This was the last day of our section of trail, which took us to the trailhead where my truck and trailer were waiting. It was another dull day view-wise, but we had some interesting challenges, like getting water from a huge tank and crossing Highway 77.
Unlike the PCT, much of the AZT runs through rangeland and pastures or fairly near "civilization" in one form or another. That's been a good thing in terms of the access to water; I've pretty much come to the conclusion that it would be really difficult to ride a lot of the trail if there weren't stock tanks with water for cattle on a regular basis. It's probably less appealing to the hikers, but my horses don't complain at all! The picture here is of a water tank that we came across where I retrieved water for the horses. Thankfully there was a ladder. The water was about three feet down from the top so I had to bend at the waist and was really hoping I didn't fall in as I got water with the small collapsible bucket. I had to make 4 trips up and down that ladder. But the horses waited for me patiently at the bottom.
The only snake I saw during the day was a little blind snake. You almost never see them out during the day so I was really surprised and it was very lucky I didn't step on it since it's thinner than a pencil.
At the hwy crossing, the trail signs directed us to cross underneath the road, but the underpass is only 4 1/2 feet off the ground. I'm sure there is a stick crossing somewhere but there weren't any signs and it wasn't close. There was no way my horses could army-crawl under that road! And we couldn't just walk across the highway either, as there were barbed wire fences lining it on both sides.
I patrolled along the other side of the highway looking for a way through the barbed wire for about 30 mins. Finally I had to undo a repair job in the fence, fetch my horses and cross the road, and then repair the fence. I was not a happy rider. Thankfully we were pretty close to the rig at that point and then the horse camp we stayed at was only a 10 min drive away. However, when we got to the camp, the water was turned off there. Thankfully I always carry several full 5-gallon containers, so the horses were okay. No shower for me, though, which I had really be looking forward to!