Arizona Trail – Day 11 (37 miles)
Today was an exciting action packed day. Maybe a little too exciting?
I got up and going before Square Pants and planned to meet him in 11 miles for Alternative 3 of my hike. I planned to take the old AzT and current Grand Enchantment Trail (GET) into White Canyon Wilderness for a fairly large alternative.
When I met SP at our arranged location he had one hell of a story. He was attacked by a wild bobcat!!! SP had to battle with it and eventually won when he hit it on the head with his hiking pole. Crazy!
He did have a bit of damage from the incident with one decent claw mark on his upper thigh and many little punctures. He was physically fine and in good spirits, but as the day progressed we got wondering if attacked due to rabies.
At that stage, we had not thought of everything and still decided to take the alternate. It was one of the best canyons that I have ever been in! So beautiful with amazing quality vertical rock walls and awesome rocky riparian washes.
Here we met Beardo and Sweet-pea on their GET expedition. We talked to them for a while before heading for the climb around Battle Axe, a stunning rocky butte.
It was slow going and extremely beautiful. We scrambled along rocks, pushed through vegetation and climbed a few dry falls. I was having a ball! Unfortunately, we were going so slow through this section and we were starting to think of the implications of the bobcat attack.
By this stage it was 4pm and we still had a couple of hours to go to get out of the canyon and back on trail. I decided to leave the canyon for a faster route on the ridge. Here SP got reception and googled rabies in the area – it was high!
It was here that we decided to get out tonight and visit a hospital first thing in the morning rather than later in the day. We called a friend, @cakehikes who lives in Phoenix, and inquired about the possibility of a ride into town. He was extremely nice and agreed to pick us up first thing in the morning from Pickets Post.
The sunset was gorgeous and although tired, made it to the trailhead just after 10 pm. I lay down and went to sleep rather quickly.
What a day!