The Glittering Eyes of Spiders

November 12th, 2021- Post two zero days with family in Phoenix

We left the family and got dropped off at our pick up spot. Took it pretty slow starting out as our packs felt heavy and we were just getting back into it after having two days off. We started off by hiking 11.4 miles to the first water resupply. By then our feet were hurting and we didn’t feel like hiking much farther. After a long afternoon break we decided the best option was to hike to the next water supply which was 9 more miles. It was more then we wanted to hike for the day but we didn’t see any other option cause we would have to carry too much water. We decided to go for it. We would just take it slow and hike into the night. Time to try out our new headlamps. We’ve had one intro to night to hiking and that was with two other hikers, we feel confident to push tonight. The moon is half full giving off a white glow to the saguaro cactus. I see glitter and stop to check, it’s a spider, its tiny but it’s eyes reflect in the light of my head lamp. “That is so cool!” I exclaim and Bobby smiles, “That’s the first time, I ever thought I’d hear you say those words in that order”. I laugh cause he’s right but it’s so neat. Shining my headlamp out into the darkness I see several glittering eyes and I’m mesmerized. I’m hiking in front and suddenly I see larger glowing eyes they look red, now I’m slightly putt off I just don’t want it to be a giant tarantula. Bobby laughs and offers to take the lead, I’m like “look it hasn’t moved” and we both point our lights to the ground. It’s a bird, just sitting in the road, it looks up at us but it doesn’t move. It’s gray with brown spots and just sitting there. “I’m going to pet it” Bobby says as he slowly reaches down. I of course exclaim “Be careful it may be rabid or something”. As if a small bird could attack him with fangs, such a silly thought but the night is playing tricks on me. The small bird just looks up at Bobby and he slowly reaches down and pets it! The bird allows a few pets before flying off and Bobby still on his knees smiles up at me. He looks so handsome and boyish as he smiles broadly at me. “It let me pet it!” Bobby is ecstatic and I fall in love with him all over again. He is the animal whisper, I’ve seen him touch and pet so many animals and they always let him. We see several more birds all sitting in the road, I still don’t understand why. 

It took till 8pm but we finally reached the water….or we thought we had. Where is it? We could see it, but we couldn’t get down to it. Behind a bribe wire fence and through a hedge. A road that didn’t lead anywhere and our gps wasn’t helping. Nothing left but to keep hiking. Another mile, no luck. We could see the river, it was big, all good signs. Map says one more mile and we “should be able to reach it”. By this time it’s almost 9pm. We’ve hike well over 20 miles. Welcome back to the trail! We’re delirious, singing random songs at times and at others staying silent. Deep breaths each time we loose the trail and have to back track. This fun night hiking got old real quick. “Let’s just camp” says Bobby, but I want to keep pressing. It’s only another mile. At this point he’s so tired he just stops talking to me. I think he’s angry and I hike faster, my heart racing, praying we find water. Go through the gate the map says, follow the road, now we’re off trail but the map says water. We push on, a large tree covers the road and we duck  under it. Then I hear it, the sound of trickling water. “We made it baby!! There’s water!” And the road is flat enough to set up camp. We’re in the middle of the road, but who cares, it’s a camp site now. We filter water and set up camp. We’re tired and neither one of us feels like cooking. We eat jerky cheese tortillas in the tent, and 4 ibuprofen, trying not to spill crumbs in our sleeping bags. “Well, we killed it today” I say as we snuggle up. “ Yeah, that wasn’t so bad”. 

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