Day 2 – Off the Mountain

Date: February 19, 2020

Miles: 8.3 – 29.3

Getting out of a warm sleeping bag before sunrise on a 20-something degree morning is the worst. Ok, maybe not THE worst, but it sure felt that way this morning. I was really motivated to get off of Miller Peak and down to some warmer temps, so I got some breakfast down fast, packed up and hit the trail early.

Luckily, the snow on the North side of the mountain became sparse, and there were some great views of the valley below before the trail started switchbacking down to Sunnyside canyon.

The trail was wonderfully flat through the canyon and water was plentiful throughout.

Along the way, I passed through the boundary of the Miller Peak Wilderness and entered the Coronado National Forest. A lot of it was hot, flat-ish grazing land, with some questionable water sources.

This was about it for a while.

The Parker Canyon trailhead was up next, which is the end of the Huachuca Mountains Passage (the first passage of the trail) and the beginning of the Canelo Hills East Passage. The view opened up to Parker Lake and the hills ahead. The trail bounced up and down through the hills.

I stopped hiking when I hit a little over 20 miles. I wanted to get enough distance in so I could get to Patagonia by Friday, but I may have overdone it a little. My hips were definitely talking to me by the end of the day and the bottoms of my feet were starting to tighten. I popped some ibuprofen and set up camp in a weird patch of tent spots just before an Arizona Trail gate. Most of the spots looked like they had been deliberately covered up with tree branches, and there were narrow trails running every which way. After noticing a bulky cotton sweatshirt hanging from one of the trees, I figured it was a place that migrants visited in their attempts to get into the US unnoticed, and someone was trying to discourage that. I was too tired and sore to try to keep going though, so I camped there anyway. I slept for several hours at a time, more than usual for me, and it ended up being another exceptionally quiet night.

3 Replies to “Day 2 – Off the Mountain”

    1. Tell the trail gods that one day of rain is enough, thank you very much. Otherwise, they’re doing great. 🙂

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