My uncle Michael got in a little early at around 10:30 pm last night and we chatted for a bit then we went to sleep.
We woke up and got our stuff all packed up and ready to go. Charged all our electronics and then Patrick the B&B owner made us breakfast. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit and a smoothie! It sure hit the spot!
We started our 2 mile walk towards the AZT when I saw William, a guy I met in the post office yesterday and said hey to him. He looks like an old 49er in his 60s and he was obsessed with panning for gold with his cast iron skillet he said. Funny old fella! Then we tried hitching back to towards the trail and finally someone pulled over a few minutes later and the guy came out and said, “Hey Michael!” I was confused for a minute and then Michael told me he was Rick Newman the same person that was in the shuttle with him last night. Small world! He takes us to the trailhead and we thank him and wish him well!
At the trailhead we run into Ledge, a thru hiker I had heard about and knew I had somehow passed after his Altra shoe prints disappeared on a road walk the other day. We talked for about 10 minutes about Pine and where to visit. THAT Brewery of course! He’s taking a zero there. Maybe we will see him again, seems like s cool guy!
So we hit the trail at about 11 AM, a late start. We start a 1000 foot climb and it’s tough for Michael. Our packs are stuffed with food and water, always the hardest part of hiking out of town. He’s spitting and saying, “Oh shit. Please no more uphill.” We reach a flatter area of the trail and he’s fairing much better. We snap a few pictures of ourselves with the Mogollon Rim in the background. Michael is a professional photographer that works at the White House and takes pictures of the president and has a big ass expensive camera that he brought with him to take some killer photos. The camera and lenses weight probably about 10 lbs total so I carry a lens and some camera gear to help take some of the weight off.
We take a break near Geronimo camp next to a sweet creek and eat lunch. I packed out some serious food this time. I have the cravings now and couldn’t help myself. I have a few huge cinnamon rolls about a pound each, cookies, bread, mayo, mustard and cheese to make sandwiches, and then some pork jerky. A pound of it. It’s the most delicious jerky I’ve ever had. It’s gunna be gone quick.
We walk and take pictures the rest of the day. We make it 12.2 miles to sycamore creek and call it a day. We set up camp and chow down on our absurd amounts of food. A nice half day! Get up on the rim tomorrow and it should be pretty flat. Nice to have some company!