April 19, 2021
So, today was interesting. We’d heard the Arizona Snowbowl ski area was open and serving coffee and breakfast burritos, so we fully intended to hike the 1-mile detour for that. It was a 1-mile climb but would be totally worth it for fresh coffee and burritos. Luckily for us, the hike there was beautiful, taking us first through a forest of enormous Aspen trees before a couple of short switchbacks took us right to the ski resort, which looked suspiciously deserted. Turns out, the hiker who mentioned the amenities at the Snowbowl got their hours of operation wrong, and we got there on a day they’re closed.
On the plus side, there was a huge outdoor patio full of picnic tables sitting directly in the sun, which was wonderful because we were freezing. Ghosthiker’s phone and charging block don’t hold a charge as well in the cold, turns out, so we took a long break on the patio while she used the outside outlets to charge her things. I made a second protein coffee and ate some snacks, and we took advantage of the outdoor restrooms. A staff member came around at one point to see if we needed anything, apologizing for not being open and saying we were welcome to hang out as long as we wanted. So kind! Thanks!
We hiked back down to the AZT, and the rest of the morning and afternoon consisted of a fairly level, easy hike with a few very manageable snow patches. We were hiking in some sparse woods that opened out to a huge, sprawling valley and an uninterrupted view of Humphrey’s Peak. Water was scarce and we didn’t like having to rely on caches, but we didn’t really have any choice. Thank you so much, whoever stocks the bear box at mile 612.7. We found gallons and gallons of clean water available for any and all hikers, which was a huge blessing.
We camped a few miles after that and I was laying down to sleep by 7:00pm.