Arizona 2024: Day 23: Apache Junction, AZ: Look north

Happy sleeps. We got some more rain overnight but not enough to re-muddy the trails. I set out a tad late for the morning walk. Goal was to head up the Siphon Draw trail and see how far I could get. The main part of the trail is 0.75km from our campsite. After that it is fairly flat for the next kilometre until it starts to climb up. Gradually at first and then, by about 2.2 km (from our site) you are mostly just clambering up the trail. I did stop to take many pictures. I turned around at 2.99 from our site after consuming half my water ration. Total elevation gain was 219m.

It is a beautiful hike but the quality of the trail even outside the steep areas is poor. It is all rubble they have brought in (to stop erosion, I assume) which makes it a great trail for twisted ankles and a poor trail for running. Don’t let that stop you! On the way I up I passed a couple with two off leash dogs. On the way down I passed one of those dogs being followed by a park ranger with a leash. She was trying to catch the dog but the dog would just run ahead 50 feet or so, turn around and bark. The ranger explained the dog had been around for a while and they did not know who it belonged too. I suspect Timmy fell down the well and Lassie is letting us know.

Back at the van we had relax time. Mrs Milddogs had the outside cafe set up. A helicopter landed over by the cabins and a few fire rescue vehicles went through the park. Unknown if those are related or if anyone was injured. Maybe they found Timmy??

Helicopter taking off – look in the middle above the cactus

We had a nice lunch of chips and salsa and self levelling queso. Then we headed for a walk over to the camp store. I had estimated it was 750 meters but it was actually 950. We saw this huge cactus.

Huge Cactus

We picked up a few things and used our new “Vanilla Gift” pre-paid visa card. What? Why would the Milddogs’ fall for the pre-paid visa thing? Well, you see, we are trying to buy and AZ Land Trust pass. We can’t buy them online as Canadians so the AZ Land Trust sight suggests that foreigners purchase a pre-paid credit card and use that. Sounds easy! Except: It isn’t. That card gets declined. The FAQ says to try it in a store. So we did that and it works. Pump was primed we hoped. Nope, still declined. Check the balance on the Vanilla Gift website. Nope, can’t do that cause the hCapthca (they won’t even spring for the good Captcha) jobbers fail every single time. Tried 3 different browsers on two different devices. I leave this as evidence should I have to explain to the Land Trust police why we don’t have a permit. I shall offer them our Vanilla Gift Visa as a thanks!

Afternoon was relax and read time. Mrs Milddogs got out one of the “air hammocks” (which we have only been able to properly inflate 3% of the time we have used them. I popped over to the showers cause I really needed too. We also watch the humming birds frequent the feeder Mrs Milddogs had put out. Humming birds were not at all shy. There were two different species. I shall call them the one with the red head and the one without.

Humming Bird
Humming Bird

Dinner was “deconstructed” stuffed peppers and I added in that 3 day old Caesar salad I had forgotten about. What’s the worst that could happen?

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

Post dinner was an evening walk that ended at sunset. You know what’s coming! Sunset pictures! Like a few nights ago, the sun just managed to crawl under the clouds to give us a great show. It was cloudy and rainy to the north so the northern mountains were lit up pretty nicely too. If I had a real camera I would have taken some great shots. Better camera has been on our list for a few years.

The good news is that we leave here tomorrow so any future sunset pictures will be different. Our plan is to head out to government land in the dessert. I do NOT think it is AZ Land Trust. We shall find out. Definitely don’t want to wind up like Eric Hanson!

We have a few stops on the way tomorrow but hope to get to the target location fairly early. It’s a Tuesday so we should be good. We are heading south, but gaining some elevation. Hopefully the weather will be ok.

Oh, there are 3 other campers within 100 feet of us from Ontario.

Amy is pretty pooped out (figuratively) as she got a lot of trail walking today.

As they say in Arizona: good night!

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