Mile 140, in Manning Camp

Mar 30 — mile 140, in Manning Camp

First light on the Santa Ritas, Rincon Cr

The AZT is a hard trail to plan for. The extremes in climate and topography send you from hot shadeless desert to frigid mountain top forests and back again on an almost daily basis. Today I needed both a lighter pack and more warm clothes. Can’t really pack for both of those goals.

Entering the saguaro forest

Started the day along Rincon Creek and ranged for several miles through rolling hills of saguaro forests being lit up by the early morning sun. The ocotillos here were leafed out as well as in bloom, and there were banks of tall bushy yellow daisies everywhere.

After the light show, the work began, a 10-mile, 5000 ft climb, mostly shadeless up to the cool windy Manning Camp.
“Cold” is more like it. I could see snow up here a couple of days ago from the Santa Rita foothills, and the rangers said the last of it melted only yesterday. I’ll wish I had more warm clothes before the night is out. But I needed a lighter pack for doing these sky island climbs so the warm stuff stayed home.