The Arizona Trail: Part 6

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

When I woke up from my Benadryl coma (the only medicine I had to relieve some of my cold symptoms), I was surprised to see a stunning sunrise from the tent. So I got up a little earlier than usual to watch.

Once we packed up, we worked our way down towards Twin Tanks where we’d complete our first 100 miles on the Arizona Trail. We’d also meet two other Germans there, Martin and Carol, who were thru hiking. After a brief chat, we reached Sahuarita Road where we were hoping to catch a hitch to get into the town of Vail.

We got picked up by the second vehicle that turned down the road. The driver’s name was Gary, and he was accompanied by his two pups, an Australian Shepherd mix, and a long haired Dachshund. The mix was a puppy who couldn’t stop licking my face the whole ride, and the wiener dog got comfortable on Frisbee’s lap. Gary was a military veteran who grew up in Tucson, but has lived in Vail most of his life. He shared his love for the area and asked us if we’ve seen any migrants during our hike. He told us that he doesn’t like to get into the politics of it all, but he was not for The Wall, but for humanity. He told us he leaves water caches and knew he could get arrested for doing so, but didn’t care. He didn’t find it right to leave people out to die. I don’t support people coming into the country illegally, but I couldn’t agree more with him. He dropped us off at the Safeway grocery store with one little piece of advice, “Make everyday a good day!”

After grabbing our 5-day resupply, we caught a hitch from a young lady who didn’t want to leave us out in the heat. We chatted briefly about hiking and travel as she dropped us off at the post office.

I’d be mailing back my leaky sleep pad, picking up my new one, and mailing a few items ahead. We talked to the mail lady and a woman in line about our hike, and the woman in line shared with us some fun facts about Saguaro cacti. Like that they don’t grow their first arm until they’re about 75 years old.

We went to Dairy Queen for milkshakes, then crossed the street to eat burritos at Frito’s Taco Shop. They were amazing!

As we were leaving, we conversed with a guy who was taking his burrito to-go about our hike, and Frisbee asked if he would drop us off at the trailhead. He was more than happy to! His name was Shane and he was one of the nicest guys we ever got a hitch from! He was also a military vet and long-term Arizona native with a passion for the state. After dropping us off, he gave us a brief rundown of the three mountain ranges surrounding us; the Santa Ritas, the Rincons, and the Catalinas.

We’d only hike a few miles from the trailhead, but it would get interesting. I’m no stranger to pooping in the outdoors, so when nature called, I grabbed my trowel and my toiletry bag and did my thing. When I reached for the toilet paper in my bag, I was horrified to see that the bag I grabbed was actually my electronics bag! I hadn’t reorganized my pack after resupplying and had myself in a bit of a poo snafu. I had heard of people using rocks instead of TP, but never imagined I would ever do so myself! I had little choice in the matter, but it worked as a short-term substitute.

After I got over that traumatic event, I caught back up with Frisbee who found a nice flat spot to set up near mile 107.7. We’d waved hello to a couple mountain bikers and goodbye to the mosquitoes as we hopped in our tent for the night.


Distance Traveled: 10.6 miles (17.1 km)

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