When I was a kid,
I spent several happy years growing up in Cottonwood, Arizona. If you're young, it's basically endless wilderness to explore. Cactus, coyotes, roadrunners, snakes, and scorpions: perfect!
That early sense of freedom at the end of civilization has persisted in me for years. I still love to hike and wander in the hills, in Arizona and in California (and truthfully, all over the world).
This week's Challenge is made up of two exploration / way-finding tasks.
|Tuzigoot site, near Cottonwood, AZ|
1. Just outside of Cottonwood is an ancient pueblo site called Tuzigoot. The pueblo was built by the Sinagua people between 1125 and 1400 CE and is the largest and best preserved of the many Sinagua pueblo ruins in the Verde Valley. The name comes from ″Tú Digiz/Tuzigoot″ a Tonto Apache term for "crooked waters," so named for a nearby bent lake formed by a meander of the nearby Verde River.
Tuzigoot is a wonderful place to wander and explore, but I wonder if it's possible to hike from the Tuzigoot Visitor Center to the end-of-the-road parking lot near the campground on Flycatcher Road (34.7627216,-112.0217716). Obviously, I could walk alongside the roads from one point to the other, but is there a decent trail that connects the two points? How long is that trail?
2. In the Sierras of California, there's a wonderful place to go for a long hike or backpack trip: Evolution Valley.
It's an easy place to visit (although taking a few days to wander there is definitely the way to go). But I wonder how difficult that hike would be. Can you find an elevation profile of the trail from Florence Lake to Evolution Valley? What's the maximum altitude you would reach while hiking on the obvious trail from the lake to the valley?
I think these Challenges will keep you busy, possibly inspire you to go out and visit the outdoors during this beautiful summer.
And when you DO figure out the answers, let us all know HOW you found the path. What SRS knowledge did you use to discover the best way to navigate in the wildlands?