Today was a tough day. Like the Superstitions, the Mazatzals are known to be tough hiking. The trail was rough all day, with multiple long, steep climbs. We spent the morning crossing every creek in the Mazatzal Wilderness, and the afternoon climbing over, under & around dozens of downed trees. It was overcast, cold and windy most of the day. The theme of the day seemed to be “how difficult can we make this trail.”
I did go over 400 miles today (yay!), and am now solidly past halfway through the trail. Utah still seems a very (very) long way off, but being past halfway in an endeavor always makes me feel like every step is now taking me home. It’s a good feeling.
It was good Whippet was here today, or I may have gotten into a serious funk. He’s got awesome stories (an anecdote from one of his many backpacking trips to The Grand Canyon was used in a David Baldacci novel!), he validates my assessment of the difficulty of the trail, and he sees things that I miss—often providing some levity and/or much-needed perspective. Like the absurdity of javelina poop on a cluster of hedgehog cactus—the mental image of how it got there made me smile & lightened the mood for a couple miles.
We found a really nice camp site (I’m trying not to think about the even nicer one Whippet discovered .2 miles down trail after we already started setting up). We watched another beautiful sunset, & I’m ready to crash. We are at 6500’, so it’s gonna be another cold night. Hoping it will at least be dry!
Daily Miles: 17.9
Total Miles: 413.5