Part III: The Final Deets
When the night before our adventure came, I trucked everything over to Eric’s house so that he could help me pack it into my backpack. Once the pack look nicely stuffed, he held out a bag of couscous.
“What’s that for?”
“I think you have room.”
He was right. It was the least I could do since he and Dave were carrying most everything else. This became clear once Dave arrived with a pack twice the size of mine and he and Eric started their own packing process. In addition to what I was carrying, they divvied up two tents, a camp stove, food, and I’m not sure what else. My compact little pack was looking quite svelte in comparison. But when I hefted it onto my shoulders, pulled in the straps, and nearly toppled over, I no longer felt guilty. They are men, after all. They can handle the extra weight. Clearly I was at my limit. Silently I wondered if I was really up to this.
Aravaipa Canyon is about twelve miles long. It’s easy to reach from the western end and extremely remote and difficult to reach from the eastern end. Dave and Eric had been to the western end many times since it is only about an hour away from where they live. The eastern end is a different story. There are no direct roads that go from west to east, and the trip to the east end is more than 200 miles away by road. That’s a four-hour drive with the last hour being on dirt. It’s also the prettiest portion of the canyon, and Dave and Eric were eager to see it.
So their plan was to have Eric’s parents drive us to the trailhead at the east end and drop us off. We would spend the first night at the trail head, then take the next two days backpacking through to the west end where Eric’s parents would pick us up. This was an extremely generous offer made by Eric’s parents, and I felt a little guilty about it. But they seemed keen on the adventure, so who was I to feel guilty?