Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019
It had been a windy night. So windy that the tent had fallen over while we slept. I had my final wake up call, thanks to the ravens nested above us in the rock face. I was tired, thirsty and a little nauseous, likely due to dehydration, but was determined to knock out some miles.
Yet another camouflaged rattlesnake would startle Frisbee. This one also didn’t rattle and was even harder to see. I was nervous that Frisbee or I would step on one down the line and get bit. They gave no warning!
We ended up taking a long lunch break at Freeman Road Trailhead where there were water caches to help hydrate us. There were also cans of beer and soda which were labeled for “AZT Racers.” As tempting as the soda was, I didn’t want to drink someone else’s stuff. Right as we were hiking on, Rosey showed up. He had slept just 3 miles behind us.
The scenery and terrain did little to stimulate my mind and body. There were cows, bushes with yellow flowers that smelled like citrus candies, and rock formations, but the trail was pretty flat and the vegetation changed little.
After passing through a gate with a pulley, we stumbled upon potential trail magic by some boulders. Sadly, the water jug was empty and the snacks were all gone, aside from a few Nature Valley bars. We took a short break by the power lines, then passed by some large saguaros on our way to camp.
At a gate near mile 250, we saw a tarp set-up up the hill and found more water caches. As we filled up and hydrated, an older guy named Greg appeared. He was the kindhearted person who had sat out the water jugs, and we told him how much we appreciated it! He had hiked the Arizona Trail a long time ago, and told us that the trail had once traveled along the wash nearby before it was rerouted.
We planned on making it to the high point to catch a nice sunset, but daylight was limited, so we stopped at Ripsey Wash near mile 253.
Setting up the tent was challenging since there was no solid ground to stick our tent stakes into, so we utilized the larger rocks that were laying around to weigh them down, and hoped the tent stayed up throughout the night.
26.8 miles (43.1 km)