Parson Springs Backpack!

The T648 dirty dozen returned to the Valley of the Sun at high two today (missed high noon by juuust a smidge). Amazingly and thankfully after two days and nights of hot hiking, thunderstorms, 7 creek crossings, playing in the pools, their families welcomed the fragrant, muddy, and happy boys back with open arms, and a waiting shower. As usual, this outing had its own special uniqueness, including 5 miles in on a dirt forest road above Sedona, gazing at the twinkling lights of Jerome, followed by a brilliant morning with two hot air balloons landing in our campsite! Delayed a bit by all the excitement, we hiked more in the heat than originally planned, and barely set up camp at Parson Spring before the afternoon thundershowers arrived. Along the way we encountered deer, a tarantula the size of Dylan’s hand (not that he held it for measurement’s purposes, though), and two very distinct rattlesnakes – one a traditional Western diamondback with a full belly, and the other an Arizona Black. Other highlights included crawdad fishing (not enough for dinner, darn!), a lively card game in the big tent during the rain, first experiences with freeze dried food, a frog in a rock, and a general consensus that this will not be the one and only backpack for any of our first-timers. Hike on, trusty packers!