Saturday, March 23, 2013 – 22.5 km
On my way out of Patagonia this morning, an AZT sign on the highway tricked me into going through a hole in a fence into the schoolyard – apparently meant for drivers coming down the highway from the other direction, the sign is located after the place where you’re meant to turn. I guess the Arizona Trail Association expects people to have enough common sense to not believe that a hole in a fence is the proper route. After I got back on track, a car drove up and a father and his daughters got out to introduce themselves and discuss the AZT. It was nice to meet a parent so supportive of women thru-hiking solo.
Following a dirt road to the Temporal Gulch trailhead, the AZT entered beautiful terrain with bountiful water.
After passing some pretty campsites with car campers, and a mine entrance sculpted from bluish dirt, I reached a steep climb up a dirt track with great views but no switchbacks.
Even after the AZT switched to single track it had no switchbacks for awhile, apparently following the policy that switchbacks are for wusses, then eventually it realized that many of us are wusses and want switchbacks. At the end of the climb, I made camp for the night on a flat spot. Phew.