Thursday, April 14, 2016

Arizona National Trail—Passage 9 and 10 Scouting Trip (April 14, 2016)

Rincon Mountains and Redington Pass

This Passage (9) goes between Hope Camp (covered in last post) and Redington Pass, on Redington Road (FR 371). 

I did not hike at Hope Camp… and next place I could come close to the trail would be Redington Pass, which is actually the beginning of Passage 10.

FR 371, goes through the Saguaro National Park where you must get a permit to camp.  This passage has a 6,169 foot climb to an elevation of 8,602 ft. and goes through six biotic communities… desert scrub, desert grassland, oak woodland, pine-oak woodland, pine forest, and mixed-conifer forest…. with 986 different species of plants.  I was hoping by getting up to Redington Pass, I could hike the 2 miles into the AZ Trail from there and see some of that.  Nope.  No can do with 2 wheel drive.

I should have hiked some from Hope Camp but it was high noon when I was there and very hot and the AZT itself was so far from the trailhead here, about 2.5 miles and I did not think I could go that far (a total of five miles) and return in the heat.  Five miles… I have not yet hiked five miles and want better conditions to do that..


From Tanque Verde Road, trying to go up FR 371 to Redington Pass, there was road work being done and flaggers on duty.  Only one way traffic was being allowed.  I waited and started up.


They appeared to be doing work on the shoulders.  Right after the pavement ended and the dirt began, the road got so rough that the microwave cabinet, microwave and all came loose and fell over.  Six years, and such a thing has never happened and I have been on some really rough roads.  So I turned around at the first trailhead, also only suitable for 4-wheel-drive vehicles, and took a break there before heading back down.


Guess this was as close as I would get to the Saguaros in this passage.  They are beginning to bloom everywhere.


I made my way back down the Road and almost had a head-on collision as a flagger flagged me through when he should not have.  When I got to the flagger at the bottom, I could not help but holler at him… saying “What the hell was that?”  We were close enough he saw it happen.  He shrugged his shoulders and said… “He did not answer me!”  Well, fool, if he doesn’t answer, don’t send anyone up that way?????  Dang.

I needed a rest and a place to dump some trash and saw this park… Aqua Caliente Spring Park, and pulled in to fix my microwave cabinet, gather trash and my wits and look at maps to decide where to go next.  Didn’t seem to be anywhere else but up Mt. Lemmon to access the AZT next.  So off I went, heading up General Hitchcock Highway.

I conclude that Passage 9 and 10 are only going to be experienced by foot on the thru hike.

Last - Passage 8 – Rincon Valley

Next - Passage 11 – Santa Catalina Mountains



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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.