Apache Junction is our starting and ending point, located at the bottom left of the poster that teams use for their planning and tracking. Note that The Lost Dutchman's Mine is near the top-right of the map. In the corners are Supply Depots where teams may also exchange resources should they not have planned their resource consumption well.
Teams have a choice of three trails to the Mine and they must take a different trail on their return.
The safest and most straightforward route is via the middle, called The Plateau Trail. On this route, it is 7 days to and 7 days from the mine. Teams get Gold on their entry, so they will begin mining on Day 7 and must leave by day 14 to make it back to Last Chance Gulch -- ALL teams must return.
Another route takes them across the higher risk Low Country Trail. This route is apparently 5 days in length, although Tom's Canyon Ford across the arroyo has been known to flood and impede progress. When the weather is beautiful, this trail also turns to mud, causing teams use up extra fuel.
A third option is The High Country Trail, so called because it heads up toward Tortilla Flat. This route is apparently longer, but there is also information about Tortilla Flat available in the Library at Apache Junction.
This leads to a discussion of the weather patterns, which influences the mud on the Low Country Trail and which can cause increased consumption of resources during the Arctic Blasts which may occur. Since teams have limited but sufficient resources, strategic planning is most critical to optimizing their results.
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