Arizona Trail – Day 30 (30 miles)
I woke up at Meghan’s house and after a wake me up coffee we jumped into the car for the trailhead.
It was only dawn but when I started walking I already had a couple of beads of sweat developing on my brow. The day would turn out to be hot! 90F (32C) in fact, and it is almost winter. I was expecting the possibility of snow on the high peaks – how wrong I was.
I wanted to catch up with Myoggy today and he planned to camp 30 miles ahead. I let loose and walked along with little delay.
The day was beautiful, with sweeping golden grass covering the rolling hills as I wandered towards the Santa Rita Mountains. The highlight of which was walking towards Mt Wrightson with the sun behind it. Each rolling hill created a fantastic contrast as they changed from the grasslands illuminated perfectly by the sun to Wrightson being a shimmering haze of a backdrop.
After 10 miles walking I came to a cow pond that I planned to get more water from. The banks were muddy and it seemed that I would have to be in the water to fill up. I still have 1.5L at the time and the next reliable water was in 14 miles. I could do this (even with the heat)! I left the cow pond to continue up I used an umbrella that Meghan lent me for some shade. It was tiny and I huddled underneath, but it blocked out the harsh sun rather well and kept me from sweating away precious water.
When I arrived at the water tank I was dehydrated but not uncomfortably so. I was however hungry. It seems that my hiker hunger is coming back with vengeance. As my water purified I eat, and eat, and eat. Luckily I would be walking though Patagonia tomorrow and had more food than necessary for this short leg.
The last leg of the day was up to the highest point and then down to where I would be meeting Myoggy. The way down had the combination of unleashing a magical sunset – not the bright overwhelming kind, but the subtle pinks, oranges and purples – and having a humungous view across the valley. The sky islands have continuously produced these views and sunsets over and over again. One of the real highlights of the trail.
I arrived at the camp spot were Myoggy was. He has a fire going and had meet up with a few of his friends from the valley. They also had the most glorious of things… PIZZA!
When I was done eating, I was presented with another supprise in the form of headlights coming down the trail. It turned out to be three more Thru Hikers; Per Bear from Norway along with Kirby and Righteous. All three completed the PCT this year and I had a great time sharing stories and seeing how their southbound experience differed from my own.
Myoggy’s friends left as they had work the next day and the remaining hikers went to sleep.