- April 2019 5
- Mar 31, 2019 Day 25 Mar 31, 2019
- Mar 31, 2019 Day 24 Mar 31, 2019
- Mar 31, 2019 Day 23 Mar 31, 2019
- Mar 31, 2019 Day 22 Mar 31, 2019
- Mar 31, 2019 Day 21 Mar 31, 2019
- Mar 31, 2019 Day 20 Mar 31, 2019
- Mar 31, 2019 Day 19 Mar 31, 2019
- Mar 24, 2019 Day 18 Mar 24, 2019
- Mar 24, 2019 Day 17 Mar 24, 2019
- Mar 24, 2019 Day 16 Mar 24, 2019
- Mar 24, 2019 Day 15 Mar 24, 2019
- Mar 24, 2019 Day 14 Mar 24, 2019
- Mar 24, 2019 Day 13 Mar 24, 2019
- Mar 18, 2019 Day 12 Mar 18, 2019
- Mar 18, 2019 Day 11 Mar 18, 2019
- Mar 18, 2019 Day 10 Mar 18, 2019
- Mar 18, 2019 Day 09 Mar 18, 2019
- Mar 18, 2019 Day 08 Mar 18, 2019
- Mar 13, 2019 Day 07 Mar 13, 2019
- Mar 13, 2019 Day 06 Mar 13, 2019
- Mar 13, 2019 Day 05 Mar 13, 2019
- Mar 13, 2019 Day 04 Mar 13, 2019
- Mar 9, 2019 Day 03 Mar 9, 2019
- Mar 9, 2019 Day 02 Mar 9, 2019
- Mar 9, 2019 Day 01 Mar 9, 2019
- Mar 9, 2019 Day 00 Mar 9, 2019
- Mar 5, 2019 The Arizona Trail Mar 5, 2019
Date: 03 Apr 2019 8:26PM MST
Location: Camping at Trail Angel's home in Pine, AZ Today's Miles: 17.6
Total Miles: 461.1
Wicked hot day today.
Started out OK, packed up relatively early and moved on up trail per usual. This section has been particularly rocky and hard to follow, lava rocks all over and continually a (literal) uphill battle.
Didn't have any streams or springs to drink from for most of the day, cattle tanks were the only option. Between the heat and the delicious water, I had a hard time putting enough fluids into my body.
Seventeen tough miles later I made it to town, a kind older gentleman out for a short walk offered to drive me into town, which was a huge help.
Grocery store had a small griddle attached so I had some fried chicken and sides as I planned the next section's resupply.
Texted another hiker to see if he was in town and he mentioned a trail angel who owns a vineyard and hosts hikers, gave him a call and off I went.
Dude has a wicked cool setup on his property, rents it to fancy people during the busy season and lets hikers stay when we're around. Happened to be the owner's birthday as well so there was tons of food and cake to boot.
Back to the trail tomorrow, but not until I grab some breakfast and hit up the post office.
Date: 02 Apr 2019 8:50PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 443.5
Today's Miles: 23.2
Total Miles: 443.5
Slow start today, sleep has seemingly been getting worse.
Solid day otherwise, sun is getting stronger it seems but hiking above 6000' helps with the temperatures.
Walked through some pretty beautiful terrain today, majestic views and scenic vistas for most of the day,
Walking was a bit more tough than expected, with much roller-coasting around with many climbs and descents throughout.
Ended the day with an almost vertical climb over a half mile, which is always fun, very reminiscent of the AT. Sometimes there's just no better way to route a trail so up a sheer rock face we go. Rewarded afterwords with some pretty unique hiking atop a bit of a mess which was pretty cool.
Full day of hiking into the town of Pine tomorrow.
Date: 01 Apr 2019 9:05PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 420.3
Today's Miles: 25.3
Total Miles: 420.3
Halfway point today!
Super windy last night, whipped my tent all over the place. Luckily everything stayed put, no midnight tent rescue needed.
Managed to do some relatively good miles today, even with a bunch of ups throughout. Legs are feeling pretty good, feels like I've finally gotten my stride back.
Into some more wilderness today, some of the oldest in the state apparently. Feels incredibly remote, which is my kind of walking. Great views, plenty of water, cool breezes, and solitude.
Except for the five separate flybys from a pair of fixed wing jets from a nearby military installation. I see more jets cruising canyons on long hikes than you'd expect - some days feel like I get my own personal air show.
