Arizona trail day 8: happy and sad :(


24 miles

I wake at four and think “dang why am I awake so early” and next thing I know it’s six a.m., night has faded and the sun is rising. We set out on some more dirt roads through ponderosa forest that is slowly transitioning into juniper grasslands, with tidy trails everywhere made by cows. I get my period, and cramps, which is a bummer, but I feel amazing today, so that’s cool. Easing into things is working. No injuries so far. Not breaking. Just the normal amount of pain. A little stronger each day. Everything is going according to plan!

Jessica, tho, is not having a good day, and midday they inform us that they’re gonna get off the trail. For good. These pancake-flat dirt roads have been wearing on their morale.

“I’m a cyclist!” They say. “If I had my bike I could get to the water in an hour! Why am I walking?” Plus, they have terrible blisters that seem to be getting worse. I’m really bummed that they’re leaving! It’s been really fun getting to know them on this hike. Hangin in the outdoors is the most fun way to get to know someone! We’ve been becoming quite the trio, and things are gonna feel empty and strange without them. But I understand. It doesn’t make sense to commit this much time and energy to something if you’re miserable.

They text their partner, CJ, who is down to meet them on trail tomorrow and pick them up. As the three of us walk, we brainstorm ways to have a going away party at camp. Olive oil drinking contest? Eat spicy things? Make a piñata out of a platypus bladder full of sticks? We walk through a beautiful sunset, and in the end we settle for eating dinner together in the dark.

I’m using this AZT blog to raise funds for Trans Queer Pueblo, a rad org that provides funds to trans and queer people seeking asylum and/or in immigration detention along the US/Mexico border. Here is the fundraiser- it was at about $9k when I first posted it, let’s see if we can reach their $15k goal! For every $150 raised, I’ll post another blog post. And thank you!