Thursday, April 25th, 2019
It was surprisingly warm overnight for being at 9,000 feet in elevation. It was a snowy hike through ponderosa pines and aspens down to Forest Road 418, where we took a short break.
We weren’t thrilled to look at the Guthook guide and see that there was hardly any water ahead of us. After passing through fields, a mountain biker stopped to inform us that the hiker box ahead had a water cache inside. What a relief!
We stopped there to hydrate and fill our bottles before hiking on. The trail followed alongside a forest road for a good while before switching from single track to dirt road. We stopped in the side of the forest road to eat lunch. Frisbee was still feeling sluggish, so he took a power nap.
What followed was a very long road walk. We heard thunder behind us and turned around. There was lightening and a giant dark cloud over the San Francisco peaks.
It would slowly creep behind us as we made our way through a field, then proceeded to sprinkle rain over us.
Our feet felt heavy as the soil beneath our feet caked in between the tread of our shoes. We kicked up mud as we approached East Cedar Tank. The rain shower ceased as we took our water break there.
Before reaching the trailhead, we saw Puns and Geronimo heading southbound towards us with no packs on their backs. They were tenting at the trailhead, waiting for Puns’ mother to meet them there the next morning. They were going to the Grand Canyon together then getting dropped back off to finish their thru hike in a few days. They were counting on a water cache at the trailhead, which wasn’t there, so they were walking back to the tank to get water.
We saw a few more mountain bikers by the trailhead before our road walk continued. It was still overcast, but beautiful. We walked by a hill with horses grazing on it. Behind us were the peaks and ahead of us was a ranch and a rainbow.
The dirt road circled the ranch, and we took a dinner break before hiking up the hill. The trail flattened out and we were passed by a friendly mountain biker girl.
We wanted to camp with one last view of Humphreys, so we set up before it was out of sight at mile 632.2. As we were pitching the tent, a guy driving a Lexus, very out of place on a forest road I might add, stopped to ask if we saw a girl mountain biking recently. Apparently there was a Arizona Trail mountain bike race going on, which explained all of the bikers we’ve been seeing lately. She was his girlfriend, and he was trying to track her down.
I crashed hard after we finished setting up, that I didn’t even hear Barrel hike by our tent after dark.
27.5 miles (44.3 km)