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shellback91

KOFA February 2022

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The gang and I completed our KOFA run yesterday afternoon. It was good to see some familiar faces and meet some new ORP members for the first time.  We covered approximately 138 miles in three awesome days in the KOFA Wilderness area. I may make this an annual run to explore some more. I did not take many pictures myself this time and am looking forward to seeing everyone's pics. A big thanks to our two tail gunners this weekend.

 

Attendees were:

@mbuckner  @Curly & Devon(Tail-gunner Day 2)  @gearhead  @MzPriss & Bill  @Bradywgn71  @Ken Ford  @We Just Go  @Stacey and Scott (Tail-gunner Day 1)  @Rawhyd  @Mick Bowers

 

My overall impression with the area is that it is awesome, quiet and not crowded. There is a ton of space out there with plenty of well marked camping areas. We did not see a lot of other traffic overall over the three days. The trails are well identified and easy to follow, you know where you are supposed to be and where you are not allowed. The only exception was a section of the Hoodoo wash. I got a little discombobulated which is easy to do. I was on the left side when I should have been on the right side to make a left. Make sense? 😆 We figured it out and got back on track quickly. 

 

We made our way using the trails listed in the original post. All trails had excellent scenery and differing views of the area, I felt all them were beautiful.

 

On Friday we met up then picked up a few attendee's that camped out Thursday night on the way to the Big Eye Mine.  The trail in is in good shape with a mix of rocky ground, some mild off camber spots and the usual easy to moderate variety type of terrain. Once at the mine we parked then some visited the cabin area, some went on to the mine itself. It was a relatively easy hike up. After exploring we had lunch before moving on. We then backtracked to the KOFA Bypass Rd where we headed north through a few sections of "moon dust" which got everywhere and on everything.  This trail is called either McPherson Pass or Castle Dome Mountains depending on which resource you are looking at. It is a well marked easy trail.  We found camp around 4:30 along this trail for a relaxing evening under the stars. Day one was a good day with no issues, good company and good trails.

 

Saturday we woke up to a beautiful crisp morning and broke camp with a goal of making it to the Hovatter Homestead by days end. Stacey informed me that Scott was not feeling right as a result of lingering issues from his accident and they would not be able to continue. 😞 I am not a fan of leaving people behind but after talking with them I felt confident they would be okay to get out, which they did. Tim took over tail-gunner duties from here, thanks Tim!  We ran McPherson Pass to RD 76 north to King Valley Road. This path was easy to moderate in some spots, nothing too challenging.  We then made our way to Polaris/North Star Mine, this area is pretty darn cool. The trail to Polaris Rd. is easy, Polaris Rd. itself is a short moderate one. We visited the old cabin then hiked the old road to the mining area. There were a couple of mines/shafts with core samples and other debris on the trail to the big mine. The mine at the top goes a way in and there is old mining gear and equipment scattered about the entire area.

 

After exploring we made our way out the KOFA cemetery. After visiting there we had lunch before moving on. The rest of the day's trails were easy to moderate with no significant challenges at all. Mild off camber spots, rocky terrain, ruts and some steep climbs sums and epic scenery sum it up nicely.  Only the Hoodoo Wash section formerly mentioned got me a little off track, nothing significant.  We arrived at the Hovatter Homestead around 4:30 for another relaxing evening under the stars.  We had the entire place to ourselves. Day two was a good day with no issues, good company and good trails.

 

Sunday morning was another cool crisp morning and we broke camp leisurely. I visited the family graves, payed my respects the to Hovatter's and thanked Mr. Hovatter for his hospitality. (I am weird like that) After everyone was packed up and ready to roll we started moving, kinda. Over the radio we hear Buckner say "I'll  be ready when I find my key". We all stopped and helped him look for his key.  We looked for a while but never found it anywhere. I am leaning towards a pack rat or some other critter picking it up and hoarding it. 😃 After trying a few things to try and tow him out we decided that the best plan was to call his wife and ask her to meet us at the Pilot where we were ending our day with his other key.  Mike jumped in @Rawhyd's rig and rode out with us after securing his rig. The ride out was easy with a couple of moderate spots. Great expansive views of the valley's were the highlights of the ride. Once at the Pilot with his spare key in hand Mike rode back with @Rawhyd & @Ken Ford to get his rig then make there way back out. Big shout out to those guys for volunteering to do that!

 

Thanks again to everyone who came out on our adventure, I really enjoyed it. 🙂

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Some of My Pics.

 

From Polaris:

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Sunrise at Hovatter homestead looking down the driveway:

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Very nice write up Marty!  It was good to return to the Castle dome mtns, we hadn't been there since we moved in 2011.  It was a  great trip, but I was saddened so see some vandalism at the Big Eye cabin and Kofa Cemetery.

Antares Cabin and the North star mine were new places to us. All those trips out there and still something new to see!

The first nights camp along Castle dome road put us under the Aerostat balloon

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On the ground Friday morning

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Big eye mine cabin --damage from vandals

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Log book in the cabin -15 years to the day since that visit.

 

 

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Mcpherson pass Camp spot

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Devon cooking dinner

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A sign inside the Antares cabin

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This was such a gorgeous area. Words escape me. I didn’t grab a lot of photos but day two’s sunrise was amazing. 
 

 

6531D148-70A8-453C-96B1-A89651A3515A.jpeg

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Some good photos of an area that I haven't been back to in far too long...  Thanks for the sharing...   Keep them coming...  ;)

 

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What a fun trip.  Will post more on the trip specifics but here is a link to my photos.  

Edited by Bradywgn71
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