October 24th, 2019
HWY 87 mm 402 to mm 425.3
Distance in miles: 23.3
I really don’t want to get back on the trail for some reason. I think it’s because I enjoyed resting and relaxing at Jon and Laurel’s place so much a year ago. At that point, I was done with the PCT. Now I’m still facing 400 miles of not so easy trail through the desert. I’m kind of ready to be done with hiking for this season. It’s been a long year.
At least this day brings cool winds and a forecasted high of only 80 degrees. The next few days are supposed to be even cooler, so that’s good. Jon drives us back to the trailhead and we’re on our way. I snap out of my trail-reluctance funk pretty quick and enjoy climbing the valley and onto the ridges.
There are great views of the Phoenix valley and suburbs to the west, the Four Peaks to the north (mountains on the AZ license plate) and of Lake Roosevelt to the east. I can even see all the way back to the Mogollon Rim. I reminisce about the road trip I did with Jon around the lake last year. We went to see the nearby cave dwellings.
We meet a NOBO at our last water source for the day. He says he’s going northbound to avoid the bubble of hikers going south. This strikes me as pretty funny and even a little ridiculous. Even though we’re in or close to the bubble, we’re lucky if we see anyone all day. There are probably less than 50 people even thru-hiking the whole AZT right now. Ironically, by going NOBO, he’s actually running into a lot more people. But clearly he likes his solitude, so we gladly go our separate ways.
We walk for another hour to a site that has some flattish spots. We passed on a much better site near the spring but it was too early to stop. You take what you can get when you’re trying to make use of the daylight. My site is slanted but it works out ok. There are nice views down to the reservoir, at least.