Female backpacker on Arizona Trail hiking through pine forest on Anderson Mesa passage.
Today’s mission was conquering the Anderson Mesa passage. The day began with Ed dropping me off at Mormon Lake Lodge. The plan was for him to drive ahead and park the car near the Horse Mesa Trailhead, then hike back in to meet me. Unfortunately for me, I had to hike that nasty (rocky) 1.1-mile connector trail back to the AZT, then continue northbound.

Once I got off the nasty connector, the trail was very nice, mostly winding through pine forest. There was a little snow, mud and water on the trail, but not much.

Ed and I met up around 12:30, then had lunch. Our lunch was from the Best Western breakfast buffet: Ed McMuffin-type sandwiches, with eggs and Canadian bacon on English muffins.

Future Passage Intel

We finished the trail around 4 p.m., then headed back to Flagstaff. I stopped at REI to pick up some cooking fuel, while Ed went to the post office to grab some mailing boxes. I’m about to be a “real” backpacker!

At REI, I met some very nice and helpful folks. One was Justin, an AZT trail angel. He gave me tons of good intel about the trail ahead, plus convinced me to take two easy days (after tomorrow) to rest my feet and prepare for the push over the snowy mountain, where I might be post-holing for seven or eight miles. He also showed me some things about my tent that had puzzled me (remember, I’m new to camping!).

Calories In

Justin mentioned I should be calorie-loading while in Flagstaff. What’s not to like about that? Since I know I’ve lost a lot of weight, Ed and I went to a Mexican restaurant, where we ate lots of chips, tacos and drank giant margaritas (or maybe I just did the latter).

I’m so excited for the next two weeks, but so excited to come back home.


P.S. Happy Birthday, Tim! Our oldest turns 30 today. What a milestone. 

14 miles today
512.4 miles to date
287.6 miles to go

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©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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