||Mar 01 2019
|Backpack||152.00 Miles||17 Days |
|4 Days Break|
|Started at Mexico March 1st.|
C/p'd below are notes from my journal.
Surprisingly clean toilet at Montezuma Pass.
2 Border Patrol agents dayhiked to Miller, guy with cool mustache his dad works as Head Boiler Tech at El Tovar. Neat.
Running out of light, stopped early. Absolutely gorgeous views Mexico! Beautiful San Pedro Valley. Shoes working out great!
Met hikers “Steady”(f), “Golden” (m, hasher name “Golden Pee Showers”), “Stump”(m) and “Mandolin”(f) (last two shared our campsite).
Walk the Moon Avalanche song stuck in head.
met “Gourmet”(f) who did PCT in 2017 and Adam who is doing sections of AZT to train for PCT! stopped at Bathtub Spring together.
Waited for Jamie (he did Miller Peak) at Carr Jct, met up here 1:30pm. Still so windy. Absolutely stunning juniper sheltering two or three other trees, amazing! Old rusty stuff and some saw marks on juniper. Someone must have used her branches for firewood. But she is still huge. Gorgeous tree, she is sheltering our tent tonight. Will thank her properly tonight and in morning. SO windy, very chilly. Shoes and socks soaked from snow, so cold. Temp was 40° at 3am, wind-chill lowered it but inside the tent was 45°!
Neil Young's Old Man’ stuck in my head today.
Happy birthday Tavi (my daughter) no signal yet, will call her tomorrow even though I called her before we left on March 1st.
Hike 11.8 miles. Camp is Calm, no wind, warm, barely need a puffy coat, perfectly flat, right next to a gentle trickling creek, we'll have morning sun, there was a perfect little firering we made a very small fire in just to enjoy the scent and aesthetically pleasing flickering flame as the sun sunk low over the horizon. I am relaxed. Coyotes tonight.
Hiked 12 miles. There's a point when you've been walking in silence...thinking...and suddenly you think you've thunk every thought there was to think! Then you ponder on that and go down another rabbit hole of wonderment.
Running low on cheez-its Jamie's looking mighty tasty today.
If you want to train for a couple Grand Canyon rim to rim's, training on the Arizona Trail would definitely be wise. Conversely if you want to train for the Arizona Trail a couple rim to rims would be wise.
March 5, 2019
Hiked 13.3 miles. Really don't want blister to deal with yet! Feet. On. Fire. Hotspot on right foot is getting way worse,why is it always the same spot?? Lots of breaks to dry out foot, taped it up too. Note to self- injinji toe socks. Must. Have.
March 7, 2019
Hiked 11-12 miles Gonna mail food ahead to Colossal Cave. Saw another hiker outside wearing a Moenkopi shirt! He had a sexy Aussie accent and told us about his 21 day private trip, his backpack was massive. Jamie thinks I want to see him again just to hear his voice, he's not wrong. Found an old toilet in the forest. Saw two cow calfs nursing,the black baby cow stopped to look at us and had a big white milk mustache! So adorable.
March 8, 2019
Hiked 10.8 miles Cloudy day so much wind almost zero sun hitting us all day. Water flowing great in garden Cyn creek. Lots to drink!! Fell asleep within 30mins of setting up tent.
March 9, 2019
Hiked 15.5 miles
Brrrrr. Birds making every sound imaginable when sun hit tree tops. Nice waking up to such innocent wildlife again.
Ran into “Two Step” he was SoBo section told us there's food at Kentucky Camp. “Warden” passed us while we breaked a mile from KC said his knee was bum so he's taking it easy. Nice guy from Alaska. Met Matt B. (Shin splints guy) at Kentucky Camp, shared salami with him hiked a while with TikTok(m), Cookie and Cashmere (f & f) a badass trio.
Will is gonna meet us at Twin Tanks and Emily Hansen is gonna ride by and say hi (she also brought me some injinji toe socks!)
Gorgeous views of rolling hills today decent wind but not too bad. Sunset was spectacular!
Tonight the northern horizon glows a soft salmon pinkish orange like a sunset 3 hours late.
I got up to pee and was struck by the darkness of the night sky above me. Every star imaginable seems out tonight. The gentle glow of Tucson to the north stopped just low enough to allow the stars to POP on their own. The entire 360° view from camp tonight is like some sort of long exposure photo from sunrise to darkness and star light. I've tried to describe it best I can with words but only having stood beside me and having seen it with your own eyes would make you understand. It was beautiful.
March 10, 2019
Hiked 14 miles. Camped at Twin Tanks azt mile 100. 10mi a day average feels good and comfortable. Had some longer days with easier terrain and shorter days with exhausting uphill and snow. Met “One Step” he's from Maine. Met “Ridge Route”(m) and “Shortcut”(f) from San Diego. Will found us about 2 miles from Twin Tanks! He brought fried chicken haha Will is awesome and super glad to have him along! His trailname is Ullward (Ullward and upward! I would yell every day we were together)
“One step” and another guy are camped nearby. Lots of cows.
