Six people standing on a porch in Superior, Arizona, taking a group selfie.I slept great at Al and Maryjo’s. Maryjo made us waffles, blueberry pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Yum! They are just too kind. Al shuttled Rambler and Gardener to the trailhead early; CowStep and I went at 7:30.

So, the first mile or two today featured super rocky, uphill terrain. I hated it. Worse, I just felt dead today. Well, my legs did, anyway.

After the huge uphill, the path followed a creek for several miles – a welcome present from the late snow! CowStep hiked with me for about an hour, which helped take my mind off the terrain. 

The Big Climb After Al and Maryjo’s

Well, I’d read in the app that I’d be climbing 3,000 feet today. That’s a lot, so I hoped it would be a long climb vía switchbacks. Unfortunately, the climb was a continuous slog with very few switchbacks. So it was rather tortuous. I turned on some music, which helped.

When I finally reached the top, I was treated to a sweeping view of the mountains and Superior in the distance. After that, the next few miles were a pretty easy downhill to the Rogers Trough Trailhead.

Finding Home for the NightArizona Trail winding through greenery with mountains in the distance.

Luckily, there was a creek at the trailhead, so more water was easily available! The one bad thing was that I’d planned to camp around the trailhead, but nothing looked good. And while the app said there were many good camping spots four miles ahead, I didn’t want to walk that far.

As I was pondering my predicament, I ran into CowStep, who was resting. He hiked with me and helped me find a little spot snuggled against the trail and adjacent to a rushing creek. You’re not supposed to camp next right to the trail, but I had no choice, as the last few miles I hiked were all rocks and bramble.

I will say, it’s wonderful to be right next to water! I could wash up easily and I don’t have to stress about finding water to filter.

It’s cold already at 7 p.m. Think it’ll be a frosty night! 


P.S. CowStep is the hiker in the back row, far left.

19.5 miles today
283.0 miles to date
516.10 miles to go


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©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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