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 CafĂ© 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.


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


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


Rockie, the bear, says, “Let’s Go.”


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.


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.


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.





Interesting outdoor sink.


Vault toilet and water hose.


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


The AZT Register at that point.


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.


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


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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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
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? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.