Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Arizona Trail (Flagstaff to Utah)


It’s edifying to be out backpacking, to have the Utah border as your destination, and to see a sign like this:


And then a day later to see that the route to Utah crosses this dry (hot, and treeless) land:


On roads:


With this as one of the few water sources:


Even the ubiquitous Arizona Trail carsonite posts wouldn't cooperate: 


Either they were lying down or there were too many/duplicative: 


But I still felt the love:


And even if the water sources were dry, I photographed them in the bizarre and beautiful light of an eclipse:


But of course only a day later I climbed a fire lookout tower to see the Grand Canyon:


The buzzing helicopters told me I was getting close: 


But if I needed help there were signs:


And then I was there - a place I had walked 30 days to see.  I put on "Last Thoughts on Woodie Guthrie" (obviously), and listened: 


I got ready to cross by having my Salisbury steak with the Germans: 


(three starches, plus beer = four!)

The Canyon was beautiful:


But it was hot:


Did I mention I crossed the Grand Canyon?



After camping right on the North Rim:


The trail took a turn for the pleasant:


And generally reminding me of backpacking back home in the Rockies:


With crystalline water bubbling from the ground:


But that’s not why I hiked the Arizona Trail – it was for views like this:


And this:


And soon after, I saw this:


And most importantly, this:


I had hiked the Arizona Trail:


And so, after a short hike in the Coyote Buttes with Catherine and Will-J, we headed off to enjoy our Memorial Day at Capitol Reef National Park and environs.

A good time was had by all.
               

I divided my photos into three sets at Flickr:




-(Also, here is a bonus set of more vacation-y photos showing my son having a general blast at Capitol Reef)

I'll be back to post a summary of my Arizona Trail experience, and hopefully to write a more essay-like account of the Grand Canyon.  

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