I woke up very cold…where was that shoe drying heat from yesterday? From my sleeping bag, I could already see my tent had frost on it. I also realized I had made a mistake yesterday, that creek I was camping next to…I had to cross it this morning. Ugh…this was going to be unpleasant. I forced myself up and with stiff fingers I took my frosty tent apart and stuffed it into my bag. Luckily I’ll have a hotel room to dry this in later. I kept my crocs on and made my way to the creek and plunged in. Icey water hit me up to my knees. I hustled and got out quick without slipping. Immediately I put my dry socks and shoes on. I even put pants on, that’s when you know I’m cold, I do not like hiking in pants.
After that cold shock to wake me up, I hustled into town to warm up. Luckily the temperatures started to quickly rise so I quickly relaxed and my fingers unfroze. Like many other hikers, I opted to take the urban route through Flagstaff versus the actual AZT that skirts around the city. Within a hour or so I arrived in Flagstaff and I immediately headed to grab some hot coffee and delicious breakfast.
The town is large but the people are very hiker friendly, many said hello to me and wished me luck with the trail. When you get to these larger towns, you never know how the locals will react to smelly hikers.
After my yummy breakfast, I headed over to the Starbucks to wait until I could check into my hotel room. I’ve really enjoyed the hostels I’ve stayed at in these small towns but sometimes it’s nice to have your own space, a crappy hotel will be a nice change of pace. I spent my time at the Staahbucks catching up with the blog and various family members. It’s really nice to have the support of friends and family while I am on this journey.
I hoofed it to the hotel and dropped my bag. I decided I wasn’t ready to settle in yet so I headed back out to grab a drink a Wanderlust brewery then to do my resupply at Walmart. I was planning to make this a 24 hour visit to Flagstaff with plans to return before I went home. Most people do spend a few days enjoying the city but my mind was pretty focused on getting to the Grand Canyon but I was already making mental notes on where to go when I returned the next week!
I got up and got bag ready to go, of course I had too much food packed. I felt cumbersome and slow as I usually do when leaving town. I opted to take the urban route through town instead of walking the official trail around Flagstaff. Technically it’s cheating but I can’t finish the trail anyway so I’m not feeling any guilt with skipping a couple miles.
The urban route tranformed from city sidewalks to a really nice wide walking path away from the downtown area. It was a sunday so many people were walking, running, bike riding, etc. The trail changed from a wide path back to hiking trails. I had to keep my eyes open as there were so many intersecting trails.
I made it off the urban trail and back to the official AZT and hit 600 miles! These milestones just keep flying by, now it’s starting to become a countdown…only 100 miles left.
I hiked through the afternoon occasionally getting off the Arizona trail and onto mountain bike trails then having to backtrack a little. The amount of trails outside of town really is surprising and you have to keep your head up or else you’ll miss where the AZT will veer off from said mountain bike trail. Again since it was sunday there were many mountain bikers and we tried to coexist as well as possible on a single track trail.
Eventually I decided to end for the day, my bag was heavy and I knew stopping for the night to eat would help make it lighter. I can’t believe in less than 100 miles I’ll be finished with my hike.
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