Today, in Flagstaff, is the start of my two-day, semi-rest period. Brian got me on the trail before 8 a.m. and I slipped into the cool embrace of Walnut Canyon.
The footing was largely good here, while the temps were nippy the first hour. I was in the shadowy portion of the canyon, so no extraordinary sights.
Busy Flagstaff Trail
Soon I segued onto the Flagstaff Resupply Route. The “real” trail runs around the east side of town, but is currently closed for logging. So now, hikers need to take the shorter (yay!) resupply route through town.
The first section of this unspools into the FUTS, or the Flagstaff Urban Trail System, a large network of gravel paths that runs through parks and neighborhoods. Being Sunday, there were lots of hikers, runners and mountain bikers out.
The FUTS also goes into town, so I was able to essentially take a walking tour of the city’s old downtown. It’s quite charming, and I would have enjoyed lunch there, or even shopping.
I ended my day at a busy intersection where it would be easy for Brian to find me. And he did, just as I ran into Rambler, who I hadn’t seen since Superior and the Fales’ home. No time to catch up, though.
Scoping Out the Snow
Brian drove us up to the Snowbowl, a popular skiing spot. The trail comes near here and he was curious about the amount of snow and its condition.
Rats. There’s still a fair amount. Worse, it’s not frozen but soft, which means postholing. Oh well, you get what you get.
I’m also hearing reports the North Rim is still full of snow. Most hikers are taking the road for about 45 miles versus the trail, where the markers are sometimes covered by snow. This also means camping in snow and melting snow for your water. Oh, and this road isn’t typically plowed or opened until mid-May, so there’s still postholing.
What an unexpected camping debut! Thank goodness I bought that emergency bivvy.
I’m still tucked away at the Best Western Pony Soldier. I may be getting spoiled!
11.3 miles today
541.3 miles to date
258.7 miles to go
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