Arizona Trail – Day 9 (26 miles)
Today was the day of the Arizona Bike Race. This annual race started on April 6th and is either 300 miles from the Mexican Border to Pickets Post or 750 miles to Utah. Overnight I was woken by 3 or 4 people riding through the night, yet I fell back to sleep quickly and had a restful night overall.
The bikes continued to pass Square Pants and I all day, although it is rather hilarious that if it was a steep hill I would be overtaking them. Almost all of them were nice and courteous, even with very little sleep for 2 days now.
The day was fairly simple and easy. I left the last of the sky islands behind yesterday and now have over 100 miles of lowland desert to contend with. It just so happened that we are in the middle of a heatwave and the temperature for the next week will be around 100F (38C). With no shade to block the sun, I became reliant on my umbrella to keep me cool and try and reduce the amount of water that I need throughout the day.
It is surprising the difference this section is to last fall when I was here last. Now it is spring and the flowers are out. They are not the glamorous and abundant variety of, say, the east coast, but the added colour is interesting and great to see.
We had a long siesta in the middle of the day to escape the heat. I am putting on sunscreen, using my umbrella yet still getting burnt on the back of my arms. It is frustrating and I may have to get a long sleeve shirt to let it recover. Our spot to have a break was the appropriately named Beehive Trough, with the water a lovely shade of yellow algae that looked like lemon lime Gatorade
Square Pants and I spent the morning hiking together and then after our siesta we split off and I walked by myself to Freemans Road Trailhead. At the trailhead we met Kate, a New Zealand Thru Hiker and a couple of riders taking a break. We ended up staying and setting up camp for the night.