Twig Adventures

MRT Day 6: West Clear Creek

Thursday Apr 14th 2022, 0600-1800Fivemile Pass Tank #2 to Corduroy Wash, EABO mm 126.5, Segment 2 mm 76.5. 25 miles. It was another diverse day in terms of temperature and terrain. I recorded a low of 26 inside my tent, waking to sparklingly ice crystals lining my walls. I slept cold towards dawn but considering that my quilt is only rated to 22 degrees, I think I did good. I could have still put my puffy on, which I instead had stuffed in my footbox. The morning took us through a maze of jeep track. Some intersections were marked, most not. It would be very hard to do this route without GPS. We stopped to check out an old ranch. The[…]

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MRT Day 5: Wet Beaver Canyon

Wednesday Apr 13th 2022, 0600-1900Chaves trail to Fivemile Pass Tank #2, EABO mm 101.5, Segment 2 mm 51.6. 26.6 miles. It was a cold one overnight. It got to 36 degrees inside my tent but outside, the temperature plummeted to 27 as we started walking. It’s amazing how much heat a tent can trap…even one as well ventilated as mine. I stayed just warm enough and didn’t even have to break a chemical handwarmer package (which I picked up in Sedona as extra peace of mind). We followed the Chaves trail for several miles, finding it very distinct in some spots and barely discernable in others…typical of many other trails so far. The intermittent cairns were mostly all that helped to[…]

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MRT Day 4: Brutal Beauty

Tuesday Apr 12th 2022, 0620-1820Oak Creek to Chaves trail, EABO mm 75, Segment 2 mm 25. 22 miles The forecast called for rain in the morning and sun by the afternoon, so I wasn’t too concerned about getting wet. Even if it poured, I’d dry by the end of the day. I started up a trail to the top of the rim once again, and I could feel it getting colder as I went. But there was a peaceful calm produced by the overcast skies on the way up. It was as if the desert was holding its breath in anticipation. Wildflowers sprang up alongside the trail as it switchbacked the steep canyon walls. This was another finely constructed elevator of[…]

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MRT Day 3: Sedona meets Hikertrash

Monday Apr 11th 2022, 0610-1800The Coxcomb to Oak Creek via Sedona, EABO mm 54.214 miles I slept really great in my cowboy camp configuration. It helped that not one thing bothered me all night…no bugs, ants, mice, nothing! I heard the soft hoot of an owl and some coyotes in the distance, that was it. We got going early in order to make it to town for breakfast. I wasn’t even sure how far we had to walk to get to town, since we planned to take alternate trails into the west end. We followed a series of mountain bike trails right up to the base of iconic chimney rock, then accidentally took a wrong trail straight up to the[…]

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MRT Day 2: Red Canyons

Sunday Apr 10th 2022, 0610-1830Taylor Cabin to just NE of the Coxcomb, EABO mm 39.425.8 miles 4000 gain, 3900 loss I slept really well overnight and awoke to a cool morning. I was loving my thermometer. It read 46 degrees. What a swing from a high of 98 that it recorded the day before. Stellar was ready about 10 minutes before I was and started down the trail. Normally I don’t mind separate starts but I was also a little concerned about an upcoming 3 mile stretch cross counrry up the Sycamore wash and then a steep climb from the canyon on the side of a cliff. I figured we should stick together through such tough goings. In my rush[…]

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MRT Day 1: Into the Heat

Saturday Apr 9th 2022, 1300-1900MRT Western Terminus at Parsons Trail 144 to Taylor Cabin Sycamore Creek, EABO mm 14.314.3 miles Well, it was finally back to the trail, which felt like a long time coming. Two weeks of travel preceded this start (as opposed to my AT start, where I hit the trail less than 24 hours after leaving my house). Since Stellar, my hiking buddy for this desert travel once again, was driving from Ohio, I decided to fly to Denver in order to visit family. He picked me up along the way and we did a marathon drive from my Mom’s place in Canon City, CO all the way to our friends outside of Phoenix. We dropped 3[…]

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My next adventure: The Mogollon Rim Trail

I will be attempting the 500 mile Mogollon Rim Trail in April 2022. This is the logical follow-up to my 2021 Grand Enchantment Trail (GET) thru-hike. Both routes were created and developed by Brett Tucker of Hike Invention and are not purpose-built, agency-sanctioned trails like the National Scenic Trails System. As such, these routes are pieced together using a system of pre-existing trails, forest service roads, and some cross-country travel. The MRT is sometimes referred to as the GET northern alternate, as it takes a northerly approach in bypassing Navajo reservation lands through Arizona, while the official GET takes a more southerly “sky island” route. Both meet at the Arizona/New Mexico border, at which point the MRT officially concludes. I’m[…]

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