We got going on the trail a wee bit late this morning (around 11am) at Hwy 87 near Sunflower AZ. We spent most of our afternoon on a wide and fairly easy dirt road.
Along the way we had some views of Roosevelt Lake, which is where I had camped the previous two days as I was preparing to ride this section.
As the sun started to sink, we had some pretty views over the hills.
Just after sunset, the road turned back into trail, and thankfully camp was just a 1/4 mile further on past that; overall it was a fairly easy 19 miles from the trailhead to Pigeon Springs, where we spent the night. At the springs, there was also a little patch of grass for the horses to eat, so they were happy about our choice of places to stop, despite having to share the spot with a very territorial snake (or two).
When I went to get water for the horses, there was a rattlesnake guarding the spring (literally perched on the concrete wall of the spring). I chased him off but he was back just 20 mins later. So I set up camp as far from the spring as I could. The horses didn't have any complaints, however, as they were busy grazing. In the morning I discovered that there was not just one persistent rattlesnake, but two! So maybe the first one I chased off didn't come back 20 mins later like I had thought but was instead the second snake. Anyhow they were both hanging out at the spring in the morning and were still there when I left camp that day.