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

Two Hikes in Show Low

Three little hikers on a dirty path

With uncomfortable summer temperatures in the Phoenix valley, Katie and I decided to take advantage of a long-standing invite from some of her relatives up in Show Low, a small town that sits above the Mogollon Rim and is surrounded by pine trees and mild temperatures. The drive was a small…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 17, 2018
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Rim Trail and Aztec Peak

Early start in the Sierra Ancha

While sleep was hard to find, perched on a hammock near the Pueblo Canyon overlook, watching the moonlight play over the Sierra Ancha cliffs and Cherry Creek valley was simply breath-taking. I didn't begrudge the multiple times I woke up from a rustling branch or distant twig break much - they gave…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 19, 2018
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Center Mountain to Pueblo Canyon Overlook

Big trees along FR 410

Tall pines shushed in the light breeze over the narrow two-track, and I practically had to pinch myself to make sure that I wasn't dreaming about the Huron Mountains of Michigan. I was in the Sierra Ancha range, still in Arizona, and I didn't even have to drive all the way to the Mogollon Rim to get…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 25, 2018
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Sheep Bridge Loop

Early morning light over Sheep Bridge and the Verde

Sheep Bridge, and the greenery around the Verde River, did not look far enough away. Sunlight was beginning to leak into the five o'clock sky and I had already walked five miles along the Dutchman Grave Trail this morning, yet from this saddle my progress looked minuscule. I sighed in frustration. I…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 3, 2018
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500 Posts

A month ago my blog hit a big milestone: 500 posts. It's taken nine years to accumulate this many words, words about PHP and Arizona and work and more boring personal matters. There have been dry spells that have lasted months and some months that the posts flowed out much more frequently. Overall I…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted July 20, 2018
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Barnhardt - Sandy Saddle Loop

Early morning light on Barnhardt Canyon

When June rolled around I had a startling revelation: it was almost halfway through 2018 and I hadn't stepped foot in the Mazatzal Wilderness. That's a dirty shame. With time constraints holding me back from doing anything too intense I came up with an easy day hike starting from Barnhardt Trailhead…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 12, 2018
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Mountain Rescue Update

For the last ten months I've been training to be a member of a local search and rescue group. The first half was spent doing pre-certification - first aid, rock climbing classes, posse training, etc - and more recently we've been working as a recruit class on foundational pieces. In fact, in May we…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted July 6, 2018
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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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Activity Stream

  • Tweeted | @beekman33 Relatively easy. It’s like climbing stairs in slow motion, all in the legs and one step at a time. Start… [twitter.com/i/web/status/1…]
  • Blogged about hiking | Two Hikes in Show Low.
  • Read Reamde by Neal Stephenson.
  • Hiked 2.20 miles and felt good.
  • Tweeted | Preparing to enter a four day weekend of solo parenting. We’re gonna need more Zin in this house.
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