Sunday, March 24, 2013 – 19.3 km
Today’s walking was easy, mostly downhill or flat with a few uphill sections. Just past the junction to Bear Spring was an attractive camping area. More water! It’s a smorgasbord! The AZT then traversed a mountain called ‘Ditch Mountain’, and while the name has a story behind it – a ditch running around the mountain was used to transport and collect water for mining – it’s still the worst name for a mountain I’ve ever heard. ‘I climbed Ditch Mountain today.’ ‘No doubt a second Everest.’
The final segment of the trail before Kentucky Camp had interpretive signs about the area’s mining history. I suppose that some people find interpretive signs disruptive to the scenery, but I always enjoy them. I had just reached the first when I heard gunshots and motors revving from over the top of the hill. I waited for awhile in the hope that the people would leave, then got bored and headed up the trail. A congregation was milling around on the road below: two boys on dirt bikes, horseback riders and people in a truck. Not sure who had the gun(s), but I passed them and continued along the AZT.
The road turned off into the hills and the AZT shifted to the route of a pipeline once used for mining. The scenery became boring and I was glad when I reached Kentucky Camp, which has restored buildings in which one can wander around freely, clean outhouses, two spigots and a hose. Luxury! I was definitely going to camp here! Presently the caretaker drove up and I asked him whether he had rules for campers. He seemed… eccentric but friendly. I camped for the night behind the main building, next to one of the spigots.