Twig Adventures

GET Day 17: Painted Bluffs & The Secret Knowledge

Saturday Apr 3rd, 2021, 0600-1900 Cottonwood Springs Corral to Pigeon Creek Seg 16, mm 306 24 miles I was a bit restless overnight. While normally dead quite, this spot featured a series of weird sounds. I think most were birds but just as I was falling asleep, I heard a loud snort followed by a nicker. Wild horses…I knew I had seen horse poop in the canyon earlier. They apparently smelled us and were afraid to pass, eventually going by in the nearby wash based on the sound their hooves made on rocks. Ironically, in all this time we’ve never been disturbed by cows overnight, save for the occasional distant moo. During a recent Florida backpacking trip, we were tormented[…]

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GET Day 16: Eagle Creek

Friday Apr 2nd, 2021, 0615-1800 Bonita Creek to Cottonwood Springs Corral, mm 282 21.5 miles I love waking up to dry tent, even when camping near a stream. And did I notice even one mosquito the night before? Not a one. Arizona hiking. We talked to our fellow GET hikers a little more, since we doubt we’ll get much of a chance again. As such, we were off just a bit later than usual. We started up a side canyon and were shortly in a fabulous box, way cooler than even the day before. Huge chunks of rock had come down to wedge between the tight walls. It was so cool but also terrifying passing beneath. The box ended all[…]

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GET Day 15: Bonita Creek

Thursday Apr 1st, 2021, 0730-1600 Outskirts of Safford to Bonita Creek, mm 261 22 miles We had a productive town stop but I was anxious to get back to the trail. Looking at the maps during my trip planning, I had noted another long road walk of about 20 miles out of town. Most was on dirt roads heading into the mountains, which I didn’t mind, but about 5 miles was leading out of town through suburbs and past cotton fields. A nice endpoint at Bonita Springs waited if we could hike a 27 mile day. Or, if we could get a ride past the blah parts, we could enjoy a more moderate day and still have time in the[…]

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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 Pinaleños

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 Pinaleños

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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GEY 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 to the canyon 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[…]

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