Hike 6mi to Sahuarita hwy83 jct.
Arch hurts. Met “Cake” (m), “Warden”, and Shin Splints Matt showed up too. Emily Hansen is gonna come find us when she finishes her bike ride and drive us somewhere. Wonder how many ppl we can fit in her truck haha
Cake said he has two friends who are gonna work at the North Rim, John and Ellen. Can't wait to meet them. Trying to convince him to come up too haha Met “Rainbow Dash”(f) at Trailhead here she's hitching up to Tucson too.
Staying at fancy schmancy Omni Resort in Tucson with Will (he's amazing! I really enjoy hanging with him I hope he knows that), Emily Hansen joined us too. Zero day tomorrow thank goodness, my left arch is really hurting me. It's swollen and flat, like the arch collapsed or something. After 100 miles I'd collapse too...lol Emily is my hero. I cannot thank her enough for her kindness and support.
Shin Splints Matt crawled into the BearBox at Sahuarita JCT and I laughingly called him "Bear Box", that's his trailname now.
After we met "Rainbow Dash" someone mentioned thinking her name was Lightning Princess, shortly thereafter BearBox gave me my trailname of "Lightning Princess".
((Note BearBox had to pull off trail later on north, he took the summer off then returned to finish the AZT NoBo, he caught up with Jamie and I while we were working on the North Rim and attended our annual Halloween party up there. Cool reunion))
March 13, 2019
Hiked 6.4 miles to Cienega Creek, camp below beautiful cottonwood atAZT mile 113.1
Great water source. Right next to railroad tracks.
Annette Feagans dropped us of at trailhead 1pm!!
“Stump” and “Mandolin” were dropped at same time.
Made it to the snake tunnel shortly and met “Worm” aka Mike. We saw him in Kentucky camp earlier too. Got some great photos of Ullward (Will). He's so fun to hike with. Went a few miles further to creek setup camp early at 4:30, today is a great day for my foot so took it easy. New inserts doing good so far. “Golden” showed up in Cienega Creek just now, he's gonna camp by us cool! He said he's shooting for Oracle by Monday wow! Big days ahead. He's not a fan of snow on the mtns either. We'll see.
Hiked 13.3 miles to camp in Rincon creek at azt mile 126.3
Camping with Bluebird & Tiny Dancer, Mandolin & Stump. Good group!
Met Good Name/Ole Gramps(?) At Colossal Cave. I took a 45 min tour with Guide Savannah it was $18 and tax. I had margaritas...i want to then give the whole trail and report back on every margarita that is accessible from the trail. Camped at Rincon creek with Tiny Dancer, Bluebird, Mandolin and Stump.
Hiked 9 miles. Camp at Grass Shack Campground at azt mile 135.3
Left foot hurts so bad I was having dreams about walking and falling and rolling my ankle. Absolutely ridiculous. Contemplating getting off trail for a few days and bunking up in Oracle somehow...managed to.hike to.grass shack really well. Right around 9 miles foot starts swelling and really hurting. Limped into camp, very beautiful camp. Will was happy to stop too,that was a haul up and it got chilly fast. Tent pitched, I nooked up and dove into a book faster than necessary. Also ate too much and threw up in the toilet up trail...oops.
Hiked 8.9 miles, camp outside Saguaro NP boundary at amazing overlook at AZT mile 144.2
Met “Snow” (f) she mentioned something cookie shop in Summerhaven. Must get Choco chip cookies! She is traveling is with “Barrel”(m). They passed us and moseyed on down trail at a charge.
First 2 miles up to Manning from Grass Shack was okay last 2 to Manning destroyed my foot SO much pain.
Another two to summit then two down to NP boundary and just beyond to awesome campsite. It's tight fit snug for two tents but whatever we're all friends here.
Hiked 8 miles to Redington Pass.
Really struggling with left foot. Emptied water from pack to lighten load. Ate as much food as possible this morning to lighten load. Foot has CBD balm on it, wrapped, no blisters, downhill for 8 miles which you'd think would be a blessing but any weight at all causes agony to the left foot. Can I just chopped it off and clone my right foot?
As of March 17 I hiked 152 miles of the AZ Trail before I jury caused me to leave trail. I spent the rest of March, April and May babying the left foot. It was not until July 2019 that the foot could handle miles and weight again. Unfortunately by then i was working full time at Glen Canyon NRA for the National Park Service and it was as hot as Phoenix up there and I worked all sorts of crazy hours.
I'm editing his log in early November, that left foot of mine is much better and ready to get back at it. Let's hope it stays in shape while I train it with a pack this winter.
Jamie and I spent the next week with Will (Ullward) and I spiraled into a post-hike/failed attempt depression. I'm sure I wasn't very fun to be around though I tried to stay positive.
We traveled southern AZ from the Chiricahuas to Picacho to Tombstone then found ourselves in Kanab, Utah to retrieve our vehicle and belongings thanks to Will. He's a wonderful Friend and I'm happy to have spent the time we did together and hope we all get together again soon.