I was making my way down canyon and spyed this excellent pool just below the trail. I decided to do a quick Krud cleanse here and a lunch break too. I am doing way better at staying clean this time around compared to 2007.
|Better photo of my swimming hole|
I made it down to the canyon bottom and traversed some really funny blazed trail. Occasionaly there would be carsonite posts and occasionally there would be cairns. Funny thing about both is that the grass had grown up so high here it was tough to see them at all. Fortunately I had the GPS to get me out of any sticky navigating situations. The tread definitely wasn't well worked in here so you couldn't rely on following the trail. Down at a creek crossing I blew out of the trail momentarily and then doubled back re crossing the creek.
I made my way down to a more substantial creek and again blew out of a turn. There had been new singletrack constructed since I walked the trail 2007. Since I blew out of the turn for just 100 ft I ended up seeing another active wild bee hive. They where coming in going in force out of a cottonwood tree. Once I located the trail I had to laugh at the blazing here. Don't get me wrong I very much appreciate the advances the volunteers have made on the AZT since 2007, however I have to laugh at times the way the trail is blazed. I don't think the way it is blazed takes into account a long distance hiker and what we are seeing on the long haul. When you get to General Springs Cabin and suddenly there is a carsonite post every 10ft I wonder why you go miles here without seeing anything or at important turns or junctions.
I really liked the new single track getting over to the highway. It routed me away from private land and provided some nice views of the Mazaztal Wilderness which I would be entering next. I heard some buzzing noises and took in a couple hummingbirds either fighting or mating. Either way they had completely worn each other out by the time I got to them. I am guessing fighting because the one kept hitting the other mid flight and nocking the other to the ground.
|423 miles to go? Dang!|
This break ended way too fast and I was back out climbing out of the desert and making my way towards the canyons of the Mazatzal Wilderness. I blew out of another turn yet again, this one was my mistake for sure. The trail hadn't been rerouted since 2007, I just missed a subtle turn in the trail. I started dropping in elevation and I had a hunch something was up. I checked the GPS and it confirmed my mistake, but I dreaded the wasted effort and having to climb back up what I just descended.
Back on trail I entered a canyon that I really enjoyed in 2007. Water was flowing here higher up so topped off so that I may dry camp tonight. I kind of felt totally alone here in the Mazatzal, like no one had been through here in a while, nor was anyone else out here with me. The evening was surprisingly cool as I made my way in and out of different canyons until I finally gained a old road bed.
|Mazatzal at sunset (panorama click to enlarge)|