Twig Adventures

MRT Day 8: Along the Rim \ Highline Trail

Saturday Apr 16th 2022, 0600-1830Pine to canyon near La Cienega canyon, EABO mm 167, Segment 3 mm 28. 28 miles. I slept pretty well despite all the highway noise, as well as that from a nearby dog farm? Seriously, it sounded like a hundred dogs barking all at once. It was nice to have a long-drop to use at the trailhead in the early morning. It gave me a fresh start to the day…it’s the little things, you know? I was off early, first to sign in at the register. I noted that around 10 to 15 AZT hikers had signed in each of the preceding days. That’s a whole lot more than when I hiked the trail. I wondered if[…]

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MRT Day 7: Pine

Friday Apr 15th 2022, 0600-1800Corduroy Wash to just outside of Pine, EABO mm 139, End Segment 2. 13 miles. It wasn’t nearly as cold overnight, thank goodness. I never knew how good the mid 30s could feel. A long awaited town stop beckoned us, so we were especially motivated to get moving. So was 925. After not seeing him all day prior, we shortly caught up to him at a road crossing. He’d walked past us around 8 pm the night before, after I was already asleep, no doubt. We all walked together for the morning, though I was barely able to keep up with his long strides. We were practically running down a series of switchbacks into Pine Canyon. It[…]

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The Backwards Triple Crown

    First, let’s get the “What’s the Triple Crown of Hiking?” question out of the way. Borrowed from the horse racing world, this Triple Crown is an informal recognition of those that have hiked all 3 of the longest American trails end-to-end. The 3 trails are the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), and the Appalachian Trail (AT).     According to the American Long Distance Hiking Association’s 2020 records (ALDHA-West), a total of 482 Triple Crown of Hiking Award recipients have so far been recognized. That means more people have been to space than have hiked all 3 of these trails! Chew on that Jeff Bezos! Money can buy just about anything but it takes[…]

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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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GET Day 2: Montana Mountain

Friday Mar 19th, 2021, 0615-1900 La Barge spring to Montana Mountain mm 33 23 miles We got an early start to enjoy the cool morning hours of hiking. It was a bit too cool as my toes stared to go numb from the condensation on the grass. We left trail 104 Lost Dutchman for Red Tanks Canyon trail. The going got a bit rougher as we headed up a steep, narrow canyon chocked with vegetation and boulders. We really had to look for the cairns and got off track a bit as the scant trail climbed high above the wash. Thorny plants grabbed at our legs and arms. This trail was not equestrian-ready but it sure was beautiful! We came[…]

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2019 CDT & AZT Gear Summary

This is a summary post on my gear and stats from my 2019 thru-hikes, combining both the CDT and AZT, since I didn’t change a thing about my gear in between. In fact, I’ve barely changed a thing from my previous 3 thru-hikes. I carried a bit heavier gear in 2019, mainly because I expected some rain and colder conditions. I wasn’t wrong about this. The CDT is high-elevation and therefore a colder and somewhat wetter thru-hike. The AZT was dry but also quite chilly at times, given that we were above 8000 feet during many parts of the trail and also approaching the end of October / beginning of November. I needed my 22 degree quilt and women’s Thermarest[…]

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2019 Trail Angel Recognition

This is a special post to recognize the many trail angels and trail magic that made my hiking so memorable and cohesive. I’m truly blessed to have had so many positive interactions and made new friends. I’m amazed and humbled by the kind souls that exist out there. Someday I’ll write a book honoring trail angels and this year gave me so much material to work with. I’ve listed the trail angels and their magic by state. I don’t expect people to read every bit of this post but at least scroll down to the bottom just to realize the sheer magnitude of this kindness. I’m so sorry if I omitted anyone or their contributions, and that I didn’t get[…]

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2019 AZT Summary and Stats

For links to each of my daily posts, see here. I thru-hiked the Arizona Trail for several reasons. One, I said I would when I first learned about it while visiting my friend Jon near Phoenix at the end of 2018. Two, my friend Stellar planned to hike it and the timing worked out well for us to join together. And lastly, I wanted to hike from Canada to Mexico again. I finished my thru-hike of the CDT going southbound through Montana/Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and half of New Mexico…long story, see my CDT summary. So I finished this journey by hiking all the way south through Arizona. The official CDT is a 3100 mile trail but in reality/practicality, it’s about[…]

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