By James and Sarah
The Arizona Trail
Superior AZ, 1/8/2017
So, after we left Tanque Verde falls we headed North to the Tonto National Forest to do some hiking, our first stop was the Picket Post Mountain Trail-head that was along on the Arizona Trail. The Arizona Trail is a 790-mile trail going through the entire state of Arizona from Utah to Mexico. The drive out was very nice, the scenery and the mountains were something else to look at.
Driving up to the trail-head we noticed more than a few horse trailers, it turns out this trail is popular to horseback riders as well. We didn’t encounter any along our hike, thank god because Xander would have flipped out, he has yet to figure them out. He is still scared of cars and he sees them nearly every day. It turns out that the Picket Post trail has dozens of paths that you can take all around the mountain area, it was confusing on where to go since the trail-head map at the beginning did not show any variation in the trail itself. We even got lost once and ended off trail because the path we were following just ended.
We walked on the trail for several miles as it steadily climbed upwards. Along the way, we ran into a bunch of hikers on their way down, including a guy with his dog off leash (not so fun with Xander, but a great training opportunity). Once again there were tons of cactus especially jumping cactus (they are everywhere), but I guess that’s the desert for you. Surprisingly Xander still has not gotten to learn what cactus is even though he has had several very close calls. Of other note, we also ran into a group of teenagers on their way down that had no idea what it means to stay on the trail, they just decided to go straight down the mountain and then had the nerve to talk about how they were not staying on trail like a bunch of rebels that they were.
When we got to a point where the climb started going straight up we decided to call it far enough. Xander was acting very tired and overheated at this point anyways so we sat in the shade of a large rock for about an hour. Xander was catching his breath and being a princess by laying on Sarah’s lap he couldn’t even lay or sit down because of the dirt and rocks. Sarah was able to get her first flying lesson with the drone and got to fly it around for a while. After that we packed up and left.
The hike was beautiful and strenuous (we didn’t go to the summit, but could have), we did break a good sweat and got Xander very tired. It was a good day.