Friday, October 26
Miles: 21.8 miles
Camp elevation: 3625 ft
I wake at 5:30 in the pallatial campsite. Coffee and oatmeal. Pack. On trail at 6:35 ahead of the others. Bathroom break at the top of a climb. I realize I dropped my phone a little ways back and run back to look for it. I quickly run into Tarek and Andrea who picked it up.
Up and down in the mountains all day. I think these are the Superstitions? Along ridges. There’s a giant water cash – for a trail crew perhaps? I fill up. I’m behind David and ahead of Tarek and Andrea all morning. There is a steep descent then steep ascent in and out of a gully. I take lunch by myself at a sweet campsite near the river. Best trail lunch yet: salmon from Patagonia Provisions on tortillas with mayonnaise, olives, and salsa yum!
Tarek and Andrea passed me. Andrea’s back is bothering her. Down along Revis Creek. Lots of water. Vegetation. Some shade. A few day hikers and weekend backpackers down here. One guy is smelling bear poop. Okay. I catch up with David while he’s filtering water early afternoon. I fill up with 4L. We all speed up to try to make a 23 mile day to a good campsite. We’ll be cutting it close. The terrain is probably too difficult.
Down, down. Hot. Sun. I catch up to the others in the shade in a dry creek bed. Quick snack. I go ahead. Up, up, up. More water is flowing around here than expected. It has been such a rainy month that water is everywhere. More hikers hiking in for the weekend here. Trailhead and a register. One-Gallon is only 5 hours ahead! Up a steep road. Shade break. Snack. David catches up, then Tarek and Andrea. We all hike up together. Great views.
Many SUVs and trucks parked along the dirt road. Must be campers and/or hunters. Back on singletrack, up then down, down, down. Can we make another four miles? We all hike together in the event that we need to night hike (my headlamp is dead as is Tarek’s, so we have two headlamps between the four of us). Some loose footing.
We’re hiking as fast as we can. Down to the dry creek bed. We look for a spot and find one at 5:30, perfect timing before sunset. Set up tents, heat up dinner. Hot chocolate, Patagonia Provisions Kamut, tortillas, olives, tapatio and Taco Bell fire sauce. Peanut M&Ms for dessert. Into my tent by 7 p.m. I write and plan ahead – Superior tomorrow! Sleep.