Day 1: Miller Peak

15 March 2022
Montezuma Pass to Mile 0 to Mile 15
(17 miles).

Today was the first day of my AZT thru-hike attempt.

Here we go!

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

Stashed my pack
Following Butterfingers
What a view!
Southwestern Mock Vervain

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.

The wall stopped here!
Illegal immigrant
Hmmm… What else was the wall builder doing that day?
Walkingstick cactus
Back at Montezuma Pass

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.

Howdy Ranger!
Back into the wild
California Bordered Plant Bug
Looking up towards Miller Peak
Looking back on Montezuma Pass
Parry’s Agave

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.

View from Miller Peak
It’s wonderful up here!

There were two abandoned backpacks at the summit full of blankets, clothes, and snacks.

Aid for migrants?

I was also able to see the snowy section the AZT passes through on its way north.

Uh oh – look at the snow!
Not sketchy
Some weird blimp was in the sky all day

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.

Bathtub Spring

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!).

We took a wrong turn near Albuquerque

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!

The trail provides!

So nice to be back
On ribbony trails, in mountains,
And with brand-new friends

4 Comments Add yours

  1. zozozoom says:

    3500ft – so happy to be reading and not doing!😁 Congrats on the beginning of another adventure.👣

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay Harrison says:

    So nice to be back
    On ribbonry trails, in mountains,
    And with brand-new friends and my spork!

    Liked by 1 person

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