It was late on Thursday when my mother and I returned from our ride to the monument at the southern terminus of the trail, and we spent another hour driving to Patagonia, AZ, where we camped at a trailhead for the night. Then we grabbed a quick breakfast in town at a cute cafe called the Gathering Grounds before driving into Tucson. I dropped mom at the airport for her flight back to L.A., and met up with a farrier to get a loose shoe tacked back on for Shyla. The AZT is turning out to be just a tough on the horses' feet as the PCT!
After that, I drove south to an amazing horse motel near Tucson, AZ called the Rocking M Ranch. The owners, Louis and Pam, have been super accommodating and really nice to me. They have a beautiful ranch with lots of horses, including an adorable little Palomino colt who enjoys terrorizing his neighbors! (Check out my Instagram feed for a video of him in action.) I ran some errands in town, and then prepped my gear and supplies and got ready to make some water caches the next day.
Today I headed out to make those caches in two different places where I plan to camp along the trail. I will be riding back south from a trail head near the horse motel, ending up back in Patagonia. Along the way, I needed to be certain that the horses would have water where we spent each night, so I was going to leave collapsible water jugs at two locations, which I will then pick up and carry with me when we leave (thank you, Takoda!). The water is too heavy for us to pack with us, but the collapsible containers are easy to fold up and carry out once we use the water.
One of the locations was fairly easy to access, but the other one required quite a difficult drive off-road. Only one of my trucks has 4-wheel drive, and it wasn't the one I was in today, but we managed to make it to where we needed to be. But it took me 3 hours of difficult driving just to make the 9 mile trek there and back!
Hopefully, the caches will not be disturbed and the supplies will be there for us when we need them as we come through tomorrow and the day after that.