Archive for August, 2011

Wallow Fire Update

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

A few months ago, I reported on the Arizona wildfire situation, and now I am happy to report that things are better.

Many camping and recreation areas in the Apache Forest (along the eastern edge of the state, site of the Wallow Fire) are now open, including Big  Lake. AZ Governor Jan Brewer was on hand to re-open the lake.

According to AZ Game and Fish:

As many of the speakers pointed out, the event at Big Lake was a celebration of life, habitats and fisheries being rejuvenated by bountiful mountain rains in the wake of the Wallow Fire. Mayors and other civic leaders from the mountain communities participated in the festivities.

Gov. Brewer told the crowd that at almost 9,000 feet in elevation and with 530 surface acres, Big Lake is the largest and one of the most productive trout fisheries in the state.

Despite being the largest wildfire in state history, the Wallow Fire did not touch Big Lake.

The Apache Forest is actually half of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, as they are jointly administered.

Here is a link to their PDF listring current open areas: Open areas within the Wallow Fire Perimeter. This includes trails within the Blue Ridge Primitive Area and the Murray Basin trail system and these campgrounds:

Hannagan Campground
Aker Lake
Caldwell Cabin
KP Cienega Campground
Blue Vista Scenic Overlook
Luna Lake & Campground

No guarantees about shade, though.

This info changes with conditions, so check the site before you go.

Or contact them directly:
P.O. Box 640
(mailing address)
30 S. Chiricahua Dr.
(physical address)
Springerville, AZ 85938

Voice: (928) 333-4301
Fax: (928)-333-5966
TTY: (928) 333-6292

Fat Man’s Loop

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

As I did for the Tonto Guide, I’m going to provide some background notes for each hike in

Five-Star Trails Flagstaff and Sedona 5 Star Trails Flagstaff and Sedona cover

In the order they appear in the book.

Fat Man’s Loop

DATE: 9/10/10



END TIME: 7:30p


Ben is my son, and accompanied me on more hikes (by far) than any other companion throughout the book. He was 13 at the time.

We had a late start because we had done Cathedral Rock in Sedona earlier that day.

Later that night, we met up with some friends and shared their campsite for the Barn Burner bike race. My friends were HAM operators providing support.

The next morning, Ben and I did Bill Williams Mountain.

I wanted to include an easy (and relatively adult) hike close to town. It is the counterweight to Airport Mesa in Sedona.

So, the clip below is YouTube video #1 – and there’s a learning curve. Plus, I had run the battery dry earlier that day, and was filming on fumes both in available power and available sunlight. All that survived are a few stills and my DVR notes. That’s the raw observations that I later write a hike description from.  I also made  a few into the clip below, for whatever that’s worth.