Day 18 & 19 Wildflower Wonderland

Day 18

Another hiker and I got a ride from Jeff back to the trailhead bright and early. The morning finally felt like it had been a week or so ago, cool and full of promise for a great hiking day. It looks like the heat has calmed down a bit. I was ready to get back to those wildflowers!

I set out ready to get a good day in. The trail continued to roll along the Gila river with rows of wildflowers along the path. There was not much elevation gain today, in fact we hit a low point at about 1600 feet of elevation. There was not much water but a couple points along the trail you could cut in directly to the large river. It’s interesting how I am willing to drink from water sources in Arizona that I never would have considered on the AT. I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

Early on outside of Kearny I passed a railroad bridge. I also saw tons of little lizards darting across the trail. While this isn’t the first time I had seen them, the amount in this section was significantly higher. I almost had to watch where I stepped and some of them stayed next to me as I took breaks.

The hours passed quickly and the temperatures did rise a bit but it was very tolerable. The winds also started to pick up and I’ll have to plan for that tonight when I stake and tie down my tent. I passed some mountain bikers and a Sagauro catcus that had reached the end of it’s life and fallen on the trail. It was interesting to see how it looked inside.

There were many rock formations protruding from the hills surrounding me. I saw a little more red dirt at time when I hiked.

I covered enough miles for the day by 3 and decided to camp early so I could get to sleep a little earlier tonight. The wind gusts were strong at times but nothing too intense.

Day 19

I slept in a little (hiker sleep in) since the temperatures would not be too high today. I was on trail by 7. The first thing of the day was a climb up high staddle. I’ve noticed Arizona uses the word saddle a lot, I must have hiked over a dozen saddles by now. The climb was very gentle, those switchbacks are gold. I took a few breaks just to enjoy the wildflowers around me. It’s fun to see which hills have the dominant flower, orange, yellow, white, purple.

I made it to a rain collection tank and filled up my smart water bottles (getting pretty battered at this point) I’ve noticed 3 is about what I need for long stretches without water, I rarely fill up my fourth bottle. The sawyer squeeze has been working well for me and I am not sure if I prefer it or the Katadyn. I had a nice second breakfast of cereal and powdered milk before heading out.

The terrain was not too challenging, that will be tomorrow when the Superstitions start. I enjoyed a temperate day and even saw some trail riders (horseback riding).

I made it through the snake gauntlet with no sightings. Several people in Farout left comments about the large numbers of snake they had seen in a certain 5 mile stretch. No Gila monsters though! I’ve been told this large poisonous lizard is usually rare in sightings but a handful of hikers have seen some recently.

I got off trail again and had to backtrack over a half mile. I grumbled for a while because my mistake was due to a confusing sign they had posted. Why put an arrow at a sharp turn when you are supposed to go straight?? Erg…On the plus side, I hit 300 miles today! Just knocking down those milestones.

I filled up some water in the nearby creek and found a flat spot to camp. I could hear the road and hunters in the distance. I’ll make a good sized dinner tonight as tomorrow will have some climbing.

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Comments 2

  • Ellen M : Apr 18th

    Love the photos of all the cacti and flowers! Thank you for sharing.

  • allen : Apr 18th

    stunning country, great pics…Big contrast from the AT, thanks for sharing


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