Arizona Trail – Day 26 (23 miles)
We woke up in the motel at 6, but dilly-dallied and did not leave until 8. The owner gave us a lift back to the trail and we set off into Oracle State Park.
It was a rolly desert with a few cool washes, but the real highlight of Mt Lemon and the Catalina Range sawed out of the desert floor right in front of us. The mission of the day was to climb the 5,000ft (1,700m) to the top.
The start of the climb began.
The day was a little warm and some of the steep pitches got some sweat dripping down my face. I was a fairly normal climb for the first half. The second half had some rather steep climbing that luckily did not last for long.
I always find it fascinating on these climbs. We started just above the true desert and moved up through the different ecosystems; grassland followed by mixed shrubs, pines and as we got to the top conifers started to appear. We even saw a quail only found in this one mountain range.
There were also some fantastic views of the big, dry desert basins all around us.
We got to the top and after a mile walking along the main road, we arrived in the tourist town of Summerhaven. The first shop was the only restaurant and we went in for a meal. However, once we saw the prices we opted to share a bowl of cheese fries.
It was then time to pick up my resupply from the general store. @gypzygyrl sent it to me as a care package. I didn’t know what was in it but was extremely surprised by the amount of dried fruit. Healthiest resupply ever? Thank you Kimmi!
Because we were above 8,000ft (2.5km) we thought it worth be a pretty cold night. The guy who owned the general store suggested that we stay in the post office.
We bought a 6-pack and watched Planet Until tired and then we got ready for bed. The only problem with the post office was that the light would not turn off. We managed to cover the light only slightly but were too lazy to move and walk a couple of miles out of town to find another camp spot.