👣 Miles: 19.30
📈 Elevation Gain: 850 ft
📉 Elevation Loss: 1,145 ft
Overall Weather: Sunny, Hot
For the first time since getting back from the van, we awoke to a dry tarp without dew 🥳
We were ecstatic! It motivated us to get out and pack up as the sunrise streaked orange across the sky.
Both of us slept better than we had been and felt good to start the day.
Mix of Old Dirt Roads and Cross-Country
Today, we split mileage between some OHV roads and cross-country hiking.
It felt pretty good overall as we meandered around not often used pathways.
We joked that there might be more saguaros out here than inside the National Park.
A lot of the cross-country hiking followed washes today. A wash is essentially a stream bed that is usually dry unless enough rain has fallen.
Wide enough washes often make for easy navigation although the sand can sometimes get cumbersome. We remind ourselves to not clench and grip with our toes. Otherwise, you’ll get blisters on the tips of your toes if you do.
Some Long, Hot, Straight Roads
We started listening on a long dirt road. I prefer audiobooks and music while Karma prefers podcasts and sometimes music.
It got hotter than we expected. We had to pull our umbrellas out to block the sun on our faces for multiple hours. Felt like a fairly intense heat today despite the weather claiming 73 degrees F.
It got hot enough, the birds even seemed to chill out and stay put. We did find quite a few bird nests though.
Karma and I have found listening to different things is helpful on trail because it gives us something new to talk about. Otherwise, we end up talking about food, water, what hurts, our poops, and whatever wildlife we’re seeing or wish to see.
I started an audiobook that I found on one of the first pages of “available now” on Libby called The Bodyguard by Katherine Center. Karma listened to a few podcasts: “A Short History” and “What the British Stole.”
Finding Migrant Evidence
Neither of us are strangers to hiking around migrant corridors. Between the Arizona Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, save some peak bagging in Barry Goldwater, we’ve seen plenty.
We’ve seen bits of evidence so far going cross-country recently — a backpack, a few wool blankets, electrolyte waters with Spanish labels.
But today, we found a lot. All of the above plus the classic blacked out gallon water jugs, tuna packets, and more plastic drink bottles with Spanish labels. We saw them discarded around almost every turn.
If you like audiobooks and are curious about migrant journeys, I suggest reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.
We found a “flat enough” spot to camp right as the sun had set. While we did have to move a few small cactus pieces, we didn’t have to move any cow patties. So, we called that a win!
We’re getting more and more used to extra tent time on this trail. Usually, we eat dinner and keep hiking until dark. But in winter it’s dark by 6pm.
Karma has taken up journaling while I write these blog posts in notes. Then, we’ve also been trying to get better at sorting photos as we go. This is something our buddy Mavrik does really well, so we’re trying his technique!