Arizona Trail – Day 23 (16 miles)
I woke up at Joe’s house around 8 am. He is an elderly man that invited me to stay last night. I get up a few minutes later and he has honey crunch cereal waiting for me.
I eat and talk to Joe all morning. He has never left Arizona except for is service in Vietnam, but that has not stopped him living a rather interesting life.
Just before lunch I pull myself away, rehydrate and hit the trail. I walked across the bridge over the Gila and start up the trail. There are two guys sitting there in the shade.
Other Thru Hikers? It couldn’t be, my eyes are playing tricks on me. But @clean_sweepand @mr.underhill were hiking the trail.
Even though I had only walked for 5 minutes I sat down and talked with them. They hiked the PCT last year and now have moved onto this glorious trail.
They finished their break shortly after and we headed off. It was really nice to talk to other Thru Hikers. We walked, talked and got to know each other as the day drifted by.
This is the deep desert section of the trip. It was rather flat, barren and dry. Exactly like you picture a desert. It even has the big saguaro cactus.
Unfortunately, there were sections covered in trash. We walked past one pile with 10 very old gallon water jugs piled on the ground. We packed them out, which made for some juggling acts, as we lashed the jugs to the outside of our pack.
The day rolled into the night with a pretty epic sunset. The other two wanted to hike another 2 miles so they would have their 30 for the day. I saw no harm in it so I continued on with them.
For some reason, I did not get my headlight out and walked along the road using their lights, but 10 minutes in I rolled my ankle on a rock I did not see. It was only light, but a bit of a mistake.
The trail was light through this section and so many cow paths lead off of it that we constantly lost the trail. It got to the point that we would find the trail and then 20 paces later we were off down another cow path.
I thought it was pointless and called it a night. The others did too. We ended up talking in the dark for an hour about this that and the other.
A fun day meeting new people!