Day 33: Pine, AZ

April 4, 2021

Mile 460.5

I slept like the dead and woke up around 5:00am, much later than usual. I guess I was feeling rushed to be ready to hike because I spilled coffee all over the inside of my tent. If it was just coffee it’s wouldn’t have been that bad, but my coffee has so much other stuff in it (chocolate protein mix, cocoa…etc) that it was a sticky mess. It got all over my quilt, sleeping mat, legs, and even my pocketknife. It was kind of a disaster. Thankfully, I still had a little bit of my protein-cocoa-carnation-abomination and some instant coffee left, so I made more. That and a few snacks are all the food I had left for the day. Thank God we’re going into town. 

Ghosthiker set out a few minutes before me so I could stretch a little bit, but we still didn’t really leave our camp until after 6:00am, which is kind of late for us on this stretch, considering how fast it gets hot out here. Also, I woke up with a crusty bloody nose which was fun since I basically have no tissues or toilet paper left other than a few expandable wipes (which are, honestly, amazing. They weigh almost nothing, and with just a little bit of water, you have an instant, sanitary, moist towelette! I will never hike without them ever again).

Despite our late start and the rough terrain, we made good time during the cool of the morning. It’s 15.4 miles to the road that takes us to Pine and we did 8 miles before our first break. After that, the heat started hitting us. We took another break after a few miles and then another at the water source, which was just 3ish miles from the road. We got to the water source completely dry, it was so hot and dry and such a long stretch between water sources. But we knew we were headed to town and with very few snacks to keep us going, we didn’t hesitate to drink lots of water.

We talked a lot during this stretch – lots of deep, personal sharing to help take our minds off how hungry we were. It was kind of cathartic and helped pass the time. Every time we came to more scree, we made jokes about the trail people being sadistic assholes who were deliberately making it difficult for us to get to town. (Example: “Ah, thought you’d have it easy today, eh? Bwahahahaha… HAVE SOME SCREE!” I think we were getting a little crazy after being cut off from other hikers and severely lacking in calories.) When we weren’t doing that, we were singing and chanting our favorite mantra, “Pizza and beer!” to the tune of “Silver and Gold” from that old stop-motion Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer movie. It was pretty funny and kept us entertained. 

Maybe a little too entertained, actually, because we made a wrong turn to walk along some power lines and ended up having to backtrack a little, then near the road, we missed the trail turnoff and had to backtrack again. Not by much either time, but still. Our need for calories is becoming paramount.  

When we finally got to the road, we immediately turned toward town. What we should have done was cross the road and go the little ways to the trailhead and we probably could have gotten a ride, but it’s whatever. The road walk was only a mile. A hot mile, but that just made the sight of THAT Brewery and Pub all that more exciting. The brewery had a nice, big patio outside with lots of tables that were either under awnings or had umbrellas, as well as outlets nearby where we could charge our things a little while we ate. It was so lovely! We asked them to seat us in the farthest corner because we knew we probably smelled really bad, and the hostess just laughed and said not to worry about it, and also, we were welcome to use their restroom to wash up a little if we’d like. Everyone there was so nice, even the people sitting around us. They didn’t have pizza, unfortunately, but they did have delicious beer and yummy sandwiches. I drank way too much beer, and I’m not sorry. 

We walked .4 to the Ponderosa Market, picked up some snacks and things for the Airbnb, then walked another .4 to the camper we’d rented for the next two nights. It was a hard walk. My feet are kind of fucked up and my belly was full of food and beer after going on minimal calories for a few days. I feel kind of ill, but I’m still not sorry. I’m so glad we’re taking more than one day off. 

The place we booked through AirBnB is a stationary RV parked on the owner’s property right next to their house, with the awning rolled to shade a lovely outdoor area with a picnic table. I let Ghosthiker have the bed and I took the pull-out couch, and I’m not sorry about that, either. When you’ve been sleeping on the ground for so long, on an air mattress that keeps deflating in the night, a thin RV couch feels like heaven. I didn’t get to experience it until well into the night, though, because our showers were delayed by a lack of hot water and the fact that the power in the RV kept shorting out. We couldn’t figure out why. Our hostess Peggy wasn’t at home, but she put us in touch with the neighbor who happily came over to help us figure out what was going on. 

In the end, it was getting late and we still couldn’t figure out the hot water, so the neighbor showed us where the spare key was for the house (with Peggy’s permission) and we were able to use the shower inside. Such a lovely woman and so accommodating! She even refunded part of our money for our trouble even though she really didn’t need to. It was just really nice of her to let us into her home to use her shower. 

We spent the afternoon doing chores like flushing out our water filters and airing out our tents and stuff while trying to get the hot water to work in the RV, so I didn’t end up showering until well past dark. I discovered a nice rash above my waist from my hip belt, which of course burned nicely the minute I stepped into the shower. That’s okay. We’re taking a zero day tomorrow. 

Day 34: A Much Needed Zero Day

Published by rogerssj23

I'm a long-distance hiker, an audiobook producer, and an amateur writer. I live in the woods in a renovated 1972 Airstream with my Golden Retriever Zoe. Read more about my hiking adventures at

One thought on “Day 33: Pine, AZ

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