Utah or Death?

I hung out in Pine, waiting for ShortStix to get to town in the morning. Everyone headed toward the “Early Bird Cafe”, guns a-blazin’ and food a-cravin’.  Twister and Tangent joined the party.

Short updates

* The four of us are going to do the semi-technical route from the South Rim to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, finishing the trail in Utah.

* We’re in Flagstaff, awaiting some snowshoes with plans to head out Saturday 

Long updates

The trail from Pine to Flagstaff is a short one. It’s filled only with moderate snow and mud. Yet hikers have been abandoning the trail in droves, fear mongering everyone to do the same.  “You will be postholing for 20 miles!” “The mud will stick to your boots making it impossible to move!” “Flagstaff has flooded after a levy rupture and is in a state of emergency!”

The trail is fine and Flagstaff is oh so glorious.

Sometimes trail math just makes sense. If it’s 112 miles to Flagstaff, and you hike 12 miles out of Pine, you only need three 33-mile days to make it to Flag! Tangent thought the math was a little different.

“Sounds like five 20-mile days to me,” he quipped. When ShortStix rounded the corner, I asked if she had done the trail math. Sometimes 2+2 does equal four.  Twister was down to throw down — a quick clarification confirmed it was miles, not his tent for a nap.

By day two, ShortStix decided the semi-technical route (STR) I had pulled together to cross the Canyon would allow her to tick that check box next to the AZT that would otherwise nag her. As we paused by a waist-high creek crossing to fill up water, she turned to Twister and asked, “so, how do you feel about doing a semi-technical route?”.  He fell over in response.

We woke up this morning, our wet socks and shoes were completely frozen due to snow traversal from the day before. Tangent used his sock to slap a rock, making a satisfying “thunk!” sound, drumming along to my common refrain of “spirits are soaring!”

And so we soared. 35 miles to Flagstaff, with the promise of Thai food and warm showers — a fancy AirBnB awaiting us.

With love and adventure from Flagstaff,


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