Ended up walking past dark today, tenting opportunities just didn't work out so I needed to keep walking a bit. Came up on a hiker in his tent, must have scared the hell out of him because he woke from a dead sleep, unzipped, and was crouched outside his tent with a trekking pole in hand like he was going to have to defend himself.
Good day overall. I was doing a bit of an inspection of my feet to make sure everything's ok and came across a toe that's acting... strangely. I'm not sure if it's inflamed or if it's like a crazy amount of scar tissue building up from my arthritis, but while this toe is ok to walk on, it's wicked painful when I poke and prod it to see what's up.
Yet another bodily issue that'll need looking after when I return. Guess this is the year of overuse-injuries-which-are-finally-catching-up-to-you.
Forty miles to the town of Pine.
Date: 31 Mar 2019 8:16PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 395
Today's Miles: 8.3
Total Miles: 395
Spent the majority of the day relaxing at a family friend's home in north Phoenix. On our way back to the trail we had a nice picnic lunch by a lake with sandwiches and drinks, people watching all the while as it was a beautifully cool Sunday afternoon.
Dropped off around 1500, I cruised on off into the late afternoon, working my way slowly uphill. Shortly after leaving the highway and the adjacent rolling hills, the rest of the afternoon was spent walking through various ravines. While the views weren't very good, it did help to keep the direct sun out of my face.
Another long climb ahead, I made it approximately a third of the way up before finding one of the last reasonable places to tent. Camped at the intersection of a side trail, the only place to reasonably set up was directly on trail slightly down the side trail, so here's hoping no one comes a walking.
Looks like it's going to be a windy night.
Date: 30 Mar 2019 10:36PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 386.7
Today's Miles: 16.2
Total Miles: 386.7
Born in Phoenix, my parents still have some friends who live in the area and one said family graciously offered to host me for a night. Seeing that today I would reach the last reasonable road into Phoenix, I called them up and we arranged a pickup time and location.
Most of today was spent walking on forest service roads, much of it downhill. Luckily much of the climbing was done yesterday, so today was relatively smooth sailing - a good thing too since the sun was wicked hot today.
Beautiful views, although definitely changing from the more majestic views of yesterday. Four peaks and Roosevelt are going to be tough to beat, but I'm definitely looking forward to Flagstaff and the northern portions of the state.
Picked up mid afternoon by aforementioned family friends, they drove me back to their home in north Phoenix. Food, a shower, laundry, and more food ensued, couldn't have asked for more.
Back to the trail tomorrow for the remainder of the walk to Pine, the next resupply location.
Date: 29 Mar 2019 7:55PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 370.5
Today's Miles: 20.7
Total Miles: 370.5
Rough day today.
Big ups for most of the morning, thank goodness I left the marina yesterday when I did and managed to get a few miles up the climb last night. The climb wasn't particular rugged, it just went on for miles and miles, up and up and up.
Beautiful terrain, very reminiscent of the PCT. Another wilderness area, the Tonto national forest did not disappoint. With Lake Roosevelt in sight all day, the trail meandered it's way up and along the sides of some pretty steep slopes, remaining in sight way off in the distance for the majority of the day's walk.
Didn't eat enough today, trying to conserve food until I know when exactly I'll be in town. 120 miles isn't the longest resupply I've had to walk, but I definitely left the marina with less food than I'd prefer, so I'd like to keep a bit in reserve if at all possible.
Date: 28 Mar 2019 8:06PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 349.8
Today's Miles: 16.2
Total Miles: 349.8
Soild day today.
Rough night of sleep, managed to sleep in a bit though to help balance things out.
Camped near a group of section hikers, five older gentlemen who were out for a couple of days. Woke up to the sound of them packing up as the sun was rising.
Phone attempted to commit suicide today by leaping out of my side belt pocket into a spring, something that hasn't happen in over 7,000 miles of hiking. Thankfully the tough case I'm using prevent it from smashing on the rocks, or drowning in the water it plunged into.
Twelve mile jaunt to the marina where I am to figure out my resupply strategy for the next 120 miles of walking, just the right amount of distance to cover before getting sucked in for an afternoon of chatting and resting with other hikers, which is exactly what happened.
There's no real good place to hop off trail until the town of Pine, and the marina didn't really have the best resupply options, so I'm glad I packed a couple of extra days of food out of Superior. Usually I'm against carrying any more than I need, but this carry saved me a bit of extra time having to hitch 40 miles to a small town and get bogged down trying to get back.
Stuffed my face with two pot pies and a large can of beans, washed down with a liter of Dr. Pepper and some root beer before rifling through the hiker box for a few extra supplies. Another hiker who was finishing up a section offered a few extra food stuffs he didn't need, and I rounded out the rest of my food supply with a couple of frozen burritos and hot pockets from the marina convenience store.
