15 March 2022
Montezuma Pass to Mile 0 to Mile 15
Today was the first day of my AZT thru-hike attempt.
I flew in to Tucson yesterday evening, stayed in a motel, and got a shuttle to Montezuma Pass with another hiker named Butterfingers. From there I had to walk backwards to get down to the start of the trail at the Mexican border. It was almost a 4 mile round trip just to get there and back, so I stashed my pack near Montezuma Pass
They apparently stopped construction of the border wall on January 20, 2021, when the Presidency changed hands. And by coincidence, it ended right at the terminus of the AZT.
It was then a 3,500 foot climb to the summit of Miller Peak. I passed a few other hikers and leapfrogged Butterfingers after chatting with a nice ranger for a while.
The AZT does not go to the peak itself, but it goes so close I couldn’t resist the extra 350 feet of elevation gain.
There were two abandoned backpacks at the summit full of blankets, clothes, and snacks.
I was also able to see the snowy section the AZT passes through on its way north.
I caught up with Butterfingers at Bathtub Spring. The ranger told me mules hauled the cast iron tub up here in the 1890s when there were mining operations in the area.
Butterfingers and I hiked together the rest of the day (we even got lost together at one point) and camped down in Sunnyside Canyon (which was very shady!).
And just before we got to camp I experienced a minor miracle. Earlier in the day I realized I forgot to pack my spoon, but I found one on the trail. I threw it in some boiling water and it was good as new!
So nice to be back
On ribbony trails, in mountains,
And with brand-new friends