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Day 1: Some of Everything and Lots of Climbing.

3/7/15

From the Coronado national monument visitors center to Mexican border to mile 11. About 15 miles total, about 6000 feet elevation gain.

Got in our Arizona sunshine Tours shuttle at about 6 am and drove the hour and a half to the Coronado visitor center. It was a pleasant ride with a CD playing about the history of the area we were in and the driver was very nice, let us stop at a quick shop for some last minute stuff. 

We then began a 2.4 mile hike up a very steep pass probably gaining 1500 or more feet in elevation until we intersected the AZT at mile 1 where we then took a very steep trail down almost 1000 feet to the monument and had our pictures taken in Mexico by a nice couple names Sue and Todd. Then 1000 feet back up to the trail and headed north towards Montezuma Pass (which is only .7 miles from the cut off down toward Mexico so if you can get a ride there you can save a few miles and a killer climb.)

Here’s Bill Muarry and me in Mexico at the monument. It’s in Mexico so you actually have to go through the border to get a picture with it! Bill Muarry was a friend I met on the AT back in 2012. She got her name from some other hikers who really wanted to give out the name to someone and she adopted it because it would be funny and confusing in the trail registers. Thru hikers reunite! Then we started the real climb up Millers Peak, another 2500 feet up, to over 9000 feet above sea level. We passed several old copper mine shafts.  The trees went from scrub oak to pine then to juniper and finally into a forest of Douglas Fir and other firs and spruce I didn’t know. It looked like a northern boreal forest!

Then you go up and down a little bit, passing bathtub spring which is exactly that.

Near the top of the climb we were suddenly in a quaking aspen forest with occational areas covered in snow.

Every now and then you’d also see trash from illegal aliens such as this. They carried 15% mas and didn’t even eat it!

After that the weather got gloomy. It’s cold, overcast and the wind is blowing pretty good. Also considering I got less than 1 hour of sleep last night in the airport with too much on my mind, we decided to set up camp at 4:15. We’re beat and hitting the hay. All downhill tomorrow. Oh and I found these precious babies. 😊



Getting There is Tough

Woke up today at 7:30 and it was 1 degree out. At least it’s sunny! Took off for the airport and continued desperately tried finding a ride to the southern terminus. I tried all the southern passage stewards with no luck but did learn a lot of useful info from them (thanks AZT trail stewards!) finally after about 25 failed contacts I reserved a pick up from Arizona sunshine tours. They will come pick us up at 6 A.M. from a hotel, walking distance from the Tucson airport, then drive us to the Coronado national monument visitor center just a few miles from the Mexican border for $75 each. More than I was hoping but hey, they come right to us and take us very close to a place that’s pretty far from anything.

Met up with my friend Bill Fuckin Murray during my layover in the Atlanta airport.  Sleeping in the airport tonight. Tomorrow the journey begins!