Daily Miles: 17.5
Total Miles: 17.5
Yeah!! We’re finally on the GET! Although it seems like we’ve been looking forward to this trip for awhile, it also feels like the last five months, and especially the past two weeks, have flown by.
We made it to the Phoenix area the day before yesterday and stayed with our friends, Purple and Carnivore. Not only are they accomplished hikers, but they are amazing trail angels for the AZT and GET. Once again we were the beneficiaries of their kindness and generosity.
After spending over a day catching up with them and getting our final errands done, we were ready to start. Purple drove us to the First Water Trailhead which is the western terminus of the GET. We took some starting photos and headed out just before 7am.
The temperature was perfect in the morning and we were reminded of the beauty of Arizona. The scenery today was really great and we were happy to be among the saguaros again. We don’t really know why, but the saguaros always make us happy. Usually they look to regal and stoic in the landscape and then sometimes you encounter one that has arms growing in some funky directions.
Since the GET is a route of local trails and dirt roads, we were keeping track of the web of trails in the wilderness. We started the day on Trail 104 which was really nice. This area just lends itself to rocky trails, but it was still in great shape. The trail junctions were all really well signed, so there was no confusion as to where we were. The afternoon had us on Trail 107, which was mostly quite good, but a few steep ups and downs.
We were surprised this morning to come across two other backpackers. We had heard that the area doesn’t get a lot of traffic as you get further into the wilderness. They seemed surprised to see us as well. They were in from Boston and doing several nights in the Superstitions. We were the first people they had seen in three days.
At our lunch stop, we came to the last water for the next 27 miles. Since it is super hot today, we figured it was best to fill up completely with water, which meant carrying 6 Liters each. We also drank about 1.5 Liters during our lunch stop.
Once we continued on, it seemed that our trifecta of (1) a belly filled with too much water (2) a pack that had suddenly become very heavy, and (3) an unrelenting sun was a recipe for very slow walking for SweetPea. She really started to drag and wasn’t feeling very good, so Beardoh carried one of her 2 Liter bladders. That seemed to help, but it turned out that part of her problem was dehydration, as the afternoon wore on.
Late in the afternoon we got to the Hoolie Bacon Trail, which is a pretty fun name. This trail was in pretty decent shape and it was easy to follow it, especially with the help of cairns along the way.
We came to a pass (noted on the map as “viewful pass”) in time for dinner. We enjoyed the view and took a bit of a break before heading down some steep trail on the other side of the pass.
We got to a nice campsite just before 6:30pm and were pretty happy to be done for the day. We feel fairly tired this evening but are happy with the progress we were able to make today. The trails so far have been a lot better than we expected.
For our first day, we ended up with one scraped knee (Beardoh fell and also twisted an ankle when we were crossing one of the many washes), one blister (Beardoh got one on his pinky toe), and one leg cramp (Beardoh again – and this is classic first day calf cramps for him). It would seem that SweetPea is due for some hurting soon.