Arizona Trail – Day 11 (28 miles)
I was in a deep sleep when my alarm went off. I lay in bed for a quarter of an hour trying to wake up. Eventually, I got going, although it took another 30 minutes before I was properly awake.
I don’t really know what to say. Today, like yesterday, like most days on the AzT, has been flat walking through a mixture of poor to very good ponderosa pine forest. No hills of note but a few cow ponds to drink from. It might be getting a bit repetitive.
Unlike yesterday’s single track, I was wondering along on jeep roads all morning. It was not a single road the AzT followed, but it twisted and turned its way south.
I spent most of the morning listening to an audiobook, and a couple of times I was zoned out to the world enough to miss the turn. The first time I had walked over a mile past the junction before I realised my mistake. Instead of going back, I wound my way along a series of jeep roads until I was back where I was meant to be, back on the AzT.
I also had a knot in my right hamstring. It was very tight and constrictive. I was worried it would develop into something worse like the ankle injury I have just got over. I stopped a couple of times an hour to massage it with the head of my trekking pole. I have to say a trekking pole is fantastic for this and by mid-afternoon the knot was gone.
For a late lunch, I stopped at a cow pond to fill up for the 23 miles until the next water source. I ended up staying here for over an hour.
I also have been putting a lot of thought into my winter AzT Thru Hike’s sleeping situation. I’m not convinced my choice of a 20 degree down and 50-degree synthetic overquilt for a combined 0ish degree rating (-18C) is right. Thoughts?
After lunch, the trail quickly changed to single track and the landscape improved with a few thick sections of forest and a couple of huge and spectacular meadows.
Time passed quickly and before I knew it the sun was setting. I still had energy as it was only 6 pm, but I did not feel like night hiking so I continued on until I found a nice flat spot to set up camp.