Sipped on a cider before pushing back out to the trail. Spent a bit more time than I needed, but still managed to get out before anyone else, and they all showed up before me - the vortex is real.
Beautiful walk around Lake Roosevelt to round out the day. Pretty crazy sight to see a huge manmade lake in the middle of the desert, but the views were amazing even if the climb out of town was a bit rough.
Oh, and I've seen so many rattle snakes I've started to keep track.
Rattlesnake count: 11
110 miles to the town of Pine.
Date: 27 Mar 2019 8:48PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 333.6
Today's Miles: 20.8
Total Miles: 333.6
Much climbing today. Guess when a trail angel told me that it was all downhill to Utah they were full of it.
Day was overcast all day which helped to keep the sun off and moderate the temperature. Still warm, but could definitely have been worse.
Thankfully no snakes today, although there were tons of those black stink bugs that lift their butts in the air when you get close. Don't think I went more than three minutes without seeing one all day.
Bumped into a hiker who I hadn't met before, a big guy who's out here training for the PCT. We hiked a couple of miles together and parted ways, he's keeping his mileage down to prevent injuries.
Walked into the late afternoon with one last big climb, made it to the top just as the sun was setting. What a beautiful sunset it was, covering the surrounding peaks in an orange glow, the sky itself turning pink, then orange, red, and black.
Walked a bit past darkness, managed to find a large tenting area on the side of a hill. I didn't bother to pull out my head lap, so when a hiker who was part of a group took me to a flat spot, I was equally impressed and appreciative.
Quick supplemental resupply at a marina convenience store tomorrow then back into the wild for a 120 mile stretch.
Date: 26 Mar 2019 8:27PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 312.8
Today's Miles: 12.3
Total Miles: 312.8
Another night in a bed, no complaints there. I love how it gets chilly at night in the desert, slept with the window open for that cool dry air.
Woke up and packed, drank a couple of cups of coffee. Grabbed all my foodstuffs from the fridge and freezer, made a few last minute phone calls, and off we went.
Drove the hour to the trail, stopped in at the same cafe I ate at when I was picked up two days ago in the town of Superior. Got there a few minutes before they opened so me and the friend chatted on a bench before heading in.
Ate a massive lunch and talked for quite some time. Went for a short walk to digest our good before cruising on back to the trailhead. Said our goodbyes, it was really great to see an old friend.
Starting in the middle of the day couldn't be helped, but man do I miss the colder climate of Maine. Definitely makes you appreciate things more.
Hiked for a good six hours today, about half a day of walking. Over that six hours I saw five rattle snakes, and if I never see another rattler I'd be a happy man.
Funnily enough I was chatting with a buddy back in Maine before heading back out today and we briefly touched on snakes. We came to the conclusion that snakes are assholes, and that they all know it.
Ended the day right near a babbling brook based on a comment from a hiker a few years back mentioning a nice unofficial tent site. It was getting dark, but luckily the site is still viable, and a pretty nice one at that.
Big climb first thing tomorrow, should be fun.
Replacement trekking pole wrist strap!
Date: 25 Mar 2019 8:55PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 300.5
Today's Miles: 0
Total Miles: 300.5
Spent the day taking care of town chores and spending time with a friend who I haven't seen for a couple of years.
So good to catch up.
Ate a bunch of food, helped around the house, lounged around and relaxed - exactly what you're supposed to do on a zero day.
Oh, and I also spent over two and a half hours on the phone with the Department of Veterans Affairs, because sometimes, and pardon my language, they're a shit show.
Had a couple of delicious home-cooked meals, and I got to hang out with good people I haven't seen for some time.
Couldn't ask for anything more.
Date: 24 Mar 2019 9:57PM MST
Location: Friend's home in Phoenix, AZ
Today's Miles: 14.6
Total Miles: 300.5
Up earlier than usual this morning.
Sometimes the birds wake you up before sunrise and you roll over and try and to grab some more sleep, and sometimes you're just not able to sleep anymore and up at 'em you go.
Had a bit more up to walk this morning, couple of miles to finish off yesterday's monster climb. Elevation charts are great and all, but you never really know what you're in for until you see it in person.
The rest of the morning's climb was more of a gradual roller coaster of ups and downs, switch-backing around a large canyon with no good passes or real way of getting over. At times I had to reassure myself with my map that I was going in the right direction as there were so many switchbacks and downhill portions.
