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Mark "SlowBro" Hurd
Begins: Mar 9, 2017
Date: Wed, Sep 13th, 2017
Start: Mile 613.0
End: Mile 627.6
Daily Distance: 14.6
Trip Distance: 607.9
Entry Visits: 62
Journal Visits: 20,853
Guestbook Views: 306
Guestbook Entrys: 41
Picture Perfect Turns To Rain
The coyotes wake me up just after 5 with their yips a few hundred yards away. Stuff the sleeping bag, deflate the pillow, gather the electronic gear and put on my coat. Socks on then shoes and out of the hammock. Roll tarp and sleeve hammock then stow everything in my backpack. Elapsed time is about 15 minutes. Then it's time to boil water for coffee and oatmeal. Eat breakfast as the sky turns from deep red to intense orange which then morphs to a daffodil yellow. Pack the last of the gear as the yellow sky washes to pale blue and start hiking as the sun comes up.
Walking along in the cool of the morning through this open grassy forest is almost like a dream. The long shadows and everything painted with a fresh coat of sunlight gives the impression of strolling through a work of art.
About a mile along the trail I pass Linda breaking camp then a couple more miles of open forest. The pines gradually give way to juniper and the grass to dirt as the trail drops toward a vast grassland valley. The temperature warms and I get out my umbrella for shade.
After a little over 12 miles I reach the cache box at Cedar Tank Trailhead and collect my water and stop for lunch. It is noon and the clouds are building rapidly. A clap of thunder reminds me I must be on my way just as Linda arrives.
I find out she has been section hiking the AZT with a Tucson hiking club and decided to complete the trail this year. She is going to the Grand Canyon now and will return to finish the trail in Oct. I bid her farewell and strike off.
Looking up I note that black clouds now fill the sky and thunder is everywhere around me. Two quick miles and I find a couple of tree for my hammock just as the first raindrops arrive. I am able to get the tarp up and stay dry. The sky is black and thunder is still all around me, but I only get light rain and it moves on.
SlowBro's Arizona Trail Journey
"I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days." -Daniel Boone
"The Journey IS The Reward" -SlowBro
"If you feel like quitting, just keep walking." -Gypsy Spirit
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