Daily Miles: 21
Total Miles: 198
We were happy to wake up to blue skies and a beautiful morning today. Our tarps were still a bit damp from the rain, but we were happy for a dry day in front of us.
It felt like so much of the day today was climbing. The climbing at the beginning of the day felt more like hiking on the AT…no switchbacks – just straight up. Luckily the climbs mellowed out after that and started to be more gradual. We had spent the past few days partway up the Mogollon Rim, walking more in the transitional area, and today we were slowly making our way up to the rim.
The scenery on the trail today was really nice. At one point, we commented on the view reminding us of east coast hiking, where you would see lines of mountains in the distance in various shades of blue/grey.
It seems as though we have been spoiled the last few days with an abundant amount of water on the Highline Trail. Every unreliable water source has been flowing and there has even been some bonus creeks. But, today the water seemed to be less abundant. Several water sources we had planned on were dry. In the morning, that meant that we weren’t drinking as much water as we wanted, and in the afternoon, it meant Beardoh was carrying a full gallon of water in his hand. We’ll have to conserve our water tomorrow morning as well, since we still have a ways to go before our next water source.
We had hoped to run into the creators of this trail, Brett and Melissa, this afternoon at a trailhead at the end of the Highline Trail, but when we got to the trailhead parking lot, it was empty. Hopefully we’ll be able to see them when we get to Forest Lakes Estates tomorrow.
The day ended with us making a final push up towards the rim. The climbing was pretty steady and we were getting tired, so we ended up stopping to camp about 200 vertical feet below the rim. We managed to find a tiny, fairly flat spot for Mace’s tent and then we were able to easily find trees for hanging.
We have about 11 miles into Forest Lakes Estates tomorrow which we need to get done by 1:00pm, when the post office closes. We should be able to make it in before they close…we’ll just have to keep tabs on our progress tomorrow. Once we get our package and eat some town food, we’re hoping to be able to chill out for the rest of the afternoon.