The Arizona Trail Day 9: No Shade, But…

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 – 25.75 km

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I filtered two litres of water from the canyon and soon wished that I had taken more. The trail looped ridiculously around desert hills with no shade and unvarying scenery, adding pointless kilometres to terrain that could have been covered much quicker. I encountered a cyclist and was astounded that he was biking in such temperatures (I was also astounded to see another human being, since I’ve seen almost no one on the AZT). At first I tried not to exert myself in the sun, but soon realized that I was moving absurdly slowly (maybe 1-2 km/hr) and had to speed up if I was ever going to get out of there. Eventually the trail levelled out and I entered mindless automaton mode.

143
No such thing as shade.
147

Twin Tanks, which was scummy and repulsive, had a small water cache of a few jugs and some individual 500 ml bottles (note that in AZ, cattle ponds are called tanks). None were labelled, so I concluded that they were trail magic and took one of the bottles. I hope it wasn’t someone’s personal cache, but if it was indeed trail magic, thank you! It made me so happy! It’s amazing what 500 ml of water can do for someone who’s been walking in the boiling sun all morning.

I ended up camping fairly close to a highway in an rocky area of prickly pears, which I hope to never see again after this hike. Gunshots in the distance. I’m worried about water – have about 750 ml left. I’m going to leave early tomorrow so I can hike a decent distance before the sun rises.

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