of training to do for a thru hike of the AZT

Doll Baby Trail

Doll Baby Trail Back Pack2-17,18,19 2006Doll Baby Trailhead to Polk Springs – Mazatzal Wilderness

Approx 2 hr drive from N. Phoenix- good dirt road on FR406 dead ends at Doll Baby Trail Head Day temp 62, night 28 digress 2-17 First time in this area, book indicated a good route was thru the E. Verde River if the river is down. Since no rain in 115 days figured it was down about as low as it gets. This was to be a easy 3 mile hike & a lot of scenery. Well, lets say there was a lot of scenery, but since it took us a hour a mile, not a lot of scenery was being looked at besides our feet, rocks, & water.

Extremely bouldery, no matter what ridge you tried to take to get around the boulders it would end in a cliff or dead end. Best bet was to go down the river. The problem was the mulk in places, which were above our knees. With each of us having fairly new boots{plus can’t imagine having mulk in our new boots} one decided to put on her pretty bright red croc’s the other leaving her liners on. Long story short liners were not sucked off! The red croc’s caused some slipping & sliding & now we have the butt in the mulk not once but twice! Fair warning if you get into this stuff react like it’s quick sand walk fast to the middle where there is rocks or get out. Once we got out of this terrible stuff we put on our boots & waked down the river. There was evidence of beaver in the area, Blue Heron, Western Blue Birds & yes it was a pretty canyon. We finally found a cow path that brought us to Saddle Ridge Trail that by past LF Ranch { the only ranch still in Mazatzal Wilderness}. We hiked pass Rock Springs that was flowing, then on to our next 2 night camp at Polk Springs. Which was a complete delight, plenty of wood, spring flowing with lots of watercress, birds, & a perfect tent spot. The Red Croc Gal was quite happy after having a great fire in a barrel we found & a Sugar Drop Martini at hand & a Walnut, apple, chicken salad over brown rice. 2-18 We woke up with ice on our water bags, but a lovely morning. After a leisurely a.m. we took a day hike to the north called Polles Mesa. First 1/2 mile straight up on lava rock, then leveled off. Pass Red Saddle Tank but dry then to White Rock Springs a total of 6 miles on the AZT. Had time to work on some beading to make a bracelet. 2-19 No clouds so a bit cooler, but again a beautiful a.m. Started hiking around this time the old road that pass LF Ranch on a steep FR 406 Approx 5 miles to vehicle.Good Trip, I would do the E.Verde River again as long as the river was low, except bring old water boots/teva’s, walking stick & know it’s slow going. .