Mile 520 to 530. 10 miles then hitch to Mormon Lake.
The moon is so bright at night out here that you can see perfectly at midnight
. I can see the colors of all my gear. It’s wild!
We get up to another very chilly morning start walking around 7. After only a mile or two Michael is back to having some serious problems. Besides having mutilated feet from all the blisters, he is feeling very sick again. He’s nauseous and can’t stand the thought of eating anything. We make a pace of 1.5 to 2 miles an hour and we take a break in some shade. I scarf down more food but he takes one mouthful of a peanut butter snack he liked a few days ago and says he just can’t do it. Then he leans over a log thinking he might puke. It’s not coming out so he puts his fingers down his throat but there’s no food in him to puke out. It doesn’t take long to decide that it’s not smart to continue all the way to Flagstaff with him in this shape. I see Lake Mary road on my map and it goes to Mormon lake. I say we should get there and then we could try hitching to Mormon lake instead of hobbling the next 7 miles the trail would take to get to the lake.
San Francisco Peaks are getting closer!
Some snow patches still around!
We eventually get 10 miles done and get to the road about 12:15. I run up to the road as I see a car coming and put out my thumb. It pulls over! The first car in literally the first seconds I get to the road picks us up. Now that’s lucky. I thought we might be at that road hitching for hours.
Just before the road.
The nice couple is from northern Utah out for a drive. They take us to the Mormon Lake Lodge and as we drive past the lake there is tons of smoke in the air on the northwest side of the lake! A forest fire in the direction I need to hike! We get out and say thanks. We are also super lucky that we got there when did because the general store is only open from 9 AM to 1 PM
. We spend about a half hour in thee getting snacks and Michael gets his resupply box which we cherry picked and then sent home.
After the place closes we sit outside on the porch and charge our phones with Michael’s solar panel and I call my mom and do internet stuff. We have nothing else to do for the day. Michael is going to try and hitch to Flagstaff while I hike there. We decided to both stay the night here though so he can rest up and I stay so I don’t leave my sick uncle in an unfamiliar place with nothing to do.
Finally got the tip of that deep thorn out of my shin over a week later.
As we sat on the porch, several people walk by and we make small talk until one guy walks by and we start taking trail and about our situation. Turns out he owns this place and says he’s heading to Flagstaff tomorrow and can take Michael into town! Perfect! It would have been a tough hitch from out here to town! Even though things didn’t go the way we planned, we got super lucky today. He also lets us stay in the campground for free. Awesome!
We relax all afternoon and take some pictures of the amazing sky during twilight. I looked at all my maps and I think I can make it to Flagstaff by tomorrow evening
. Almost a 40 mile day but I’m feeling it and there’s a McDonald on the way into town!!! I lighten my load a few pounds by taking out non-essential items and give them to Michael since I will see him tomorrow night
. I also only need a one day supply of food! Funyuns and chips allllll day. I’ll still be carrying my shelter, sleeping bag and sleeping pad just in case something happens and I get in trouble and need to spend the night. I’ll still only be rocking about a 15 pound pack 🙂 We book two nights at two different hostels. Tomorrow night
we stay at Motel DuBeau and the next night at the Grand Canyon International Hostel. Both look to be cool and only $27 a night per person for private rooms. Bad things happen sometimes that we can’t control, but let’s make the best of them!
Sunset over Mormon Lake
Michael took this badass shot of me as the sun set.