Sunday, May 8, 2016

Arizona National Trail—Passage 23 Scouting Trip (May 1 & 7, 2016)Barnhardt Trailhead

More information about Passage 23 will be added later.

I registered to participate in the ATA Volunteer Vacation, but did not at the time realize it was a very tough 9 hour hike uphill to get to the base camp location.  I was not yet ready for such a climb/hike, but I went to see the others off.


A wrangler volunteered to haul in supplies and equipment.  The pinto is his ride, and he had two pack horses, named Sugar and Spice.


He and his wife live in southern Arizona but still have property in Colorado and they were on their way to their summer home.


Wendy Lotz did a pre-hike orientation which Bill and his wife tried to settle Spice down to be loaded with gear.  Spice was having a “Monday” morning.


So the horses were loaded up with their packs.


The people were loaded down with their packs, and then it began raining.


I hiked in with them for about an hour and said my goodbyes as they went on up the trail 8 more hours.


On the hike back to the trailhead, I took time to enjoy the local plant life… the white flower is a Mariposa Lilly.  I thought they were rare but them were a lot.  The canyon is very beautiful and I look forward to returning one day to hike up to the first water falls and then one day all the way up.


Graffiti, even on the lichen on the rocks.


Wonderful, wonderful.


I spent the week backtracking to explore Passages 19-22 but returned the following Saturday to welcome people back down after their week of working on the trail.


Wendy plopped down next to my chair to enjoy a beer.  Bill helped his wife Inga get her rain pants off.


Roger was eager to get his socks changed and lighter shoes on.  We all pitched in to help Wendy reload her car.  Before they got down, I helped the wrangler unload the horse packs near Wendy’s car.


I had wanted to bake a cake in my solar oven, but clouds did not clear until it was too late to bake.


The crew had a very good week of trail work and there were not injuries to people or pack horses.  I really enjoyed my time with them and one day I WILL be able to hike that kind of trail and keep up.

I had an unexpected call from a former boss to return to work for her as a Camp Host.  I am in transit now for that job, in Colorado… to begin May 20.  My scouting will have to be postponed until September when the job ends.

Last: Passage 22 – Saddle Mountain

Next: Passage 24-43 Scouting postponed til Fall 2016.

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on 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.