Saturday, April 9, 2016

Arizona National Trail–Passage 5 Scouting Trip (April 9, 2016)

Kentucky Camp going southbound.

Before heading out today to scout the trail, I treated myself to breakfast at The Vineyard Café in Sonoita.  It was very good.  There I met a retired Army guy who was having a second life… and studying voice at a college in Sierra Vista… he is going to audition for the Voice in a couple weeks.  What an interesting world.

From AZT Guidebook, p 75:  Anyone who spends time in the Santa Rita Mountains comes to appreciate the rich biodiversity that exists within the sky islands.  Black bears and bobcats are common sightings, and in 2012 a remote sensor camera captured images of a jaguar.  If the theory holds that large mammals are excellent indicators for overall ecosystem healthy, the Santa Ritas make up a vibrant oasis in southern Arizona.

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On the way to the Trailhead, a fox went across the road. He was rather large and skittish.  My camera was not ready.

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I wonder if that is true of Forest Service signs everywhere, if vertical, they are not maintained for vehicular traffic????

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Rockie, the bear, says, “Let’s Go.”

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The gate is interesting.  You can’t drive to Kentucky Camp, it is 1/4 mile from the gate, unless maybe you have rented it… then maybe someone gives you a key.

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I heard voices in the distance, and I guess it was a drill sergeant… these young Marines looked puny and unseasoned to me.  It did not look like they were having fun.

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Kentucky Camp (elevation 5,125 ft) is an interesting place.  A good place to rest on the trail.  From AZT Guidebook, p 77 -  … a collection of buildings constructed as a base for the mining operation.  The AZT passes right through the camp, which is under renovation by the U.S. Forest Service and a dedicated group of volunteers called Friends of Kentucky Camp.  The historic cabin (above center row left) is available for rent and makes for a deluxe camping experience.

From AZT Guidebook, p 80 – Beautifully restored, this historic mining cabin at Kentucky Camp is available for rent through the Coronado National Forest.

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Interesting outdoor sink.

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Vault toilet and water hose.

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One of the special AZ Trail gates, made so that pack horses can get through, but ATVs can not.

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The AZT Register at that point.

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Met Rob Steady coming northbound, seven days out of MX.  Nice man.  He was also in Navy at Whidbey Naval Air Station, WA but did not know my husband.  He was a parachute packer.

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On the way back to my van I met this make taking wildflower photos.

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I am not in a hurry to get to Tucson, as I am expecting a package there on Weds, so I am taking my time to hit the next few trail crossings.  I’ll also need to go to Walmart there and have my tires checked.

Beautiful clear day and 72F at 12:45pm.  Nice breeze.  Perfect.

Last: Passage 4 – Temporal Gulch

Next: Passage 5.2 – Kentucky Camp-NB


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Help me a little if you can by donating to my equipment fund for the Arizona Trail hike, in the Fall 2016.  I promise to pay it forward.  There is a PayPal donation button in the top right corner, but I realize people using phone may not see that so I am repeating the button below. You can see a list of gear I need at http://swankiewheels.blogspot.com/p/wish-list.html .

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Arizona National Trail-Passage 4 Scouting Trip (April 8, 2016)

Temporal Gulch section.

After checking out Patagonia, I headed up Highway 82 and missed the trailhead near town… so I proceeded on northward.

From the guidebook, page 69:  The Greaterville Mining District, which the AZT enters shortly after exiting the wilderness, drew hundreds of Mexican and U.S. prospectors after gold was discovered here in 1874.  Interpretive signs describe the extensive water-diversion project that took water uphill from Gardner Canyon into Boston Gulch for high-pressure hydraulic mining.  As is the nature of boom-and-bust operations, the mine failed soon after it started.

Even if I had found the turnoff, it is mostly a 4 wheel drive road and I most likely would have had to turn around after a short distance.  I went on to Gardner Canyon Trailhead, which is actually the end of Passage 5, but the only photos I have after Patagonia.

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The road was pretty good.  Weather was threatening and it was late in the day, so I looked around, drove on down the road a little farther and found a place to camp for the night.  There were signs at the Gardner Canyon Trailhead saying No Overnight Parking or Camping.  The next morning I hiked a way up the trail toward Kentucky Camp, but weather was threatening and there was thunder.

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Unfortunately, I wrote this blog post once but lost it somehow and even lost some of my better photos of the water works in the area.  I can’t understand this.  And there were some good photos.

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The stone work supported the large iron pipes that carried the water through this area.

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It’s a beautiful area that I look forward to see more of on the thru hike.  I love the old trees on the ridge, but being on a ridge with thunder in the background doesn’t have great appeal to me.

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Met this character on the way back to the van.

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A pair of lost prescription classes sat on a rock by the signs.  Water had also been cached there.  I don’t understand why overnight parking was not allowed.

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They say that when cattle lay down like this, it is going to storm.

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On the way back out to highway, a large wonderful hawk was perched in a tree.

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Enjoyed the big bird and the big Sycamore tree heading back to the highway.  That trunk is larger than my whole van.  The horse, rider and cattle on the hill are iron sculptures.  Wonderful.

Had low tires so drove back to Sonoita to have them checked and get a few groceries.  Also low on gas.

Last:  Passage 3 – Canelo Hills West

Next: Passage 5 – Kentucky Camp-SB


Thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link.

Help me a little if you can by donating to my equipment fund for the Arizona Trail hike, in the Fall 2016.  I promise to pay it forward.  There is a PayPal donation button in the top right corner, but I realize people using phone may not see that so I am repeating the button below. You can see a list of gear I need at http://swankiewheels.blogspot.com/p/wish-list.html .

Contribute to Equipment for the Arizona Trail Hike.

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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