Added 27 November 2016
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Arizona Trail Passage 10: Redington Pass - Italian Trap (Redington Road) to Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead
Jerry, Andrea, Shaun, Raquel and I hiked Passage 10 of the Arizona Trail today. We dropped Jerry's truck off at Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead then drove in Shaun's truck to the beginning. Since Jerry, Andrea and I had hiked the first 2.4 miles of the passage when we tacked it onto the end of our Passage 9 backpack last month, we started this trip from Redington Road instead of the true passage start at Italian Trap.
The passage begins in low rolling grasslands that eventually turns into steeper terrain that is still basically a grassland. There were quite a few birds around, so I dropped to the back of the pack as I struggled, with limited success, to get good looks at birds before the ducked into cover or flew away. After about an hour of that, I caught up with the group and basically stayed close to everyone for the rest of the day.
We stopped for lunch just before dropping in to the Agua Caliente Drainage. When we got to the Agua Caliente drainage at mile 8.8 of the passage, I was surprised to find a bit of water flowing in the creek. There were other unexpected water sources on the passage as well. I suppose they helped support the feral mule we spotted about a half an hour later. I hadn't realized that there were any feral mules in the area. This one looked at us warily as we passed, as if it expected us to try to catch it and ride it home. Not long after that, we encountered some more water, showing once again that there's more water in Arizona than is at first apparent. Not long after that we got to a large developed water source consisting of a large metal water tank. We took a small break there before continuing on.
We continued on to the flanks of the Santa Catalina Mountains where the terrain got steadily taller and steeper. There were grasshoppers everywhere, and one Horse Lubber (Taeniopoda eques) was particularly photogenic. It let me pick it up and then posed nicely for pictures. Call me the Horse Lubber Whisperer.
At around three o'clock we reached the high point (barely) of the passage at a saddle above Molino Basin. We paused there for a snack then descended into Molino Basin. The descent lead to a climb out to Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead and the end of AZT Passage 10. The caboose of the train arrived at around five o'clock, at which time we enjoyed our post passage libations and went back to retrieve Shaun's truck at Redington Road.
We hiked 13.3 miles today.