|On the road with my parents, driving to Arizona.|
Lots of snow is forecast at high elevations in the Huachuca Mountains in the next two days. The first 20 miles traverse some of the highest elevations on the whole trail, and are sketchy and steep. On the other hand, right now the lower elevation section between Oracle and Superior is in bloom. Jan and I had planned to start at the Mexico border and pass through the Huachuca Mountains our first two days, but that would put us in the worst snow, and we’d likely miss the wildflowers and likely hit that area when it heated up—our original plan looks less than ideal.
With the wildflowers calling us north, and the southern mountains sounding treacherous right now, alternative plans are being considered. Southbound? Starting in Superior? Flipping?
This is a moment when I’m so glad I’m not constrained by a traditional northbound thru hike. As a section hiker, I have no moral qualms about picking and choosing amongst the various parts of this trail. In fact, I think it would be wrong for me NOT to make a beeline to see the desert in bloom! I am relieved that Jan feels the same way too!
But that's not the only uncertainty in our plans. About my foot—A week and a half ago, I felt a twinge where the stress fracture had been last year. It made me so nervous, that I stayed off it, resting on our road trip. Finally, today I went on a short hike with my pack at the base of the Huachacua Mountains with my friend Farwalker, who I met on the PCT. I was relieved that I had no pain when I was hiking. My foot felt completely normal on the trail, under the weight of my pack.
|Dayhike today in the Huachuca Mountains, AZ.|
I am SO SICK of thinking and talking about my darn foot! I want to leave this injury behind. But then I remember that having the stress fracture last year gave me the philosophy I have now, and the freedom I have from the constraints of a thru hike. I am free to go chase flowers. Because I don’t know how many miles I’ve got in my foot but I’m not going to waste whatever ones I get.
|Beauty of the Huachuca Mountains, AZ.|
I don't know where we are starting. I don't know how my foot will be. But we are heading out there soon. And I do know I'm not going to take any of the time I have out there for granted.
Be sure to check out Jan's account of our hike on her blog.