Hiker crossing rock-filled creek on the Arizona Trail near Summerhaven.Last night, nearing Summerhaven, we heard lots of coyotes as we drifted off to sleep. It was pretty cool, although their howls were interspersed with the sound of planes flying overhead. 

It was cold and windy once again last night, too. Yuck. Why do people enjoy camping? I’m on about day 12 of camping (in my lifetime) and I have not had one good night. The majority have been freezing (Minnesota, Florida and Arizona), and the two warmer nights were mosquitoey. But I digress. 

We hit the road before 8 a.m. to go back to Gordon Hirabayashi so I could hike north toward Mt. Lemmon, turning back before we hit the deep snow. We would drop our gear just 2.8 miles in, where there was a great campsite. So an out-and-back hike. 

Amy would hike with me, while Diana would check out Summerhaven, the town at the top of Mt. Lemmon. It’s know for a shop that has great cookies and pizza. She was charged with bringing us the former. 

Snafus Near Summerhaven, Of Course

We’d hiked just two miles when Amy realized she’d dropped her phone. I said I’d go ahead and set up my tent at the site; by the time I did that, she should have her phone and we could hike on. 

I got my tent up at this great site, but no Amy. Of course I had no cell service and couldn’t call her – assuming she found her phone. I thought about hiking ahead solo (she wouldn’t have minded), but decided to go back. Luckily I ran into her. 

Granite Man, a guy we’d earlier met, had found her phone. Yay! The route I had been on was rough for a non-hiker like Diana (downed trees, water crossings), so we advised her to car-camp tonight. We knew she’d hate the hike in.

Beautiful End to the Day

Amy dropped her gear in my tent and we headed out for a really stunning hike. We were walking on narrow trails at the edges of steep cliffs and it was amazing. Water was rushing everywhere, thanks to all of the unusual rain and snow, and the desert was green and lush.

We turned back at a dangerous water crossing with deep, rushing waters. Time to finish out my base hikes and head to Oracle. It’s too bad I’ll miss the mountain climbs, but safety comes first. 


7.8 miles today
157.1 miles to date
642.9 miles to go

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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