Monday, April 11, 2016

Arizona National Trail—Passage 6 Scouting Trip (April 11, 2016)

Las Colinas area

According to the guidebook, page 83:  This beautiful passage rolls across the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains with grand vistas to the west and the Empire Mountains to the east.  Mount Wrightson dominates the south, while views of the majestic Rincon Mountains to the north foretell adventures ahead.

The roads in looked less than desirable at FR 4072 and 4064, and so I turned around and went on up to FR 231 that goes to Rosemont Junction.  The area is kind of strange, has that spooky feeling, like I didn’t want to stop there.  One of the first things I saw was an OHV kiosk where a woman had an archery target set up right in front of the kiosk.  I wanted to check the map and drove that way and she walked up and removed the target.  The map itself had been shot by arrows a number of times and was rather useless.  I drove on thinking I could find Rosemont Junction and the trailhead.  I also passed a couple of shooting areas where people target shoot.  One of the areas had a large group of people there, maybe 20 or more.

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There were very strange warning signs everywhere. The guidebook, page 84 says:  Rosemont Copper has plans to develop an open-pit copper mine in the northern region of the Santa Rita Mountains.  If the U.S. Forest Service approves their proposal, mining operations would severely affect the current Arizona Trail route.  Trail professionals and the ATA have designed a reroute of approximately 10 miles that will be implemented if the mine becomes reality.

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Strange signs.

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In spite of the signs that said not to take photographs, I could not resist.  Loved the roots of this three, hanging on the side of the hill.

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I drove up and down all the roads looking for the trailhead.

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And I took a few more photos.

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Strange signs.

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Now this was the strangest thing I saw in there.  What is it?  Looks black like coal. Did not look natural to me.  What is that???

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I had to back up to take this photo… almost missed this beautiful Agave (Century Plant) beginning to shoot up.  Must have been about 8’ high.

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Finally, I spotted the AZT signpost… almost missed it completely.  There was no place to pull off the road.  I stopped in the middle of the road for these photos.  I believe I was on FR 4064 then, as it was very steep after this point to get back up to the highway.  The area I had refused to drive down when I came from the south.

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I was tired of this section.  It  might be more fun to walk through but driving it was not a picnic at all.  Back on the highway, weather was still threatening… so I left.

I drove on northward looking for the next trailhead I could get to.   I passed up the Lakes Road as it required a high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle.

From there, I drove on past most of Passage 7 to Sahuarita Road where there was a place to park for the night. I guess there are plans to build a larger parking lot/trailhead here.  There were no other suitable places before that point.

Last: Passage 5.2 – KY Camp-NB

Next: Passage 7, Las Cienegas


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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on https://www.facebook.com/swankie.wheels. In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.

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