Arizona Trail – Day 28 (37 miles)
I was a bit nervous about today. Last time I injured myself and spent 4 days off trail recovering. However, I could not have had a more opposite experience. The last couple of hours last time, I was actually crying in pain. Today, I felt amazing – perhaps the best I have done all trail.
I walked hard all day at 3.5 miles per hour and I was in that runner’s zone, or meditative state, for most of the day. I love when this happens!
The terrain for the first 2/3 of the day was following this flat dirt road, with very little interesting landscape around. I, therefore, spent most of the day focusing on hiking form and hence the quicker pace. I realized that I have not done this for a long time. I should do it more as every time I do push myself I enjoy it. There could be something in that…
It was late afternoon as I neared Russel Tank / Wash when the terrain finally changed and I left the dirt road for a lovely single track through the forest. It also got up onto the Coconino Rim. I did not get a lot of views, but the ones I did get were stunning. It is a small rim with a valley of sweeping pines below and just a hint of the Grand Canyon at the end.
I walked to a wildlife water tank and set up camp, with the setting sun and so many birds chirping around me. It was fantastic.
Today was the first time that I started to think about post-trail. Strange that I still have 3,000 miles (5,000km) yet to hike, yet the end is in sight.