Mazatzal Wilderness posts, page 2 of 4.

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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South Mazatzal Roundup: Cornucopia - Thicket Spring Loop

Tall pines along Thicket Spring Trail

Tall pines clumped around McFarland Canyon, survivors spared from the worst of the wildfires by the surrounding hillsides and sheer luck. There were enough to even shade sections of Thistle Spring Trail as it played along the banks, cutting between tall bushes and curving along side drainages. I…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 7, 2017
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South Mazatzal Roundup: Cross F Trailhead to Squaw Flat

Full moon over a burned tree in the Mazatzals

Hiking distance is something that I've always been intimately aware of, from all the way back in the days of exploring Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It started as a question of how many waterfalls I could bag after work, a calculation based on driving distance and walking speed and daylight, and when…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 4, 2017
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Deer Creek: Davey Gowan and Gold Ridge

Morning light near Gowan Camp

Light trickled into Gowan Camp as I sat tiredly and rested, drinking water and chewing slowly on a granola bar. The half mile from where I spent last night to here was trivial, taking mere minutes to knock out, plus I had taken my time waking up and packing my gear. All in all it had been a lazy…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 23, 2017
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Activity Stream

  • Blogged about hiking | Rim Trail and Aztec Peak.
  • Blogged about hiking | Center Mountain to Pueblo Canyon Overlook.
  • Tweeted | RT @mikeveerman: Ah 2018. Scrum means "Waterfall but we don't have time for analysis". Kanban means "Scrum, but we don't have time for sp…
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  • Tweeted | While I was messing around with a rescue lowering system today my kids got curious and we spent an hour configuring… [twitter.com/i/web/status/1…]
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