It was a beautiful walk, and the sun was still behind the rim of the canyon, making it a much cooler attempt as well. Couldn't imagine hitting these climbs in the heat of the day, as water is already pretty sparse and it's been getting hot hot hot out.
Speaking of hot, it warmed up incredibly today, seems to be getting a few degrees warmer by the day. Luckily I only had a relatively short distance to walk, and I arrived at the trailhead just after noon.
Sometimes hitching is tricky, but mostly it's just the luck of the draw. Lucky for me it's a Sunday and there were loads of people at the trail head enjoying their weekends, but even with that I waited approximately forty minutes for people to be finishing up their walkabouts and heading out of the remote area.
A kind couple from Phoenix with some doggos happened to be heading into Superior and offered me a lift, the husband super interested in the trail. We talked shop on our way into town, and they invited me to eat lunch with them at a cafe in town.
Food took forever to arrive, but no one was in a rush and solid conversation ensued.
After we parted ways a longtime family friend from my youth came to pick me up and host me at her home in Phoenix. Going to spend a day off relaxing with her and her family, really looking forward to it.
Date: 23 Mar 2019 08:05PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 285.9
Today's Miles: 22.4
Total Miles: 285.9
Pretty incredible day today.
Didn't sleep well last night, kept waking up and moving around as I usually do.
Slept next to some rail road tracks at the trailhead outside of town, luckily no trains used it during the night. Unfortunately as I was packing up a train _did_ cruise by and decided to blow the train horn directly next to me, but otherwise the location was fine.
Kicked the day off with a few miles of uphill walking, thankfully the cloud cover was thick and prevented much of the sun from getting through and heating things up.
Much of the middle of the day was spent trudging through a heat-blasted desert landscape with little water, exacerbated by the fact the Gila River was within sight yet inaccessible for most of the day's walking.
Mid-day I stopped at the river with some other hikers and went for a quick dip in the water, afterwords eating my lunch in the shade during the heat of the day. Before leaving I dipped in once more, this time wearing my hiking shirt and hat, and set off during the heat of the day completely soaked in cool water.
Twenty minutes later I was _completely_ dry.
Rest of the day was spent climbing up, 3000' over ten miles. It was still pretty hot throughout the beginning of the climb, but as the sun crept closer to the horizon things cooled off nicely.
I'm starting to really enjoy that part of the day, when the sun is low in the sky and things cool off yet there remains another hour or two of light before nightfall. The desert is incredibly beautiful at the end of the day. The animals all start coming back out and everything is so calm, cool, and colorful.
Sleeping on a ridge line tonight overlooking the city of Phoenix. Pretty cool spot, glad no one else was around to tent here since spots are few and far between in this part.
Town tomorrow, and a zero day or two visiting an old friend.
Date: 22 Mar 2019 08:39PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 263.5
Today's Miles: 21.8
Total Miles: 263.5
Long day today.
Been getting gradually more tired as the walking continues, seems to be a combination of poor sleep, long days of walking, and the hot sun. Nothing I'm not used to, just not accustomed to it yet I suppose.
Relatively flat day, able to cruise pretty well. It has been getting gradually warmer throughout the past couple of days though, and water is getting scarcer.
Walked pretty much all day except for a few stops to refill water and a very short stop for lunch. My body still feels incredibly sore and achy, and my knees are definitely not working as well as they have in the past. Primary way for me to make miles is to keep walking, even if at a slower pace.
Met an older couple at a trailhead who were van camping for a few days, they offered up a cold beer and some fruit. Sat and chatted with them for a few minutes, so great to be able to enjoy the kindness of strangers.
Near the end of the day I ordered a pizza to be delivered to the trail near the town of Kearny, after hearing multiple times that a local pizza shop delivers. It was totally worth it, highly recommend not passing up the opportunity for some trail pizza if you can at all help it.
Sat and ate with a few hikers on the side of the road as the sun set, then pushed on while others waited for their pizza to be delivered. Walked just far enough away from the road to be comfortable for the night, sleeping alone near some train tracks on trail.
Less than forty to town.
Date: 21 Mar 2019 08:19PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 241.7
Today's Miles: 15.4
Total Miles: 241.7
Slept like a rock last night, almost passed out writing my journal for the evening. Was a long, hot day of walking.
Up with the sun, I packed, ate, and grabbed some water at the nearby cattle tank before stepping off for the day. The water was incredibly murky and full of gunk, so much so that I'm going to have to back-flush my filter next time I'm in town because it's flowing so slowly.
