Arizona Trip - March 2006

Just flew back from Arizona the other day, where we got to enjoy our first trip back there since nearly 5 years ago! At that time, we only had clues for 4 boxes, two of which we found, the third box was empty, and the last box was down an impassable muddy road, so you can imagine how thrilled we were this trip to "up" our Arizona count from 2 to 52 in just 5 days! Of course, that count pales in comparison with supernumerary exploits in various places like Syracuse, Boise, Houston, Portland and Seattle, but you have to remember - this is, after all, Arizona, and, as usual, we purposefully chose to do "real hikes" rather than "drive-ups", so you have to factor that in accordingly! Anyway, here's how our trip went ...

First, we flew into Sky Harbor on Wednesday afternoon, checked out the new rental car facility, and immediately proceeded to Dreamy Draw for a "dreamy" start to our vacation! After a few other pleasant short desert walks and dinner, we headed out to our usual first night camp spot about an hour's drive east in the foothills, and were rather surprised to find it covered with snow! We planted a little impromptu memento the following morning, then headed down to Superior for a hot breakfast, a short jaunt along the Arizona Trail, and an afternoon spent traipsing through the Superstitions, where we left another memento to the lost Dutchman, courtesy of Chuck and Molly who had prepared a box for us to plant out there a week or so earlier!

The following day we swung south through Oro Valley to Tucson, picking up a bunch of boxes along the way. Saturday morning saw us meeting up for an exchange with local letterboxer Kristal, right smack in the middle of the Diamondback Bridge, which is shaped like a rattlesnake and actually has a tail that rattles when you get too close! We spent most of the rest of that day hiking various trails in the Rincon Mountains to the east before going off camping again in the valley. Sunday brought fierce winds and snow squalls, so we just kept heading south and east, trying to stay ahead of them, catching a few boxes as we passed along in Sierra Vista, Tombstone, Bisbee and Willcox. We had to laugh in Tombstone when all the outlaws' black hats suddenly turned white with snow, so they had to pack up their street fight scene in a hurry because of the flurries!

The snow did make everything beautiful for us the next day, though, as we hiked up to Cochise Stronghold from the lovely campground there, and left another memento in that area! Finally, on Monday afternoon, we headed back to Tucson for a few of the boxes in the mountains on the western side of town, and actually saw 4 javelinas running down the road very soon after we found the Happy Javelina box just before sunset!

The following morning we met up with Azroadie at our motel for a last minute exchange before heading back up to Phoenix for some art viewing and just a few more boxes before we had to catch our flight home. So, as usual, we wish we had time to do more, but we're so glad we got to do what we did, and can only hope to get back there again someday - maybe in 5 more years - and see what things are like then. Meanwhile, thanks again to all the planters. Keep up the good work and we'll look forward to getting back out there sometime!

Cheers,

Wanda and Pete

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