Friday, May 6, 2016

Arizona National Trail—Passage 21 Scouting Trip (May 7, 2016)

Pine Mountain (Lone Pine Saddle to Sunflower)

20160505_133708

I spent two nights camped at Lone Pine Saddle, and explored around.  I could not find where AZT Passage 21 began.  Directions in the book, do not match my maps… and on the ground I could find no signs for a FR 422.  I need to research this more and get full size topo maps for the entire AZT.  But I hiked on AZT southward from Pigeon Spring Trailhead into Passage 20.

20160506_090431

I think I should have turned left here down FR 143, but I felt I was going the wrong way to get back to Hwy 188, so I turned right.  I think the trail picks up to the left a ways.

20160503_084900

20160503_084149

Bushnell Tanks Road (old FR 22).  There is nothing else in Sunflower, nothing.

20160503_084409

The rest of the Passage 21 is not accessible by road as far as I can tell, until you get to Sunflower. This was a disappointment.  It is 19.8 miles through this section… and should be awesome.

20160503_092458

Earlier I had gone to the northern end of this Passage off Hwy 87 at Bushnell Tanks Road.  I hiked here into Passage 22.

20160503_092427

I think it was at this point you could hike South on the AZT into Passage 21, or turn right going Westward into Passage 22.  I have to admit some of the signage and trails are confusing.

Last: Passage 20 – Four Peaks

Next: Passage 22 – Saddle Mountain


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.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Arizona National Trail—Passage 20 Scouting Trip (April 25-May 4, 2016)

Four Peaks (Theodore Roosevelt Lake to Lone Pine Saddle)

According to the book, page 165:  This passage has several striking aspects, including great views of Roosevelt Lake and the dam that created it, close-up views of the magnificent Four Peaks, and the startling effects of an intense forest fire.

I skipped over this section to visit Passages 21-23 and then returned.

I tied to drive to Mills Ridge Trailhead and hike there. It was late in the day on 5/6, I drove about a mile (it’s a 5 mile drive) when I became pretty rough and I realized I had less than 1/4 tank of gas left.  I was not up for driving a 3rd really rough road in as many days, so I returned to the highway and on Northward.

20160425_16162320160425_161657

The trail for Passage 20 begins at the end of the concrete barrier, across the road from the parking area.  I love the cute little rock cairn someone made on the barrier.  The trail heads up steeply from there and I was looking forward to exploring it, but I was developing a blister on a toe, it was full sun and very hot, and the vegetation/terrain were pretty much the same as my last couple of scouting trips.. 

At first I couldn’t see where the trail came out from the south Passage 19.  I asked at the Visitor Center and she could not tell me.  But driving past it again, I spotted it, at the intersection of Hwy 188 and 88, southeast corner.  Parking options are the Dam Parking area on 88 or the AZT parking lot on the other side of the bridge, and there were two police cars there and other vehicles and equipment blocking the road… so I decided to pass this one up as well.

Well, I did it again, taking another scary road, twice as long as the last one, but not quite as scary,… up FR 143 to Lone Pine Trailhead. Took a little more driving skill. 12 miles from Highway 188 near Roosevelt Lake. I will be here a couple days. I am high on a ridge, actually a saddle, and drove past the antennas that were on that peak in photos taken from the Mormon Grove site. Amazing world

The drive up to the Lone Pine Saddle is a little hairy but safe.  The drop offs are not as severe as they were driving up to Mormon Grove, but the road is much longer … 12 miles. On 5/5, it is pretty windy up there.

20160504_14254420160504_143758

20160504_14482820160504_145116

20160504_150347

The Pigeon Spring Trailhead.  Only enough room there for one car to park. I hiked from here the morning of 5/6 but only about 1/2 hour.  Water was left here for hikers.

20160506_085411

20160504_145255

I camped at the Lone Pine Saddle for two nights, taking time to clean house and write.  The views are awesome in all directions.  Looing west you can see the road (FR 143) going down the other side back to highway 87.

20160504_15070220160504_150706

And also from Lone Pine Saddle, I can look East and see Roosevelt Lake.

20160505_052010

Sunrise from my pillow on 5/5/16, from Lone Pine Saddle.

The “Saddle” is  not the Trailhead, so I drove down to the end of the road, less than 1/2 mile from the Saddle, to check out the Trailhead. 

