In the Heat of the Sun
It was hot today. Very very hot. Thankfully it was also mostly downhill (to where it was even hotter) on our way to where I left the rig 10 days ago at the Picket Post trailhead. Five miles before reaching the rig I met another hiker named Carl. He had been hiking the Grand Enchantment Trail which goes mostly through New Mexico. It isn't a well marked trail and he got sick of bush-whacking through catsclaw and cactus so he decided to do the last 500 miles of the AZT instead. My other hiker friends, Rat and Ant, have gotten too far north for me to catch so Carl is the new replacement hiker pal. I'm not used to being out paced by hikers but we've need to travel slower on this trail to let the horses eat and give me enough time to do my caches. Anyhow, Carl also did the PCT last year and we even met a couple times, though never properly chatted. He gave me a fresh mango which I shared with Shyla. We parted ways and the horses and I got to the trailer by 3:30. Thank God there was plenty of water stored with the trailer. We all drank down about 10 gallons of it as soon as we arrived, even though we had just drunk 6 miles earlier. We loaded up and drove 2 hours to Payson AZ where we are resting for the 6th before getting back on the trail on the 7th. Nearly half way there in terms of miles on the trail!