In the morning we broke camp pretty fast and commenced climbing. The trail at the base of the mountain was awesome. In fact it was so much fun that we missed the turn to stay on the AZT that John and Gordon properly negotiated. We back tracked and before long we began a long slog up a wash followed by some steep climbs to get us out of the canyon we were in. We bombed down FR4 into box canyon which had some water flowing. We took the opportunity to filter some water and take in the view.
By the time we made it to the other side of the diversion dam it was hot and past lunch. We stopped briefly to cool off in the Gila and eat some snacks before we climbed out to the Florence-Kelvin Hwy. I began to wonder if I brought enough food.
We made it down the F-K Hwy (really just a dirt road) and Gordon who had been ill the week before the ride was having problems. Given the remoteness
of the next segment and his symptoms, he called for extraction.
Sucked but the right choice I think.
At the exact same same spot, the Flag crew was pushing the pace and blew the turn to get off the F-K Hwy where we were waiting. It was getting late and we needed to get to water. No way we could catch them. After waiting for 45 minutes we decided to continue on and hope the Flag crew would turn around see Gordon and he could direct them or maybe we would find them in Oracle.
With some reservations we left Gordon and rode a few miles, found water and after loading up made camp a mile away. A bit later the Flag crew showed up. I was worked and sleep came fast.