Arguably one of the highlights of the Arizona Trail is the Grand Canyon, and with that ahead of me I really put on the afterburners and cranked out some big miles. Another reason I was hiking 40 miles a day was to catch my friend S.O.L., who was waiting for me at the South Rim of the canyon at my good buddy Li’s apartment. Li works for the Park Service, and puts out an EXCELLENT series of maps for the AZT, in addition to offering his home up to weary travelers who need a shower and laundry.
The trail in this section was amazing. Not only because of the views, but also the careful construction of tread in a vertical world of rock.
This was truly a feast for the eyes, and the constant sense of wonder made me forget the steep elevation changes. Losing thousands of feet in elevation, only to regain them the next day, didn’t even register in my head. I was too busy taking in views like this;
Once out of the canyon, S.O.L and I hiked together, both of us excited to complete the AZT. Water sources were few and far apart, but the constant chatter we shared made up for it. In an odd twist of events, we had gotten slightly ahead of Dirtmonger, but he caught us while we took a break, and I was elated to have TWO friends to hike with. The last section of trail was smooth and easy, even more so now that I had some company. The trail popped out at the border of Utah, and as quickly as it had started, my hike across Arizona was over.
I’m typing this from Portland Oregon, and while my journey through Arizona is over, my summer still has many miles left. I’ll be headed out on the Pacific Crest Trail soon, and will hopefully keep my blog updated in a more timely fashion.