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Day 14 - Big Miles

I walked 67374 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 30 miles today.
My first 30 mile day ever! From Oracle to the Freeman Road water cache, I enjoyed the shade of my umbrella in the 90+ heat.
I started with 5 liters and the only water source was Beehive Well at 21 miles. Fortunately, there was plenty of water there with about a billion bees in, on, and around the water. My Sawyer filter worked just great and I had plenty of water.
I met two trail stewards on horse and chatted a bit with them. I actually used their hoofprints to help follow the trail in a few sketchy spots. I also met PapaBear at the water cache where I'm camping tonite. He was all set up here and we might hike together a bit tomorrow and see how it goes. He's section hiked the PCT.
There's also a guy named Eric behind me that might catch up tomorrow or next day.
I certainly like the morning hike better - it's too hot for me in the later day. But, cooler weather is supposed to come in on Sunday.
Check out my current location on the map.

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Posted: 19:40 03-31-2012 789
Day 13 - Oracle Chalet Village

I walked 50480 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 21 miles today.
I spent most of the day walking across a very hot, dry desert after I descended the Oracle Ridge from Summerhaven. I also had a 1m backhike for h2o first thing and 3m hike into Oracle, so a pretty long day.
I'm at the Chalet Village in Oracle tonite. Jim is a wonderful host and the little cabins are clean and simple - a perfect overnite for hikers. They also have a great thru-hiker discount and will take you to the store to resupply and to the trailhead when you're ready to get back on the trail.
I resupplied for 4 days at the Oracle Market which should get me to Superior and another bed!

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Posted: 19:08 03-29-2012 788
Day 12 - Alone

I walked 53867 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 23 miles today.
BIG Thank You to Janet and John for letting me rest up with them. And to John for the ride to Molino Basin CG to restart my hike.
It's just me now and I have about 630 miles to go. I did make it to Summeerhaven, but there's no place to stay and the couple stores close early. So, I begged some water from the fire station and am camped nearby. Tomorrow, I backhike a mile to get wated since it's dry to Oracle. It's also almost all downhill so I hope to get there early and find a room and buy 4 days of food.
I met Sandy and her husband on a day hike this a.m. and a young guy, girl, and dog at the end of the day. Sandy and hubby had done the AT for their honeymoon many years ago and are just starting to hike again. The young couple were just scrambliing around on a multi-day adventure. Lots of different folks on the trail.

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Posted: 11:07 03-29-2012 787
Umbrella Power

My umbrella is really saving the day again. It's darn hot and an incredibly steep long climb, but having my own shade is super.
It looks like I might make it to Summerhaven tonite, but it's still 8 miles away - all UP!
The t-bone last night has gotten me this far but from here on it's trail mix. Maybe a dinner awaits me in town.

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Posted: 15:11 03-28-2012 786
Enjoying Civilization
I'll be back to hiking bright and early tomorrow, keeping my eye open for other hikers to say "Howdy" to on the trail - maybe you'll cross my path? But, for one more evening, I'm really enjoying time to relax in a cool home, eating real food, and not worrying about how much water I need to carry or where I'll find the next small puddle.

I hit the jackpot at Albertson's grocery store today - Snickers bars were 2/$1.00 AND each one got me a monopoly game piece! So, I figure I'm practically guaranteed to win a Mustang with the 2 dozen game pieces I got. That takes care of my trip home to MN from AZ. ;-)

Now we're headed to the post office to send off my supply boxes down the trail. I've still got to find some Honey Buns which I've heard lots of thru-hikers talking about eating. I'll let you know when I track some down - probably in a Circle K or AM/PM somewhere out there.

I'm really looking forward to visiting with a couple scouting folks in Pine and Flagstaff - I hope the dates work out.

Scout On
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Posted: 16:24 03-27-2012 785
Shelter Upgrade
Hiker Hunger Kept busy today getting my hike schedule set for the next few weeks. Figuring how to minimize the food drops and stops along the way. Barring any more snow storms or other unforeseen obstacles, I should complete the trail right around May 1.

Here's a big THANK YOU to Charlene at the Tucson Quilter's Market for her generosity today. She let me use one of their sewing machines to add a one foot wide bug net around the bottom of my tarp tent.
Now, I'll have more headroom to sit up and I won't have to worry about ants, scorpions, snakes and other crawlies visiting me in the night. It will also allow ventilation out on the hot desert.

I sure didn't realize how nice a day off the trail feels. I feel like I could go and pound out 25 miles right now. But, when I step out into the Tucson heat, I get over that feeling real quick. :-) You should have seen the wonderful roast beef my friend cooked for dinner last night. That hiker hunger I've heard about seems to have caught up with me. I had a Big Mac and fries for lunch and could have had another. But, instead I bought a head of lettuce and ate that along with two bananas and two kiwi fruit. Wonder what's for supper?

Scout On
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Posted: 17:29 03-26-2012 783
Day 9 - Back to the Start

I walked 35462 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 16 miles today.
Yet another change in plans - after the long haul over Mica Mtn yesterday and another hot day, we stopped at Molina Basin CG. This is also the most convenient stop for a zero day (or 2) in Tucson. So, after 9 days I'm right back where I started! A rest will be super before the hike up to Summerhaven and then north past Oracle. Tomorrow, I rest my legs and work on resupplying. I'm hoping to add an 8-inch extension around my tent bottom also for a little sit-up room.

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Posted: 21:19 03-25-2012 782
Day 8 - Up and Over

I walked 49644 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 20 miles today.
This is the view all the way back to Mexico from Mica Mtn. A week ago, I was by the mountains way off to the left. The high point out there is Wrightson. It was amazing today to go from flat, hot desert up to snowy pine forest and back down. A classic example of a 'sky island'.

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Posted: 9:46 03-25-2012 781
Day 5 - scarce water

I walked 45794 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 21 miles today.
First warm day in the desert. Found small pool of h2o in a creekbed - whew!
Check out my current location on the map.

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Posted: 11:29 03-22-2012 776
Day 4

I walked 48492 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 22 miles today.
Patagonia to Gardner Canyon thru snow around Mt. Wrightson - gorgeous day!
Check out my current location on the map.

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Posted: 11:29 03-22-2012 775
Day 3 - Canelo Hills

I walked 39987 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 16 miles today.
It feels like hiking in MN so far. Another day in snow and wind. At Patagonia tonite.

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Posted: 11:28 03-22-2012 774
2nd Day - Snow

I walked 34654 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 16 miles today.
Met Phil from FL yesterday. Hit by a desert snow storm today. Exciting hike!

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Posted: 11:28 03-22-2012 773
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