The Arizona Trail Day 42: Just No

Sunday, April 28, 2013 – 18.8 km

More dodgy trail in the morning. Before entering the Mazatzals, I had decided on two rules: I would check my GPS at regular intervals on any trail without clear signage, and I would remember to look at the scenery rather than studying my feet all the time. While following rule #2 today, I hit my head on a piece of deadfall above the trail. Ouch, my ank… head. I expertly assessed myself for concussion by recalling that I had hit my head harder when snowboarding and hadn’t gotten a concussion then.

The trail gradually improved until I reached Windsor Seep, which had a lovely camping spot with plenty of flat space and a great view of Mazatzal Peak. I collected water and continued on. The trail began a levelish traverse, becoming overgrown and degraded in areas. I took a break at a lookout to admire the amazing view. A clear trail was visible running along the ledge below and I initially wondered whether I was meant to climb down to it, but the AZT hasn’t been that kind of trail, so I looked around for cairns. The proper action was to head to the right and start down a series of switchbacks. I think that people must have gotten off trail there, because the switchbacks were obsessively marked with red tape every few metres in an ‘If you get lost, don’t @ me’ type of way.


I made camp at Horse Camp Seep. Downstream of the campsite, the water was flowing over a ledge into a tempting swimming hole, but my legs were cut and scratched from pushing through undergrowth and I thought that infection might be an issue. I settled for a sponge bath with treated water instead. Horse dung was scattered around the camping area and someone had tried to bury some of it… in the camping area. No. Just no. No one wants to pound their tent stakes into horse dung.

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