Daily miles 22
Total miles 610
Camp elevation 9000 feet
Well, we all really enjoyed our nearly two days off in Flagstaff. We were very enamored with the historic downtown area with its funky, artsy vibe and it’s abundance of great ethnic restaurants. The Grand Canyon Hostel was in a great location so it was a quick walk to downtown. We met another AZT hiker at the hostel (his name escapes us at the moment – Alex? ). It was fun to chat trail talk with him and watch the NCAA championship.
This morning we headed out around 8:00, so we could have breakfast at the hostel. SweetPea’s shoulder has been very sore and swollen for a few days…. Not sure why. But we decided to head out today and Beardoh offered to carry her food, so she didn’t have all that weight on her shoulder. So, SweetPea took Beardoh’s quilt and under quilt and Beardoh took SweetPea’s food. Looks like he got the bad end of the deal. Especially when this section is a 4 1/2 day carry, that meant he was carrying the equivalent of nine days of food for one person.
We headed out on the city streets and reconnected with the Flagstaff Urban Trail System which the AZT uses. It seems that this trail system is pretty popular with the locals, as we saw a lot of runners and mountain bikers on the trail.
Around mid-morning, we ended up with a dog following us on the trail. We didn’t see its owner anywhere, and the dog seemed pretty content to stay with us. We saw the dog had a collar with tags, but he would come close enough to us so we could read his info. That is, until Beardoh offered him some beef jerry… Then he had no problem letting us touch him. So, we called his owner and met up with him at the next road crossing. Turns out the dog’s name is Bear, and he certainly looked like one.
The rest of the day continued with cloudy skies and as near constant chilly wind. We kept our windshirts on all day and even wore our down jackets part of the day.
The trail hit the 600 mile mark shortly after the urban trail reconnected with the equestrian bypass. We made a 600 out of pine comes on the side of the trail and took a photo.
The afternoon consisted of a gradual climb up to nearly 9,000 feet. There are patches of snow up here and the wind is quite strong. We all are our dinners in our sleeping bags, since we are so cold.
It will likely be a very cold night here.