The Arizona Trail Day 52: Still Forest

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Another day of forest. At least the wind was light today, and there was no rain, but I’m bloody sick of this forest. The golf course scenery is gone, replaced by endless in-between land and rocks. It’s always flat. It’s never pretty. There’s never anything different to look at. It almost makes me believe in a kind of pagan hell where we’re all assigned wittily suitable punishments, and this is mine.

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The hiker in front of me hasn’t been closing the two wire loop gates properly – he/she often doesn’t put the post in the bottom loop. The first few were hard but I could fix the third gate, and if I’m strong enough to do it, anyone over the age of ten is strong enough (and probably some well-built five-year-olds). Someone cashed three jugs of water along this stretch but, instead of packing the empties out, attached one jug to a branch and left a tiny amount of water in the others so they wouldn’t blow away. It’s just a plastic jug; how much do you have to care about pack weight not to pack it out?

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I was in a bad mood by the time I began scanning the forest for a tolerable campsite (can you tell?). I kept thinking about southern Arizona, and all the gorgeous camping spots I had there, and then nearly stepping in cow dung, and thinking about how tomorrow I would still be wasting my time walking through this forest.

While I was cooking supper, I saw a coyote a few dozen metres away. Not a dingo after all, eh? I stood up and said the first thing that came to mind in a loud, firm voice: ‘NO. NOT HERE’. Huh? Where then? The Shangri-La? La Alhambra? Grandmother’s house? I think that my brain was working along the lines of ‘I hate this place already, so don’t make it worse, you little pissant’. The coyote ran away. The sighting was actually a nice end to the day since I had never seen a coyote before. It wasn’t really a pissant… sorry, coyote…

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