GET 2017 Day 1, March 18, Saturday.
Start First Water Trailhead, section 1 mile 0.
End near Upper Black Top Mesa Pass, section 1 mile 5.
Miles walked: 5
The east-bound start of the Grand Enchantment Trail (GET) begins at First Water Trailhead, near Apache Junction on the eastern edge of the Phoenix metro area. The start is only a few miles from the Arizona Renaissance Festival, so it seemed like a good idea (at the time) to spend a day at the Ren-Fair before starting the hike late in the day.
The “Pleasure Feast”, a six-course meal with entertainment and merriment, is a splendid way to build up fuel reserves before a long hike.
We enjoyed watching live shows with jugglers, circus arts, singers, and musicians.
Finally at 4:30 I bade farewell to Better Half and started hiking in 92F weather.
The land is green and thick with vegetation, with several varieties of cactii, including saguaro, and palo verde, and long grasses.
The trail crosses creeks with clear running water in several places.
The trail gradually climbs up canyons, with views of more Superstition Mountains ahead.
At 7PM walking must end, as dusk approaches. I am used to long summer days for long walks, so shorter March days will be a challenge.