Everyone had a rough night at Ziggy’s. The wind was so strong, it was scary. I kept expecting the canopy that was adjacent to me to collapse. I left before 7am and headed out into the tough climb. I guess moments after I left, there was a big brouhaha about a camel spider that was found in someone’s backpack. Ewwwww!
This stretch is notoriously hard due to weather…sometimes reaching 110 degrees at Ziggy’s. I got lucky and had reasonable heat the entire morning. 8 miles in, the trail reaches this beautiful canyon with radically different looking geological striations and a healthy creek. There is a ranger station located half a mile off trail, called Whitewater Preserve. I checked it out. It was a great little oasis with a nice restroom, potable water, and even a wading pool/pond for hikers to soak their feet. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right time for a siesta, so I headed back out to the trail.
The second part of the day was pretty challenging, as there were several box canyons where the trail slowly worked its way out of seemingly impossible places. An older guy behind me called out, “Where have you gotten us trapped, Butch?”
We had to be on our water game today. I met up with a friend from Paradise Valley Cafe, Skyline. When we reached one of the last water sources for the hot afternoon, we found a nice piece of shade, took off our shoes and socks, and took a one hour nap that just passed in no time. We had intel that said there was decent camping at mile 232. We hammered out the final miles of the day and made it, but sadly found only exposed ground. The wind was unrelenting and we both had to abort on setting our tents up and settle for cowboy camping. There was very little sleep to be had.