Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Arizona National Trail—Passage 7 Scouting Trip (April 12, 2016)

Las Cienegas area…

I could not access the southern end of Passage 7 as a 4 wheel drive vehicle was required to get into the Twin Tanks / Lake Road area… so I drove on northward to Sahuarita Road Trailhead.  It was late in the day and I needed to find safe parking.

Weather was threatening and so I took the next day (Monday) off to do banking and take care of other important issues.  I did walk the southern side of the trail from Sahuarita a little just before sunset on 4/11, and made the longer hike on the northern side this morning (4/12).


This is a lovely section of the trail, maybe the prettiest I have seen so far.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

I hiked out at 10:45am and returned at 12:55pm.  I can’t yet measure miles, but for now I am walking out one hour, and then returning to my van.  My left shin below my knee hurt a little when I began but soon stopped.



I found this humorous, I met Rob and Nick this week south of here, so it was odd to see their names on the Trail Log.


I like that events are posted at the trailheads.


Some critters must really like these cactus.


Spotted a little mushroom growing under on of the plants.


A packrat lives here.


Tunnel under Highway 83.  The trail book said there was a rock cairn here marking the trail but I only found it on the return trip… I put a couple rocks back on top that had been knocked off. But the trail is pretty well worn and not hard to follow, anyway..


Tiny baby cactus on left.


I found this on the trail…


I heard a bird, new to me, singing in those treetops.  A lovely song.  I believe it was a Curve-billed Thrasher… a website says it is a “Fantastic singer.”

After the two hour hike, I drove on to Gabe Zimmerman Trail head on Marsh Station Road.  According to the guide book, page 89, Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman, for whom the trailhead is named, was among six people killed when a gunman opened fire at a community event in Tucson, held by then U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) on January 8, 2011.  At that time Zimmerman was an aid to the congresswoman.  This area celebrates his life- and those of everyone who was affected by that tragedy.


The AZT crosses through Cienega Creek Nature Preserve, a riparian corridor that supports a diverse population of plants, trees, insects, fish and reptiles, and mammals.  AZT hikers must stay on the trail through this area.


The trailhead is nice with a vault toilet (no t.p.) and picnic table and shelter, and a trashcan.  Passage 7 ends here.

Best part of the hike was the pretty bird of course and getting run over by a dust devil, and the wonderful smells of all the blooming flowers.  Wonderful, wonderful.

Last: Passage 6 – Las Colinas

Next: Passage 8 - Rincon Valley

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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.