Arizona Trail winding along mountains with bright yellow wildflowers on the side.You all know by now that I hate rocks. But I’m an optimistic person. A Pollyanna. Someone who walks through life with rose-colored glasses. So I started off today’s hike in a great mood. The path was relatively normal! No horrible rocks!

But then the rocks came back. I managed to get to the East Verde River without too much trouble. Still only making two miles per hour, but that was OK. The river was up to my mid-thigh, but that was OK, too.

I Hate Rocks on Whiterock Mesa

After crossing the river, things went to heck. I climbed up to Whiterock Mesa on a “path” that was really just a jumble of rocks. Then, when I reached the mesa, hoping for nice footing, I was sorely disappointed. For Whiterock Mesa is a place of volcanic remains. That is, chunks of volcanic rock stud the soft earth. So you had to watch every single footstep so that you didn’t step on a volcanic rock. And there was no trail per se; just cairns to find and follow. It was pure hell. Truly, one of Dante’s versions of hell.

With all due respect to the people who created this trail, I just don’t get why there are days on end with walking on rocks. Does this make the trail tough? No, it makes it stupid. I’d climb Mt. Lemmon. Mt. Mitchell, Mt. Mica all over again. Yes, they are tough climbs. But the footing is normal! This footing is not. (Can you tell I’m hangry?)

Ed Is Here!

Ed, my hubby, met me tonight. His presence is what I needed. I now have umpteen blisters on my feet – after just ONE from the first three weeks – and will either take tomorrow off or hike fewer miles. I don’t like this, but I have to respect my body. This is an interesting trail.

Snowshoe

17.4 miles today
412.3 miles to date
387.7 miles to go

 

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