Day 32: Arizona Trail to Jacob’s Lake

Monday May 22, 22.0mi/35.4km

Winter Road Trailhead (516.5/6460ft) to Jacob Lake (533.6/7745ft) (AZ) +2.4mi GPS correction, +2.5mi roadwalk to JacobLake

Shadow left camp as I was waking up, and I packed up and left from my in-trail campsite by 7:15am. The weather was perfect and my backpack was light, since my food is almost gone. It was a very enjoyable morning of hiking on the Arizona Trail. I met a group of three Arizona Trail northbound hikers, who would finish later today. It was fun to chat with Piñata & Mudskipper, and get some information about the trail ahead. As I hiked on, I was impressed by the signage, infrastructure, and maps all along the trail.

This section of the Hayduke is on the Arizona trail for about 65 miles (105km), and it’s up higher on the Kaibab Plateau.

Even the little trailside posts show the Kaibab Plateau region, along with a funny looking squirrel.

I came to the junction with the Navajo trail, and paused for a minute to consider my water situation. It was only 10 miles to Highway 89A (my exit point), so I skipped the half-mile to Joe’s reservoir (which was probably dry anyway), and continued on.

The past week has been weird weather, the summer monsoon pattern had started early. But today had no building thunderstorms, just some puffy clouds.

I entered a burn area, which was neat to see. New life growing in the absence of the old trees.

After the burn area, it returned to the usual ponderosa pine forest.

It was such a nice trail, weaving around a ridgeline for hours.

As I approached the highway, the signs became even more impressive. A hand painted sign with a Kaibab squirrel!

I got to the exit point of the trail at 2:30pm, and did a 2.5 mile dirt roadwalk to the little resort village of Jacob’s Lake.

They had a small store, restaurant, bar, and hotel. I bought a bag of kettle chips and a Root beer, and settled into a big comfy chair by the window. The decor reminded me of a southwest version of the Adirondack Loj.

I texted Shadow, who apparently was sitting at the bar, so I finished my snack and joined him there. I ordered a milkshake, chicken sandwich, and fries…the first two were great but the fries were terrible. Like they had been re-warmed in a fryer at least 3 times, and very dry. Gross. Shadow has arranged with a trail angel in Kanab for us to stay, and Deena picked us up at 5pm. It’s like a 45 minute drive to Kanab, and I was very surprised at such a generous offer. She drove us to her house, where we met Steve, and also the 3 friendly dogs. Some pizza & salad for dinner, along with some great conversation, rounded out the perfect day!

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