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San Francisco Peaks Inner Basin Day Hike
Flagstaff
September 29, 2018
by Lin Chao Yen
group
front row: Rudy, Li, Lin, Diva
second row:  Moé, Carol, Michelle, Marylyn, Billie, Mary, Jim, Tamar
third row: Jim, Chris, John, Mark, Tom, Ralph

Inner Basin is one of the top places in Arizona to see the fall colors. Each year, thousands of people rush there to enjoy a very short window of the color changes of the Aspen trees. We were there last year, at exactly the same weekend, and the scenery was breathtaking. So how did Mother Nature prepare this year?

Twenty of us woke up early in the morning, carpooling into five cars, met at a variety of locations to go to Lockett Meadow campground as early as possible, so we did. Ralph, Diva, Michelle, Mark, Mary, Moé, Marilyn, Billie met at MacDonald’s in Flagstaff. Lin, Jim, Rudy, Carol, John S, Bonita, Heather, Chris met at Denny's at I-17 & Bell Rd; Tamar, Jim, Tom and Li met at Mesa. We were all at the trailhead between 8:20 AM and 9:00 AM.

hikers
Everyone is ready to go [photo by Tom]
The weather was cool at the trailhead. What a welcome and refreshing feeling for us who live at Arizona and just went through the long, hot summer! After a quick introduction, we were ready to hit the road. There were a few new faces. Heather was a friend of Benita, it was her first time to hike with us; it was Moé’s second time to hike with the club.

When we arrived at the junction, the wind started to pick up. It was pretty to watch the aspen leaves dancing in the wind, but it was hard for us to marching forward against the wind. After two hours of hiking, we were ready to settle down to have a snack break. We found a perfect place: under the aspen trees, sheltered from the wind, big logs were everywhere. What a perfect place to take a break!

Today is Mary’s birthday. Without rehearsing, Rudy and Moé played a Birthday song for Mary. So sweet, so touching. Happy Birthday, Mary!

trailhead
Inner Basin Trailhead. [photo by Lin]
hikers
Keep going, everyone. [photo by Lin]
hikers
“Follow me, Mark,” Michelle said. [photo by Tom]
trees
Mary finds the perfect aspen tree. [photo by Lin]
Tom
Tom’s first time hiking at Inner Basin. [photo by Li]
hikers
The fast group. [photo by Li]
stump
Morning sun reflecting on the grass. [photo by Lin]
Moe
Moé is lost in the Aspens wood. [photo by Lin]
Li
Li has a beautiful smile. [photo by Tom]
hikers
Li, Lin, and Carol find a perfect place for a snack. [photo by Tom]
John S
This is John’s spot. [photo by Tom]
Carol
Big smile from Carol. [photo by Tom]
Chris
Here is Chris. [photo by Tom]
Tom
Perfect log for Tom. [photo by LI]
Li
Li, our fashion icon. [photo by Tom]
hikers
Isn’t this a cute couple? They have matching outfits. [photo by Tom]
sky
Blue sky, yellow leaves. [photo by Lin]
hikers
Everything is good. [photo by Lin]
trail
Yellow and green are my favorite colors. [photo by Lin]
sky
What a breathtaking view! [photo by Mary]
Ralph
Ralph takes the perfect picture. [photo by Lin]
sky
Three sisters holding hands. [photo by Lin]
trail
Trail, Aspen and me. [photo by Lin]
leaves
The reason we are here. [photo by Lin]
house
Waterline station house. [photo by Lin]
sign
One of many station houses. [photo by Lin]
sky
Fall is in full display mode. [photo by Lin]
leaves
Blue sky, yellow leaves, and sun. [photo by Lin]
Chris
Chris is enjoying the aspen world. [photo by Lin]
houses
Waterline Station at Inner Basin. [photo by Lin]
Moe
Moé is practicing her harmonica. [photo by Tom]
Mary
Birthday girl is on top of the world. [photo by Lin]
hikers
Benita and Heather are enjoy the view. [photo by Lin]
slope
Fall is on the Mountain. [photo by Lin]
leaves
I am not tall, but I could display fall color too. [photo by Lin]
Rudy
Forever Young Rudy. [photo by Mary]
trees
Tall and pretty. [photo by Lin]
hikers
After a break, time to go back. [photo by Lin]
ice
Honey, let me put ice on your foot. [photo by Tom]
After 7.4 miles, 1500 feet of elevation and 3 hours and 40 minutes on the trail, all 20 of us got back to the trailhead. Some of us were still talking about the aspens’ color and sharing pictures, but most of us were hungry and ready for lunch. Our club did many hiking trips during the summer in Flagstaff. Trying to find a restaurant to satisfy everyone become a tough job.

There are many restaurants in Flagstaff, but it is tourist town, so everywhere is busy on Saturday afternoon. Some of them do not take reservations. Some of them has limited space; some of them do not serve beer. Today we are going to Salsa Brava for our group. I think we picked the right place. The food was yummy, the service was quick, everyone were happy with their order. What a relief for hiking leader! Big thanks to Ralph, Tamar, Jim.

food
Lunch at Salsa Brava. [photo by Lin]
Rudy, Carol, Mark, Ralph, Tamar, Jim, Li, Lin, John, Chris, Tom, Diva, Moé, Michelle, Jim, Heather, Benita
food
Yum! [photo by Lin]
food
Yum! [photo by Lin]
food
Yum! [photo by Lin]

Thanks for everyone to join me for this beautiful hike, thanks for all the drivers. It was a fun day. Keep hiking, and I look forward to see you all on the hiking trails.



Hike Statistics, by Jim Buyens
Total Distance:7.4miles
Starting Time:9:33AM
Moving Time:3:29hrs:min
Stopped Time:0:11hrs:min
Duration:3:40hrs:min
Finishing Time:1:14PM
Avg. Speed Moving:2.1mph
Avg. Speed Overall:2.0mph
Starting Elevation:8,654ft
Minimum Elevation:8,602ft
Maximum Elevation:9,959ft
Total Ascent:1,515ft
Calories:628
Starting Temperature:60°
Finishing Temperature: 67°


Jim
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated October 8, 2018