Arizona Trail – Day 18 (31 miles)
After feeling rather miserable yesterday, I somehow managed to sleep from 6.30 last night to just after 7am this morning. I was surprised that I had managed to sleep well past dawn, and through all the birds singing their morning songs. I obviously needed it! I still was maybe a little fatigued but back to a normal level. I still don’t have a clue what caused it though… Today turned out to be a good day, with the miles coming easy.
I packed up camp from Bear Spring and hit the trail to finish the last on the Matazals. I enjoyed the sweeping views as I wound my way around the ridges.
I tried to soak it all in as this would be my last mountain range for a while. Soon I’ll be up on the Colorado Plateau, with it’s endless Ponderosa forest.
Each ridge I walked on was progressively getting just slightly lower. That was until I hit the end of the range. Here the trail plunged down 3,000ft (900m) to the East Verde River. Even though it is considered a river, the extremely dry winter has left it bearly flowing. Large pools were all that remains with just a trickle flowing through the rocks to the next pool.
There was still a hour and a bit of light to go so I happily pressed on to the next spring. This morning I set the East Verde River as my goal as I thought that I may continue to not feel well. I was also keen to hike a little bit more as I was slightly short on food, and an extra few miles now will help as I head into town tomorrow.
It was a steep, arduous climb out of the river valley. It was not that tall, but the grade, loose rock and cow tracks as clear as the path all made it slightly harder than expected.
I got to the spring and set up camp in a rather sloping ground. As I lay there drifting off to sleep, I realised that I have not seen another person all day. How oftern does this happen to people in today’s connected society, and how many people have never experienced this in their life?