Arizona Trail – Day 3 (27 miles)
There were so many deer last night running by where I was sleeping. I would wake up every half an hour with deer making noises close by.
Last night was also significantly warmer than I’ve experienced recently. No frozen water bottles and the like. It was also the most comfortable sleep spot: flat with a thick matting of leaf litter.
Almost as soon as I started walking I entered a burn area. This burn continued all morning. I went from a gorgeous forest of Ponderosa Pines and deer to dead trees, fallen logs and not much else.
I have to say that as the day progressed I got a bit depressed. I think that it is the first time on this whole trip that I questioned why I was hiking.
I tried to work out why I was feeling this way. Usually, there are three things that can cause me to not enjoy myself – lack of sleep, calorie deficit or dehydration – but today was far worse.
At lunchtime, I sat down to counteract all of the usual suspects. I drank over a litre, ate ~500 calories and closed my eyes for a nap, although I could not get to sleep due to the swarming flies.
Hopefully, it was this simple, and I just was very tired. Maybe the deer interrupted my sleep more than I realised last night? The split webbing of my toe would not have helped the situation, as it leads to constant pain while I walked.
Whatever the issue, I had to push on at the moment due to water. I had a short climb to the East Rim of the Grand Canyon for my first view in many days. The canyon led away from the Colorado River, and spills out onto the plains beyond.
Not long after this, I reached my water stop, Crystal Spring. My original plan was to go another couple of miles and get out of the gully, but called it a day instead.
I walked out of the gully into the trees and found the only flat spot and went straight to bed.
Hopefully, I feel like myself tomorrow. Either way, I will push on to Flagstaff another 4 days away and then re-evaluate after taking a couple of days of the trail.
Hopefully, I’ll be in the Grand Canyon tomorrow!