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Deadman Mesa Day Hike
October 16, 2010
by Bill Zimmermann
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Twelve terrific Trailblazers on Deadman Mesa.
Ajay and Rudy follow the power line.
Twelve hikers gathered at the meeting place. Four vehicles headed up the hill. After a brief stop at McDonald’s in Payson we headed for Strawberry. We continued past the Fossil Creek turn off with until we came upon an unlabeled road exit on the left.

Was it for FR591? It looked rugged. We repacked hikers and gear from Eileen’s to Mike’s and Rudy’s rigs. Bill’s jeep led the way, slowly bouncing our way for about a mile until the road vanished at the power lines.

Oops, not FR591. Change of plan.

Plenty of shade trees.
Autumn color on Deadman Mesa.

We decided to hike the power line road to the river. We followed majestic tall wooden cairns to the edge of the mesa passing “Super Highway FR591” at RX2. We decided not to try bushwhacking down the steep terrain to the river. After pausing to take photos we resumed our hike to find the original planned trailhead 4TH.

Which way is it from here?
Bill’s Tank.

At “RX3” we headed toward the mesa edge for a scenic valley over look and lunch. After lunch four hikers headed back. Eight hikers headed toward 4TH.

Per GPS navigation we were about two miles from our destination. At two miles we met a person driving a Quad. After conferring with him and rechecking the map, and with still two miles to go, we choose to turn around and head back.

Funny, how the trail never goes as the crow flies.

Rudy checked for elk and deer prints at one of the nicest tanks in Arizona: “BILL’S TANK” He also picked and deburred prickly pear buds that Brian and Bill shared.

Herm and Felix hiked in front and found their way back without problems.

The remaining six chose to ignore the obvious path to the power line and take a different route. The short cut became a long cut as it was diverging from the power lines. At “BW” we bushwhacked to the power line. The radios were buzzing with threats and counter threats on consuming the remaining cold beers.

After another bush scratching bumpy ride (which Edith enjoyed) to FR708, we drove to Payson for dinner.

We have a commanding view to the southwest.
Thanks to Michael and Rudy for driving.
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updated May 25, 2020