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The Arizona Trail on Unicycle: Day 15, Hike a Bike…I mean, Uni


April 14, 2017

A 20 mile hike would be hard for me. Throw in a heavy backpack and pushing a fully loaded unicycle and you have one tough day. 

I woke up at my usual time of about 5:15AM. It was a little rough for me to sleep at night as the road was close by and there was a lot of noise from it. I guess it is hard for a country person to sleep with the sound of cars when they are used to the sound of nothing. Animal sounds should be okay, but the loud howling from a nearby group of coyotes didn’t help. They have this incredible high pitched whine of a howl. 

The night was back to being really cold again. I got out of my tent and it was covered in frost. I made my usual breakfast, two oatmeals and coffee, and started packing up my tent. After about 30 minutes I moved my camelback; the tube had frozen in the short time it was outside my tent! The condensation on my pot’s lid also froze solid. Talk about a cold morning. 

We got moving at 7AM but we saw several of the hikers starting at 6AM or earlier. Some of them were wearing just shorts and I was astonished; it was literally freezing out at that time. Nathan Hoover would be pleased. 

The trail up was a long hike. It was almost completely unrideable, and we had to flip the unicycles backwards and push them up and over a ton of rocky terrain. It was the most difficult 20 mile hike that I have ever done. Towards the end my feet were feeling like lead weights, and it required so much effort to lift a foot and take a step. 

Finally we reached a trail head that intersected with a nice river. We managed to find some soft and relatively flat spots just above the running water. We used the river to refill our drinking water supply, and Jamey busted a hole in one of the last two dirty water bags we use for filtering. My water filter was already dead and in the trash, and being down to one filter bag made me nervous. We leaned that most hikers ditch the bags and use a Smart water bottle instead. Apparently almost any water bottle can fit on the head of the Sawyer filter, and about 1/3 mile back we had passed a few people camping with some cars. I didn’t want to take a chance of having the last bag break so I mustered up the courage to walk back and see if any of the people had an old water bottle we could have. They guys were friendly, and had a few full bottles of some water. He let me try it out on the Sawyer filter; no luck, the threads didn’t match. I thanked the guy, and he was saying we could keep the water, but i told him it was really just the empty bottle we needed in order to filter water with. There would be no point to carry a few empty water bottles for the next four days. We had a backup plan; both Jamey and I had chemical tablets to get safe water. So my 20 mile hike ended with an extra ? a mile that didn’t pan out with the needed bottle. We planned to buy one at the next town we would hit in four days. 

Stats:

Today: 19.2 miles
Total: 359.7 miles  

Route:

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/947772573

 

 




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