Friday Apr 15th 2022, 0600-1800
Corduroy Wash to just outside of Pine, EABO mm 139, End Segment 2. 13 miles.
It wasn’t nearly as cold overnight, thank goodness. I never knew how good the mid 30s could feel. A long awaited town stop beckoned us, so we were especially motivated to get moving. So was 925. After not seeing him all day prior, we shortly caught up to him at a road crossing. He had walked past us around 8 pm the night before, after I was already asleep no doubt. We all walked together for the morning, though I was barely able to keep up with his long strides. We were practically running down a series of switchbacks into Pine Canyon. Thank goodness it was nice, smooth trail.
We came to a trail named “good enough” that would take us into the west side of town, rather than following the official route that bypassed town and required some backtracking. Promise of a huge, hot breakfast demanded an immediate reroute. Good enough quickly dumped us into neighborhoods, where we saw Pines collection of humble cabins and high-roller mansions, with town elk grazing backyards with impunity. I enjoyed seeing parts of the town that I hadn’t seen when we visited while hiking the AZT.
We went straight to the Early Bird Cafe, where the guys ordered breakfast burritos that 925 had been hyping up since Sedona. I broke with tradition to get eggs hollandaise. Mmm… it all hit the spot. We had been debating whether to seek lodging for the night but options in the area were limited. Trail angels of past appeared to be long gone. I really wanted to take a shower after 7 days of dusty desert walking but reasoned that I had at least had some creek dunkings. The town laundromat would suffice for washing our clothes and cleaning up a bit in the bathroom. There were also outlets for charging and even a hikerbox, where I found the cutest dress for changing into while the clothes washed. I decided to keep it and send some other things away at the nearby post office.
After such chores, we went to That Brewery to finish out the day. Tons of AZT hikers were in town and we chatted with some that were hiking with a dog. They had been doing 15 mile days. The way water sources were lacking in the fall when I hiked, I couldn’t imagine those miles or the dog scenario, but here they were, just past the halfway point. We lingered for many hours at the pub, drinking beers and eating town food. I only had 2.5 beers but still felt very sluggish when trying to leave.
We had decided to go as far as the AZT trailhead outside of town. It was a short walk down the highway and we quickly found sites hidden amongst the pines. As an added bonus, we discovered hard seltzers in the trailhead bear box, stashed by a trail angel. We had a great evening chillin at our campsite. We were looking forward to some nice marked trail along the AZT and Mogollon Rim for the next few days.