AZT 43: Saguaro National Park


Wednesday, November 7
Miles: 17.8
Starting/ending: 644.6/662.4
Camp elevation: 3087 ft

I wake up at 5:30. Coffee, pack, granola. I slept well thanks to the CBD chocolate and Advil PM. The natural calm continues to work and keep my leg cramps at bay. I’m slow getting ready. David and Oklahoma are on trail ahead of me. Uphill, here we go.

I officially enter the park and sign the register after 0.1 miles. Up, up. I eventually catch Oklahoma not long before the top. We talk about splitting a shuttle on the 16th from Mexican border to Tucson. I split off and summit Mica Mountain which is a 0.1 mile spur – but no views! Lame, a comment in the app says views. I eat a pecan bar. Drink water. Downhill from here!

1 1/2 miles to Manning Camp. David is there filtering water. I get 2L. It’s cold! David gets on trail. I’m behind. And ravenous this morning. Peanut butter banana meal probar at 9:30. I catch up to David at 11 at the Grass Shack Campground. He’s eating lunch, I stop to put on sunscreen and then take off ahead. With a service I text Jared he books my flight for the 17th – 10 days away!

At noon I stop in the shade (kinda the only shade) out of the hot sun. David catches up. I eat tortillas with cheese and hot sauce. Snacks. Dang, my chocolate is white chocolate – so disappointing! We catch up to Oklahoma after a few miles at the next water source, which is a really nice spot. Break for water. I drink 1L and carry out 3L. We’re planning a short day of 17.8 miles, just outside the park border.

Onward past Hope Camp and out of Saguaro National Park. I listen to podcasts – Revisionist History. We’re quickly at the creek 0.2 miles after the boundary.

David and I find a spot to camp on a sand bar and Oklahoma has gone off somewhere ahead. It’s 4:45 ish. Set up tent. Cook dinner. Ramen with tuna. There’s a woman walking her dogs nearby. At 6 we we retire to our tents – so early! Bathe, write, read (I’m reading God’s Middle Finger – it’s about the lawless Sierra Madre to the south). Tomorrow – a short day to Colossal Cave only 7 miles from here. Sleep…

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