The Arizona Trail Day 54: Variation

Friday, May 10, 2013

I felt better after yesterday’s conversation with Larry, and ready to tackle the forest again after retrieving my package from the post office. Why did I choose to resupply so soon before Flagstaff? Well, um, I estimated the distance between Mormon Lake Village and Flagstaff based on the map… and estimated wrong. Ridiculous and I have no excuse. The post office is a living antique and I recommend visiting if you’re passing through the village between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM. The employee mentioned that she was glad I was accounted for. Yes, I mailed that package ages ago and wrote no arrival date because I wasn’t sure how long the Mazatzals would take. Sorry!

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The closure detour used the main road, turning when it reached the third road to the left. I walked to its junction with the AZT and everything was peaches once more, except for the continuing forest.

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I wouldn’t want to disobey a request from Bambi.
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At least variety was introduced in the form of hills, and eventually the trail met and followed an old logging railroad. Then a climb onto a mesa, and… a field with sparse trees replaced the forest! I was considering camping at a nearby trailhead (I’ve learned that they make good camping spots along these passages) but the weather was unpleasantly windy, so I started along the dirt road running across the mesa.

A clear morning sky had become cloudy and ominous in three directions. Fields always look great on cloudy days, much better than they do in the sunshine, and this one was beautiful. It reminded me of the work of a 17th century Dutch landscape painter whose name I can’t recall… Jan Van Eyck keeps coming to mind, but he was not 17th century, Dutch or a landscape painter, so I’m guessing it’s not him. Anyway, here’s a comparison between a picture I took of the mesa and a Jacob van Ruisdael painting.

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Heading north/northwest, the AZT passed Horse Tank and Horse Lake, both of which contained plenty of water (are you wondering where this sudden geographical detail is coming from? I’m writing this entry on my map, ho ho). A potential campsite near the tank was windy too, so I kept walking until Horse Lake, which a few cows were hanging around. They didn’t seem scared and didn’t run, just stared at me as I walked past. I found a non-horrible camping spot and made camp as the sun was setting.

I saw a stork! No babies to report.

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