Daily Miles: 19
Total Miles: 268
It got quite chilly overnight and we started hiking with our down jackets, wind pants and gloves. About 10 minutes into walking, we entered a wash where the temperature was probably at least ten degrees colder still. We were glad that we had stopped when we did last night for camping.
We spent over an hour walking through the low, wide wash this morning. We had to backtrack at one point, because there was a junction we hadn’t expected, that we had needed to take. Luckily when these mistakes are made, we realize it before too much time has passed, so it isn’t such a big deal.
A lot of the walking today was on actual trail. The single track trail in the morning started out very vague. You could have easily not known that there was a trail at all if it were not for the carsonite posts found at sporadic points. There are probably so few people on the trail, that there is no worn path that is created. This area had also suffered from fire damage in the past, so that was certainly a factor in the poor condition of the trail.
We got to some bonus water in a drainage, so we decided to take a break and drink down some more water. We had expected to walk about ten miles before coming to a water source this morning, so it was nice to come upon water earlier in the day.
After the bonus water, the trails really improved. This was because the trails were now a part of the White Mountain Trail System, and as such are maintained by a trail organization out of Show Low. The trails were nice and had good switchbacks built for the climbs and descents. Certainly they must have done quite a lot of work since the large fires of the past.
We continue to be lucky with ample water on the trail this spring. There is an alternate in this section to take if there is no water on trail. Basically it is a four mile round trip into a nearby town. We are grateful not to be in the situation to need the water from town.
Our afternoon water source was a nice flowing creek. We even saw a bear print in the mud on the side of the creek! The water was clear, and we decided to have Beardoh carry the extra gallon jug of water, since it would be over ten miles to our next water source.
The weather today was quite nice. The sun was warming us up by 7am, and it could be quite intense. But we had a really good breeze a lot of the day to cool us off.
Near the end of the day, we passed by a fire tower. It was locked up and we couldn’t climb to the top, but it had great views from the ridge. You could really get a good sense for the massive size of the fire that damaged this area. It is coming back to life, but slowly.
Because of the fire damage, we had to look a bit harder for a camping spot tonight. Most of the area has only shrubs or small trees, so we ended up stopping when we came to a spot with good trees for hanging and a flat spot for Mace’s tent. We were worried that if we went even further, we would end up without any trees for hanging.