Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Elevation gain/loss: 5254′ gain, 4564′ loss (corrected)
I was up at 5:10am, and out by 5:40am, eager for town. Overnight, I saw a shooting star and that made me smile. Early in the morning, I passed by the low point of the AZT (1,646′). From there, it was a long climb up a canyon and then around some mountains and hills. I met Squirrel (AZT NOBO) and Treehugger (AZT SOBO); Treehugger asked me about water sources and then was distainful about the next source – the Gila River. She said something like, “That river is disgusting – I’d NEVER drink from it,” right after I’d told her I’d filled up there early this morning. I looked her squarely in the eye and said that if she didn’t want to drink from the Gila, she wouldn’t have any water until the water spigot by Kearny, which was quite a long way away – and then I just walked away, feeling very annoyed.
Closer to noon, I paused for a break at the rain water collector. The water was clear and cold, and the collector was enclosed to keep cows away. Then it was mostly downhill towards town; along the way, I passed by the 300 mile marker! It was hot – actual temps were 80, with felt temperatures of 85 in the sun. Within a few miles of town, I met Fozzey and Kevin (NOBO AZT). I was at the trailhead by 2:45pm, and met Uno and Chopchop (they met on the Pinhoti Trail) who were also waiting for a ride into town. Kevin and Fozzy arrived a bit later, and we were all able to get a ride into town with MJ the Purple Trail Angel, fitting 5 hikers and backpacks into the 5-person SUV.
We stayed at her place overnight, and she fed us a wonderful breakfast. I was able to do my laundry, charge my electronics, and shower, and resupply at Family Dollar. I had dinner with Soral (Afro Latina from Maine), Uno (white woman from Chicago), and Chopchop (white lesbian living the van life) at La Porta, and then had a relaxed evening.