Dates Hiked: March 7-9, 2015 (Days 5-7)
Passage 14: Black Hills
-Freeman Road to Tiger Mine Road
-Elevation: Low Point 2,793′, High Point 4,214′
After nearly a week of experience, we are still not confident about water availability and therefore carry at least 6 liters. Thankfully my body is getting stronger and my shoulders have grown accustomed to this liquid elephant riding on my back.
We were so thankful for the public water cache at Freeman Road. THANK YOU volunteers who stock this cache!
It was exciting to see these dark clouds swirling about in the late afternoon. It was hard to believe that two days of rain within a week were possible, especially in Arizona.
It was a test of the fates as we camped over and near the wash. We were hopeful if it rained it wouldn’t be flash flood type rain, but more importantly that we didn’t find ourselves in the middle of a cattle stampede as they’ve marked this terrain as their highway. I’m calling this passage COW WOW due to the cow shit, cow prints, cow paths . . .
Thankfully, we met Erik who taught us how to use the float valve.
Is ladder climbing in your skill set?
I must have been tired and clumsy, as I was attacked by FOUR jumping cholla in one day. One went through the mesh in my shoe and through two pairs of socks. Not only was the comb needed for primary extraction, but both the large and small tweezers were needed to remove the spines from my foot. Luckily I didn’t have any type of reaction.
And after seven days . . . it was time to visit town. Marney at the Chalet Village Motel in Oracle was beyond hiker friendly. She picked us up at the trailhead, waited for us to do some quick shopping at the store, gave us a quick tour of town, provided free laundry and loaner clothes, and has a hiker box and register. Her hospitality exceeded all expectations!
Sometimes motels can be a lot like camping. We lost power in the early evening, thankfully we’d already done laundry and had our showers. Joan handled it like a pro, blogging via battery-powered candle. With the internet down, I gave up on loading my photos thus the reason why I also gave up on blogging live.
Sharing the Trail:
- Wendy, from the Arizona Trail Association (AZTA), was section hiking passages 14 and 15 with 3 friends.
- Erik was hiking the Grand Enchantment Trail (GET), which shares a portion of tread with the Arizona Trail.
- Woodchuck was on a section hike heading north (pictured with Joan).
Tips and Resources:
- Link to my other Arizona Trail (AZT) posts
- Rambling Hemlock (aka Joan)
- Arizona Trail Association
- Fred Gaudet’s Water Report
- Umbrella and Mariposa Pack Links
- Disclaimer: As a Gossamer Gear Ambassador, I was gifted the pack, but paid for all the rest of my gear
- In Oracle, AZ
- Lodging – Chalet Village Motel – Marney (520-896-9171, 520-904-2122 cell)
- Food – Both within an easy walk of the Chalet, reasonable prices, quality and service.
- De Marco’s Pizzeria & Italian
- Casa Rivera’s Taco Express
- Post Office – Lori the Post Master was very hiker friendly, even providing a little extra TLC when we stopped by to mail out our resupply packages, even going to a nearby PO to retrieve additional regional flat rate boxes. There is a trail register at the post office.