The Arizona Trail Day 63: Pointless Signage

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I had 1.5 litres of water left this morning. I was hoping it would last until Grandview Watchtower, where potable water is available, but had trepidation about the trail between us because of the Managed Fire sign. Well, time to take a look.

The AZT followed an old road closed to vehicles for habitat restoration. Russell Tank was small but had an outhouse and fancy parking area. I found that puzzling until I checked my GPS and saw a tiny fish; I guess it’s a fishing spot. And not far past the tank… I saw the backside of a second Managed fire sign. Should I always disobey signage?

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I was excited throughout the rest of the day since I’m almost at the Grand Canyon. The trail followed the Coconino Rim, and despite the view being mostly concealed by trees, I caught glimpses of the North Rim with views backwards to the Coconino Rim and the ground dropping away into the canyon. So close! At Grandview Watchtower I collected water. The trail then entered what looked like a recent burn area with a charred old wooden AZT sign and a new one partially melted into a bundle of white thread. A sign instructed visitors to make sure their campfires are out. Ouch.

I was feeling unwell by the end of the day – extremely tired even though I had only walked 27 km on flat terrain, and nauseous, and my throat was sore. I found a random place to camp.

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