AZT Day 44: Nearo at Colossal Cave

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Thursday, November 8
Miles: 7.5 + 3 bonus miles
Starting/ending: 662.4/669.9
Camp elevation: 3481 ft

Wake at 5:30 in the wash by the stream. It’s cold. Coffee, pack. Last of the granola with coconut milk. I leave camp ahead of David in my wind gear and hike the flatish easy miles. Can hear some dogs. The sun is slow to rise over the Rincon Mountains.

After an hour I find Oklahoma still in his tent just getting ready to hit the trail. We chat for a few then I take off. I pass some signs for an ultramarathon coming through in a few days – the Colossal-Vail 50/50. We will hike out of it’s boundary, but I wonder if anyone I know will encounter it. I hike ahead and listen to podcasts.

David and Oklahoma catch up at the La Sevilla picnic area. Water. We all hike in to Colossal Cave together. Some confusion when we pass the junction for La Posta Quemada.

After another mile we reach the Colossal Cave and gift shop. Food! Coffee! Soda! Beer! A great local AZ beer selection actually. I get my resupply box. And pick up another sweet care package from Brenda – thanks! We chat with the workers here. We fritter the day away eating food, charging our electronics, and generally hanging out. I decide not to take a tour and read the wiki article about the cave instead. Around 5 I get chicken fingers to go.

We hike the mile or so down to the El Bosquecito campground – complete with picnic tables. We set up tents, eat food and I have a beer. Into tents at 7:30. The air is still and I hear the sounds of an owl or some large bird flapping their wings close by. Write, read, plan for tomorrow. Sleep…

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