Arizona Trail – Day 10 (29 miles)
Perhaps the easiest hiking day terrain wise to date. It was so close to the whole day being downhill, with only a tiny 600ft climb near the end of the day.
Square Pants and I strolled along the lowland desert that we started yesterday. It was a mixture of single track and dirt road. At one point it was hard to follow the trail because the cow paths were identical to the trail. We ended up wandering down a cow path a couple of times and had to make our way back to the trail.
Before we knew it the day was heating up to blistering proportions. Luckily the walking was so easy that we hiked 17 miles by 11.30 am. Here we filled up our water from a cow trough and then headed to a wash hoping to find shade. After 10 minutes of walking down it and searching, and just before we were about to give up, we found a beautiful shade tree.
We ended up staying here for over 2 hours. Both of us took a nap and played sudoku as we waited for the 100F (38C) temps to start to relent.
It was hot and I was not looking forward to being back on trail. But as the afternoon came the wind picked up and at least offered a bit cooler conditions. I took off ahead of Square Pants and strolled along towards the Gila (pronounced Hila). I was also looking forward to some food when I got there. From the top of the mountain I called the local pizza shop to arrange delivery of (an expensive) hot pizza to meet us at the river.
We arrived at the river a little earlier than I had ordered the pizza for, and to pass the time and cool off Square Pants jumped into the brown water. But then it was pizza time! As we were eating 6 other people showed up for pizza. They were all part of the AzT bike race and ever so hungry. One of the guys bought 2 family pizzas, one to eat now and another to pack out.
I was speaking to them until well after dark. They seemed to be as interested in our hike as I was in their bike race. But I got tired and headed down to the river to find a nice, quited dry wash to camp in.