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.
Another frigid night, but I used my system with the emergency blanket and I stayed warm all night — and no moisture on my quilt! Quick note: I’ve heard planes almost every night on this trail, but tonight the planes and helicopters were almost nonstop. I’m assuming they’re for Grand Canyon tours.
Brian picked me up at 8. I decided against borrowing his snowshoes based on other hiker reports. He dropped me off of the outskirts of Flagstaff at 8:30, plus offered to drop off four boxes at the post office for me.
This is the hardest stretch of trail — Flagstaff to the South Rim — and I wish it was over! It’s hard because you can’t get off, so it’s 5-6 days of hiking and camping.
Ed had to catch a morning flight home out of Phoenix, so he dropped me off at the trailhead at 6:30 a.m. Yawn! It was sad to see him go, but I need to finish this on my own, just as I started it.
Brrr! We woke up to chunks of ice in our water bottles and frost on our tent. But it helped to have Ed in there with me. It really didn’t feel that cold.Today we both hiked close to 9 miles to the end of Happy Jack. A trail angel had left some Coke and Coors Light at the trailhead, so of course Ed and I had to split a beer.
The wind finally subsided overnight. It was cold, but I was snug in my emergency bivvy. But Justin from REI got it wrong or misspoke. He told me to get into my down quilt, then slide into the bivvy.
Happy Birthday, Tim! Our oldest turns 30 today. What a milestone. On our end, Ed drove me back to the Mormon Lake Lodge, then drove ahead and parked the car near the Horse Mesa Trailhead and hiked back in to meet me.
This 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.
Ed dropped me off at the Pine trailhead around 7:45 with a day pack. Another short stint of slackpacking! He took care of a few errands in town, then drove to the Webber Creek trailhead 8.7 miles ahead and hiked back in to meet me.
My toes were sporting all of these odd, red patches, which I’m sure are from walking on the rocks and my hiking shoes. I also have a monster blister on the bottom of one heel.
I haven't blogged in a while for a very good reason: I'm thru-hiking the Arizona National Scenic Trail.This trail has been quite challenging, and unlike any other trail I've tackled. I'll post a full report when I'm finished. But for now, please enjoy my trail...
We woke up this morning just before dawn to the eerie, yet captivating, sound of an elk bugling. The strange sound echoed through the woods and was so cool to hear.
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!
We broke camp before 8 a.m. and went our separate ways. Ed was headed back to the car, which he would move up to the Hwy. 87 trail crossing. I headed up the rest of the Rim.
I hated almost every second of today’s hike. That’s because it was 99.9 percent on rocks. Who in the world thinks walking on rocks several days in a row is enjoyable?!