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Among the reasons I’ve wanted to thru has been to walk into the wilderness, while we still have wilderness to enjoy. This recent seven day stretch included the Superstition Wilderness, Four Peaks Wilderness and Matazol Wilderness...all part of the Tonto National Forest, if I am not mistaken.
The wilderness is wild. Part of its preservation is the least human impact/alteration the environment as possible. Read: downed trees, major burns, few signs and cairns, no motorized vehicles, no roads, etc.
Such was the case of clashing canvases these last days where recent burn met older burn with new growth, the silence of (animal) life juxtaposed with a cacophony of birds, the howl of wind and the silence of all but my running shoes treading the path, and, again, the silence of motors vs. the noise of my thoughts.
We have also faced real winter. Snow. Cold. Some rain. It has not been the 80+ temps from southern Arizona. We are definitely central (and pushing into north) where there is currently even more snow and ice and cold.
I left New York in 2001 and have pretty much lived in Hawaii for most of my life since. I’ve experienced more Winter these past couple weeks than all of the intervening years. A major lesson consequently learned, or relearned, which is part of the trail: I like sun and having the the beach and ocean at my fingertips.
Today we walked 13 miles from 448.8 into Pine, wolfed breakfast at Early Bird Cafe and followed that shortly after with lunch and brews at THAT Brewery. Currently a late 7:45 PM, we have have laundry ready to move from washer to dryer and are just kicking back into the zero for tomorrow.
Hiking should resume on Sunday or Monday, weather dependent.