Eventually I slept. At 5:30AM, the cleaning staff walks in and says it's time for me to go. Earlier than expected, but I pack up, and head to the post office lobby. The attendant told me yesterday that there's a slim chance my resupply package would show up today, but she couldn't be sure, because they don't know where the package currently is.

In about an hour, the post office will open.

Someone new is working today. A substitute, I learn later. She opens the door, and before she turns around, I say hello.

She looks at me with a disgusted face.

I smile, and say that I'm just waiting for a package.

Her face remains unchanged as she exclaims, "A package!?"

Yes. I was told yesterday that it might be here today, and that the packages arrive at around 10AM. So I'm waiting.

She remains in the same position, trying to process this unexpected situation.

Her face softens a little bit, and she starts to say that she didn't know waiting in the lobby was allowed, followed with some clearly audible mumbling to herself.

She seems overly concerned with rules, while at the same time not knowing what they are.

Her behavior is fascinating.

-


The daily post office delivery arrives early, and I know by 8:30AM that my resupply package is still missing in action. Off to the restaurant for some breakfast, then.

And maybe a cookie.

I stop by the general store on the way out of town, and then head down the road.

A mile or so later, I see that the road is closed to vehicles due to winter conditions. A bit farther, and the road hits a trail head. I had thought today would be relatively flat, but it's an immediate steep climb. My lack of sleep and ideal nutrition has not put me in the best place for an unexpected climb, but sometimes that's the way it goes.

It's fine, because another aspect of the trail is that whatever life feels like right now, it will feel completely different in a couple of hours.


This is a relative high elevation, and as I head up, the landscape is all winding paths and pine trees. It's a welcome change from the rocky roads of yesterday. The climb flattens out, and now it's lots of pine and open space. It's calming.

I'm quite exhausted, so I find a clearing and take a seat.

Time for some chocolate. And some other treats. And I'm going to be here for a while.

And that's perfectly fine.

An hour, maybe an hour and a half of looking into the sky later, I'm ready to go. The sky slightly overcast, but the crisp air beckons me to continue on. There are more rocks than I expected, more ups and downs.

I've spent a lot of time relaxing and moseying about, both in town and on the trail, so this will be a low mileage day.


I'm perfectly fine with it. I don't have any place in particular to be. I do have another resupply package in the next town, but I have several days of food with me, so I don't need to rush. I don't even need to finish the trail at any particular time. So I will mosey. As little or as much as necessary.

The sun will set soon, so I look for a good spot. The map app says there's a perfect spot a couple of miles ahead.

There it is. It's right on the edge of a cliff, and I can see what seems like a city in the distance.

Tucson?

No, I'm pretty far away from Tucson. And it's the wrong direction.

I take a break and eat some more chocolate, and take a look around. My campsite will be on soft pine today, something that is not common the closer I get to Mexico.

I've been carrying around a Backpackers Pantry meal, Pad Thai, for some 200+ miles now. I always forget about it, but it's relatively heavy for the food I normally carry.

Tonight, Pad Thai on the trail sounds nice.

As it rehydrates, I look out over the cliff. The sun sets, and I eat to the flickering lights of the city.

I don't have anywhere else to be.

And that’s perfectly fine.