Daily miles 25
Total miles 257.5
Camp elevation 3500 feet
Tonight we are camps on a narrow ridge overlooking the burbs of Phoenix in the far distance. Our campsite is one that you’d see in a Northface advertisement. Beautiful sunset, perfect starry sky, light cooling breeze after a hot day…. Pretty idyllic, and certainly a scene that keeps us returning to the outdoors. West coast and Southwest hiking allows for more Cowboy Camping…. Where we just sleep under the stars not in a tent and have the breeze blowing on us, and a perfect view of the night time sky. So far on this hike, we have cowboy camped all but two nights… It has been excellent.
We got an early start to the day, before 6am. We wanted to get in 24 miles and knew that getting an early jump would help, especially as the afternoons are getting warmer. It worked and we had around 15 miles in by lunch time.
Early in the morning we picked up food and water at a cache that our friends Purple and Carnivore had put out for us. This stretch of the AZT is very dry, and there are bear boxes (metal boxes you commonly see at campgrounds) at accessible points for this reason. At the cache, we got some trail magic from India. She was camped out with her son, and they gave us donuts, tangerines, popcorn and some tea. Purple had also put in some salami sticks as a surprise in our food boxes. It was a great treat.
The terrain was fairly flat for most of the day. Some road walking, and some rolling trails. The exposure in the afternoon was pretty intense and we were enjoying any breeze that came our way.
Late in the afternoon we saw our first rattle snake of the trail. Beardoh saw him about 20 feet in front of us. He was about 4 feet long and 1.5 inches in diameter. He only rattled a little bit, but did poise himself offensively. We looked at him for a bit and then walked a wide arc around him.
Other than our water cache, the only other water that we got was at another cattle trough that had a bunch of bees in it. The water was fine, and should carry us through tomorrow morning. We took a long break at the water in a shady spot under a tree, and then walked till sunset, when we found this wonderful camp spot