Slowly going down a road that I have traveled a few times before. I am heading to Passage 43 of the Arizona Trail, for many this is actually either the beginning or the end of trekking along the entire route. For me though, being alone, I can only do out and back sections of the AZT.
Which is why I have a decade long goal of hiking the AZT, which will cover 1,600 miles when finished. But first I need to hike Passage 43.
The wildfires of 2020 have left this area scarred, open and susceptible to the harsher elements of Mother Nature. I feel like an internal fire has raged through me as well, and so I become a symbiote to this landscape.
Perhaps we can heal each other.
I walk for a spell, turn and re-trace my footsteps. Nothing else moves out here, neither man nor beast. Not even a crow. The silence crushes me.
I make my way to Jacob’s Lake and decide to stay in one of their cabins for a couple nights. The place has a very Mormon feel to it, which makes me uncomfortable (as most organized religions do) but the home cooked Dutch Oven meals they offer hit the spot. I’m ready to sleep well and rise to do another Passage in the morning.