Thursday, March 5, 2015

AZT Day 3-Passing through Kelvin

Miles 277 to 262
Arizona Trail Passages 16 and 15
15 miles

After hearing that the water would be tough for the next passage from the other section hiker, I was really nervous. Why were we doing these passages when we'd planned to skip them due to what I'd read- the lack of water, the lower elevations. Why hadn't I done more research like I had for other passages, like the first few where Farwalker had shown me all the water. Sure there was a wildflower extravaganza here, but I was apprehensive about the water from Kelvin to Oracle. Our water reports that we had printed out were recent but the last updates were from months ago--why others didn't update the water reports was a mystery.
Before dawn.
 So Jan and I decided to gather more information about water from the trail- fortunately we had cell signal when we got to the ridge above Kelvin. We decided to use our resources and see what we could find out about what lay ahead.
Sometimes it's not easy to see clearly when you are heading into the sun.
Jan texted Sirena, our friend from the Arizona Trail Association. But we knew she was out hiking and weren't sure she'd reply. So I also emailed the passage steward. Jan and I had also gotten an email right before we'd started from a guy-Emmett-who'd read our blogs and had offered to help us if we wanted. We were both wary about telling someone we don't know our location, but we decided to take a chance and see if he could find out anything for us.

Incredibly, we got a flurry of intel about water. Sirena and Emmett got back to us immediately. What a relief! We were going to make it and we could make a plan now.

The descent to the Kelvin Bridge was lined with poppies and lupines- hillsides covered in a golden glow. Ahhh!
Poppies line the trail!
Hillsides of poppies and lupine!
 At the Kelvin bridge, Jan called Old Time Pizza, and spoke to the owner, Gary. YES they would deliver pizza to us at the trail, and YES they would bring ice cream, a couple gallons of water, and lemonade too!!! Gary and his son were super hiker-friendly and the food tasted incredible--we highly recommend it!
Old Time Pizza delivered ice cream, lemonade, and pizza to the trail.
After our feast, Jan and I left the oasis near the bridge and pushed on. Climbing up from the bridge, bellies full of food, loaded up with 10 liters of water. In the heat. Switchbacks. Ouch. I tried to remember why I was doing this. Oh what were we doing?!?! Again, I was filled with fear my feet would erupt in blisters or worse. I was scared about the heat. This trail is so rugged, so wild, so harsh. This is NOT the PCT. I struggled to remember my mantra: I am living the dream. What does that even mean?!?

At the end of the day, I climbed once again into my hammock and sunk into the softness of my quilts. My body relaxed and I gazed into the sky and watched the stars and full moon as crickets sang. And felt grateful for the pizza and for helpful people just a text away. I felt grateful for Jan because we keep each other laughing. I was happy to have strong legs to carry me along this challenging, wonderous path. I fell fast asleep.
At home in my hammock.


  1. Seriously 10 liters of water????? I can't even imagine. Gotta love technology. How great you were able to get info right from the trail.

    1. I still can't believe I did that either! My feet were so unhappy. At least it was only temporary, and I drank a lot that evening, so the next morning was better.