Twig Adventures

AZT Day 32: Canelo Hills

November 7th, 2019
Patagonia mm 737.4 to Canelo Hills saddle mm 761.8
Distance in miles: 24.4

I was packed early, so as not to alarm anyone that might be out for an early morning stroll. I took advantage of the public restrooms in the park, which were nice. I headed to the Gathering Grounds for breakfast once again, having biscuits and gravy. Then I got another plate of french toast. Both were delicious.

I of course saw Deb and Brent again, also having breakfast. They had been stewing all night about quitting their jobs and becoming thru-hikers. I’m a bad influence. I also failed to mention that thru-hiking ruined me from caring about much of anything else in life. Two thru-hikers come in shortly after … same two guys that caught up to me in Superior, Sie So and Hardy. They started 1 day behind and it looked like they would finish the same day as me. Sie had hiked a lot of trails and I remembered seeing his many comments on Guthooks.

It always strikes me as incredible that different groups can hike the same pace over a month or more. There are so many variables that come into play, yet experienced thru-hikers are pretty well matched. We tend to walk all day, doing about 30 miles in a full day, and 20-25 during town days. The real differences appear depending on how many zeros are taken. I’d taken 3 zeros in 800 miles. In contrast, I walked nearly 1000 miles before taking a zero on the CDT. So this varies greatly from one hike to another, as well.

I eventually headed out on the road leading from town, in no particular hurry. I had only 52 miles to go but 3 days to get there. Normally such a distance would take me half that time. I stopped to look at some longhorns standing next to the road that were very tame. They looked intimidating but I’d heard they’re generally good-natured. What if I totally had this backwards? Oh well, these ones were friendly enough, at least.

I reached the trailhead and walked through more grassy hills. I found several praying mantis in the middle of the trail. I helped one out of the way and onto a mesquite tree. The mantis blended into the tree perfectly. I just love mantis…they are very animated and charismatic for a bug.

There were a number of streams with puddles and also some caches of water. But of course the last source of the day, a cow tank, was pretty gross and I passed on it. I had learned to get by on very little water overnight…about 1.5 liters would do.

Despite only needing to walk about 20 miles, I didn’t find a decent campsite until it was just getting dark. I just had to use all the daylight, I guess. I was on a saddle and I pitched right next to the trail. Luckily it was calm and nobody else hiked through overnight. I only had one night left and I hoped I could find a good spot high up in the Huachuca mountains, maybe even under a ponderosa. Fingers crossed!

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