Twig Adventures

AZT Day 33: Feet Dragging

November 8th, 2019 Canelo Hills saddle mm 761.8 to Bathtub Spring mm 780.5 Distance in miles: 18.7 0605-1540 What to do with a whole day on the trail when you have less than 20 miles to hike? Go on a side-trip. And we find a good one…a lake and marina store are just off the trail 6 miles ahead. I can get some easy water and extra snacks. We travel down from the saddle and past a few creeks. The temperature is perfect for a leisurely morning stroll. It feels weird to be going so slow after pushing pushing pushing for months. I guess I’ve earned a break but I really like moving all day and getting somewhere. It’s just[…]

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AZT Day 32: Canelo Hills

November 7th, 2019 Patagonia mm 737.4 to Canelo Hills saddle mm 761.8 Distance in miles: 24.4 0910-1750 We get packed early, so as not to alarm anyone that might be out for an early morning stroll. I take advantage of the public restrooms in the park, which are nice. We head to the Gathering Grounds for breakfast and I have biscuits and gravy. Then I get another plate of french toast. Both are delicious. We of course see Deb and Brent again, also having breakfast. They have been stewing all night about quitting their jobs and becoming thru-hikers. I’m a bad influence. I also fail to mention that thru-hiking has ruined me from caring about much of anything else in[…]

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AZT Days 30 & 31: Patagonia

November 5th, 2019 Casa Blanca Canyon mm 721.9 to Patagonia mm 737.4 Distance in miles: 15.5 0615-1100 There’s a 1000′ climb to start the morning and then it’s mostly downhill into town. The climb is nice because it offers good views of the sunrise and goes by fast. Once over the saddle, the trail quickly turns into a jeep road and then a wide gravel road all the way to town. I’m thankful for an easy time and we smash the miles. It’s also nice to not have to concentrate on my footing but instead gaze around at the views. The road is quiet except for a caravan of jeeps that don’t bother to slow down, despite us waving our[…]

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AZT Day 29: Grasslands of AZ

November 4th, 2019 Twin Tanks mm 688.4 to Casa Blanca Canyon mm 721.9 Distance in miles: 33.5 0615-1830 It gets chilly again overnight, seemingly because we’re camped near a water tank. Once we climb out of the wash, it warms up considerably. The day starts off in the desert scrub but we will climb into the Santa Rita mountains by the end, passing through some more enchanting grassy hills. There are a lot of little ups and downs but it’s very pleasant walking. These grasslands are not at all what I expected of southern Arizona and they’re a real treat. I almost feel like I’m all the way back in Montana. What a surprise to be walking in such different[…]

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AZT Day 28: The Vail Safeway Sidetrip

November 3rd, 2019 Mm 672.8 to Twin Tanks mm 688.4 Distance in miles: 15.6 0615-1845 I take my time packing and Stellar catches up. It’s only a few miles to a trailhead where we want to try to hitch into town. I need resupplies. We run into some day hikers and try to extract some local info from them, but it’s like pulling teeth. We ask which of the next 2 trailheads would be better to hitch a ride from. One guy says we should go back to the road to Colossal Cave because that is the shortest distance to Safeway. Ok, for starters, thru-hikers don’t do negative miles unless it’s an emergency. We’re not going back the way we[…]

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AZT Day 27: Mt Mica

November 2nd, 2019 Italian Trap Trailhead mm 639.8 to mm 672.8 Distance in miles: 33 0600-1820 Oh boy, what a climb that greets me in the morning! I get an early start and Stellar gets an even earlier one…he has to pick up a box at Colossal Cave gift shop before it closes at 5 pm and it’s 31 miles to there. He leaves around 4:30 am. I enjoy a beautiful sunrise and the climb is mellow at first. But then I must go up 3000′ in 4 miles and ugh! is all I can say. I’m not feeling my energy on this climb, tired from the hard days before. Luckily I’m fit enough to go into auto-pilot mode. Up,[…]

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AZT Day 26: Just A Hard Day

November 1st, 2019 Mm 609 to Italian Trap Trailhead mm 639.8 Distance in miles: 30.8 0610-1735 It’s cold overnight but other nights have been much colder. I’m so happy nested in my space under the ponderosa. I just love these trees. The morning presents more cool balancing rocks and rock formations in general. It’s like a rock wonderland, a boulderer’s mecca. The trail then drops back down into the desert scrub and I mourn my departure from the pines. We follow a series of creekbeds and canyons for awhile. The terrain is very steep and rugged, the trail overgrown. Just as soon as we’ve descended thousands of feet, we’re climbing another 1600′ to go over a ridge. The trail leads[…]

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AZT Day 25: Scary Climbs & Wine

October 31st, 2019 American Flag Trailhead mm 590.4 to mm 609 Distance in miles: 18.6 0915-1720 The space heater barely keeps pace with the cold all night. I’m so glad I’m not outside. We eat breakfast in the room from what we scrounge from the hiker box and are ready to hit the trail again. Marney offers to stop at the cafe on the way, where I get a rhubarb strawberry piece of pie as well as a peach strawberry scone. On the trail, we immediatly start heading up. I’m thankful for the cold now. We will climb over 3500′. The trail gains the ridgeline and we have great views for hours. We can see the outskirts of Tucson and[…]

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AZT Day 24: Oracle & 200 Miles To Go!

October 30th, 2019 Mm 572.8 to American Flag Trailhead mm 590.4 Distance in miles: 17.6 0610-1215 It gets really cold overnight…and clammy. The air feels humid and I even find a little condensation on my tent. There’s a cold breeze blowing when we hit the trail. Cirrus clouds diffuse the sunlight once it rises. It continues to be chilly throughout the morning. It’s another town day and we only have about 10 miles to go. I catch up to Gabriele just before the trailhead. He’s an aeronautical engineer for the Canadian Air Force and has gotten just enough time off to hike the AZT as a long section. He has already called for a pick-up at the trailhead, so it’s[…]

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AZT Day 23: The FKT lady

October 29th, 2019 Mm 540.1 to mm 572.8 Distance in miles: 32.7 0600-1740 Voices ring out in the darkness. I wake instantly and see 2 headlights bobbing along the trail. I check the time…it’s 2:30 am. With perfect clarity, I think this must be the trail runner that is going for the women’s supported FKT-fastest known time, on the AZT. She has a friend running with her. It’s funny that at this hour, in my foggy state, this doesn’t even strike me as unusual. They go past us, never knowing we’re camped. My tent is especially hidden, being in the small wash and camouflaged. But this is precisely why I never pitch my tent on the trail. I have witnessed[…]

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