We took a much needed Zero Day in Oracle. We haven’t taken a day off since Patagonia and the legs are hungry for rest, plus tons of food. Oracle is a small town north of the Santa Catalina Mountains where Edward Abbey spent the last years of his life. It’s got a few amenities, is known for the Biosphere 2, and has a sweet cafe. We slept in, but we were still up with the sun from circadian habit. Based on recommendations from Marney, we made our way to a Mexican restaurant purported to have an amazing breakfast spread. It was truth.
Chris’ wife was leaving today and Chris was forgoing a Zero Day to get back out on the trail. We said goodbye to him, the last time we would see him on the hike. With generosity, his wife drove us down to Tucson to accomplish some much-needed chores, one of which included me getting a new pair of shoes. Despite the fact that I had worn Saucony Xodus on the JMT, my ultramarathons, and countless backpacking trips, the arches of feet literally had black and blue marks from the insane rocky trails of the AZT. Chris’ wife dropped us at The Running Shop (a local Tucson running store), and they owner was super pumped to have some AZT thru-hikers. He hooked me up with Hoka One One Stinson shoes and took our picture for his store. I looked into these based on recommendations from Frisbee and Stubs, two well-experienced through hikers (AT and FT among others) who also happened to be staying at the Chalet Motel.
Jim picked us up from Tucson after a job he had nearby and dropped us back in Oracle. He kindly showed me their AMAZING rockhounding collection and rock cutting devices in their workshop in addition to their extensive ATVs and dune buggies they use to explore the desert washes, take water to thru-hikers, and continue their rockhounding collection. Janna and I took some time to open our resupply boxes, organize our gear, and wash everything (Jim and Marney freely allow AZTers to use their washers and dryers - they even provide some clothing while you wait!). In the late afternoon, Janna and I walked our way to the local Dollar General to resupply. While exiting, we ran into a thru-hiker just arriving, Rosey. We split from him to get hack to the motel.
After eating the loads of leftovers we had in the room, we chilled and passed out. Rested, fed, showered, and cleaned - ready to head out tomorrow back on the Arizona Trail.