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AZT 18 Maintenance Day Hike
November 3, 2018
by Tamar Gottfried
All ready at Reavis Canyon Trailhead. [photo by Bill]
front:  Li, Tamar, Bill
back: Dave, Michael, Craig, Terry, Michelle, Mark, Andy, Debbie, Brian

Eleven eager Trailblazers met at 6 AM and carpooled almost to Superior to meet our Trail Steward, Craig. After a brief orientation, we packed back into our high clearance vehicles and had a bumpy, rocky 8 mile ride to the Reavis Canyon Trailhead. After getting outfitted with loppers and hard hats, we began our hike in. We were greeted by green grasses, little baby waterfalls and streams and a mix of desert and riparian vegetation. Past the spring that provides a nice water source for AZT through hikers, we also were met with a variety of catclaw and other prickly organic creatures. Hence the need for some trail maintenance.

Let’s get a picture of the Arizona Trail sign. [photo by Bill]
Starting north by Reavis Trail Canyon. [photo by Bill]
THE AZT leaves the canyon for a stretch. [photo by Bill]
Bill is having a good time. [photo by Bill]
Fancy new gates on the Arizona Trail. [photo by Bill]
Yes, the gate works fine. [photo by Li]
Nothing like Powerade Zero on the trail. [photo by Li]

At the base of Montana Mountain, about 3.25 miles in on the trail, we took a brief break and prepared to work. Split into several groups, we covered the trail, using our loppers to take revenge on the catclaw and its trail snagging friends. We were creating enough clearance not only for hikers, but bikers and equestrians as well. Our job was not just to cut back the vegetation, but to throw the cut pieces off and away from the trail.

This is easier said than done when dealing with catclaw, which embeds in your skin through your clothes and hangs on for dear life. Many of us contributed blood as well as sweat and tears to the trail.

Let’s make the most of it. [photo by Li]
This branch doesn’t belong. [photo by Li]
branch branch
Hack! The branch! [photos by Li]
Aw, give me a break. [photo by Li]
Tree stands dormant for the season. [photo by Bill]

Along the way, we did encounter two through hikers, one Southbound and one Northbound, both of whom thanked us for our efforts. After a few hours of work and almost back at the spring, Craig called time and stopped the lopping part of the hike. We rested a minute before practically running the last couple miles back to the cars. Many of us noticed aches and pains in some new places.

At the car, we returned our gear and were rewarded with sandwiches and cold drinks from Craig and the Arizona Trail Association. We all agreed that our second Arizona Trailblazer sponsored AZT maintenance day was a hit!

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated November 4, 2018