Arizona Trail – Passage 13 – Slack Pack Love!

Dates Hiked: March 10, 2015 (Day 8)
Direction: Southbound
Passage 13: Oracle
-Tiger Mine Road to American Flag Road
-Miles: 8.3
-Elevation: Low Point 3,993′, High Point 4,432′

Direction of Travel: Right to Left (Southbound)

In the world of long-distance hiking, NERO and ZERO days are key to recovery, resupply and continued forward progress. ZERO days are when NO hiking is done; it’s a complete day of R&R. We took one ZERO day during this 300-mile section. NERO days are considered low mileage days with some time spent for R&R. On both 3/9 and 3/10, we hiked 8 miles leaving us many hours for chores, refueling and time in the recovery position.

This was the BEST ice cream! I’m sure it made me smarter 🙂

With Marney’s generous offer to provide transportation to and from the Passage 13 trailheads, we were able to day hike this section sans heavy backpacks (aka Slack Packing). My body was happy for the break and I loved the free-spirited feeling of freedom. Talk about a bounce in my step!

Light empty packs ready for a day hike

The first of several underpasses we encountered during our 300-mile section hike, and just one more section of trail in a wash, definitely not advisable during monsoon season. Our typical start time was 6am, thanks to Marney, we were able to beat the heat by getting another early morning start.

On trail registers were a rare sight, in fact I think this is the only one we encountered.

Mary Poppins would be proud!

It seems I wasn’t able to capture this flower without blur. My apologies but I wanted to share this beauty.

We’ve seen thousands of caterpillars and butterflies. I wasn’t expecting such a variety of wildflowers nor to have the opportunity to enjoy my fluttering friends.

The Arizona Trail is still considered to be in it’s infancy and as such signage varies considerably. Trailhead and passage signs are upgraded as the budget permits. It’s exciting to see the progression!

After a week on the trail, it was time to reevaluate the contents of our packs, especially given our heavy water weight.

Sharing the Trail:

  • We saw one other group of day hikers.

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.

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