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(April 12th, 2008 - Four Peaks Wilderness, Central Arizona)
The day’s walk organized itself into two distinct sections. In the morning we were walking a Forest Service road, about 12 miles of it. We walked past a car camp, with a fire pit still smoldering from the night before, and sleeping bodies sprawled about. Later, I scared up a couple of mule deer, including a fine looking buck. The miles seemed to fly by on the road, as we walked quickly along the northern spine of the Four Peaks ridge crest.
Terry and I discussed the future of the trip. Tonight I will return to Tucson, and of course, have no way of knowing how long I will stay there helping my wife, family, and ailing mother-in-law. So Terry has decided that he will continue the trip after tomorrow’s rest day without me. He is reluctant to interrupt the continuity of the hike. I certainly understand his decision, but will miss walking with him should I be able to get back on the trail later this spring. I have found Terry to be an excellent hiking companion and have learned a lot from him about this thru-hiking business.
Breakfast with Terry
Late in the morning, we left the Forest Service road and followed a steep, and sometimes faint, trail down and down toward Boulder Creek. Again, I am surprised by a miles long section of the creek that is flowing with plentiful water, supporting cottonwood and sycamores. This year had been billed as the wettest spring in 10 years in Arizona, and we have seen confirmation of that in every passage we have walked.
As we drew closer to Highway 87, we ran across several small wooden signs carefully spaced a mile apart from one another. One read: “427 to Utah”, the next “426 to Utah”, and so on.
One in a series of "road signs"
The walk ended mid-afternoon at Highway 87. Just a minute or two after we scrambled up a steep embankment onto the road’s shoulder, Jim pulled up beside us. A few minutes later, and we are on our way to Phoenix and then Tucson.