Day 5- Patagonia, AZ

Day 5
Last night, it seemed like only a few hours after my tent was thoroughly secured, the wind disappeared completely. I heard my first owl last night! It was a happy feeling and I was immediately transported back to the AT. I also heard another hiker arrive late and leave early, likely trying to get in and out of town quickly. I wasn’t hungry and knew town was a couple miles away so I immediately packed up and headed out. The morning had a chill in the air and my fingers were stiff but the sun was rising and I knew I’d be swapping gloves for a sun hat within minutes.
The scenery was beautiful as ever and I saw a herd of horses standing on the trail. I don’t know if they were wild but the leader stood defiantly in the trail while the four other horses hid in the shrubby trees. Only when I was within 20 feet of him did he step off trail allowing me to pass but after I did so he quickly stepped back on trail and pinned his ears at me as I walked away….”yeah keep moving little human with stick hands.”
They were beautiful horses and I couldn’t believe how amazing this trail is. My horse happiness quickly disappeared when I couldn’t figure out how to get on to the road into town. The trail goes under the bridge and access the road is blocked by wire fences. I walked around a bit but eventually gave up and opted to take the connector trail to town. This is a situation where having Eric with me would have been ideal as he is much better at seeing these sorts of things but at least the 4 miles to town would be a nice flat trail not a miserable road walk. Although by doing this any chance of catching a ride was gone but again I wasn’t in a hurry and the scenery was so beautiful so I kept walking.
I reached town, picked up my mail drop and headed for the coffee shop. My first meal in town was egg and cheese croissant and bottomless coffee.  I was also just so happy to be able to wash my hands, seeing all the dirt rinsing off and rolling into the sink drain was just so satisfying. Unfortunately there is no cell service in town or wifi at the shop so I headed to the library to blog while waiting to check into my hotel room. Patagonia is a very cute southwestern town who are very supportive of AZT hikers. I chatted with a few locals and some other visitors to the town.
I saw a few other hikers in town but didn’t chat with them too much. I walked through town and was hit by some sads again. One of Eric’s favorite things about the AT was getting to walk through these little towns you would have never known existed. The feel of a trail town is also very special and it was nice to know there are other trails outside of the AT that have these wonderful towns.
I checked into the only hotel in town, the Stage Stop Inn. It feels a little early to be showering and doing laundry at day five but the next stretch will be long. I happily will take this opportunity while I have it. It was nice to talk with family and friends for a bit. Even though it’s been less than a week it feels like much longer. The trail is a bit of a time warp.
Unfortunately the small town came with small town customs like closing earlier than posted so I did not get the tacos I was hoping for but I’ll have a chance at the next one! All in all, a really nice introduction to trail towns in Arizona!

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