Arizona Trail – Passage 2 – Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

Dates Hiked: March 24-25, 2015 (Days 22-23)
Direction: Southbound
Passage 2: Canelo Hills East
-Canelo Pass to Parker Canyon Lake Trailhead
-Miles: 14.5
-Elevation: Low Point 5,203′, High Point 6,048′

Direction of Travel: Right to Left (Southbound)

The definition of the spanish word Canelo is cinnamon or cinnamon-colored. It seems this area was aptly named with all the spicy flavored warm earth toned rocks.

One of the many surprises I’ve found along the trail is volcanic rock. I’d never thought of Arizona as having volcanoes, but long ago the world was much different as evidenced by the Sky Islands.

This passage had the most bear scat, although none fresh, we’d seen south of the Oracle Ridge/Mount Lemmon areas. I was glad to have my Ursack with me so I could safely protect my food at night from both bears, rodents and other animals.

This was another hot dry section for which we were grateful for our umbrellas. When I can’t use my umbrella due to low overhead foliage or high winds, I find myself experiencing heat exhaustion by day’s end. Joan successfully holds her umbrella in one hand and a hiking stick in the other. For me four legs are better than two thus requiring my umbrella to be fastened to my pack. 

Parker Lake was in our future . . . or not . . . the trail actually bypasses it by about a half-mile, and since we were meeting Joan’s parents for a resupply just a bit further down the trail, we skipped an early morning swim in the lake (this photo was taken at 7am).Parker Canyon Creek was flowing, thus we filled up and filtered while awaiting Joan’s parents. I used the bottom 1/3rd of a Smartwater bottle to scoop, then prefiltered through a knee-high nylon. From sources such as these, I treated my water first with AquaMira drops, then used my Sawyer Mini filter after the allotted treatment time. Since we were resupplying with both clean water (i.e. from caches) and dirty water, I came up with a clean/dirty labeling system to ensure I wasn’t contaminating my clean water or having to filter it unnecessarily.

Wildflowers? It was my first passage with zero, none, not a one 😦

This passage included LOTS of trail on old 4×4 roads. Some of those roads can be much steeper than trails and definitely make me dream of switchbacks and contoured traverses.

As we continued our progress south, we were happy to see ongoing Border Patrol activity. It was strange to see these unattended vehicles parked along this 4×4 road. The surveillance blimp* looked over our shoulders for miles and miles. The hum of the drones* were ever present. *photos courtesy of internet

Signage along the trail is inconsistent, something considered normal as a trail develops from infancy into something more mature. Most often we had these official posts labeled with stickers indicating the AZT and direction of travel for both NOBO and SOBO travelers. Other times there were rock cairns, or signs with the concurrent trail which can cause confusion such as when we were in the Saguaro NP.

Sharing the Trail:

  • Onna and Neon. Here’s the link to Onna’s blog.
  • Dead Animal and Michigan Wolverine
  • Geaux Geaux Girl 

Tips and Resources:

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