Arizona Trail – Day 31 (23 miles)
Thanksgiving! Today is my first Thanksgiving as we do not celebrate it in Australia. I have to say it was a good one. I did not realize when I resupplied at Tucson that there was a public holiday and the shops on Patagonia would not be open. It seems that I will have to wait a day in town to resupply.
Today was not about the scenery, but revolved around the people I was with and the people I meet. The first was walking into Patagonia with some fantastic people and the next was the hospitality that the town of Patagonia showed us.
The only highlight of the day was an extremely steep ½ mile of trail. It was the ultimate combination of excessively steep, loose rocks over a fair distance. It made us go really slow the whole way down and I stopped a few times to check and then recheck that I was indeed going in the right direction – I could not believe that this was the trail and I also did not want to walk back up if I was going down the wrong way!
The rest of the day was spent talking to the three new Thru Hikers that Myoggy and I met yesterday. It was so fun to have a few people to talk to. This hike of mine has been of contrast in this respect with the first 1,200 miles completely solo. I only met two long distance hiker this entire time with one going in the opposite direction. Now I have met 6 hikers this week! The trail feels so full in comparison and I find it incredibly weird that 6 people close by is a lot to me now.
They all had their own adventures on the PCT with Righteous starting ridiculously early and having to overcome as much snow in Washington as we did in the Sierras.
After a long road walk into town, we were surprised to find the local Inn open. They were extremely friendly and we had a few pints as we cooled down. We were discussing what to do for dinner when the owner of the place, in extreme kindness, offered us food even though they were not serving today. They even offered it to us for free!
We helped ourselves to so much of the usual assortment of a roast dinner and some of the most amazing pie that I’ve ever had. What a treat, what amazing people to invite us to dinner!
At the pub we met Freebird, a serial long distance hiker who has been in the game for 25 years and has hiked more trails than I can count. I cannot even start to elaborate on some of his stories. For example he has spent the last 3 years hiking nonstop, with long trails on the mainland in summer and exploring the beaches of Hawaii in winter.
He showed us a great stealth camp spot in town that we used for the night.