The Arizona High Desert

So, I stayed with Bunnie and Darryl through Christmas and we had a great time. Christmas morning we hiked up to an abandoned crystal mine and hung out for a few hours. It was a nice hike up a steep hillside, and I felt so proud of the ease with which I did it. 4 months ago? Well, I would have looked up there, longing to feel the spot, knowing I couldn’t make it.

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Above shot taken from that hike, and actually showing the mountain that I swung around walking further into the hills.

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This shot also taken from the hike, for those with great eyes you can see the small white truck down in the valley that we hiked up from.

While we were all hanging out I was looking over at a rock formation and felt certain I could hike up it, so I did. It wasn’t a difficult hike, really, it wasn’t, but I was so damn proud once I was there. So, I had Bunnie take a picture of me in the distance before I walked back down. During my walk down I was prancing and giggling to myself – just a little too damn proud. So, the hillside decided to teach me a lesson and grabbed on to my foot and I fell flat on my face. Scraped up my knee pretty bad, and even worse, twisted my lower back – always my sore spot. I laughed to myself and decided to ignore it – other than popping some ibuprofen and icing it down.

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I cooked up a nice pot roast for dinner that we all enjoyed. Bunnie and Darryl are cooks after my heart though. No cans in the house, and everything prepared from scratch – and they are damn good at it. This is how all fresh food looks. And it feels even better with that kind of nutrition.

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I was back on the road on the 26th. Dave – a friend of Bunnies – offered to use his spot as base camp for several days, taking me out in the morning and picking me up in the evening. This meant walking without my pack. What a luxury – Thank you Dave!

I made 11 miles on the 26th, although I had to take ibuprofen to control the soreness in my back. Still – that was a solid walk, most of it uphill. The second day I forgot to take ibuprofen in the morning, and couldn’t seem to hit my stride. I was sore, waddling and couldn’t limber up no matter how hard I tried to stretch. I hadn’t taken ibuprofen in the morning, and my lower back and knee were a bit messed up. When – well, I saw a gorgeous formation of boulders proudly jutting out, and decided to sit down for just a little bit. The sun was getting more powerful, so I was just going to lay down for five minutes. Don’t we all know how that story goes? 4+ hours later I woke up from my “little nap”. Dang, but the sun felt good.

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What sane woman can withstand the temptation of these boulders? Just saying….. The sun felt fabulous!

So, I got in gear and still managed to walk 6 miles on the day. Yesterday I walked 9 miles – well into the Arizona Desert Mountains. My God, but this is gorgeous country. The earth is turning more red, the desert pulses under my feet. The nights are freaking cold – well below 32 degrees, and I am grateful I am fully winterized. I passed Hackberry which is tiny. There is an interesting “general store” though, with a lot of route 66 and 1960’s memorabilia. One written description on the wall in the General Store made me giggle. It mentioned that the traveler was about to enter the Mojave Desert which stretched over 300 miles into Victorville, CA. All I could think was, Well, ughm, Yeah, That’s true – and “Dude, I walked it!”

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I also passed Valentine, which was even smaller, and my next stop is Peach Springs. There is zero connectivity out there as I am surrounded by mountains, and the walk is continually uphill. The slope up is mostly gentle, with a few sharper hills here and there. I am beginning to feel the elevation a bit in my breathing. I have to concentrate more to take deep breaths and I become out of breath before my muscles get tired walking up hill.

I am about 15 miles from Peach Springs at the moment, and will cut tether with Dave tomorrow morning. Folks, among the hills there is zero, and I mean zero connectivity, so please do not worry if I am out of reach!

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Peach Springs is elevation 4780 ft, and Kingman is elevation 3350 ft. I am planning to be in Peach Springs for New Years eve, and really hope to find a spot with some music and fun people to hang with while there.

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6 thoughts on “The Arizona High Desert

  1. Goodonya, Girl! We’ve been pretty busy of late, but are with you in heart and spirit.

    I don’t know if you received our question as to whether you needed any more shoes at this time or not . . .

    Kind regards, and Happy New Year!

    tim ‘n jan

    • Dear Tim n Jan, I did get the question and sent you a long email back. Probably got stuck in some email filters then. Suffice it to say: I am at my second pair at the moment. They are being alternated with thick boots due to winter weather.

      Also, please note the other post made today as I desperately need help for my kitties. I am simply doing my best to network and find them a new placement. If nothing else, a prayer or two to find placement for my cats would be deeply appreciated.

      Thanks, Malene

  2. Malene~ I’m the crazy that stopped at mile marker 90 on old rte. 66 to take your photo while you were having brunch! Thanks for spending time talking with me. You are in the best part of AZ. Most scenic and quiet. Still uphill to Flag, but now at about 4800 ft. elevation.
    You are not exactly on the home stretch, but I’m thinking you got it made! Allow the energy of this place to give you what you need.
    Thanks, Don

    • It was a pleasure meeting you Don. Welcome to the adventure! I hope you will follow my journey, and if you want, feel free to post some of those pictures on facebook.
      Kind regards, malene

      • Malene~ Glad to read that you have reached Seligman. I would be glad to post photos what is the facebook title? And is that where you really want them to be ?
        I could have told you what you might encounter through this section of old rte. 66, but…
        As you get stronger, and lose more weight , the cart will become a liability. It will represent the past.
        Later, Don

      • Dear Don, that would be appreciated. Either “a conversation with america” on FB or directly to my email: malene.comes(at)gmail.com. thanks Don

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