Arizona Trail – Day 22 (17 miles)
I woke up on the bank of the Gila Riner and started the simple trek to the highway. Like yesterday, the amount of animals active here is so striking compared to the last few hundred miles of desert. Javalina were running away from me all morning.
The trail followed the edge of the dense vegetation surrounding the river and the valley floor, so often it would climb up a couple of hundred feet back into the dry desert to avoid the heavy brush.
Just before the road, I walked past a house. A couple of dogs came charging out to cut me off. It was barking and lunging at me. I was forced to walk backwards and fend it off with my hiking poles. It was not a pleasant experience. Who lets aggressive animal access to a public area!
A few minutes later I hit the road and turned left and started up the highway to Kerney. I walked past a water tap installed for us AzT hikers and tipped out my water to refill with potable. The tap was turned off – I should have checked that before I got rid of my water.
An older guy saw I was after water and invited me in to refill my water bottle.
I then continued a couple of miles out to the major highway, started walking along hoping for a lift.I ended up getting a lift in the back of a truck.
In town and hungry. I heard good things about the pizza shop in town, so I headed there. The owners were incredibly nice. They were avid hikers themselves and tried to help us out as much as possible.
I ordered a family 16in pizza and sat down for a feast. I have not been able to finish this size in I’ve sitting yet but thought that I would give it another go.
I spent most of the afternoon sorting through miscellaneous tasks and working out and purchasing the last of my AT winter gear. It seems I’ll start with an 11 pound (5 kg) base weight which I’m rather happy with.
Just before sunset the guy that gave me water showed up. We got talking and he offered me a ride back out to the trail. I quickly resupplied with food for the next leg and we headed off.
He offered his spare room to me for the night. Fantastic! I was surprised to actually be in a bed, but the shower was excellent.