Viewing posts about Mazatzal Wilderness.

Verde River and Red Creek

Looking down over the Sheep Bridge area

A blinding sun shone in the east, washing out my view over to the Mazatzal Mountains with harsh rays. For the first time in a long time it wasn't a hot, unforgiving light, more of a gentle warmth. I had been walking down a dirt road for three hours, mostly in the dark, and now I was almost at Sheep…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 15, 2017
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Across the Mazatzals: Escape down Davenport

Sunrise on Table Mountain

Another night of partial sleep crept by in the Mazatzals. This time a couple of skunks and deer were the primary disturbers of my rest, though I'm sure there were some coatis at some point. Waking up and packing up was relatively easy this time, as I was camping on a slab of concrete, which made…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 29, 2017
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Across the Mazatzals: Crossing Deadman Creek

The start of Deadman Trail

Waking up was hard, and getting all my stuff packed up and ready to go was even harder. Not only was I sore from yesterday's beating on the trail, two nights of broken sleep was beginning to wear on me. That elk towering above me at ten last night didn't help things. I managed to get some hot coffee…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 27, 2017
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Across the Mazatzals: Willow Springs Bushwhack

Rocky ridge to climb, so close yet so far

Waking up and leaving Horse Camp Seep proved more difficult than planned. I slept in past my alarm, filtering water up to full capacity took a long time, and then I had to repack my gear twice to get everything sitting comfortably on my back. The sun was an hour up in the sky by the time I left…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 24, 2017
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Across the Mazatzals: Over Sandy Saddle

Cloudy skies over Barnhardt

Thunder rolled down from the heights of the Mazatzal Mountains, dire warnings issued from dull clouds that swam around the towering peaks. With an anxious eye I tried to decide if I should head up Barnhardt Trail today or not. This trailhead was empty and I could just car camp, wait for an early…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 21, 2017
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Mazatzal Project Checkup

Long views back to the west, where it all began

Halfway done with the Mazatzal Project, an ambitious and foolhardy plan that I sketched out earlier this year to hike every trail in and around the Mazatzal Wilderness. To be more precise, I've explored 148.2 / 252.3 miles (53.9%) and have completed 21 / 38 trails (55.3%) over the course of four…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted August 9, 2017
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South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop

Early morning light over Gold Ridge Trail

By the time the day broke in brilliant hues of pink and purple over a distant Mogollon Rim I was almost 5 miles into my hike. Yes, another ridiculous early morning in the Mazatzal Wilderness. Today's early start wasn't aimed at getting a ton of miles, though - my planned route was a mere 13 miles…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 3, 2017
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Deadman Mesa

Tagged clump of grass marking the way out

Last time I spent the night in the Mazatzal Wilderness I had to deal with a midnight bear visitor that scared the crap out of me. This time it was a skunk. I smelled it shortly before I heard the soft scuffles through the leaves and grass under my gear and froze in my hammock, unwilling to give the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 27, 2017
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Descent to Fossil Creek

Dim morning light on Twin Buttes Trailhead

Soft pastels lit the clear sky above me in muted tones, whispers before the terrible forecasted high temperatures this weekend. I appreciated the chilly sixty-odd degree temperatures found on Hardscrabble Mesa this early in the morning. Another early start today, this time leaving Phoenix a few…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 24, 2017
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South Mazatzal Roundup: Sunflower

Shade along FR 25A

Slushy gatorade was a shockingly refreshing beverage. I made a mental note to freeze more bottles for post-hike treats as I lounged against the van. Twenty-five miles behind me and it was only four in the afternoon as I enjoyed the frosty treat. This whole loop might just be possible. The last six…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 12, 2017
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Activity Stream

  • Read What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Hiked 30.00 miles and felt great.
  • Favorited Amanda Palmer - Creep (Radiohead Cover) on YouTube.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/lifestream-service.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/lifestream-service.
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