Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reavis Ranch via 109 South Loop

Trip: Reavis Ranch via 109 South including Frog Tank, Angel Basin, Rogers Canyon.
Distance Traveled: 24 miles (complete loop)

On 29 Jan 2016 it was finally time for the heap of gear on my office floor to be put to good use so at 0700 my friend Ed and I departed Peoria, AZ and made our way east to the Superstition Wilderness area. It was a little over an hour drive to where Hewitt Station Rd began and then from there another hour and a half of dirt road to the Rogers Trough Trailhead.

(Click On Photos To Enlarge)

Picture Along Hewitt Station Rd

Rogers Trough Trailhead

 Few Pictures Along Reavis Ranch Trail 109

Rogers Canyon Trail 110 and Reavis Ranch Trail 109 Intersection

Few Pictures Along Rogers Canyon Trail 110

There was an abundance of fresh water sources which ensured we always had fresh clean drinking water. I had a chance to use my Katadyn Vario Water Filter and it work flawlessly. I set it up for faster flow for the simple reason that the streams produced very clean and clear water with virtually no sediment or junk in the water. Honestly, when I returned home and cleaned the unit, the filter itself looked as if it had never been used.

Indian Ruins From Below

View From The Top Of The Indian Ruins

Camp Just Before Angel Basin

Now things get interesting, frustrating, depressing, or all of the above. Approximately two miles into the trip I noticed that my hips were starting to bother me and causing numbness in my legs. Ed suggested that I loosen my hip belt to see if that could potentially be the problem, nope. After further investigation we determined that my Gregory Baltoro 65 Pack was sized incorrectly and the torso length was too long. We attempted to see if there were any other adjustments we could make but to no avail. We setup camp, filtered some water, got a fire going, and started cooking...and by cooking, I mean heating up water in our Jetboil Stoves. That night I had the Backpacker's Pantry Fettuccini Alfredo With Chicken, and to be honest, not my favorite. Sleeping was no problem, I really like the ease of setup of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Tent. In addition to the setup, material and craftsmanship appear top notch. There is plenty of room in the tent and ventilation was great. The only concern, if you can really call it that is the doors fold down versus to the side, this requires that in order to get in or out the entire door must be opened. Also, if not careful, you could potentially step on and tear the mesh or fail to zip it down into the tent and have it lay in a puddle of mud if it is raining. Again, not a huge "concern", however, something to note.I think my favorite piece of gear would have to be my new NEMO Nocture 15 Down Bag, this bag is light, warm, and super comfortable. If you are a side sleeper or just do not like traditional mummy bags and are looking for a warm lightweight bag, this is the one to get! As far as sleeping pad, I used my Klymit Static V Pad, what can I say about it, a breeze to inflate, comfortable, does not lose air throughout the night, though oddly it is loud when you move around. I'll likely look into an insulated pad in the future, but so far have not had the need..

The next morning 30 Jan 2016 we made the decision to allow Ed to continue on the loop and I would make my way back to the trailhead to camp and ditch my pack in the vehicle. We setup a meet point at the Rogers Canyon Trail 110 and Reavis Ranch Trail 109 Intersection for 31 Jan 2016 and discussed actions to be taken if one of us was not there. So on the morning of 30 Jan 2016 Ed and I parted ways, Ed off to Frog Tank via 110 and myself back to the trailhead via 110 and 109.

Camp At The Trailhead

It was getting dark so I decided to cook, yes boil water again, and this time chose Backpacker's Pantry Jamaican Jerk Rice With Chicken, I don't know if I was starving, however, this one was pretty delicious! After eating it was still pretty early but I decided to turn in for the night. The next morning, 31 Jan 2016 I broke camp, separated the day pack from my Gregory Baltoro 65 Pack, loaded some odds and ends such as my CAMELBAK Antidote 3L Reservoir, Katadyn Vario Water Filter, Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Steelhead, LEKI Legacy Poles, Princeton Tec Byte Headlamp, and finally some Clif Bars. I headed back to the Rogers Canyon Trail 110 and Reavis Ranch Trail 109 Intersection in search of the Reavis Grave Site. I hiked two miles in on Reavis Ranch Trail 109 and the only thing I came across that I thought may be the site does not appear to be the same as pictures I found on Google.

Cairns That Appear To Mark Something

What I Thought Could Be The Reavis Grave Site

Few Pictures Along Reavis Ranch Trail 109

I headed back down to to the Rogers Canyon Trail 110 and Reavis Ranch Trail 109 Intersection, it was still a little early to meet up with Ed so I hiked Rogers Canyon Trail 110 some more and then headed back to meet up with Ed, good thing as he make great time and was early. We made our way back to the trailhead, loaded the truck up, and headed back down Hewitt Station Rd.

Few Pictures Along Hewitt Station Rd

A huge thanks to Ed for including me on this trip, am I disappointed that I was not able to do the entire loop, sure, however, safety is key. I'm stilled determined to see Reavis Ranch as well as the grave site, so I plan on going back sooner than later. You win this time Reavis Ranch!

A few last items I would like to mention, some people like to use trekking poles and some do not. I personally chose to use some LEKI Legacy Poles and I really like them. They are light, sturdy, and never had an issue with them collapsing under a load. They truly help with you descend, especially on loose terrain as well as when traversing streams. In addition, they could potentially be used to make some distance between you and something not so friendly, ie. snake, rodent, ect. Lastly, footwear, I chose a pair of Oboz Yellowstone II BDry Boots along with some Darn Tough Socks, what a great combination. The boots were extremely comfortable and I found myself sweating very little in them. They have great stability and traction even when stepping on wet rocks or in mud. The socks kept my feet very comfortable and never did I develop any sort of blisters or any issues with my feet over the eighteen miles I did. With the little sweating I did do, the socks dried in no time and were good as new.

Feel free to post your comments below.