About eight miles in I stumbled upon some awesome trail magic, a local hiker who camps with his RV at a trailhead and makes food for hikers, as well as providing beer and soda to drink.
Ended up getting vortexed in for about five hours, sitting around with other hikers just chatting and sharing our experiences walking long distance trails. The trail angel is a former Marine as well, so we had plenty to talk about.
Managed to leave mid afternoon and get back on trail, although I do believe I was the only one out of the group of ten to do so. I'm not a big drinker, but pretty much everyone who came across this trail magic ended up deciding to spend the night at the trailhead, many because they were too trashed to even set up a tent 🥴.
Ended the day walking through some more pristine, flat desert. As we walk further north the desert is changing, now with a finer grain of dirt, large boulders, and some pretty impressive rock formations.
Couple more days until town.
Date: 20 Mar 2019 08:27PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 226.3
Today's Miles: 21.1
Total Miles: 226.3
Another restless night, but at least it was in a bed with a roof over my head.
Other hiker wanted to wake up a little early to pack, so just before his alarm went off I went and used the bathroom before crawling back into bed for a few minutes.
Whole group of hikers who stayed at the lodging location went to breakfast together, eating at the same Mexican restaurant I had lunch at yesterday.
After returning the the motel the owner, who's also a local trail angel, began shuttling everyone back to the trail. I was in the last group, so the few remaining hikers sat around and chatted until she returned.
Hot day of hiking today. After yesterday's descent from Summerhaven and 8000', today was spent walking through a stereotypical desert landscape with nothing but dirt, cacti, prickly bushes, and wicked strong sun. Oh, and rattle snakes - had way too many encounters with rattlers today.
Drank loads of water, most of it from cattle troughs. You really learn to trust your filter on some trails.
As the day neared it's end things cooled off nicely, and I didn't want to stop walking, so I hiked an hour after sunset until I arrived at a water source in a wash, thankfully out of the wind.
Sunset was just incredible tonight. So worth sticking around for instead of being in the tent.
Pitched my tent in the dark, ate a bit too much food (as you do when you have a heavy food bag from town), and knocked off to sleep shortly thereafter.
Date: 19 Mar 2019 09:09PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 205.2
Today's Miles: 18.7
Total Miles: 205.2
Restless night of sleep, woke up multiple times throughout the night. Been tracking my sleep data with a smart watch, and I'm definitely not sleeping well as a whole out here.
Woke up before the sunrise, ended up talking to the wife and daughter for a bit as I packed up since I had good cell reception.
As I was just getting ready to start walking, I noticed an animal had chewed the wrist strap of one of my trekking poles completely off and took it away, so now that's something I have to figure out and deal with in the meantime.
Knee was acting up most of the day, probably because of the extreme downhills coming off Mt. Lemmon. Sucks having to nurse an injury, but at least it isn't getting any worse, for now.
Another beautiful day of walking otherwise. Great views coming down off the mountain, and other than not having but one water source all day, it was a spectacular spring day of walking in southern Arizona.
Made it to cute town of Oracle early in the afternoon and managed a hitch after thirty minutes or so. Driver dropped me off at a pretty amazing hole in the wall taqueria, which I smashed way too much food at.
Wife suggested I treat yo self to a bed and a shower, so I called up the one place in this small town that has lodging opportunities. Turns out the place is run by a trail angel and she happened to be just down the road with some hikers at the dollar store, so I walked on over and talked with her for a bit.
While she didn't have any rooms available, she offered to drive me back to the trail after dropping the hikers back off at her accommodations, so I tagged along.
Arrived at the accommodations and after talking with some hikers, they all went to dinner with the trail angel dropping them off in her truck. When the trail angel returned she tossed me a set of keys, said one of the hikers offered me up an extra bed in their room. Such is trail life(!), and I graciously accepted their offer.
Showered, did some laundry, and sat by a fire until everyone returned from dinner, whereupon I chatted with my roommate for the night, an Australian who mows lives in Alaska with his American wife.
Date: 18 Mar 2019 08:29PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 186.5
Today's Miles: 12.4
Total Miles: 186.5
What a beautiful, rugged day of hiking.
Woke up to the sound of rushing water, camped near the fork of two seasonal streams that are currently flowing very quickly, engorged with all the snowmelt.
Packed up, ate a cold breakfast of rice, ramen, and butter, as well as some of the cheese I've been carrying for the past five days.
