I spent my first day off trail just recovering from the hike. My activities for the day were eat, sleep and rest. Since I had planned on a five day hike and had finished in just three days I had a couple of days free that I had to fill with some kind of activity. With my feet being sore I really did not feel like doing any hiking. Remembering how much I enjoyed an ice cold drink on trail I settled on doing some Trail Magic.
I checked out of the motel after two nights resting my feet in comfort and headed into Superior and found a little grocery store where I purchased 12 drinks and bags of chips plus a bucket and some ice. I drove to the Kelvin Highway Trailhead and set up shop a few hundred metres down the trail in a shade of a small tree. I set up my chair in the shade and read while I waited for hikers to come by.
I moved over to the shade provided by a tree as it was getting hot in the afternoon sunshine. I was a little surprised how long I had to wait for some hikers to come buy. One of my first hikers was Fully Insured. Fully Insured was from Canada and called Lake Louise, Alberta, home which is just about one hour from where I live. She hung out for about an hour. We shared stories of hiking the Great Divide Trail (GDT). For her first ever backpacking trip Fully Insured had thru hiked the GDT. That is quite some hike for anyone let alone a rookie backpacker. Fully Insured got her trail name from an incident with her friends driving her car to come pick her up from a trailhead. They had been stopped by a police officer and while there was some doubt at first it did end up that the car was fully insured, hence the trail name Fully Insured. While Fully Insured hung out numerous hikers came through including Azul. While it took a while I did give away all my drinks and chips. After I was all done I drove Fully Insured to a water spigot just past the Kelvin Bridge. She was going to order pizza from a place in Kearny who would deliver to hikers on trail before heading a little way into Passage 16 to set up camp for the night.
I headed over to Picketpost Mt since their is primitive camping allowed in the area, just not at the trailhead. Since the weather was good and I had lots of food I had decided I would camp out to enjoy the area and save some money on motels and restaurants. It was a good choice.
Packed up my camp in the morning. Had a nice chat with a neighbour. He camped all summer by moving to increasingly higher elevations in search of cooler temperatures. When I headed into Superior I picked up a backpacker who had just finished Passage 16 and 17 and was in need of a ride back to his car at the Kelvin Highway TH. After delivering the hiker back to his car I headed back to Superior to pick up more drinks and snacks for a second day of Trail Magic.
I decided to do Trail Magic on this day at Picketpost since I would be heading back to Phoenix to spend the night before flying out early in the morning. I set up my camp in the shade of a tree and waited for my first customers. There were many people heading out day hiking but there were backpackers for the longest time. When the backpackers finally arrived it was a fairly steady stream. I saw Achilles who I had met on the evening of Day 1 and a female hiker I had met just before the Trail Magic on Day 1. I was amazed that most of the hikers had completed Passage 16 and 17 in just a day and a half. It had taken Micah and I a comfortable three days to complete the same hike. The goal for most of the hikers had been to make it to the rainwater collector on Passage 17 by the end of the first day. Once I had given out all my supplies it was time to pack up and head to Phoenix.
After finishing up with the Trail Magic I headed to the car and drove back to Superior. I was flying out early in the morning and was staying at a hotel close to the airport. On my last visit at New Years the hotel I stayed in was in a pretty sketchy area so once in my room I did not venture out until it was time to leave. While I did chose a different hotel on this trip I decided to have my dinner meal in Superior at a restaurant I was comfortable with. I ate at the Mexican restaurant just a few hundred feet from the the Copper Mt Motel that I had used for breakfast a number of times and was not disappointed.
I do not have any pictures but the hotel Extend-A-Suites Airport was very nice and only 12 minutes from the rental car return.
After waking up at 3:45 am I quickly got dress and headed outside to the car. Thanks to early hour it was an uneventful drive to the airport car rental return. The fun began when trying to get on the Sky Train to shuttle back to the terminals. Exited the rental car return building I noticed that the sky trains were stopped and there was a massive lineup of people waiting. As I waited in for the trains to start moving the line grew so large that people were not able to exit the car rental return building. After about 30 minutes the trains finally began to move again. I was impressed at how quickly the trains moved all the people. It only took me about another 15 minutes to get the airport terminals. Going through security was the exact opposite experience of the Sky Train. There was no one around and I was through very quickly. I was seated at my gate at 6:25 am. It had taken me 2 and half hours from the time I got out of bed to the time I sat at the gate.
While sitting in the airport I realized I had made a huge blunder in my planning. As a kid I raced motocross and have remained a distant fan of the sport ever since. One form of the sport is called Supercross and involves racing in stadiums. The Saturday I flew home in the evening there was a round of the American Supercross Championship. I was already in Phoenix it would have been so easy to stay one more day and attend the race in person.
The rest of the trip was very straightforward. I was back home before 1 pm in time for lunch.
While the trip did not turn out quite as planned Arizona never disappoints and I cannot wait to go back and explore more trail.