Well, a lot has happened. A lot is still happening. I am going back to Aravaipa next week.

I have my permit and my plan. I downloaded a better GPS track with waypoints at each of the side canyons. Here is the plan:

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The entire hike is 24.8 miles round trip. That is roughly 12.4 hours of hiking time. I probably won’t go that fast because I want to play in the water and explore the side canyons. But there is ample daylight for all these activities.

Plan A: Spend both nights at the same spot - where ever that ends up being.

Plan B: Hike in all the way to the east end on Day 1, and then spend 2 days exploring on the way back. This should take 6-8 hours of walking. If this is too much, then go with Plan A.

My base pack weight is down to 16.5 pounds. I won’t need to carry much water because I will be hiking in the river - and it flows all year round.

Weather forecast calls for night time low of 78 and day time high of 114. There is no rain in the forecast. I will not take rain gear, or under quilt or sleeping bag.

There is a 1.5 mile canal south at Turkey Creek which leads to a parking area and cliff dwellings. I intend to explore this on day 2, among other things.

Further planning:

I need to drink some coffee and eat some breakfast before I go. I should cook some eggs, maybe an omelet and some oatmeal. Maybe I should make 2 PNB cheese sandwiches to take with, and eat right before starting to hike.

Use the cable to charge the 235 on the drive, and the iPhone. The GPS will already be charged.

I will hike with 3L water in the bladder in the pack. I will keep the 1L bottles empty in my pack for filling with water when I get to camp.

When I get there, I need to check the message board for recent events / conditions. I will need to apply lip balm and sun block. Initialize the GPS and clear the track log. Depending on recent rain, I will then slosh my way into the canyon. I will be vigilant to lookout for big horn sheep, mountain lions, and such.

I can eat a few snacks along the way. I should be aware of the temperature and make sure I stay well hydrated. I plan to hike in trail running shoes, as before, and injinji socks and dirty girl gaiters, with hiking poles.

I should note each side canyon waypoint as I move upstream. I will have plenty of time to explore side canyons. Dinner will be a dehydrated meal, and bourbon. I should probably plan to have made my camp, or be at the place where I will make my camp, by NLT 5 pm. That will give me 2 hours to change clothes, hang the hammock, hang the bear bag, filter water, cook and eat supper, and put things up for the night. I’ll have my crocs, night clothes, and headlamp, and enjoy my bourbon in or near my hammock.

I plan to leave my phone in the car. If I need to take photos I can use the camera in my GPS.

Wednesday I will rise when I wake. There will be no hurry to do anything. First I will make some instant coffee and compare the vietnamese instant to the starbucks. I’ll have filtered enough water the night before to use for coffee, and breakfast. Breakfast will be instant cereal. So there will be no dishes to do. Only garbage to collect from the night before and breakfast.

I have experimented enough with my new mini atomic stove, and built my own pot stand from a used tuna fish can. I will try to use it to boil 8 oz water in the small titanium pot. Then make the instant coffee in my new QMH (questionable mental health) cup. It should take less than an ounce of alcohol to boil a cup of water. In the other alcohol stove it would take only 1/2 ounce. We’ll see. I will have a bottle with 4 oz alcohol, and 2 bottles with 1 ounce, and a bottle with 1/2 ounce. Dehydrated meals will take 540 ml or 18 ounces. They will use more alcohol. Perhaps I need more than 1 4 oz bottle of alcohol. I’ll take 2.

If I am on Plan A, I will load my pack with everything except my sleeping system and night clothes. I’ll take the water, filter, cooking system, and snacks and lunch with me. The rest of the food will go back to the bear bag hang. Re-apply lip balm and sun block. Then up the river I will go. Perhaps lunch will be cooked and eaten near the cliff dwellings at Turkey Creek. Lunch will be tuna and a dehydrated soup. Again, no dishes to do.

If I am on Plan B, I will be at the east end, or have been there and I will be part way back to the car. In this case I’ll have 2 full days to hike back and explore side canyons. I am liking this plan the more I think about it.