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DWTH Day 14: Agricultural Canals

DWTH Day 14: Agricultural Canals


👣 Miles: 14.13

📈 Elevation Gain: 85 ft

📉 Elevation Loss: 151 ft

Overall Weather: Sunny, Very Hot 🥵

Lazy Motel Morning

Even if you stay at the cheapest motel, it’s hard to forfeit that time that you pay for to leave early. So, we lounged about in the morning eating an entire box of cereal, watching The Breakfast Club, and taking a second shower. 

This motel had a special shower. First, the tub overflow vent was sealed shut with caulk (asking for disaster). Second, the shower rod was one of those cheap ones that bends outward to give the illusion of space. However, they only have a cloth curtain that when pulled across didn’t stay in the tub (asking for disaster). We remedied it by making the shower head face the wall more and holding the tip of the curtain to the tub with the shampoo and conditioner bottles. 🙄

Needless to say, we stayed until checkout, then went to the gas station across the street. Surprisingly, it had WAY better snacks than the Family Dollar, Dollar General, and the IGA we passed in town. 

Not our best resupply, but we carried a few key items like good drink mixes, Karma’s coffee, and a few choice bars from our cache knowing this would be difficult. 

Back to the Route

Leaving Arizona City gave us a bit of leaving Sanford, Arizona vibes on the Grand Enchantment Trail.  The road had no shoulder and we walked next to cotton fields. It baffled my mind a bit that Arizona grew cotton. 

We hopped down under the power lines into the dirt which we hoped was a public easement like in other states. No one bothered us and we didn’t stop. 

The Canal Water

After passing a few such fields, we ended up on a large open air canal system. It had dirt access roads on either side. 

Before we left the IGA, we got an extra gallon of water. You might think that’s absurd, but canal systems next to agriculture are usually filled with pesticides. 

However, knowing it and seeing it are two different things. 

Not even half a mile into the canal path, we looked over to see a yellow plane take off and go back low in the same direction. And what do you know, they sprayed a bunch of agricultural chemicals. 🤦🏼‍♀️ If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the yellow plane.

As we walked, we watched the plane do lap after lap. Whoever was flying clearly was getting bored because they started getting crazier. We watched the plane fly under the power lines and start spraying directly over the canal to get the plants closest to it. 🤮

We laughed, shook our heads, and became thankful that we literally had an extra gallon of water. 

If I learned anything from Rachel Carson, it’s don’t mess with agricultural chemicals!

Continue Along the Canal

The rest of the day, we continued along the same canal system. 

Karma counted 8 fish. I heard locals fished in it which doesn’t really make sense health wise unless it’s catch-and-release. We found several discarded fishing pieces. 

We took breaks in the shade where we could since it was blazing hot out. 

I actually found that holding the umbrella almost sideways toward the sun helped more than the hands free system here. Because the sun angle is so much lower in the winter, we had to adjust our umbrella habits. 

Dinner with a Sunset

Since there were only a few legal spots to camp, we paused for dinner to watch a stellar sunset. 

This one flashed cool, dimmed, then went “fooled ya” and wha-bam-ed it into the stunning category. 

Night Hike to Camp

We’ve been trying to stop at sunset, but it was too hot to make those kind of miles this afternoon. 

So, we walked an hour passed sunset on the mostly straight, flat canal roads. Eventually, we reached a chunk of state trust land.

Since we have an Arizona State Trust Land Permit from van camping, we didn’t worry about camping there. We’ve gotten it for the last 3 years in the van and it’s worked great!