Daily Miles: 16

Total Miles: 454

It rained pretty steady overnight. When we first got up and started packing our gear, the rain had stopped. But it was raining lightly again by the time we started down the trail.

The trail for the first part of today was surprisingly in pretty great shape. We just assume that when trails are in wilderness/primitive areas that they are going to be in pretty rough shape. But it looks like folks are out using these trails enough to keep them in good shape.

Even with the good trails, at times we were moving rather slow due to the slippery mud in the trail. Thanks to the rain, we were either getting several pounds of mud stuck to the bottoms of our shoes, or we were sliding all over the trail.

The rain seemed to come and go for most of the morning, and then we got a big dump of rain and hail. Once our legs and arms were wet, it was hard to stay warm, since the temperature was cool today. Luckily it wasn’t windy today, but every time the thunder would crack over our heads, we mentally prepared ourselves for getting dumped on.

By mid afternoon, the low clouds started to burn off and we were able to see the nice views around us as we were walking on a ridge. Around that same time, our nice trails for the day ended. We turned off on a game trail (or bootleg trail, we’re not sure which), which was hard to follow at times. We just started walking down in the direction we knew we were ultimately headed. At times, the area we were walking through seemed like a mine field of cacti. We had to watch our feet really closely so that we wouldn’t end up with needles in our feet.

The rest of the afternoon was spent walking through Auger Canyon. It was a pretty cool narrow canyon. At times, we would have to go up the side walls to avoid walking through deeper pools that spanned the width of the canyon. There was a really interesting variety of rocks and we were always excited to see what was around the next turn.

We decided to look for a campsite when we got to the end of our canyon walking. It was pretty slim pickings as there is mostly just junipers here, and they are not well-spaced. But, we managed to find two hangs without cacti in the middle, and Mace found a reasonable spot for his tent. We stopped for the day a little after 6pm and we were pretty tired. Aside from the rain, today was a great day on the trail.

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