Arizona trail day 26 and 27: MJ’s dream house

11/9 and 11/10

4 miles

MJ the trail angel meets us at the Hewitt Station trailhead, where the sun is rising over the saguaros. She’s wearing lavender, has lavender hair, there are purple wings painted on the side of her car. I am immediately into her vibe. She tells us she moved to Superior four years ago, and she’s been helping AZT and GET hikers since the first one wandered past her house not longer after that, looking for the circle K to get supplies to treat his blisters. MJ’s house, which is painted lavender, is on a quiet street, neighborhood chihuahuas running loose in the style of all small southern arizona towns. MJ offers up her shower, a bunk room, loaner clothes, a hiker box, and other incredibly generous amenities that we definitely do not deserve but that I will use and appreciate nonetheless. There are other hikers there, sorting their resupplies, their packs exploded in the bunk room. MJ ties on a flour dusted purple apron, pours a cup of coffee and offers me a gluten-free blueberry muffin, just baked. I- this is insane. MJ is generous and warm beyond measure. I eat the muffin, and then a second. There’s a flurry of activity and everyone departs for a walmart run, thirty minutes away. They’ll also be picking up our friend Alan from Anchorage, who will be joining us for the rest of the hike, and is arriving at the phoenix airport right about now, after the most brutal red eye. The house quiet, I settle into one of the hammock chairs on the deck to work on my blog.

A few hours later everyone returns with mod pizza, including a gluten free one for me! And a salad! Alan understood the short shorts assignment, and already looks like a seasoned thru-hiker in his tiny blue shorts. The rest of the day passes with more food, more work on my phone and eventually a bit of sleep.

Breakfast the next day is incredible fajitas at Jalepenos, the local mexican restaurant, and my favorite, a huge styrofoam cup of iced tea. Shade helps MJ sort through some books to donate locally, and scores an antique book of accordian sheet music to pack out as entertainment. I take a nap. Shade and MJ drive to Oak Flat. We eat ribs at Jade Grill, the local asian bbq, and I’m so into my food that I forget to watch the sunset out the window. I get all caught up on my “content”. This is the last zero we’ll have before the end of the trail tho, so I’ll likely lag behind on posting until the end. The end! It’s almost the end. I can’t believe it!

Day 28 of this AZT blog is written and ready to go- I’ll post it (and its corresponding tiktok video, which you can see here) when this fundraiser reaches $13,050, and when I have service again. Thanks so much to everyone who’s contributed so far!! 

I’m using this AZT blog to raise funds for Trans Queer Pueblo, a rad org that provides support 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!