Day 5 – 5/11/47
Finally got a full night of sleep. I woke only a few times, but fell right back to sleep. I was so close to Patagonia, I had comfort in the thought of eating and drinking and calling my girlfriend. I was so anxious to get into town that morning I didn’t even eat breakfast. I didn’t even have coffee, but that was because I needed to ration what little water I had left. On the way, I ate a Clif Bar and a packet of Justin’s Almond Butter.
It turned out I had about 5.5 miles to Patagonia from where I camped and I was glad I didn’t try pushing through in the dark. The landscape was nothing different the few more miles out to Harshaw Road Trailhead. The AZT follows Harshaw Road for about three miles and brings you into the little town of Patagonia. It felt weird walking on pavement after walking on dirt for so long, like I had to readjust my balance.
By this point, I was out of water in my Camelbak and well into my bottle of purified water from the spigot I found. That water didn’t taste bad, just had a weird, milky color and film from the purification tablets. By 10am I was sipping on the last quarter of it as I made it into town.
There was a heavy Border Patrol presence here. The little motor I kept hearing the night before was a drone for night surveillance. There were patrol SUVs on the hillsides, and the agents were a common sight in town.
On the way into town, I passed adobe and ranch style homes. A little old lady riding a bicycle up the road stopped and asked how I was doing and told me how much further I needed to go. People driving past me on the road waved to me. There were plenty of local businesses of the New Age/Hippy sort. I passed the post office, which marked the end of the trail, and immediately kept an eye out for a diner or cafe. I stopped at the first place I saw with a banner advertising “bakery, coffee, ice-cream.” It was called Ovens of Patagonia, and they just so happened to be AZT supporters, or Trail Angels.
I removed my pack outside on the covered patio, walked inside where there was a cooler of deli sandwiches, and another cooler of bottled drinks. I grabbed a roast beef sandwich, a bottle of red Gatorade, and a bottle of coconut water. I also needed to charge my phone. My phone had been dead since I left Parker Canyon Lake and my solar bank would not charge enough to charge the phone. I had been letting the bank soak up as many rays as it could as I hiked and tried to recharge my phone a few percentages at a time. So in the deli, I bought a wall to USB charger and the employees were kind enough to plug it in for me behind the counter.
Outside, I sat down at one of the tables with my pack next to me, stretched my legs out and drank most of the ice cold Gatorade bottle without taking a breath. I then ate the entire sandwich, finished the Gatorade, and then drank the coconut water.
While sitting out there, I talked with one of the employees. He told me they love the AZT hikers here and that I’m welcome to use their facilities as long as I need. They had a fenced off backyard where I could pop up the tent for the night if I wanted, and also use the bathroom and garden hose, etc. The bakery was part of a small business complex with a small court and fountain in the center. The man gave me the code to the keypad lock to gain access to the shared bathroom.
After I finished my coconut water, I brought my pack into the single restroom. I wiped down with body wipes, washed my face in the sink, and brushed my teeth. I took off my shoes and socks and washed the dirt off one foot at a time in the sink. I dried them the best I could and inspected the painful blisters that formed on my heels and center of my right foot. I applied Moleskin to them again and put on clean socks.
I felt human again.