Pupper!

There's a pupper waiting outside the store as they open up.

It's after sunrise, but I'll be walking by 8. Of course, since there's a store, I'll begin the morning with some ice cream.

The pupper is quite interested in my tasty treat.

No. It's mine.

First, I find Miller Peak in the distance and take a photo. That's where I'm heading today. That's where I'll be camping this evening.

There's a slight incline on the road before I get to the trail, and the trail continues the same mild climb. At some point, it will become much more steep, but for the moment, I enjoy the easy walk.

Today's destination

I'm walking through all forest today; forest that I haven't seen anything similar to since the second day of the trail. In short notice, however, the incline starts.

A little too much incline, actually.

I was on *a* trail, but it looks like it might have just been a wash of some sort. The app says I'm about 50 feet off, no, 100 feet, no, 25 feet.

Ok, the app has no idea because of the tree coverage and mountain blocking a decent GPS signal.

But I try to follow its direction anyway. It requires going directly up the hill. I could head back and try to find the trail I lost, but we all know I'm never going to do that. So, straight up the mountain it is.

At some point, I'm bound to find the actual trail. The rocks are loose, and I definitely stumble several times.

I think about the Parker Canyon Lake general store owner, and the story he told me about a trail runner that slipped and fell, and just as he fell, a mountain lion jumped over him. The lion was pouncing for an attack, and the trail runner just happened to fall at that exact moment, and was therefore able to tell the story.

I wonder if any lions are out here.

I wonder if Cedrick came back to finish off the trail with me.

This is definitely precarious, but if I keep heading upwards, I'll eventually run into the trail again.

And here it is.

200 feet straight up.

Another hour wasted, but I've got time.

The trail flattens out as I get near the top, and when I get to Bathtub Spring, it's mostly walking along a ridge.


Bathtub Spring is where some miners, back in the day, hauled a classic bathtub up the mountain so they could take regular baths. Cast iron, lined with porcelain, it's certainly passed the test of time.

Now, we drink water from it.

Progress.

I'm only a mile out from Miller Peak. It's a 1/2 mile off the trail, so I take the trail up.
In the distance, I can see the lake where I started this morning.

It's quite windy, but I've never spent the night directly on a peak. They say it's not a good idea.

Tonight, we'll find out why. The sunset is close, so there will certainly not be anyone else here before tomorrow morning, so I’ll make camp in the perfect camp spot - directly on the trail.

Tonight, I enjoy the view, and the strong winds from the safety of my Gore-Tex bivy. It's time to bask in the experiences I've had.

Tomorrow, I’ll triumphantly mosey on down the mountain.

And finish the Arizona Trail.

Parker Lake, from whence I came