Mystery Monday: Backpacking Feather Mountain

Happy Labor Day!

If you know me at all, you know that I pretty much stick close to home on a holiday weekend. I just don’t want to deal with the traffic, the crowds, or the multitude of noisy people in the forest. Which means that I never ever go camping over Memorial Day, Independence Day or Labor Day.

Except for this year!

My long-time college buddy, Jessica, has been begging me to do a camping trip since June. And wouldn’t you know, the only weekend that we both had available was Labor Day!

Back in April, I introduced Jess to the joys of backpacking. She’s been hooked ever since and has joined a backpacking group, and geared-up with a backpack, sleeping bag and pad, outdoor clothes, and gear galore!

It seemed that this trip was doomed from the get-go though. Because of some heat sensitivities, Jess needed a trail that would be relatively cool and would be near a water source so we could re-fill water bottles often. After a ton of research, I settled on going to East Clear Creek. To Kinder Crossing Trail #19 to be precise.

And then the trip started to fall apart!

At the last minute, Jess invited Ben & I to join her on a friend’s trip to Havasupai in the Grand Canyon. But Ben had to work Saturday morning AND on Monday. Plus, there’s a huge difference between a 3-mile trail and suddenly thinking of a 9-mile one-way trip.

Too bad Mother Nature just didn’t get the memo that I wanted to go backpacking! There were epic rainstorms all across Northern Arizona. Everywhere that we could have gone was flooding or in danger of flooding: the Verde River, East Clear Creek, and every single little drainage or normally dry wash.

While we were trying to plan our adventure, I suggested a game of indoor mini golf at Lunar Golf. Fun, but not backpacking.

092013-LunarGolf
But as we were leaving the mall (Seriously? ME? In a mall!?) the storm clouds to the north were lifting and flowing away. After a brief deliberation, it was decided:

A quick overnight trip to the Feather Mountain Ruins! No water but a “short” hike and stunning views.

The hike is pretty much straight up a mesa. We figured it out to be about 450 feet elevation gain in about .75 miles. If that sounds easy, let me remind you that we were each carrying 35+ pound packs, at the end of a hot, humid summer afternoon. Oh, and we were booking it up the mesa with no trail so we could get to the top before dark.

Read the full post at TieYourBoots.com

TieYourBoots.com is my new blog about backpacking. I’ll cover gear, trips, tips, tricks, and all things backpacking related. It’ll be 100% beginner and focused on women.

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