We started at Pine TH of Highline AZT #27 at 530am. Cool start but it soon warmed up as we made our way along the numerous side drainages on Highline. Most of the major drainages had water in them including North Sycamore, Webber, Mail, and East Verde River so having water to filter was not an issue. However, it took a few hours longer to do the 19 miles of AZT #27 than we expected which was about 10 hours. Once we reached the FR 300 at the end of #27 we hiked over to General Springs Cabin for a much needed break.
After refueling we continued on the Blue Ridge AZT #28 section as we had dropped a vehicle at the end of the section the night before. It was now pushing 4pm and still had 16 miles to go but fortunately the Blue Ridge AZT is very easy section. Our goal was to make the East Clear Creek crossing before dark as the climb out of the canyon is really the only major ascent in the entire 16 miles. After some easy and pleasant walking through pine meadows we dropped down to East Clear Creek and took a break about 730. We had never seen this crossing and was surprised it was completely dry but nice spot to break anyway.
With the light slipping away fast we headed up the climb out of East Clear Creek and made the top with some lingering light. From there it's walking across the Blue Ridge Mesa which is very flat and easy walking until the very end where it drops into Blue Ridge Recreational Area right before it meets Hwy 87. Finally made the vehicle about 10pm with 2 hours of night hiking which wasn't too bad considering the easy trail. Would have been nice to see the last 5 miles of this section in day light but probably not much different than the first 11 miles.