Howdy! Welcome to Jacob's blog.

There's a lot of awesome stuff covered here. Jacob Emerick is a web programmer with years of experience in scalable architecture and development of best practices. He also enjoys hiking the wilds of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This blog contains a mix of topics ranging between these two interests and more. read more

Jacob Emerick rocking a bow tie

Hackberry Springs via Needle Vista

Boys playing along the wash

Hackberry Spring is a great destination for a family hike. It's a short distance from the First Water horse lot, a good portion of it is in the shade, and there is a pleasant spot to rest (and play) near the spring. The only annoying thing is that we've done this hike… four times now? Maybe…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 15, 2018
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Short Visit to Coon Bluff

Hanging out next to the Salt River

In the ever-present struggle to find a reasonable hike for my boys there was one option that was simultaneously filled with potential and unknowns: Coon Bluff. This small hill sits near the confluence of Salt and Verde River and is in an area known for wild horses. It also has few official trails,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 1, 2018
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Ballantine Trail to Pine Mountain

Dim, early morning light on Ballantine Trail

Dull blue clouds hung low overhead, making me feel oddly claustrophobic as I tromped along the quiet desert trail. A few city lights glimmered in the west, and below me the headlights of large trucks coming down AZ-87 from Payson would glare then disappear, reminding me that the world is big and…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 22, 2018
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Anchors Class

After a lengthy delay, I took a second climbing class from Arizona Mountaineering Club in April. Lengthy delay because I took the first class, 'basics', last fall and haven't climbed since, so it felt a little awkward coming back to the group for anchors. The knots and some of the techniques came…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted May 2, 2018
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Another Motherlode Attempt

Morning blues over Brown's Peak

Driving up to Lone Pine Saddle hasn't gotten any more fun since the last visit. It's been almost two years and the long haul up AZ-87, boring swing down 188, and then bumpy drive up El Oso wasn't missed. At least I had my sister and her boyfriend as company on the drive. We were going to meet…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 28, 2018
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Fig Trail and a Kayak

Tara being far too excited about the trip

There is a lonely trail on the east side of the Verde River that doesn't connect to anything, barely sees any traffic, and isn't even part of the Mazatzal Wilderness. It's along the foothills of those mountains, though, so I decided to include it in my general 'hike all the Mazzies' project. Getting…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 3, 2018
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Task Management

Managing my daily life with a todo app is the only way I can hope to function any more. In college I used a combination of OneNote and good ol' paper and pencil, and since 2009 I've been using Remember the Milk exclusively. And by that I mean I use it for everything - workout reminders, work, blog…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted February 23, 2018
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Several Ways to Drink Coffee

An old favorite, the French Press

Coffee is something that has embedded itself into most of my routines, as it has most red-blooded Americans. It started in college with cream-and-sugar concoctions that the thought of makes my stomach churn and has since changed into a purer enjoyment of plain black brews. Nowadays it's a standard,…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted February 3, 2018
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Fuller Seep

Early morning light on North Peak

Heading out on an ambitious backpack in the Mazatzal Wilderness seemed like the perfect way to end 2017. Of course, backpacking in the end of December meant dealing with cold temperatures, even in Arizona, so my pack was heavy with all the cold-weather gear that usually collects dust in my closet.…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 17, 2018
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East End of Davenport Wash Trail

Red rock formations about Red Rock Spring

Finding a good spot to continue east on Davenport Wash Trail was more difficult than I anticipated. The wash below Club Cabin was nothing but a tangled mess of cat claw that obscured any reasonable path forward. After pacing back and forth for a few minutes I spotted a lonely cairn across the wash…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 9, 2018
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Activity Stream

  • Hiked 24.00 miles and felt great.
  • Hiked 4.50 miles and felt great.
  • Hiked 17.00 miles and felt great.
  • Hiked 2.30 miles and felt good.
  • Blogged about hiking | Short Visit to Coon Bluff.
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