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Day 152: 12/23/17  Snow, Closed Restaurant, and happy in AZ

Miles: 21 Steps: 43,306 Vertical gain: Strava Knows!!! Liquid consumed: 80 oz. Wildlife: Rabbits, 2 animals together (foxes or coyotes, too far away to tell), several birds. Faith in Humanity: caretaker at Jacob Lake booked me up with water, thank you very much! Another day! Last night I was so tired! I feel asleep so fast after getting in my tent just after 6pm. My new sleeping bag is awesome! First night sleeping in it last night made me feel happy! Woke up around 6:30 and hit the trail by 7:30. Not horribly cold in the morning which was nice. I hit the snow covered trail and followed it fairly easy for the first 10 Miles. Then, the trail was lost. I decided to hike a snow covered dirt road near the trail instead as it was easier to follow. After 13 miles I hit the road that would take me into the “town” of Jacob Lake. The town had a couple of closed campgrounds and the one restaurant/gas station/general store was also closed. At least there’s a water spigot! Oh, that’s off too. I really need water! I can melt snow but it takes a ton of fuel...I saw a guy and asked him about water. Turns out he was the caretaker and happily took me to a sink in another building. Thanks so much! Water is precious when you have none! At this point the Arizona Trail parallels a closed highway to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I opted to hike the highway: no traffic and it is plowed (I think a few people do live on the Road and I’m sure some caretakers are needed at Grand Canyon North Rim even though all services are closed... Nice to have an easy path to hike, but damn, pack is soooo heavy!!! Sure I “only” have 9 days of food but now I just added 9 liters of water! Ouch! Heaviest the pack has been on the whole trip I think. Oh well, just keep walking! I’m still a bit concerned about my ambitions to hike the Nankoweap Trail. I’m worried that the snow will make the ground slippery and the trail descriptions all indicate the trail is pretty scary when it’s dry. Worst case I can just backtrack to the North Rim proper and change my permit, I suppose! Pretty windy on the Kaibab Plateau as I type this. Hopefully my water won’t freeze. Observations before I go to sleep. Kind of cool to have the challenge of snowbound trail, but also cool to have the road with zero traffic. Good times out here, certainly adventurous!

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