Mile 201 to 229. 28 miles.
Woke up and got my stuff packed. Marney came out and asked what I’d like to eat from the Mexican restaurant for breakfast. They told me about a huge breakfast burrito last night so I ordered that. Jim swung by and picked me up to go get the food. We brought it back to the RV and ate in there. This burrito is a monster. It puts chipotle burritos to shame in size. The thing must weigh at least 2 maybe 2 1/2 lbs. I can only eat less than half of it before I’m stuffed so I wrap the rest in foil and save it for he trail. Jim showed me videos of him and his buds rock crawling in their jeeps as we ate.
We set off for the trailhead. I hit the trail at 7:40 and cruised on through Oracle State Park. Just before the tiger mine trailhead I saw an odd colored lump on the side of the road. It’s a Gila monster! This guy is a little skinnier and smaller than the first but still so cool!
sweet sweet water cache
I fill up on water at the cache by the trailhead and keep on cruising. I come across a big bunch of people doing trail maintenance and chat with them for a moment and say thanks. Then I take a 20 minute break to finish off that burrito around 11 am
. Only a few minutes to gobble the rest and then some time to let it digest so I don’t puke the thing while hiking.
I thought the walk today would be flat and hot and boring but was I wrong! The black hills are beautiful. Lots of wildflowers everywhere, saguaros here and there and dominated by teddy bear cholla. The walk was mostly rolling hills and it was cloudy most of the day so I didn’t get too hot! Saw some super fast fat little lizards that I haven’t gotten a good look at yet. Too fast to identify!
desert mariposa lilycactus wren nest!
hmmm . Phallic. poppies!
Around 2 pm
I was stopped in my tracks by a fat thing moving in my peripheral vision. ANOTHER Gila monster! This guy was less than a foot from the trail in the open digging a little hole out. I didn’t even see it till it moved! They really do have good camouflage for this red rocked desert. I got some great photos and videos of this guy since he was in the open!
Not 2 minutes after taking pictures of the 3rd Gila monster it started to rain. And it rained pretty hard for about 30 minutes, just enough to moisten the ground but not soak in. It felt very good to cool off and the desert came alive with smells. Smells like rain on asphalt, earthy soil smells, and the smell of all kinds of vegetation. Minty smells, leafy smells, smells I’ve never smelled before. It was really neat!
After awhile I was running low on water and was pretty sure I was close to beehive springs which is right on trail. I still had a liter left but wanted to save it just in case the place was dry. Once I got to where my data book said it was and I couldn’t see it anywhere I got nervous. I was really thirsty and didn’t want to down the last of my water without finding more. Literally where my book said the water should be there was a cow skeleton with some of the flesh still on. Looks like his data book lied too. To make things more frustrating, the air is filled with little flying aphids. They keep flying into my eyes and dying and I can’t get their little corpses out and I also keep breathing them in and eating them. Come on!!!
Finally I looked at the water report and there was a .9 mile discrepancy in the same water source. Ughh. Had me worried. So I walked to where the water report said the water was and found it! A whole thing filled with water! As I got closer I see why it’s called beehive spring. The place is just swarming with bees trying to get some water. Then I look into the tank. Green, nasty ass water filled with drowning bees and a rotting bird corpse. This is the Arizona Trail water I heard about! I filtered a liter of the water and it actually came out looking nice. Haven’t drank any yet though.
rotting bird in the water covered with beesbefore filterafter filter
I walked about another half mile to where the trail leaves the wash and set up camp. 28 miles and the only food I ate today was that burrito and donut from circle k. That freaking burrito fueled 28 miles of backpacking. I didn’t even open my food bag until camp was set up.
I take some pictures of the sunset and now I’m in my shelter. I decided to set it up because it’s still cloudy and I heard it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.
Not bad right?
As I am writing this entry there is some big ass creature right outside my tarp walking way too close for my comfort and taking in big sniffing noises. It’s freaking me out pretty good. I yelled and shook the tarp and that made it stop moving but I think it’s still around. Please just be a cow. Pleeeease just be a cow. I’m glad I’m in my tarp tonight. Not that a thin wall of fabric is going to save me but it makes you feel better that you’re in here, and it’s out there. Wish I wasn’t alone.