Daily miles 13.5
Total miles 403.5
Camp elevation 5200 feet
Rough day today.
Things got rolling usual time, around 6:30am. Beardoh didn’t sleep great. His sinuses have been bothering him a bit the last couple days, and his nose is very sore. Mosquitoes were also out last night and the temp were too warm to hide in the sleeping bag for very long. The morning did give us nice walking through the rolling hills. They were grassy, like the latter half of the previous day.
Our first water source had a ton of little black worm like guys swimming in it. Small worms, about an eighth of an inch long. Similar to the ones that are often seen in streams clinging to rocks. However, these were filling the pools. We skipped that water. Too bad for the worms as it otherwise looked great.
Shortly after that water, we were largely walking up a wash for a couple thousand feet of elevation gain. Some parts of that were fine, but other parts were routed around non-traversable parts of the wash and it was really overgrown. That stuff that ripped up our legs pretty bad.
Once we got to our first height of elevation, around 6 or 7 miles in, the walking was excellent we were on what appeared to be an old forest service road that just followed a high contour. We had great walking and excellent views. We also hit our halfway point of the trail along this area.
We descended to a lunch spot near a water source and relaxed for nearly an hour. Shawn, the head of the Arizona Trail association came by as he was out with some other trail stewards working on the trail. It was nice to talk to these guys. Also, very nice to know that both the director of the trail association, as well as the director of the trail itself have thru hiked the AZT. Speaking with Shawn, it was clear that he was aware of the really rough sections of the trail. That lifted our spirits, knowing that the administration of the trail still see the trail as a work in progress. In fact, the section where we are headed into tomorrow has some re-routes planned for it…… Looks like we are hiking it too early.
Shortly after leaving lunch, SweetPea had some tummy cramps and we stopped for a couple hours. She rested, Qball and Beardoh read. She ended up throwing up, but shortly after felt better and we continued on.
About fifteen minutes later we had a navigational issue where the rock cairns didn’t agree with the map. We could identify that we were at a trail junction as there was a post in the dirt where we we’re confident that a trail junction was located. However, the cairns showed a path that didn’t sync with the map. This area could be an alternative route for the future. We ended up continuing up the wash as it showed on the map. The trail was super rough, overgrown, and steep in some sections. This could be what a possible reroute would avoid, but we couldn’t know if the reroute was completed from the ground. At any rate it made for slow moving and plenty of discussion. Ultimately, we arrived at a location that would be where the reroute would rejoin the trail (we believe).
It was a long day, and we are short about 6 to 8 miles from what we wanted for mileage… But that is OK, as we are feeling good and anticipate a good night’s sleep. SweetPea put on a This American Life podcast and we enjoyed that as we finished our dinner and darkness set in. We will try to make up the mileage tomorrow. We’ve set our alarms with an aim to be hiking by 5:30am.