Daily miles 24
Total miles 464
Camp elevation 5400
Early start today as we were hiking 24 miles to get to Pine, AZ. Out and rolling by 5:30 with our headlamps. Mary Ann, the hostess at LF Ranch, must have heard us as she brought out hot tea for us… Very kind of her to wake up so early. We ate the leftover rice pudding from last night with our tea. She walked us to the edge of her property where the trail goes over the Verde River and we rock hopped across it, each getting one foot wet in the process… Notable only in that it rarely happens out here in the West, whereas on the AT it was pretty much a daily occurrence.
We gained a lot of elevation over the course of the day… Right around 3000 feet, but it was in very short bursts (hard 10 minute pushes)… Three of them, and then the rest of the climbing was a very gradual uphill. In general a pretty nice way to climb.
The actual walking and terrain was the best in nearly a week. We were on a plateau most of the day walking.
There was plenty of big rocks on the trail to bumble with, but it wasn’t constant, and most of the day was on hard pack dirt. We were able to hike the 24 miles by 5pm and still take our normal breaks to eat and snack during the day.
We took our first lunch break near a water source that was a mucky pond in a cow pasture. We weren’t too excited about it, but we all got water. As we were eating, a group of cows came up and started drinking from the pond. We definitely added some water flavoring to those bottles of water!
Not a ton of views during the day… The views were mostly to our backs. And we were pretty happy to leave the Mazatzal Mtns as we look forward to getting up on the Mogollon Rim after our day off in Pine. While the Mazatzals were beautiful, the hiking has just been so challenging, so we are looking forward to the nice trails we keep hearing about once we get onto the Mogollon Rim.
We are at That Brewery and Pub in Pine. They have a hiker cabin at a super reasonable price and the food is excellent. Looking forward to the day off tomorrow.
Beardoh and Qball got new shoes today in the mail and SweetPea is hoping hers arrive tomorrow.