Arizona Trail
Today’s itinerary called for hiking through Babbitt Ranch. But oh my goodness, this trail is trying to kill me. Or make me give up. But I will not!

So, last night was supposed to be 15 degrees, but thank goodness it was much warmer. I didn’t even wear my hat or gloves until close to morning.

But this morning it was chilly and windy, just as forecast. I hit the trail shortly after 7 a.m. I’d heard two guys go past around 6 a.m.! Wonder if one was CowStep?!

Snow on the Road to Babbitt Ranch. Really.

Well, the wind was very strong — 30-50 mph for sure. Much of the time it was a headwind, which is draining. After maybe 45 minutes, it began to snow. Some icy pellets had fallen while I packed up my tent, but nothing much. So I hadn’t worried. But this was different.

The skies all around me were gray and angry. Snow swirled everywhere. I ducked behind a bush to put on my puffy coat and hat, then decided to bail for the day. I wasn’t equipped to fight a blizzard! And not being familiar with Arizona, I had no idea how quickly the snow might accumulate or how serious the weather might get.

Garmin Issues

Well, I had no cell service, so I tried to text Ed on my Garmin. I wanted Ed to contact Brian (Flagstaff trail angel) and have him get me at the upcoming Cedar Ranch Trailhead. Ed needed Brian’s number, but I can’t find out how to input numbers on the darn Garmin.

By the time I’d exchanged a few messages with Ed, the skies magically cleared up and the sun began to shine. It was so bizarre! So I was able to tell Ed to forget about my evacuation, and on I hiked.

Babbitt Ranch

The wind did stay fierce all day, plus it remained cold. I hiked in my puffy coat – which I normally reserve for camp/sleeping – all day, too.Arizona Trail

Luckily, this passage, Babbitt Ranch, runs along ranch roads. It was mostly flat, easy walking, not counting the wind. (Which was so bad, I hiked backwards for half a mile at one point.)

Ahead of Schedule 

Somehow I logged nearly 25 miles today, despite the wind and the Garmin thing, which took a long time. Right now I’m tucked between some pines in the Kaibab National Forest, hoping the temps stay the same and don’t sink to the teens tonight. 

I’m sleeping with my water filter and contacts in my coat pocket, and my water bottle next to me, in the hopes they don’t freeze.

If I can have two more strong hiking days, I can reach Tusayan Friday night instead of Saturday noon. Oh, I hope so! 


24.4 miles today
597.1 miles to date
202.9 miles to go

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©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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