Posts about Hiking, page 6 of 31.

Experimenting with a Hammock

Perfect hammock site at Barbershop Springs

This year I've been experimenting a lot with new gear and new backpacking practices. After a few adventures with thirty or more pounds (including nine days on Isle Royale) I've shifted to an ultralight setup that sometimes sinks to a wonderful sub-five base weight. My water system has gotten lighter…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 29, 2016
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Ballantine to Boulder Flat

Blue skies over Ballantine Trailhead

The clear sky was a giant blue mirror reflecting back the heat of the rocky earth. At least, that's what it felt like as I stood near the van and looked over at Ballantine Trailhead. The hot air swam around me and my skin prickled with the promise of a sweaty afternoon. With a long sigh I walked…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 22, 2016
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Willow Springs Loop

A mostly full moon over First Water Trailhead

A mostly-full moon hung high over First Water Trailhead and my lonely car parked there. I gazed up at it, debating once again on simply turning around and driving back to a warm bed. My breath wheezed in and out through the congestion of a week-long chest cold as I stood there and let the darkness…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 7, 2016
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Pine Creek Loop and a Bail

A plain-looking Ballantine Trailhead

Cars, trucks, and semis roared out over the desert mere yards away from Ballantine Trailhead. I guess this is the alternative to long, rocky roads that usually prelude my desert hikes; parking next to a busy highway and doing my best to ignore the traffic. Wincing as my shoulders took on the heavy…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 1, 2016
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Silly Mountain with the Boys

A slowly waking sky over Superstition Ridgeline

Hiking with the boys has, for the most part, been limited to short outings in San Tan or South Mountain. There are a number of loops in these parks that are less than five miles with wide, easy trails that are perfect for them to wander along. I've tried taking them to the Superstitions a few times…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 21, 2016
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Mount Peeley Summit

Beautiful sign at the Mt Peeley Trailhead

Forest Road 201 was a long and winding ordeal, stretching north from AZ-87 and circling around numerous ridges and peaks on a slow climb up into the Mazatzals. All three of us were impatient to get on the trail. My dad and I had woken up at four this morning in order to meet Chris at six in Fountain…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 17, 2016
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Lower Red Tanks Trail

Predawn light on the hills

Sleep came in hour-long chunks at best near LaBarge Spring. The temps dropped under the clear night sky to the point where I, fully dressed in the hammock, was rolling uncomfortably around by midnight. Perhaps a sleeping bag would have been a good idea after all. Every time I opened up my Kindle to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 10, 2016
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Bluff Springs to LaBarge

Busy signage at Peralta Trailhead

Peralta Road was in rough shape, with huge rocks, loose sand, and deep ruts at every wash crossing. It was obvious that a major storm had dumped some water here, though I couldn't think of when. Seems like it's been dry out here for a long time. Maybe that little sprinkle we got in Gilbert last week…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 7, 2016
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Backpacking Gear Updates - 2016

Over the last few backpacking posts I've mentioned that my pack has been getting lighter. I'm still pretty new to traditional backpacking, with only twelve adventures over the last year, and it's taking some time for me to understand my gear and comfort level. My first trip out on the Cabin Loop had…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 18, 2016
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Spending the Night on Flatiron

Hot sun over Flatiron

The thermometer on the car read 112 when I stepped out into the parking lot in Apache Junction. Hot air rushed over me, feeling more like an oven than not, and I took an unsteady breath in. I was about to tackle a hike that I probably should not in temperatures that I probably should avoid and I was…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 13, 2016
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