Agua Caliente Drainage to Hwy 77 (Oracle), mile 160.1-207.3

Towns and trail angels. Nothing better than hot coffee or pizza or extra water.

Day 8

160.1-178.8 (18.7)

Hot and sunny day. Beautiful hiking, but the brightness and the heat wore me out. Climbed over a little saddle after we packed up our frozen tent, then descended to a rest area off the highway. Spider started talking to a guy named Rick/Spaceman and he offered us some super glue for our gaitors, plus instant coffee that he wasn’t drinking anymore, and he topped off our water! Super sweet. Hiked into Sycamore Canyon for lunch, then into Sabino Canyon all afternoon. Got to a beautiful ridge with a nice sandy flat spot and called it. Gorgeous sunset, bright stars. Starting to know the stars and their place in the sky, tracking their progress over the course of the night, watching for shooting stars and satellites.

Day 9

178.8-200.8 (22.0)

Last night Spider saw a skunk lurking near our camp and prayed I wouldn’t roll around in my slumber and spook it. Our scary wild animal sighting. Alarm went off at 5:30 and we packed up our cowboy camp and headed up the trail toward Summerhaven, aiming for breakfast. Felt like slow hiking but we got to town just when we hoped to, had a big lunch and charged our gadgets. Hiked out of town after an hour or two. Sun a little weaker today thankfully. Almost all downhill to Oracle along exposed ridges, views for miles. Stunning pink sunset splayed over the mountains across the valley. Got to camp around dark, asked an RV if they knew about water, and got invited over to share dinner. Titan here too, we all talked and shared for a few pleasant evening hours. Thanks to Dale and Fay from Steamboat Springs, CO, for the hospitality.

Day 10

200.8-207.3 (6.5)

Shortly after we woke up Dale came by with their dog Jem to see if we wanted oatmeal for breakfast. We went over to their RV and they helped us start the day off right. Then Spider and I set off down the trail to do the few miles to Oracle. Windy, sunny morning. Titan came screaming past us, running all the way to the road. We met the other couple at the RV park near the road and they offered to drive us to the post office where we picked up our packages and Jim from the Chalet Village Motel came and shuttled us to the motel. They have a great set up for hikers here and are super friendly. We showered and did laundry and put our feet up. We have so much food for this next section that we’ve been mostly eating from our food bag. And ice cream. And burritos. Feels good to rest.

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