Wednesday, April 10, 2019
This trail is trying to kill me. Or make me give up. I will not!
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.
Today was chilly and windy, just as forecast. I hit the trail shortly after 7. I’d heard two guys go past around 6! Wonder if one was CowStep?!
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. 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.
I had no cell service, so tried to text Ed on my Garmin, asking him to contact Brian and have him get me at the upcoming Cedar Ranch Trailhead. Ed needed Brian’s number, but I can’t find numbers on the darn Garmin.
By the time I’d exchanged a few messages with Ed, the skies totally cleared up and the sun began to shine, so I told Ed to forget it. And on I hiked.
The wind was fierce all day, and it stayed cold. I hiked in my puffy coat — normally reserved for camp/sleeping — all day, too.
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