Saturday, March 28, 2015

AZT Day 21-Canelo Hills

Miles 52.8 (Patagonia) to 38.8 (FR764)
Arizona Trail Passage 3
14 miles

Restless sleep in the hotel in Patagonia.  Beds are too flat and indoor air is too still.  How can I sleep without sounds of crickets or hootings of owls? 

I am happy to get early start back on the trail.  Stepping foot back on the trail feels like going home.
Out of Patagonia.
After a while of hiking with Farwalker and Jan, I take the lead and climb the hills at my own long-legged pace. I get to the top all refreshed and energized.  All I need are a few hills and I seem to get enough endorphins to feel on-top-of-the-world happy. Finally finding a way to have this pace work for me after struggling with wanting to do more miles. 
Heading for the hills.
From the high vantage point, we see Mt. Wrightson and the Santa Ritas behind us, and the Huachucas ahead.  But between us and those new mountains, are more valleys.  I love this sky island terrain, this up and down, the perspectives and seeing places we've been days ago.  It makes me feel like I know where I am in the universe.  Even though I'm just a temporary visitor here, I feel connected with and part of this land.
Spring green cottonwoods indicate water ahead.
Oasis rich with life.
We descend to the shade of Gate Spring and spot a canyon tree frog.  We watch him climb up the side of the rock using really cool huge adhesive toe pads.  His coloring made him blend in to the rocks by the water, but the rock he chooses to hang out on while we take his photo makes him stand out.  What a show-off!
He's got attitude!
A mile later, the pipe at Red Bank well is gushing with overflowing water.  In the heat of the day, we play in the water, going for a complete soaking to keep us cool for the climbing ahead.
Umbrellas provide endless hours of entertainment.
After another long climb, we gain a ridge with incredible views of expansive high grasslands of the San Rafael Valley.  Quite unlike anything we've previously seen.  Landscapes that make you feel so small and insignificant.

Farwalker likes to camp up high where she can see everything.  Though its a beautiful spot, but it makes me nervous because I normally camp low and hidden, out of the wind. 
Farwalker says just take a chance and camp here you'll love it!
If I were alone, I would hike further over the pass and cross down to a lower spot, but this is already a mile past our agreed upon distance for the day so we camp there.  We are three strong willed-women so it's not always easy to figure out how to hike and camp together, and there is much discussion.  In the end, I climb down into a ravine and find sheltered trees on the slopes for my hammock, then climb back up to join the others camped on the high spot.
Changing colors.
We watch the sunset and it's just like Farwalker said--totally enchanting.  The sky changes colors and the wind dies down.  I feel lucky to be here, glad to try new campsites instead of staying stuck in my usual routines.  These chances we take, these precious moments, this laughter, the making it together despite our different personalities-- this is what is gained by hiking together instead of going it solo. 
Golden moments.
I sleep in my hammock without the tarp so I've got a full view of the sky and stars. Feeling so peaceful.  I fall soundly into deep sleep. 


  1. Your changing colors photo awesome x 2

    1. Thanks for commenting, Don! I almost left that photo out, I kept thinking I don't want to bore you all with three sunset photos in one post I mean that's just excessive. But it was an excessively beautiful sunset for sure. :)

  2. How could your photos bore us? We are fans and look forward to what you see through the lens.

    1. Oh yes, well, I forget that! Thanks for the support and the reminders! Hugs!

  3. Wow, you have really shown how diverse Arizona is! I would never have guessed.