Arizona Trail – Day 14 (30 miles)
An extreme wind warning was out today, and did that ever come true. It started out with a light increase just before dawn. We were camped on the exposed side of the mountain and the light gusts woke me up early.
The wind was not a problem throughout the morning. After getting up onto the ridge, our trail made its way down into Reavis Canyon. This was a big change of pace and a stark contrast to yesterday, with the scrub and thorns replaced with endless hardwoods.
It was green everywhere, with a running creek and deer frolicking about. The most impressive things was a huge Juniper tree – my crude measurement came out with 26ft (8m) circumference.
It was then time to head into the Superstitions proper. We climbed out of the canyon and we were greeted with extremely strong wind that felt constantly above 30mi/hr (50km/hr), with gusts up to 45mi/hr (75km/hr). The trail took us along the ridge for almost 2 hours. It would have been lovely most days, but today I was just concerned with not being blown off the trail.
The wind was strong, but that was not the worst of the weather. The wind had caused a huge amount of dust to be picked up in the air. It reduced the visibility to a quarter mile. I’m not sure how much I breathe in?
The day was filled with 4 short but steep climbs and a lot of loose rock for Square Pants and me to slide around in. We had our skates on as we slipped down the most pointless climb on trail. It takes this super steep and loose descent down to the valley just to climb back up to the same ridge straight away. It had me confused as to why it simply did not stay high.
Anyway, we finally got out of the wind when we started the descent to Roosevelt Lake. On the way down I spotted a huge centipede that was almost 6in (15cm) long. It was huge, stunning and looked like it should have been in the Amazon. I got in close to take a photo and it did not like that and lunged at me.
We got down to the lake just before dark and headed to the Ranger Station for their water tapes. We found that the water tape alcove was out of the wind so we chose to camp on the tiled floor.