Day 47: Friends of Queen

April 18, 2021

589.6

We got a little bit of a late start this morning, but given the last few days and the fact that we were setting out from a hotel, that’s to be expected. We caught an Uber to the trailhead and were hiking by 9:00am. For real this time. No more slack-packing. We could have, and we’d originally planned to, just one more day, but Ghosthiker and I were both feeling the pull to get back on trail and stay on trail. We’re getting close to the Grand Canyon and we can feel it! 

Our packs are heavy with 5-6 days of food and two liters of water, but the trail is still really smooth and well-maintained this close to the city, so that made it better. We’re in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness now and it is still pretty chilly, but at least the trail is dry and surprisingly snow-free after yesterday. Snow and rain dry quickly around here, seems like. At Schulz Tank and trailhead, we got water for a 12-mile carry plus camping. We considered going the whole 12 miles to the next water source, but it was already 1:00pm and we knew our weighed-down packs made us slower, so we decided to dry-camp instead, hopefully before the next climb. It means a slightly shorter day but with all this extra weight I don’t really mind. 

When we got to the Urban Trail junction, we met a friendly hiker named Proton. We’d already planned to take a break there and ended up chatting with him for a while. Turns out he and his group of hiker friends were similar to Ghosthiker and I, in that they met on other trails and decided to hike this one together. He even told us where they had cached water over the next 50 miles of trail and that we were welcome to take some, so long as we kept the caches a secret. The hiker in their group who’d cached the water was named Queen, and Proton said we’d know the cache by the label “Friends of Queen”. What a nice guy!! 

We stopped for the day after only 14 miles or so. The terrain was rocky and there wasn’t really anywhere good to set up our tents, but we were both kind of tired and hangry and just ready to be done for the day. It was wooded and damp and there were a lot of rocks just beneath the soil, making it almost impossible to clear enough space even for our small tents.  

It was also biting cold. Ghosthiker had cell service and saw that it was supposed to get down to 18 degrees in Flagstaff tonight. Brrrrrrrr!!!! We’re at almost 8000’ elevation, 900’ higher than Flagstaff, so tonight is going to be frigid

Day 48: The Arizona Snowbowl

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 sarahhikes.com.

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