Day 36-38 The Final Push

Day 36

I started the day ready to go. Today I knew snow would be an issue as I was heading towards the snowbowl. The morning started well and I came across some hikers I had never met before. Most were planning to end their hike at the Grand Canyon as well. We leap frogged each other most of the morning.


I hit the snow stretch about midday. It was solid snow for about 10 miles. I slip slided and post holed a bit. I tried to stay on trail and keep a good pace. I passed some aspen groves along the way. Finally I made it out of the snow stretch and I was relieved most of the trail had not been like that. My shoes were soaked but I knew eventually they would dry. One good thing about hiking Arizona is nothing stays wet for long.

Once I got past the snowbowl, the trail flattened out significantly and I cruised. At the end of the day I hit a long road walk and I hit a wall of boredom. I tried talking to myself, listening to music or a podcast but sometimes you just get bored of walking a straight line. Luckily I had some spotty cell service and a call to Eric did the trick to distract me. He listened to me huff and puff for an hour as the sun started the fall and the road miles melted away.

I setup camp and startled some baby bunnies in the process. The winds picked up and I had to get creative when setting up the tent so it didn’t blow away. Looking ahead water will be a slight issue but the terrain will continue to be very flat! I’ll be at the grand canyon in no time!

Day 37

Another day of flat terrain and big miles! The finish line is within my reach and I feel myself pushing to accomplish this goal. I decided to hike another marathon and the lack of elevation allows for it. The flat landscape brings out the bright blue sky. I seem to be surrounded by sky and nothing else.

The water is a bit more of an issue, those flowing creeks and snow melt streams are gone. I have to rely on water tanks, which is ok but some of them are a half mile to a mile off trail. I’ve cameled up in order to avoid having to walk to the farther tanks. While I’ll be doing 26.2 trail miles, I’ll easily have hiked closer to 30 miles due to the water tanks.

Today was a quieter day, very few hikers and wildlife. Some snow capped mountains loom behind me and I tried to stay present and enjoy my last few days on trail.

Day 38

The Grand Canyon is getting closer! I have started to be able to hear the helicopters! I saw some cute light brown deer on trail this morning. The terrain was a little less flat today but nnothing even remotely challenging. Some of the pines have returned and luckily the water tanks aren’t as far off trail today.

I passed some grazing cows that were more brown and white colored. They scampered away when I hiked by them. I passed Hollywood, one of the hikers I met a few days ago. He is planning to finish his hike at the GC as well. He thinks many people will be at the hiker campsite at Mather campground. The AZT keeps one campsite reserved for thru-hikers so they don’t have to worry about camping when they reach the southern rim of the GC. My plan was hopefully to squeeze in as I would be arriving later in the day tomorrow. I can’t believe I’ll be reaching the GC tomorrow!

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