20160505_140320 - Copy

There was broken auto glass on the ground from someone breaking into a vehicle.  That always spooks me.  Up on the saddle, I got 90 t.v. stations, but there I only got 4 and they were scrambled.  No internet either… so I drove back up to the Saddle for my 2nd night.

20160505_134756 - Copy20160505_140030 - Copy

Where I parked two nights, on Lone Pine Saddle. A couple guys stopped for about an hour on an ATV… no one else came there.  Driving down the short distance to Lone Pine Trailhead, a very large Gopher Snake was in the road.  He stretched from the edge of the road to the middle of the road, but did not like me getting out of the van, so he retreated back the way he came.

20160505_140334 - Copy20160505_140352 - Copy

I didn’t think too much of Lone Pine Trailhead, it was kind of shoddy.

20160505_140519 - Copy

The trail itself looked good but it was a two mile hike in to reach the Arizona Trail, so I did not hike it, just explored the area and enjoyed the beauty, this burned out area is bouncing back.

20160505_140647 - Copy20160505_140658 - Copy20160505_140712 - Copy20160505_140809 - Copy20160505_140845 - Copy

Look at this big burned out tree trunk.  I have big feet too.  I could just see Indians burning out logs this way to make canoes.

20160505_140933 - Copy20160505_140948 - Copy

The burned out wilderness has allowed Manzanita to flourish.  It was in full bloom and there were thousands of bees around.  I have never seen it in full bloom like this.

20160505_141022 - Copy20160505_141138 - Copy

I wondered if the beams/steps had been put in after the fire, but no, here is one that is burned.  And an interesting red bug????

I did hike down to Pigeon Spring and a little farther.  How nice to be in a forest again.

20160506_080531 - Copy20160506_080542 - Copy20160506_080549 - Copy

The Pigeon Spring Trailhead.

20160506_080703 - Copy20160506_080835

Pine cones all over the ground.  Now that is different, as my sister would say.  And not far down the trail someone had arranged logs around a fire ring.

20160506_08114020160506_081208

Yes, I am  happy in the wilderness, and some of the trail is even paved.  All kidding aside, this is an erosion control technique.

20160506_08135020160506_081618

Birds were signing everywhere (can you see him out on a limb?).  This is the most birds I have seen.  Very soon after leaving the van I came to the Pigeon Spring sign.

20160506_08163220160506_081709

Walk left off the trail between the two rock cairns, and there is the Spring.

20160506_08173120160506_082448

And below the Spring is a wetlands area with lush green grass.  A little farther down the trail is evidence of trail maintenance, where Manzanita has been cut back.

20160506_08250120160506_082523

What a pity that all these trees were killed.  That’s the largest pine knot I ever saw.  What a fire they make with all the sap that is in them.  Indians considered them sacred and they were only burned on special occasions.  They crackle and spark all different colors.  And the tree on the right might already have been dead, with all the insect holes it had.

20160506_08293620160506_083938

What a wonderful morning for hiking.  These are the smallest acorns I ever saw and there were no Oak Trees nearby???

20160506_084428

I believe these may be wild strawberries.  Yum?

20160506_08501420160506_085303

Looking up at the sky, I saw dark clouds rolling in and decided to give up admiring all the lovely wilderness and get my butt off this mountain.  I love the knarly old trees and am eager to hike this whole Passage.  So far, I think it is my favorite.

20160506_090421

I had to wonder what the road back to Highway 87 would be like from here.  But I am heading back the way I came as I want to backtrack and hike part of Passage 19.  So back down the hairy road I go.  Met a car coming head on that was going way too fast.  Luckily, we both got stopped in time and I had room to move to my right.

20160506_09090620160506_09095020160506_09110420160506_091110

20160506_091734

Someone used a big old tire as a water trough.  Nothing for scale in the photo, but this is one of those giant heavy equipment tires.

20160506_093636

This hairpin turn was so tight, they had to make like a figure-8  round-a-bout.  How interesting.

20160506_083154

Well, Rockie and I are pretty tired, but are now backtracking to take a closer look at Passage 19.

Last: Passage 19-Superstition Wilderness

Next: Passage 21 – Pine Mountain


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?

My photo
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.

Followers: