AZT 34 – First Glimpse of the Canyon
Daily Miles: 24.5
Total Miles: 684.5
Camp Elevation: 6850 ft
Last night was our coldest night yet on the trail. We could not get warm regardless of what position we layer in. Our 20 degree underquilts were not enough as we could feel the cold on our backs. It was a long night as we woke up a lot.
It was hard to get ourselves up knowing how cold it was, but nature’s call always wins out in these situations. Our water bottles were frozen solid, so we couldn’t have our normal breakfasts (granola with a carnation instant breakfast for SweetPea and a protein shake for Beardoh).
We all packed up in about twenty minutes and then we hit the trail walking as fast as we could to warm up. Our fingers and toes hurt so much from the cold. We snacked on other food until we were able to thaw out some of our water.
We came to our first water source (a livestock tank) about five miles in. It was at a trailhead which had garbage cans, so we could throw out the garbage we had accumulated over the past few days.
We decided to walk on the road which paralleled the trail, as we were still cold and we’re hopeful that the road would be sunnier than the trail. It was nice walking on the road and we warmed up as the miles went by.
We stopped for lunch at another trailhead and hung up our sleeping quilts to dry while we ate. The quilts get a bit damp during the night from our breath around the top, and in the foot box where we use a foam pad for extra insulation.
There was a very tall lookout tower at this trailhead, and it is supposedly staffed in the summer. From the tower we could get our first glimpses of the Grand Canyon. We were surprised to see it so close to us, since all we can see around us is trees.
Our final two water sources for the day were dry, but luckily we had anticipated that and had gotten extra water earlier in the day.
We continue to see wildlife in the woods. Today we saw another coyote and several groups of elk. We can hear the coyotes in the distance as we are getting ready to sleep.