AZT Passage 37: Grand Canyon – South Rim

At this rate, I’m about 2 weeks behind in creating my hiking videos. So I FINALLY got the Passage 37 done and posted.

Like I’ve mentioned in the video description, while the passage is called “Grand Canyon: South Rim”, you don’t actually see the Grand Canyon or the South Rim until the very end at the northern terminus of the passage (South Kaibab Trailhead.)

This passage was about 24 miles and was an easy walk through the woods. No shuttle or taxi companies will know what you’re talking about it you use them to get you out to the trailhead. You want to goto the “Grandview Lookout Tower” not the “Grandview Point”. The lookout tower is about 2 miles past the Grandview Point down on the right on Coconino Rim Road. It’s a forest service road and is passable in a 2WD sedan. It didn’t seem like high clearance was necessary. The shuttle from Mather Campground to this point was about $25.

There’s plenty of campsites near the Grandview Lookout Tower and also vault toilets (gross).

Overall this passage was pretty easy. I was able to do the entire thing in about 9 hours and that was with plenty of stops to take photos/videos and about an hour in Tusayan for lunch. If you’re looking for maps, don’t bother with the National Geographic store in Tusayan. The store is mostly an tourist stuff.

Not much elevation gain or loss on this trail. My biggest complaint is that after a couple miles past Tusayan when you go under the highway you’re entire walk back is on asphalt paved “trail.” You make great time, but I’d rather be on a dirt path.

While there aren’t really any stunning landscapes or scenic vistas, it’s a nice walk in the woods and ends with the amazing views of the Grand Canyon.

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AZT Passage 24: Red Hills

I wanted to do this loop 2 weeks ago, but rain was predicted and I was afraid my car may not make it to the trailhead. Luckily I waited, the dry washes would’ve been a mess.

I got a late start and didn’t get up to Payson until late afternoon on Sunday. The road in was rough and at times a little unnerving in my Hyundai Sonata (my poor car has been put through some rough terrain.)

I finally got to the City Creek Trailhead and set out on the 20+ mile loop:
Mazatzal Divide Trail / Red Hills / East Verde River / Doll Baby / back to City Creek Trailhead

The entire morning was all uphill and was a decent workout. Amazingly I ran into several older people doing the same loop. One of the guys was 81 years old! They started about 3 hours before me from the same stating point, and it took them that long to get about half way up the trail. Damn, I hope I can do the same in 40ish years!

I met a few AZT thru hikers and ended up setting up camp in the same area as a few hikers.

The next morning I was treated to some AMAZING views of the mountains and valleys. I made it to the Verde River for lunch and back to my car by mid/late afternoon. It was a great hike!

Check out the video below:

A Stroll Home

After thinking about it (and talking about it) for a week or two, I walked home from work last night. It really wasn’t too bad. It was 19.67 miles, mostly very flat terrain urban walking. The only part that was a pain was the waiting for lights, but even that was too bad. I started at 5pm and I got home almost exactly at 11:15. My feet were a little sore, but overall not bad at all. I may make this a yearly thing.

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So why did I do it?

I know. Just because I wanted to see if I could do it. P:-)

The Outdoorsy Type

I’m not really sure how this all started.

Maybe I’ve always been this way but have been lazy. Maybe it was just timing.

But 2017 was the year I went full in on the Hiking/Backpacking/Camping thing. I went camping in late spring solo (for the first time.) Once I got over the doing it by myself, it was quite enjoyable. The next camping happened at the end of September on the Mogollon Rim outside of Payson. It was great, except for the 13 kids and 4 screaming mothers camped about 100 ft away from me. So much for the peace and quiet in nature. I spent the entire weekend with headphones in listening to podcasts and music.

I decided that if I can help it, I wouldn’t stay at an established campgrounds if I didn’t have to. People are rude, obnoxious and all around inconsiderate of others. Besides that, the campers with all the generators are also quite annoying.

