New (and sort of old) Friends
After the difficulty of yesterday, it was a relief to have an easy 18 miles of trail today. We took our time and even found green grass for the first time and had a long lunch break. I also met a great couple of women out for on a trail ride, and they sent me this picture from my lunch spot. Everyone in Arizona has been awesome! The hosts at the horse camp where I stayed before this section, Lou and Pam at Rocking M Ranch, the farrier Eric who helped tack on the shoe Shyla lost during the first section (and who I am going to meet when I'm done with this section to have him change out my horseshoe nails for the borium-headed ones that I brought with me, as the trail is tearing up the regular ones)--all of them have been super friendly and supportive.
And then a little later in the day I came across two other hikers who were doing a thru-hike of the AZT, and it turns out that they were on the PCT with me last year! In fact, they finished at Manning Park about four days after I did. Somehow, we managed not to run into each other, even though we were in the same parts of Washington around the same time on more than one occasion. But now, here we all are in Arizona, and this is when we meet each other! Their trail names are Ant and Rat, and they have a very ambitious plan to try to do a Triple Crown thru-hike: that's the AT, the PCT, and the CDT--all in one year! Good thing I'm not that crazy . . .