The Arizona Trail Day 15: I Thought That Other Hikers Don’t Exist

Monday, April 01, 2013 – 25 km

Mindblowing scenery today. I was puzzled by how the view from above the highway looked familiar, then remembered that I had seen it on a ‘most scenic highways’ feature on MSN. Cool. It was scenic all right; would have been more scenic without the cars.

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I was running low on water by the time I reached Molino Basin Campground, which I had initially envisioned as a sweet little backcountry campground but is actually right beside the highway. Some filtering was done and I continued walking. A few kilometres past the Gordon Hirabayashi trailhead, in a not stunningly scenic but flat spot, I decided that my feet hurt and I was getting whiny and I had no one to whine to but myself so I would stop and make camp for the day.

I know that making camp out of sight from the trail is proper backpacking protocol, but I’ve gotten so used to seeing no one on the AZT that I usually just set up camp anywhere flat and clear. I was pitching my tent right beside the trail – literally right beside the trail – when a woman walked up with her dog. A day hiker? You’re telling me that there’s actually a day hiker here? Someone is ACTUALLY HIKING HERE? Yes, the area is popular, as I should have deduced from the campground, and three people passed me in total. It was awkward – funny but awkward. Go to bed already!

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