Spent the entire morning climbing the remainder of the long climb I started at the end of yesterday, only to be greeted with some of the most rugged and beautiful trail I've ever had the pleasure of walking on. It was like a mini-Sierra, with towering pines, a multitude of snow-melt stream crossings, and a smattering of towering boulders throughout. Incredibly unique terrain, incredibly beautiful terrain.
Made it into the town of Summerhaven later than expected but still with time remaining to hit up the general store for a minor resupply and the only restaurant in town for a burger and some coffee.
Spent the rest of the afternoon in the vestibule of the visitor center charging devices, updating my journal, and downloading some more shows and podcasts for the trail.
Started waking out of town around 1800, bumped into a hiker at the trailhead heading southbound who jumped north to avoid the most recent snowstorm. They planned on sleeping in the vestibule I mentioned earlier, something the town and local police is OK with, especially due to the altitude and how cold it can get up here.
I almost turned around to hang out with a fellow hiker for the night, but decided against it and kept on walking. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions like that, and while I probably should have just socialized a bit (especially since there are so few hikers out here on this trail), I was rewarded with an amazing sunset and a bit of a night hiking since the terrain wasn't cooperating tent site-wise for a mile or two outside of town.
Camped high up in the saddle of a ridge, and it appears that the wind is being blocked by the ridge itself luckily enough. Exposed camping is risky, tents can collapse or even worse, make a snapping sound all night in the wind - here's to hoping it's a quiet and still night.
Date: 17 Mar 2019 06:48PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 174.1
Today's Miles: 16.5
Total Miles: 174.1
Strong day of walking today. Loads of ups, tired and sore, but my body is finally adapting and it feels like trail legs are coming on strong.
Beautiful morning of walking, worked my way gradually up through a canyon to get up and over a... hill. As much as it sucks having to climb up and up, it's one of my favorite things out on trail: climbing up and over mountain passes.
It's pretty incredible to see the terrain change as you walk closer and closer to seemingly impassible mountains on three sides, only to have the trail meander its way up and through some pass you couldn't see from below. I actually enjoy applying some land navigation and terrain association to try and determine which saddle or pass a trail will end up using to crest all of the huge terrain features around.
After the morning climb the trail descended into a national park fee area that had pit toilets - raced myself to the toilets even though nature was calling. I really don't mind digging a hole and fertilizing the nature, but between the physical damage I sustained while in the military and the enjoyment I get back at home just taking my time on the crapper, if I can use a privy, pit toilet, or actual bathroom, I'll choose the latter every time.
Even though it was Sunday and this campground had people everywhere, nothing was going on trail magic-wise so I continued down the trail only to descend into another canyon and a national wilderness area. I always get a bit of a tingle and some excitement when a trail heads into wilderness, for it usually means way less people and a much more rugged and natural environment.
After about two hours of losing elevation and walking down into a canyon with much water flowing through it, the trail began to climb and climb and climb. Approximately 4500' over eleven miles, I started the climb approximately twelve miles into my day, and managed to get pretty far up before calling it quits. This area seems to have been hit pretty hard from the past two uncharacteristically late snow storms and there are very few places to tent, so as soon as I found one near the end of the day I went for it, not feeling up for a night climb with no known destination to tent at.
Been a lucky season for hikers on the AZT this year. With steady rain all winter and a few extremely rare late winter snowstorms, there's been plenty of water on trail so far.
Here's to hoping it keeps up.
Date: 16 Mar 2019 07:29PM MST
Location: Camping near mile 157.6
Today's Miles: 17.7
Total Miles: 157.6
Woke up in the shelter cabin this morning nice and warm. It didn't snow or anything last night, but it was hella windy and the three solid walls of the cabin really helped to block the wind.
Ended up making myself a bit of a nest in the corner with some extra equipment in the shelter last night, some wool blankets and a few ground mats for sleeping.
Stayed in the rack and ate my breakfast of rice, ramen, and butter that I rehydrated overnight. As the other hikers woke up I snacked and slowly packed up, not wanting to get out of bed since it was so cold, but realizing the only way out was through (down the mountain, back into the desert).
Knee is still giving me a hard time, and hurts more on the downhill than up, so seven miles downhill this morning wasn't ideal but I made it work. Much of that downhill was post holing through snow, here's to hoping the snow further north melts off before I get there.
Spent the rest of the day cruising through some lowlands, gentle hills and valleys surrounded by large mountains. Sun was strong, and very warm.
Twenty six miles out from town with a huge climb back up to around 8000' before my next resupply. Definitely won't make it there tomorrow, should roll into Summerhaven, AZ sometime Monday afternoon.