December 31, 2022, Travel Day, Canmore, Alberta to Superior, Arizona.
I left the house in the dark at 5:00 am. It is a 1 hr 20 minute drive to the parking lot for the airport in Calgary plus the shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal. With international flights I like to arrive a little over two hours ahead of departure and a little more time when traveling to the USA to go through customs. I travel with my backpack inside a hockey duffel bag that has everything I will need for the trip keeping me to just one piece of checked luggage. The international terminal at Calgary has an automated bag drop and true to form it glitched when I was in line. There was a 15 minutes wait while staff cleared some blockage down the line. This is why I like to have a few extra minutes when traveling. If I have extra time I can always read a book or watch a movie which I find better than panicking going through security. I texted Laura that I was through security at 7:30 am but that the lineup at the chain coffee shop was a mile long. The rest of the flight to Phoenix went very smoothly.
Arriving at Phoenix is much like landing at a domestic airport you just walk off the plane and go to the luggage carousel to retrieve your luggage a head off on your way. I did time it and it took 1 hr 15 minutes once I left the plane to get the keys to my rental car. Now my trip was really about to start. I had taken the time at home to save the locations by making a group in the Here we Go App that I use for navigation when driving. I found the Phoenix REI easily where I purchased my camp fuel. Conveniently there was a Target across the parking lot where I could do my grocery shopping. Very quickly I had all my supplies and was on my way to Superior. Since everything was going so well there it was time for some nagging doubt. I knew there was a possibility of rain but I could not remember seeing my pack cover. I pulled over and checked everywhere but could not find my pack cover. Furious with myself I headed back to REI to purchase a pack cover. I was stunned upon arriving at REI that they had a tiny selection of pack covers and none in the size I needed for my 58 L pack. Since I could return the pack covers if I did not use them I purchased a 35 – 50 L cover and a 90 + L. Feeling a little sorry for myself I headed back down the road once again to Superior. It was a quite a pleasant drive and I arrived in at my motel at a little after 5:10 pm. Upon arriving at the motel and unpacking I sent Laura the following text message.
So I did have my pack cover. Wasted a lot of energy when I knew I had packed the cover, I had used a list after all. On arrival at the Copper Mt Motel met a nice couple from Wisconsin also waiting to check in. They stop at the motel every year on their way to a campground near Tuscan. I talked with them for about 30 minutes about snow, fishing, catching sturgeon with spears and snowmobiles.
After getting my pack all organized I was quite happy to find that it did not really feel that heavy. I had figured I would need about 3 L of water per day and it was about 2 ¼ to my water cache so I would need to start with 7 L of water. I decided I could reduce the amount of water I would be carrying by drinking one litre on the drive to trailhead. Deciding that I often cut things a little close when I do my math I had 7.5 L of water packed plus the one litre I would drink on the way. I went to bed about 9 pm but had to put my ear plugs in as it was New Years Eve so there was quite a bit of noise from fireworks all evening. I slept well feeling pretty good about the hike.