Arizona Trail PatagoniaMonday, March 4, 2019

Day 0 on the Arizona Trail. The journey began this morning heading to the airport at 5:30 a.m. The temperature was -10 and we still have a foot or so of snow on the ground. It’s hard to believe the next time I’m home spring will be in full swing, the grass will be green and trees and shrubs will be leafing out.

My flights to Phoenix and then Tucson went like clockwork. My bag didn’t get lost. Ken of Ken’s Shuttle Service was waiting for me when I arrived, and shuttled me to Patagonia. People make their way to the southern terminus in different ways. Some fly into Tucson and are immediately shuttled to the southern border access point at Montezuma Pass, a trip that’s about 2.5 hours. Others choose to stay overnight in towns like Sierra Vista or Patagonia, which are 90 minutes or so from Montezuma Pass.

I elected to stay in Patagonia because I found lodging here and Ken is based in town here. Turned out to be a great choice because a few days ago, the U.S. Forest Service decided to do a prescribed burn at the southern terminus March 5 and 6. I planned to start there March 5, so that was out of the question. Not wanting to sit it out for two days here, I realized I could simply do a mini flip-flop hike. So I’ll start here in Patagonia and hike southbound tomorrow. I’ll reach the terminus March 7, when the burn is over. Then I’ll have Ken shuttle me back to Patagonia for the night, where I’d planned to stay anyway on my northbound journey.

I’m in the beautiful Duquesne House Inn. Got here early afternoon and was able to hit the grocery store for a few items, then start assembling my pack. That took a long time, as I’m a newbie camper and I have a new backpack. I worked a little on my laptop, and then it was time for fun.

Arizona Trail PatagoniaEdna Baden, my friend Moon Shadow from the Florida Trail in 2017, just happened to be visiting her friend, Joan, in Tucson. They drove down here for dinner and we had such a great time. 

Wish me luck, folks. Last I heard, there was still snow on top of the Huachuca Mountains that I’ll be climbing in three days. Could be up to a foot deep, plus slushy and icy. An adventure as always!

Snowshoe

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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