Aspens continue to take center stage throughout the day as the terrain rolls. From Telephone Hill the trail descends to Crane Lake, one of the Kaibab Plateau’s many limestone depressions that seasonally fill with water. Trail angels have also left water caches in several places, which given how dry the weather continues to be, is welcome.
From Crane Lake the trail runs through aspens and mixed conifer forest southward to Pleasant Valley. It passes a large pond, and Little Pleasant Valley Tank. I encounter Katya from Minnesota, who had started the AZT in the spring but had to leave due to work, then returned to Globe and is now on the verge of finishing. She gives me some intel on where I might find cell service for my interview at Organ Pipe tomorrow, which would prevent me from having to call at the very end of the working day after hiking another 17 miles – the most likely circumstance under which I will reach the developed area on the North Rim tomorrow, if I reach it tomorrow at all.
I’m Chris, or as I’m known on the trail, Aspen. My trail name comes from the Aspen foliage that I hiked through in northern Arizona on my current thruhike of the Arizona Trail, at the time that I encountered a trail crew that gave it to me was one of the most memorable experiences on the trail. I have traveled, hiked, and cycled all over the US and many countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe as well.
I write about the hiking and cycling that I do across North America as well as my visits each of our 419 national parks; I aim to visit each one. My current total is over 150. I also work as a seasonal ranger, so feel free to ask me anything about a park and I’ll happily share any advice I may have on that park so you can have an enjoyable visit.
I’m currently thruhiking the Arizona Trail, having started on September 21st at Lee’s Ferry and arrived at the northern trailhead on September 28th. Since then I have been heading south through “the land of Arizona, through the desert heat and snow, [along] a trail for folks to follow, from Utah to Old Mexico.” I will be sharing details and photos of my experience and all future hiking and cycling I do as well. I also hope to use this trip as a way to raise awareness for the Arizona Trail Association and the National Park Foundation. You can find each fundraiser on GoFundMe (links below). 100% of the proceeds go to the organizations in question. My typical pattern for a given trail is 50% to a national park organization and 50% to the organization that maintains the trail. I also donate all money that individuals give me on the trail to these causes, again split 50/50.
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