Arizona Trail – Day 8 (15 miles)
A bit of a nero and rest day.
I got up and continued my way down from Mt Lemmon. After a couple of miles, I reached High Jinx Ranch, an extremely hiker friendly stop along the way.
I went into the ranch in search of water and instead found Square Pants looking out over the fence. He is a great guy who I hiked with for a while last year on the PCT.
Sina, the manager of the ranch invited me in for coffee, and here I met another couple of thru-hikers, Shaun and Crusty. I spent some time catching up with Square Pants and meeting new the new people. Shaun is a serial hiker and will be heading over to the PCT after finishing off this trail. Crusty is on her first long-distance hike and living it.
After an hour or so I left with the others as we continued the hike down into Oracle. It was easy and flat. Before I knew it we were standing by the highway trying to hitch in.
Sina offered to pick us up and take us to the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2. Originally it was a closed environment to replicate living on other worlds. 8 people were locked in the dome for 2 years to see how they and the environment coped.
It was all rather interesting but all I could think of was getting food into my belly. I was extremely hungry.
After the Biosphere, we headed to a Mexican restaurant for the best value burritos I’ve ever seen. They are huge and yet only $6. I got through the first and thought I would test my luck with a second. I ended up packing out a fair bit of the borrito for tomorrow’s breakfast.
We all went back to the chelet motel where Shaun and Crusty will take the night off. And after recharging my phone a little, Square Pants and I got back on trail. The owner of the motel was nice enough to give us a lift out even though we were not staying the night.
By this stage the sun was setting and we walked 3 miles to a wash to set up camp for the night. We got to see an amazing sunset on the way there but had to endure a person who let off a round of bullets so close to us we could here the whistle as it wizard past and thud into the hill next to us. It was far to close for my liking!