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  1. #1
    dejoha's Avatar
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    January Arizona Group Hang, Fossil Springs

    I had a fantastic time at my first ever HF group hang, here in Arizona. I took my two oldest kids (7 and 8 yrs) on the backpacking trip. The trail was about 4 miles down to the camp site and the scenery was great, despite the lack of foliage in the middle of the winter. There was snow for the first mile or so on the trail, where it was on the north side of the escarpment, but otherwise it was a beautiful, clear trail--a welcome break from snowy Flagstaff.



    Once we dropped off the Mogollon Rim and arrived in the canyon, the scenery changed dramatically. Lots of deciduous trees and lots of water. I've never seen so many springs so close together, literally gushing thousands of gallons of water. The water was warm too, over 70F!



    We arrived at the springs around 5 PM and set up camp. The site wasn't as trashed as I was expecting, after hearing the reports, but it is obviously a popular location. It looks like there has been some work to remove some invasives, and there is evidence of the recent dismantling of the hydroelectric dam downstream.

    I hung our three hammocks together in an inverted triangle, allowing me to be below my two kids and able to address any issues they had during the night (it turned out my daughter had a hard time sleeping with a quilt so we switched during the night). The low temperature was around 30F . I slept marvelously with my new Stormcrow Crowsnest UQ.





    We met fellow HF member bfulton and his wife. My kids were gracious enough to let me chat and talk shop with them for a few minutes before they demanded I accompany them to explore the creek.

    I wish we had more time to hang, but we had to depart Saturday afternoon for home. This was my first "long distance" hike with my kids and they did wonderfully. Each carried their own packs, loaded with their sleep system, hammock, clothing, and water. Total pack weight, 8 lbs.

    I carried my gear plus our shelter, all the food, and some extra insulation. My pack weighed in at 20 lbs. A little heavier than I wanted, but I didn't want to chance the insulation factor with my kids.

    All-in-all, it was a wonderful trip and I can't wait until our next group hang with HF.

  2. #2
    Senior Member opie's Avatar
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    Looks excellent!! That spring picture is beautiful.

    Do your children find it difficult to "climb" into their hammocks or is yours strung low?
    I am not a gram weenie. , But Im starting to see the merits!!!

    Kris' Splicing

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  3. #3
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great trip and with your kids as well. That no snow spring looking desert scene looks so inviting right now, looks beautiful.
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away. ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Roadtorque's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you had a great time, to bad we missed you. Pisanodc and I decided to arrive Saturday morning vs. a late night hike on Friday. We got to the springs about 11:30 am Saturday, I'm guessing we barley missed you and your kids. Hanging 3 under one tarp must be a HF record of some sort! I got some pics that I will post a bit later today.

  5. #5
    Member bfulton's Avatar
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    Dejoha - Yeah, it was nice meeting up with you and your kids, thanks for sticking around long enough for us to pull our cold butts out of our hammock and thank the kids for their patience while we talked gear. We made some mods to our under bag and still slept colder than desired (pretty sure we're going to add another hanging kit to our gear list for our thru hike)

    Roadtorque - Thanks for letting me try out your bridge setup and also for sharing your delicious desert around the campfire (I couldn't bring myself to say its product name in that sentence, sounded way to dirty!)

    Pisanodc - Thanks for letting me jump into your setup as well, You and Roadtorque did an awesome job collecting the firewood, especially for Jake's sake and it was awesome to be offered all the tasty consumables that you brought along. There will definitely be probars in our thru hike drop boxes.

    We did stop at the Strawberry Lodge for lunch, I had their "Famous" Angus cheeseburger, it was good, but overshadowed by the Goat Fudge. Totally worth the wait. No joke, best fudge I've ever bought (my mom's is still a little better).

  6. #6
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtorque View Post
    Glad to hear you had a great time, to bad we missed you. Pisanodc and I decided to arrive Saturday morning vs. a late night hike on Friday. We got to the springs about 11:30 am Saturday, I'm guessing we barley missed you and your kids. Hanging 3 under one tarp must be a HF record of some sort! I got some pics that I will post a bit later today.
    I was wondering if we would see you. Did you hike down the Fossil Springs Trail, or come up from the old power plant? I'm sorry we missed you too. We were having lunch on the trail around that time (just below Nash Point). I wish we could have stayed longer, but the trip length was just about right for my two kids. We had a blast and I hope we can do a group hang again soon. We're new to Arizona, so almost any location would be a new adventure for us.


    Quote Originally Posted by bfulton View Post
    Dejoha - Yeah, it was nice meeting up with you and your kids, thanks for sticking around long enough for us to pull our cold butts out of our hammock and thank the kids for their patience while we talked gear. We made some mods to our under bag and still slept colder than desired (pretty sure we're going to add another hanging kit to our gear list for our thru hike)
    It was great to see you guys too! After the hike out, I thought that next time we should plan some group activity together--maybe a fireside crackerbarrel, a potluck, or group breakfast. Of course, if we find a place where we can car camp, I can pull in my Dutch ovens and really have a cook-out!

    Oh, and let me know when your thru-hike brings you near Flagstaff. I'm happy to help with some trail magic or maybe join you for a section of the trail. I'm so jealous of your upcoming trip, but my son did lift my spirits by mentioning on the hike out that we should do the AZ Trail when he gets bigger. Sounds good to me!
    Last edited by dejoha; 01-18-2010 at 10:51. Reason: Spelllling, of all things.

  7. #7
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opie View Post
    Looks excellent!! That spring picture is beautiful.

    Do your children find it difficult to "climb" into their hammocks or is yours strung low?
    The spring was beautiful, even though it was the dead of winter (well, for this area, winter is relative).

    My hammock was pitched pretty low. My kids were able to get in okay, but I helped them in when it was time to bed down since I wanted to make sure they got in their insulation correctly. This setup allowed me to have easy access to them during the night. I'm sure some would find the close quarters confining, but I thought it felt very cozy.

  8. #8
    dejoha's Avatar
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    VIDEO: Hiking to Fossil Springs

    Here's my video of me and my kids going to the Arizona Group Hang in Fossil Springs. What a great time!

    http://gallery.me.com/derek.hansen/100012

  9. #9
    Member bfulton's Avatar
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    Derek,
    Great video, your kids were troopers! The seed has been planted in his head, that's awesome. We will definitely let you know when we're in your neck of the woods and we'll be updating as often as possible/weariness allows via forums and blogs.

    just noticed: the dates are off in your video's description.

  10. #10
    Senior Member drewboy's Avatar
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    I enjoyed reading your trip reports. It's great to see more AZ area hangers getting active. Sorry I had to miss this trip and I hope to be able to meet you all sometime soon. I am glad to hear that the Fossil Springs area is starting to bounce back a little bit. It really is a special place.

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