Over the past year or so I’ve also been watching a lot of outdoor shows and by the end of 2017 I was heavily engrossed in youtube videos about backpacking, hiking, camping, and  bushcraft. Once I found the show “Alone” I quickly binged on all the seasons available and eagerly waited for this past season. Watching these youtubers such as Joe Robinet, Survival Lily, Darwin on the Trail, and Dixie on Homemade Wanderlust inspired me to just get out there and not wait for anyone or anything.

At the same time I had been acquiring hiking/camping gear. Some of this stuff is pretty expensive! The lightweight stuff is all expensive. 😦

So finally late in October I did my first overnight backpacking/camping trip in the Superstition Mountains and camped right off the Peralta Trail. The first time having to haul my heavy backpack was a monumental fete since I packed way too much stuff. I was taking breaks every 20-30 minutes. Ridiculous! The first time being in the complete dark was and “eye-opening” experience. How dark and alone and vulnerable you feel, but also how free you feel! It’s amazing carrying all that you need on your back and camping under the stars. At least out here in Arizona you don’t need to worry about rain too much. That’s also the reason of much sweat and pain: No rain means not much natural water out there in the desert mountains. So you end up carrying your daily recommended water (1 gallon per person per day).

Anyway, ever since there I’ve become addicted. Now, every other weekend (when I don’t have Faye) I go out and do an overnighter somewhere in the state.

Meanwhile thinking later throughout the year, I’ve been planning some amazing trips:

The big one is planning for the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim hike in February. Seth and I have reservations at Phantom Ranch and need to get permits for a few nights camping below the rims.

This year I have Mathers Campground reservations for 2 nights on the Grand Canyon South Rim. I’ll do some hiking the Bright Angel and maybe South Kaibab. We’ll see. I’d like to maybe do the South Kaibab too the crossover to the Bright Angel and take that back up to the South Rim. We’ll see. I’ll need to be up early for that long hike.

I also have a campsite reserved for 2 nights at Monument Valley up on the Utah/Arizona border. It will be amazing! Commercial car camping site next to a hotel, but the view will still be amazing.

On March 1st(isn) I’ll find out if got the requested nights at The Wave up near the Utah/Arizona border. That would be phenomenal! (fingers crossed) If I do get it, by some miracle, I’ll book a Lower Antelope Canyon tour as well. I’ve been wanting to do that one for a long time now, and I’d would be in the general area. Another commercial site with tour only access, but it would still be great to see this one and check it off the list.

So with all these outdoor trips and plans, I’ve been ramping up my production of videos. At this rate, I could have at least 2 trip videos per month. We shall see.

Since I’ve been on this hiking/camping kick I’ve done seven overnight camping trips. All but two were backpacking camping trips. I’ve been shooting video and photos of all the trips mostly for my own amusement and potential media projects later on.

So far, I’ve created three trip videos and one hike video:

 

 

 

More to come hopefully soon. Let’s see where I end up.

ScribeFire?

I’m testing out a blogging extension within Safari. We’ll see how well this works.

I’ve neglected Safari the entire time I’ve had my MBP (4 years now) and have been using Chrome exclusively. But the more I use it, the more it seems to be slowing down and a little buggy. Tabs and windows are slow to respond and things seemed weighted down. I uninstalled many of the extensions I had installed and that didn’t seem to o much. So considering its integration with iCloud and the whole Apple ecosystem it made sense to give Safari another go. It’s been about a month now and it seems to be working pretty well for me. It’s quick, connected, and reliable. We’ll see how it goes.

Quinoa stuffed peppers

I finally got a chance to try out this recipe for quinoa stuffed peppers.

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Totally a score! It’s amazing. Mine was a little bit wet. I should’ve let the quinoa dry out a little bit more. I didn’t have the cumin but I did add some garlic powder and onion powder. I added more salt and black pepper and some Cajun seasoning. Lastly I added some chili powder. Overall it gave the stuffed peppers a good flavor. Definitely use the chorizo in the stuffing mix!’A little bit of tomato sauce on top would be nice.

Try it out and let me know how your’s turns out!