Twig Adventures

GET Day 14: Safford

Wednesday Mar 31st, 2021, 0610-1000Marijilda canyon to Safford, mm 23014 miles I’ll make this a short one since this was mainly just a town day…pretty boring. We had about 10 miles of dirt roads to walk in the morning, which quickly heated up under the fully exposed sun. I felt like we were walking through a wasteland on the outskirts of town. There were the typical revolting scenes…illegal trash dumps, charred remains of waste, broken bottles and beer cans, and impromptu target ranges with spent shells strewn all over. Am I painting a bad enough picture? These are the realities of off-road vehicle access and mismanagement of lands in such close proximity to people. It was a disheartening walk, not[…]

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GET Day 13: East PinaleƱos

Tuesday Mar 30th, 2021, 0610-1830Clark Peak Rec area to Marijilda canyon.22 miles It was another fun-packed day in the high mountains. We were off early, walking the road that’s known as Swift Trail most of the day. It was built by the CCC. The upper part was still snow-bound but it was easy to walk over the frozen crust in the morning. We skipped a north-facing trail that led to Webb peak, instead opting for a cross country route that brought us to the 10,000′ top (highest point on the GET route in AZ) with minimal snow. This peak also had a nice fire tower, with views to nearby Mt Graham at almost 11,000′. It rises 8,000′ from the desert[…]

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GET Day 12: West Peak of the PinaleƱos

Monday Mar 29th, 2021, 0900-1930 Klondyke Road to Clark Peak rec area Segment 10, mm 207 21 miles It wasn’t easy leaving the comforts and splendor of the Purple C Ranch. We dragged our feet in the morning but the mountains were calling. We had a big day ahead with a ton of elevation gain. I hoped to make it some 22 miles to a lake but a later than usual start didn’t bode well. After all our goodbyes, Bob dropped us off at the start. We walked a series of dirt roads from Klondyke Rd to Tripp canyon…the foothills before the mountains began. Along the way we met the local rancher, Kyle, who told us to ignore his private[…]

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GET Days 10-11: Cottonwood Peak & The Purple C Ranch

Saturday & Sunday Mar 27-28th 2021 Kane Spring to Klondyke Road, mm 172 16 miles I’m combining 2 days since we took a zero. First, Day 10: we covered as much ground in half a day as in a full day the day prior. But the going was still not easy, at least not the first 5 miles. The trail went up up up and we lost it at the switchbacks numerous times. I didn’t see any footprints on this trail, #66. We saw quite a few older footprints the day before, which we could only assume were some other GET hikers that we think are 1-2 weeks ahead of us. But then we didn’t see any more footprints since[…]

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GET Day 9: Santa Teresas

Friday Mar 26th, 2021, 0615-1700 Stock pond to Kane Spring, mm 172 16 miles This day held an incredible amount of stuff packed into relatively few miles. We finished the dirt road walk after less than a mile and were on a series of trails as well as 3 miles of cross country orienteering the rest of the day. We began with route finding up a canyon along a very faint trail. It crossed a creek quite a few times where it was easy to lose among the rocks. But we made pretty short work of it with our keen searching. At a saddle and stock pond, we picked up a much better trail into Holdout Canyon. The trail was[…]

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GET Day 8: Klondyke

Thursday Mar 25th, 2021, 0615-1920 North Bypass Cement tank to stock pond off mm 8.3 of section 8, mm 156 24.5 miles Just as I predicted, everything was super wet in the morning. It was the first time packing a wet tent this trip. But my site selection was still pretty good. I shortly found frost in the open field. At least being under the tree seemed to keep the temperature higher. I was a bit cold in the early morning but not so cold that I couldn’t sleep. I set out first and was immediately confronted by a maze of fences. Just like a cow, I was funneled into a corral, wondering around trying to figure a way out.[…]

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GET Day 7: The Galiuros

Wednesday Mar 24rd, 2021, 1045-1800 Aravaipa Canyon Ranger Station West Entrance to North Bypass Alternate to cement tank East Branch Horse Camp Canyon. 17 miles We were hoping that due to the inclement weather, there might be some last minute cancellations for permits the night before. No such luck. Permit fees are nonrefundable less than a few days in advance so it seems that nobody bothers to go online to cancel their permits, they just don’t show up. In a last ditch effort, we decided to take Violet up on her offer to drive us to the ranger station, to see if we could talk to a live person the day of. It was still very cloudy in the morning[…]

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GET Day 6: Angels Day

Tuesday Mar 23rd, 2021, 0610-1730 Old Florence Road crossing to HWY 77, mm 123 24 miles In the middle of nowhere, we still had a pretty eventful day. First up was a pass by some neat boulder outcroppings. Our notes informed us that these are similar in composition to the ones found on the south side of Mt Lemmon in the Santa Catalinas, more than 70 miles to the south. So how did these get here? Life’s mysteries. We took a break to clamber over some of them, making silly shadow puppets with the rising sun. Next we came to Freeman Road, where notorious Trail Angel Sequoia was set up in his RV. He’s been doing trail magic for spring[…]

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GET Day 5: The Big Hill

Monday Mar 22nd, 2021, 0630-1730 Gila River to Old Florence Road crossing, mm 99 27 miles The morning was pretty chilly and so I was glad to hike the winding trail built above the valley. It does a lot of seemingly silly up and down but this helps warm cold, sore muscles in the morning. It was still another 6 miles to the bridge over the river. Last time, I avoided the meandering trail by just walking the railroad tracks along the river. This was cheating and I would have felt lame doing it a second time. Plus the views up high were nice. Open pit copper mines are really prevalent in this area. A psychedelic ocotillo delighted me with[…]

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GET Day 4: White Canyon & the Gila

Sunday Mar 21st, 2021, 0700-1800 Picketpost trailhead to Gila River, mm 72 24 miles MJ was up at 5 am getting coffee and omelets made for several of us hikers. Then she had us to the trailhead by 7 am. She really is amazing. After more reluctant goodbyes, we began the winding trail in the cool of the morning…a far cry from our afternoon start in 2019. The tall mass of Picketpost provided shade well into the morning, making for an easy climb into the canyon. This stretch heads into the White Canyon Wilderness area, which gives the Superstitions a run for their money in terms of scenery. This was perhaps my favorite stretch last time on the AZT…besides the[…]

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