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Saturday, August 24, 2002

Marshall Gulch

I did it! I got my butt in gear, got up and got to the meeting place for the hike. This meant getting up at my usual 5:30 am, catching the first bus, #17, at 6:45, the second bus, #9, at 7:15 and walking a mile from the end of the line at Sabino Canyon and Tanque Verde to Pantano and Wrightstown where the SAHC is currently meeting for the hikes. I made it by 8:00 so I was in good time. Actually the hike that leaves at 8:00 had taken off so to get to a hike that starts at 8:00 I would have to take my bike and ride to the meeting point. I liked it much better when they met at Sabino Canyon and Tanque Verde.

I had decided to hike with the newbies group as I wasn't too sure about how ready I was to hike with a group but I did ok. The first ten minutes I sounded like I was about to collapse from asthma but then I got a second breath and while I had to slow up a little on the uphill parts, I did keep up. I also managed to fall just 15-20 minutes into the walk and skinned a knee and one palm. They hurt but I kept going and it was bearable as long as I didn't sit long enough for my knee to stiffen up. I can tell that they are going to hurt tomorrow. I was paying attention to what people were saying and whether I had tied my boots tight enough and just trying to breath and wasn't paying attention to my feet. Coming down another lady managed to do an even better job of falling so I wasn't the only klutz.

We hiked up Marshall Gulch to the saddle and over to Mint Springs, where we had an early lunch. This is such a nice hike and not too steep so it was a good one to start on. There were two other hikes from the SAHC that met up at the saddle so there was quite a group but the other two took off in different directions than our group though one of them did end up back at Mint Springs. It was a birthday party for a couple of them and they had carried up everything from brownies to jello shots, which are jello with gin and I understand it's pretty potent even though the shots weren't very big. I didn't try one as I figured I was already having trouble standing up.

We took a slightly different way down which went right along the small creek which was so nice. I had no blisters, just a slight pain from a toenail rubbing but that's because I didn't have it clipped close enough. When I wear sandals all the time I forget to trim my toenails close enough.

We could see where the fires had come right up to the eastern side of the road coming up and that side was closed off once you reached the pines. Marshall Gulch was jammed and it was hard to find a place to park as everyone tries to make up for lost time getting on top of Mt Lemmon. We got back at 2:00 but it was 4:30 when I finally got home as I just missed a bus and had to wait an hour but I was hot from walking the mile to the bus stop so spent the time inside a fast food joint drinking a huge ice tea. So nice!

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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