Day 4: Mount Wrightson

18 March 2022
AZT Mile 50.1 To 71.5
(21.4 Miles).

I really thought today was going to be hard. My right knee has been hurting and we were leaving town with full packs and a 2,500 foot climb.

But it was a GREAT day!

Butterfingers and I started by walking into town past a herd of Javelinas.

City pig

The goal: breakfast burritos! We found a Mexican place with a dizzying array of hot sauces.

JimmyJam Heaven
Nothing like breakfast and the Patagonia Times

We then grabbed a soda and ibuprofen at the store before continuing out of town and onto the AZT.

The “trail” started out as a city road and gradually became more and more rugged over the course of the morning.

This is the AZT!
Me and Butterfingers
Mount Wrightson in the distance
Now it’s a 4WD track

We grabbed some water cached by trail angels at a trailhead and met a couple of other thru-hikers we saw in town.

Then at a mid-morning break, a friendly dirt biker stopped to chat with us. He said “Aaron says hi!”

But we haven’t met Aaron.

Who’s Aaron?

We pressed onward and upward but the weather was perfect and we chatted extensively about audio engineering, Butterfingers’ last job before he retired.

Whitemargin sandmat

Near the wilderness boundary we passed Bam, a thru-hiker from Portland who did the PCT last year. (We have quite a nice bubble of thru-hikers now!)

Welcome back!
Bigelow’s bristlehead
Just 734 miles to go!
Seep monkeyflower

And then…. We were at the summit! Easy peasy. I ate a peanut butter tortilla and then we descended a couple of miles to the lovely Bear Spring to get more water.

Is that a hot tub?!!
Rainbow hedgehog cactus

On the way to dinner we got into a fascinating discussion about religion. I am an atheist and Butterfingers has a unique experience as a former minister and someone who has read extensively in Christianity, so we got quite philosophical and the miles flew by.

The trail flattened out and terraced the contour of a beautiful rocky canyon.

A great place to chat about God!
I loved these rocks

We stopped for dinner at Tunnel Spring and Bam and the other two hikers arrived. They kept going but we packed up and caught up to them a bit later.

As evening fell the other two hikers stopped to camp, but we kept going with Bam for another mile and a half on a lovely trail high on a ridge.

Bam and Butterfingers

Where the trail crossed a road, we called it a night!


I finally feel
Like I belong on this trail
At least for a bit

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