Daily Miles: 20
Total Miles: 274
After two full zero days in Safford, we felt rejuvenated. Our feet in particular felt a lot better after two days of very little walking…just what we needed.
One of the benefits of doing a shorter trail (basically anything less than 2,000 miles), is that you don’t feel the constant pressure to stay on a schedule or to make a certain amount of miles. A small way that worked for us this morning was not setting an alarm. We just got up when we woke up, had breakfast at the hotel and then started packing up our things. On longer trails, we’d try to pack the night before, leave early and eat breakfast on the trail. This more relaxed pace is nice.
We left our motel a little before 8am and started our walk out of town. The walking today was pretty easy. We went from paved roads to dirt roads to farming “roads” to walking in a wash to four wheel drive roads. We weren’t on any kind of regular trail all day.
We saw our second rattlesnake of the trip this morning. We were walking on the farming roads between plots of land getting ready to be planted. The snake was in the road and we just saw him coil up. He didn’t rattle at all, and it almost looked like he was missing part of his rattle. But he definitely wasn’t happy to see us. We gave him a wide berth and went on our way.
The landscape today was very brushy. Aside from when we crossed over the Gila River (the second time on this trail), there really weren’t any trees around. When we wanted to stop for lunch, we decided to stop at a solar-powered trough (even though we knew it was dry), just so we could sit in the shade of the solar panels…it was the only shade around.
We saw around six different quads out for a drive on the 4WD roads, but other than that it was pretty quiet. There is a mining operation not to far from where we were walking today, and we could hear some noise at times, but we couldn’t see anything.
When planning this hike, we decided not to send ourselves maildrops to Safford or Morenci (our next town), because they have big grocery stores. So, on this stretch, we get to have some different food. We were excited to have cheese and salami roll ups for lunch and Indian food packets for dinner. It felt quite indulgent, but we will probably be happy for our next maildrop.
We stopped for the day pretty early (5:15pm), because we came to a campsite that had been marked on our map. The terrain this afternoon has been very rocky and not welcoming for campers. The place we are camped at had just small stones to clear out, so it wasn’t so bad. We had wanted to go a bit further, but weren’t really sure how easy it would be to find another campsite. Plus, SweetPea had managed to get blisters on both of her heels today, so it was best to call it a day.
There are a lot of little flies around our campsite, so we are hoping for a gentle breeze to keep them off of us during the night.