👣 Miles: 6.83
📈 Elevation Gain: 771 ft
📉 Elevation Loss: 276 ft
Overall Weather: cloudy, overcast, some sun breaks
Storing the Van Again
We took a normal slow van morning. Either we could have a short day of hiking or a long day today.
Since we had to put the van back in storage and do van chores, we opted for the short day. What a slow start to this hike…like comically short 😂
We went through the motions of storing the van. I also forgot to leave the fridge open. That would have ended in disaster in 2 months. Never again forgetting that one after we forgot it for the GET.
Took an Uber Back to the Route
Because we ended at a motel, we took the Uber back to it and had lunch at Denny’s. Yes, surprisingly, they now have a few vegan options. Honestly, I just wanted a basket of fries though.
That extra lunch time allowed us to set a leisurely pace to a legal area to camp near the Saguaro NP border.
Road Walking Out of Town
Luckily, we only had a little bit of pavement left before we hit dirt roads and some trail.
We crossed a wash on the road and Karma spotted a Great Blue Heron! Right in town. Hunting next to someone’s discarded Eggees soda cup.
The dirt roads through some houses had a surprising number of birds. We saw Gila Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Curve Billed Thrashers, and Cactus Wrens.
I got a little distracted with a few of them perched on saguaros.
Some Trail Again
We hit the border of Saguaro National Park and suddenly had well graded, maintained trail complete with signs. 🤯
Along the way, we saw a few more Gila Woodpeckers and 4 deer on the opposite hillside.
We came up on a water source that had been reported dry 2 weeks ago. However, after 1.8 inches of rain, one trough had smart water dip-able water and so did 3 fairly large tinajas (areas of rock that can hold water in a wash, usually near a pour-off).
Both of us topped off our water for a night of dry camping and traversing Saguaro NP the next day.
Eventually we hit the park border and found a spot that’s technically legal although probably still frowned upon. Luckily, Allgood convinced us to go stealth mode with our tarp this year. The forest green haven tarp blends into the freshly green cacti well!
With the full moon, we could minimize headlamp use and just lay low until an early wake up.
You’ve Got to be Kidding Me…
Right after Karma and I finished dinner we suddenly heard a voice. We went quiet and listened.
Someone was chanting near a mine under the full moon. We picked up on words like “success of Earth,” “fire,” and “dark” over and over. At first we thought it was some high school kid practicing cheering because the chant sounded more like that. Then, we thought it was some high school kid having some full moon ceremony. 🤦🏼♀️
I have never taken so long to blow up a neoair as I did there. Luckily or unluckily (yet to be determined) we seem to be in the flight path for the Tucson airport and some military jets. Between the two of them, they seemed to make loud flights every 10-20 minutes. Thus, we waited for those noises to make our noises.
At some point, some coyotes got lucky and clearly made a kill of some sort and went nuts. They set off some nearby dogs and the chanting didn’t last much longer than that. 🤷🏼♀️