Day 45: Kaibab Plateau, Central and North

After a really disappointing morning, today was a good day.

Turns out driving around The Grand Canyon to the North Rim park entrance to finish up the remaining 66.4 miles of the trail isn’t as simple or easy as we’d hoped. The only paved road leading to the park is closed. The numerous Forest Service / backroads to the boundary are still pretty treacherous due to snow. Parker got our RAV-4 stuck yesterday trying to get to the boundary. This morning, the off-road outfitter we hired to get us there also got stuck. We were only able to get to mile 750 on the trail—38 miles from the end … and we had to hike several miles of backroads to get there. This means that I will be missing over 65 miles of the trail. That sucks. Big time. But I’m pretty much out of options, and I need to get this done, so I’m pressing on, and trying to make the most of my last 2 days of the adventure.

We started the day early, hoping to get a head start on our 66 miles, and it was cold with snow flurries. That motivated us to move quickly through the backroads & by the time we got on the trail proper, we were warmed up. The sun came out briefly around lunchtime, but otherwise, it was a cold, windy, dreary day as far as the weather went. I am NOT going to miss this damn wind!

After we got on the trail, it was a pretty uneventful day. The trail was good most of the day (the last few miles were a bit rough), and it was really nice to have Parker / Desert Pete along—even cold, dreary miles are more fun with your favorite! Nearly the entire day was spent in pine forest with very little view, but we did get our first glimpse of The Vermillion Cliffs that we will pass tomorrow at the state line.

We found a camp spot somewhat out of the wind, and Desert Pete is making dinner as I write (spoiling me on the last night!). We are at mile 773, just under 16 miles from the end. It’s hard to believe I’m finally going to get this sucker done!! Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow for the final miles.

Daily Miles: 24.5 (21.5 trail / 3+ road)
AZT Miles: 773 



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