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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