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  Join me as I attempt a Southbound thru hike of the Arizona Trail this fall. Scroll down for recent posts. If you would like to get email alerts to new posts, you can enter your email by clicking subscribe. On my 2018 Appalachian Trail thru hike I kept in touch with people using a long email group list. As these emails contained photos, they required a lot of storage resources for many email accounts. This time around I thought I would try a blog, thus lighten the load of email storage. Although I was a computer programmer for 20 years in a former life, that doesn't mean I've had any real web experience. So I am relying on many of the default properties of Google Blogger. Let's see how it goes. All in all, I'll probably post about 15 times for this enterprise. Some posts will be about the planning stage. The remainder will be when I have cell reception or can use wifi, usually in towns along the trail. Most of the trail town blogs will be short and down
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Photos V

Monument at the Mexican Border Trail Angel Dar with Lula and Helo Dar's Better Bunkhouse Dar's Compound Border between US and Mexico. This is the fence. Beyond the fence, in all directions, is at least 50 miles of mountains and deserts. Absent are the South American Hordes struggling to enter. This high-tech thing is at the Montezuma Pass Trail Head (the southern most trail head) is part of Border Security. While I was down by the border the border patrol was obvious. In fact, border patrol gave me a ride to the local visitor center after I got back from the southern terminus of the trail. Desert from Mexico Mexican Desert Mexican Desert Grasses in wind Mt Mica from Saguaro National Park. Spent a cold, grim night at 8000 feet there

Done for Now

Me at the Border Well, it's been a while. I got to the border on Wednesday afternoon, November 6th after some 8 straight days of hiking. One night was spent at Trail Angel Dar's Better Bunk House. That day I only logged about 7 miles. Otherwise I was pounding out about 25 miles a day. The day after I spent the second night in the post office after racking up 20 miles going out and back because of the fire, I ended road walking another 25 miles on the Catalina Highway to get around it. While the walk was murder on my feet, the highway proved to be gorgeous. I'll include photos in the photos section. Eventually, I got to see the fire fighting crews. They had contained the fire and gave me the go ahead to get back on the trail. I felt increasingly isolated during the last 150 miles. I didn't see anyone. In the mountains I looked around and I just knew that I was the only person for almost as far as I could see. While this could be viewed as an awesome experience, and

Oracle to Summerhaven

10/27/2019 Resupplied in Oracle and stayed in a really cool little cabin. The motel is run by trail angel Marnie who takes it upon herself to cache water for 50 miles of the AZT. That's no small task.  Leaving Oracle all that water caching  stops. Few other trail angels are doing this thankless job. This is what a northbound section hiker told me. So I'm back to carrying between 4.5 and 5.5 liters of water. That's 11 pounds folks. It really made a difference today as I trudged some 5000 feet up Mt Lemmon to the quaint resort village of Summerhaven. The village sits at about 8500 feet. In general, temps average we about 30 degrees cooler than Tuscon. Think New Hope, but a mile and a half up. When I got to Summerhaven, I found out there is no camping in the area. Light was fading and temps were dropping, so I ducked into the post office. They leave the door to the boxes unlocked so that's where I'm sleeping tonight. Not too great, but at least I

Photos IV

Burnt Prickly Pear Cactus  Ruellia? Wild Petunia. This and a grass the lone inhabitants of a burnt landscape Datura or jimson weed. Also loco weed Part of the Superstitions Pickets Post I think these are part of the Tortillas Large plug of what kind of rock? Landscape was studded with these. Trail The landscape right before Pine. Hot. More Trail If you zoom in on this you can see the enormous tailing structure of the copper mines next to Kearny. Currently the miners are on strike. Muddy Gila River

Fire in the Superstitions

Dead pines along trail That was in the spring. Tens of thousands of acres in the Superstition Mountains were consumed by fire.This fall you can already see regrowth in the form of new stems suckering up from the base of shrubs. Grasses, often pioneer species, have come back through much of the landscape in spite of the unrelenting drought. New growth suckering up from shrubs consumed by fire The Superstitions give way to the Tortilla Mountains. Vistas have become a stumbling point, an occupational hazard, at least for this hiker. When the trail is rocky and uneven (most of the time) and my gaze lifts up, I’m at risk of tripping and breaking my neck. Instead I stop frequently, wiggle my cell phone out of my back pocket and take some photos. I’m doing this 15, 20 times a day. There are times when the trail tread is smooth and benign and I can just take it all in. Sounds like heaven. Except for these blisters. The big news is the sad old news that these tiny

Photos III

Approaching the Mazatzals Aloe? Exquisite desert composition. So unlike eastern plants. Plenty of space around plants for moisture management.  Mazatzals Gully or wash As I head south the cactus are getting bigger What I enjoy most is hiking in rolling fields while viewing mountains in the distance. I grew up near the Pennsylvania Piedmont area and this terrain reminds me of it.  One of the early views of Lake Roosevelt seen from the Trail heading South. It's worth googling about. Early morning along a ridge line. Glorious Has a Mimosa flower AND Mimosa leaves. But this little bush is not a foot high. Could it be related to the Mid Atlantic area Mimosa tree, Albizia julibrissin? Of course that's a non-native. Curious. So much I don't know... One of my first views of Saguaro cacti. How cool is that...