Friday, April 15, 2016

Arizona National Trail—Passage 11 Scouting Trip (April 15, 2016)

Santa Catalina Mountains

The Gordon Hirabayashi Campground and Trailhead is actually where Passage 10 ends.  A lot of excitement going on here as search crews look for a missing hiker.  This area also has more history than any place I have seen yet.  I am rather grounded right now and short of funds due to vehicle repairs so I am waiting out payday (4/20).  Need gas and need another van repair.


There had been a fire here some time ago, and it was interesting to see the signs posted about re-forestation/restoration area.


I am always surprised when I find a trailhead.  You actually drive through the campground, which is a fee area, and then there is a turn-a-round with horse corrals, and trailhead parking (which is free).  A little confusing but I am catching on.


It’s an interesting area and I only walked a mile out (took me 30 min) and had just a slight twinge in my left leg, right below my knee, but it didn’t last long.


There is water here, at least in April there was.


A rather large group of forest service guys passed me, there are about 15 more in front of these three.  Looking for that missing guy I guess.


There are a lot of historic remains here from when this was a Prison Camp.  Yes, a Prison Camp.  More later.


This gate sign rather tickled me.  Only rubber tires that could get through there would be toy Tonka trucks.  The gate was welded shut, I kid you not… WELDED.


I stopped at this ridge to rest before heading back… Google maps calls it Shreve Saddle.  I heard voices.


Another search and rescue team.  Their dog was excited to find me, but then they told him I was not who they were looking for.  Sad puppy.  I should have gotten his photo.


I enjoyed this hike today, not much elevation and my legs and feet seem pretty happy.  My lungs are still bothering me, and tickling and making me cough a lot.


A burnt out tree.




Again, just like in kayaking, the return to shore/camp and seeing my van is always a happy feeling.


Search and Recue vehicles still in the parking lot.  This red truck was there all night, like me.


As you pull out of the round-about, there is a sign to let you know you are entering the fee area again.


It’s a nice campground, with bear box trash cans, vault toilet, bear food boxes at each campsite, picnic tables, fire rings and shade trees.  This was the site of a WW II Japanese Internment camp.  There are still concrete slabs from the buildings.


It’s $5 a night with a pass and I thought that was reasonable, I paid for Friday night, and Sat. morning lots of people had arrived and more coming in and I had to flee. Screaming kids running about at 6:30am and campfire smoke are just not my thing.   I’ll only return there on a weekday.  But a very nice place.  No internet signal.


OK, the history.  From the guide book, page 112:  This is the site of a former Japanese internment camp, and the campground and trailhead were called Prison Camp before being renamed in honor of Gordon Hirabayashi, a sociologist and educator best known for his resistance to the Japanese-American internment during World War II; he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom post-humously in 2012.



Continued from p. 112:  Although Hirabayashi at first considered accepting internment, he ultimately became one of three to openly defy it.  In 1942 he turned himself in to the FBI and, after being convicted for curfew violation, was sentenced to 90 days in prison.  He did this in part to appeal the verdict all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union.  However, the court unanimously ruled against him in 1943.  Because they would not pay for him to be sent to prison (in AZ?), he hitchhiked form Washington, DC to the Arizona prison where he was sentenced to reside.  When new information surfaced 44 years later, Hirabayashi’s case was reheard by the federal courts.  In 1987, his conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


The exhibits here are very worthwhile to stop and read.  A Prison without Bars… they called it Honor Camp… and they built the Mt. Lemmon Highway, which I must say is a very well designed highway, with grades and slopes very well planned out.


I like that this has all been preserved as it has… as the story about the Japanese Internment camps is one I knew nothing about until I was an adult.  Every American should know about this.

If you hike out of this area, you drop down into the Sabino Canyon, which is where the young man had hiked in from… and then gone missing a week earlier then when I was there.  The night I camped there, his body was found about 6:30pm.  Helicopters kept flying over my van.  News:

The body of a 28-year-old hiker who'd been missing since last week was discovered in Sabino Canyon on Friday evening.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department began looking for Mauricio Carreon-Maltos on April 9 after he'd been reported missing the previous night. Officials learned Carreon-Maltos was last seen the morning of April 8 and began hiking in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area in the early afternoon.

I left and drove on up to Mt. Lemmon, Summerhaven, and to check out the trailhead at Marshal Gulch Picnic area.  Wow, rough hiking from there southward.  Marshal Gulch is actually in Passage 12.  (It will be a few days before I get to Oracle.)

The AZT actually follows the road back through Summerhaven, and up to the Oracle Ridge turnoff by a Fire Station. The road from there requires 4-wheel drive, so I will have to go back on highways to reach the northern end of Passage 12.

Internet was great on top of the ridge, but poor in Marshal Gulch.  When I hike this, I plan to stop in Summerhaven and have a hot meal and maybe stay in a hotel???

Last:  Passages 9 & 10 - Rincon Mountains and Redington Pass

Next: Passage 12 – Oracle Ridge

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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.