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DWTH Day 16: Heavy Overnight Rain and…bikes? 

DWTH Day 16: Heavy Overnight Rain and…bikes? 

Stats

👣 Miles: 16.91

📈 Elevation Gain: 1,398 ft

📉 Elevation Loss: 1,673 ft

Overall Weather: Partly Sunny, Scattered Small Showers, Windy 🌬️

Our Extra Camp Prep Worked!

Our extra preparations for the rain worked great! Despite the heavy rain and decent wind gusts, we stayed dry inside our tent. And bonus, none of our stakes ripped out. 🥳

However, we did have to fiddle with the foot area on Karma’s side when the wind shifted around midnight. We had to pop an umbrella in the vestibule because the wind whipped the water upward somehow as the rain got heavier. 

It rained solidly for hours without breaks. I know, because I had to pee and refused to go outside, so I vesti-peed. 😁 It’s a skill. 

Eventually, at some point in the morning, the rain stopped and we both slept soundly. 

Morning Cross-Country Hiking

We had a bit of non-motorized old road turned trail left as a brief warm-up. 

Then, we got to the border of the Tohono O’odham Nation and traveled along the fence line in Table Top Wilderness. I’m sure Table Top had a better name in the past. 

While we traveled the fence line, we encountered not one, but three bikes. 🤯

The bikes had clearly been there a long time and had melted tires as well as bent frames.  None of them were discarded near roads either. No trails. No roads. 🤔

We eventually took a series of washes to the trail up Table Top Mountain. We opted out of the out-and-back addition due to water and weather. It had already rained on us during the cross-country and the wind was battering us below. 

A Pit Toilet!

Never underestimate the happiness that a pit toilet can provide for a thru-hiker.  

Sometimes it’s the simple things that a trailhead can offer. 🤷🏼‍♀️

This particular one was relatively clean, had toilet paper, and hand sanitizer, didn’t smell, had an awning, and could sleep one person comfortably or two in a pinch. 

If you’ve never sheltered from a storm in a pit toilet…have you thru-hiked at all?

This time, we only used it as a windblock and made a deposit. 

Some Single Track Trail with Cairns

The excitement didn’t end at the pit toilet…oh no. We got to cruise around on single-track for a bit!  It was easy to navigate and nice to have a change of pace. 

Although, we might have had a near miss at lunch. 😬

We found a nice out-of-the-wind spot and because opening all that lunch entails when Karma got a whiff of skunk. 🦨 

He’d been skunked on his first Arizona Trail thru-hike and said it was awful. 

We looked around closer and saw a perfect cover for daytime sleeping for a skunk and then smelled another skunk fart. 

Let’s just say, we moved rather quickly but watched that spot from our new spot to see if it wanted to investigate. It didn’t. 

Evening Water and Camp

We got to today’s water and got enough to get to our cache tomorrow. It was so full from the heavy rain last night that we saw it had overflowed. 

Yet another palo verde tree had been cut up for a hunting blind here. But, instead of a chair handcuffed to a tree, this hunter left a pee bottle. 🙄

We hiked on until 15 minutes before sunset and then hopped off the dirt road to find a “flat enough” spot, far enough from the chollas. 

After we cooked dinner, I got up and took a few photos of the stars before retreating to the warmth of our quilts.