A section of the Arizona Trail unrolling on a high patch near pine forest.
Today’s high: I laughed. And today’s low: I cried. Sigh. Such is this trail!

So last night was cold, but I was snug in my tent. I had to pack it up wet again, though.

Well, I got on the trail and was happy to find the first few miles not that bad. Sure, they were a little rugged, plus had lots of downed or bowed vegetation from the early-March snow. But overall, they were fine. And it was fun to run into CowStep again, who told me the correct spelling of his name. 


The High

Not too long after passing CowStep, the trail dipped into this wondrous pine forest, complete with a burbling creek. It reminded me a little of home – Wisconsin – and I welcomed the fresh, pine fragrance. Interestingly, there’s been a curious lack is scents out here.  

Anyway, I reveled in this section, which was relatively flat, and enjoyed CowStep’s company for a bit. He’s a writer, too, and young (25?). He’ll be teaching ESL in Japan come May.

The Low

Unfortunately, my wonderful day took a nosedive around noon. First, the path went up this rocky chute for about a mile. It was difficult and ugly. Then it A section of the Arizona Trail running across rocky, arid mountains with some scruffy green vegetation.went downhill a mile, also difficult and ugly. And that was the good part.

Next, the trail pitched steeply uphill for what seemed like forever, then pitched sharply downhill. This was all scree, so it was super slippery and I had to go extremely slowly. Also, my (new) shoes are already getting worn on the bottoms from all the rocks. I bashed my shin, too, then fell onto my hands and had all sorts of other near-catastrophes. 

Finally, when I was only a few miles from my campsite, trekking along a very windy ridge, I tripped and bashed my right knee on a rock. It’s very swollen and bruised and hurts a lot. I sure hope I didn’t tear a meniscus or something. This is when I cried. 

The End

However, I did make it to my campsite – a real site with a tent pad. I cleaned up, and downed some Ibuprofen for my knee. But I’m afraid to see how difficult tomorrow’s hike will be.


15.5 miles today
298.5 miles to date
501.5 miles to go

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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