It's your worst nightmare realized to oversleep your alarm on an important day, and today we started our hike.
Luckily despite the later than expected start, we only arrived five minutes late to meet our ride to the border, Tamara.
Tamara is a high mileage volunteer for the Arizona Trail Association (ATA). She's an avid outdoorswoman, smart with succulents, and moved to Tucson for the plentiful, happy desert sun.
On our way out, we stopped by the local hostel to pick up another hiker named Alex. Conversation flows easy. Together we wonder about common personality threads amongst thru-hikers, tricks of the desert, and whether or not the trail crosses highway 83.
We get to the border, and Tamara fills a bag with water, snacks and anything else we want (her) to carry, and she continues to escort us to the border by foot. Out and back to the car it's 3.8 miles without a pack.
There's a monument behind a barbed wire fence, trimmed with an opening to crawl through. We pose and pose. I'm reminded of when we set off from the Pacific Crest Trail. We're clean, we're enthusiastic, we're at the beginning of some pretty amazing memories, still unpressed.
Jake and I leave our new friends in the parking lot, who are still discussing whether or not the trail crosses Highway 83, and hike up toward Miller Peak. I'm sad to hear Alex assure that he's "going slow, we won't be seeing him after today."
The views are jaw dropping, and in the mountains it's cold.
Down the other side of the peak we find snow on northern slopes. It's tough to navigate, but novel.
Bath tub spring is our first water source past what we brought with us from Tuscon, and the water is delicious.
We hike 11.7 miles total. And in the evening, I'm tired. I lay back and let the world drift away.
Tomorrow and from now on, my alarm will be the sun, and I look forward to rising and falling with it.