Arizona Trail – Day 7 (26 miles)
I woke up in the middle of the night to Craig snoring. I hoped he would stop for about half an hour but gave up and moved about 50 yards away to sleep peacefully.
At sunrise, I woke for the second time, went and filled my water bottles for the 31 miles (50km) to the next water. I drank a litre of the cow pond water before heading off down the trail.
It was a fairly unremarkable day. I was on a jeep road and would stay on it the whole time. No hills at all either. The first half I was in the Ponderosa forests but eventually left them behind for some sweeping views in every direction. A high, dry desert landscape.
After a few hours, I was pretty bored and started listening to an audiobook.
I did meet a few day hikers that have just about pieced together the whole trail one day at a time. They also are heavily involved with the maintenance of the trail. Rather impressive and dedicated to the AzT.
As the day went on my feet became sorer and sorer. To the point by late afternoon, I could barely walk on them. It was the tendon that runs down the top of the foot and lifts it up. It was on both feet and the only thing I can think of is that the flat and only flat terrain of the last couple of days has aggravated them.
I stopped to let them rest for a bit. While I was resting, the day hikers drove past and offered me some water. I gratefully accepted and let them go on their merry way.
I walked another mile before giving up in pain. For some reason I checked my phone for reception, to find that I did have some. I had a message from a fellow PCT hiker, Adam, offering help while in Flagstaff. He agreed to pick me up the following morning from a trailhead 5 miles away due to my feet.
I decided to head straight to bed and hope my feet felt better in the morning. There were no real camping opportunities around. I eventually picked the best of a bad bunch, which was flat with huge cracks from the sun baking out the soil. Not the most comfortable but it would have to do. I used my food bag as a pillow to get more of my body onto the inflatable hip length pad and fell straight to sleep.