Viewing posts about Backpacking.

Intro to Blue Range: Climbing up Steeple

Early start on Steeple Trail

Last night's storms left their mark at my campsite on the bank of the Blue River. A few broken branches were strewn around, ground was soft and damp, and the air felt crisp and cool, a welcome change from yesterday's hot, stagnant atmosphere. More alarming, though, was the river itself, which had…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 5, 2021
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Intro to Blue Range: Up the Blue River

Sharp formations along Little Blue Trail

Softly shuffling around my campsite, hesitant to break the cool, still air of morning, I slowly packed up and prepared to start on the trail before sunrise. I was on the Little Blue Trail, which follows the Little Blue River south out of Bear Valley, and had just spent a long, restful night next to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 30, 2021
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Intro to Blue Range: Across the Blue River

Early start at the trailhead

Spending the night sleeping on a cot at a remote trailhead under starry skies and tall pines gave me a few hours of sleep, enough to feel somewhat rested in the morning, especially given the long drive from Phoenix. When my alarm roused me I stumbled up, made a quick breakfast and checked my gear,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 27, 2021
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First Kid Backpack - Cabin Loop

ready-to-start-the-adventure

Sunlight filtered softly through the tall pine trees as I eyed up my three kids. We had spent the last few months preparing for this moment, testing our limitations and gear, and I still wasn't sure if we were ready for this particular adventure. Day-long hikes and car camping were one thing -- an…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 5, 2021
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Moody-Coon Loop: Coon Creek

An easy start on Coon Creek Trail

Waking up in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness, sleeping under a twisted oak with only a down quilt between me and the elements, was a pleasant and leisurely affair. I ignored the predawn rush and continued reading my book from last night, eagerly devouring the last dozen chapters before emerging onto a…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 12, 2020
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Moody-Coon Loop: Moody and Below the Rim

Fantastic section of trail on Moody Point

Descending down Moody Point Trail was an exercise in variety. The route quickly entered a devastated burn section, cutting wide switchbacks through a dead, gray landscape, exposed to the sun, and obvious mud damage to the tread. The trail maintenance was fantastic - thorny stuff cut back and helpful…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 8, 2020
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Moody-Coon Loop: Climbing up Parker to Aztec Peak

A cold, dark morning on Parker Creek Trail

Musk of skunk hung heavy over Parker Creek Trailhead. As I laced my boots and checked my pack I wondered idly if my Jeep had been sprayed on the drive up, or if I had just missed an encounter a few minutes ago. Either way it reeked. I double-checked my pack, making sure that my key was safely tucked…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 3, 2020
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Upper Mazzie Loop: Wet Bottom Paradise

A barren, damaged basin beyond the saddle

Bull Spring Trail passes through three drainage basins after it leaves the AZT. With each basin it swings north to avoid losing too much elevation, though there is always some drop, and then it crosses a rocky bed before climbing up the other side. The first one is Red Metal Canyon and it looked…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 27, 2019
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Upper Mazzie Loop: Saddle Ridge to Bull Spring Saddle

Predawn light on North Peak

This morning started like so many of my Mazatzal adventures: pitch-black sky, frigid air, and a stumbling gait towards semi-familiar lands. There was something different about it, something that I tried to ignore, lest I jinx the whole outing. If I succeeded in this overnight loop then I'd finish my…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 23, 2019
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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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Activity Stream

  • Blogged about hiking | Reavis Ranch Loop.
  • Tweeted | RT @cassidoo: code, amirite
  • Read Mind of My Mind (Patternmaster, #2) by Octavia E. Butler.
  • Blogged about hiking | Red Tanks Super Loop.
  • Tweeted | Imposter syndrome but for burnout.
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