Thursday, March 19, 2015

AZT Day 12-Rincon Mountains

Miles 160 (Agua Caliente Drainage) to 148 (before Saguaro National Park boundary)
Arizona Trail Passage 10

Another early morning hiking while the sun rises. Blue flowers line the trail, contrasting with golden grass and dark green junipers. Tall peaks of Saguaro National Park rise in the distance, our future.
Gentle tread makes for easy hiking through fields of blue flowers.
Shades of purple and blue.
Normally, I like being up high in mountains with more challenging trail.  This lower elevation section between these sky island mountains has gentle rolling hills with easy walking.  But now I'm starting to appreciate this in-between, the washes, the way we are surrounded by high mountains.  How we can see our past mountains and future mountains all at once.  How we can see the contrasts, and love the mountains even more because we have passed through these lowlands to get there.
Jan heading towards the mountains.
Another new flower.
Met Bill Muarry and Sheriff Woody today (see his blog here). Had been thinking we might run into them and sure enough we did. They don't have the GPS tracts on their phones, and have gotten confused at unmarked trail junctions, so we tell them about Gaia GPS and Trimble. Sheriff Woody got to see a gila monster, and shows us the photo.  Cool!

Also met Jules today, who was hiking solo after her buddy got injured. She's super sweet and wished we could have talked more.

All the northbounders have had no trouble with water and say the 1's are all flowing. (Water sources are all given ratings for reliability, with 4 being most reliable and 1 being least). We tell them about the cache boxes and how to climb the ladders for the stock tanks in passages 14 and 15. Jan and I started in the worst sections for water, and looks like it's going to be much easier from now on at least for water.

Felt good to hike pain-free in the altra trail runners. Though I did switch back to the keens for a few hours in the afternoon to avoid potential problems for transitioning back too quickly. 

Saguaro National Park requires permits to camp in their designated sites. Since we only have a campsite reservation for tomorrow about 9 miles into the Park (at Grass Shack), we had a logistical problem this evening. We decided to camp at the park border, but since there is a climb tomorrow Jan camped a bit closer to the border to get a head start, while I've set up a little lower in more sheltered trees out of the strong winds.
A sheltered spot out of the wind.
Jan's stronger on the downhills, while I am an uphill person.  So I hope this plan will work out well for us.  I got a short day, but got to enjoy the sunset and chill out by myself this evening.  Plus, I am super excited about the climb tomorrow.
Looking up into Saguaro National Park from my campsite.


  1. Man, I have the worst time commenting on your blog---it always eats them. Hope this doesn't duplicate.

    I dipped into Saguaro NP twice when I was in Tucson in 2008 for some work training. I saw my first and only jackrabbit there. Way cool!

    Love your photos! They are so dreamy and make me wish I was hiking!

    1. I'm so sorry about the blog comment format. I've been meaning to migrate the blog over to wordpress because of this and other limitations. Going to do it soon just gotta stop procrastinating!

      OMG I love the jackrabbits too! Never got a photo but watching them move with their long legs is such a highlight the few mornings we saw them. Fun how different they are from the cottontails too.

  2. Beautiful flower pics, this by far is the coolest hammock hang :D

    1. The flower colors this day were out of this world. Hillsides carpeted in purple--unbelievable.

      I was so happy to find this little spot for my hammock it just barely fit between the branches and cactus spines. Most night I wish I had a shorter tarp because it really limits the places I can hang, because most spots are pretty darn tight. Though the larger coverage is helpful for the rain and wind, so sure is a tradeoff.

      Was so glad to be down a ravine. I could hear the wind up above but it didn't touch me.