April 7, 2015
The Grand Enchantment Trail uses the Arizona Trail for about 70 miles but otherwise it’s pretty obscure. To get from Phoenix to Albuquerque, the route uses washes, drainages, old trails, and dirt roads. Sometimes the route is marked by cairns or blue tape, but mostly you can’t have your head up your ass. Today I had my head up my ass.
I miss my turn off into a wash and hike 3 miles down the wide corridor that is the Arizona Trail.
I am almost out of water.
Either I continue down the AZT and meet up with the GET at the Gila River or hike back. Either way I’m going to be thirsty so I decide to turn around, I know Brett Tucker has something in mind when he made the route diverge.
Serendipitously on the way back I run into Marge, an AZT hiker who has “too much water,” and spares a liter. Karma paid off quick this time. The trail delivers!
Once I’m back on the GET the corridor thins and I’m looking for cairns and tip toeing around cactus. Teddy Bear Cholla bites, it hooks, it hurts. I watch my skin stretch like rubber when I pull it out.
I spot a stagnant black pool of water and scramble down to it. It’s no Aqua Fina but tastes fine.
It’s all worth it folks, I promise.
With gooey lips I walk below great towering walls under blue skies. I feel small. I like this feeling.