Mile 126, Rincon Creek

No spots available at Saguaro NP tonight, so I opted to make it a semi-zero day.

Now that Saguaro is a National Park, camping is restricted to established campgrounds. That means Grass Shack (15 miles, 2500 foot climb) and Camp Manning (20 miles, 5000 foot climb) were my only options. I called the ranger office and all they could offer me was Manning tomorrow. They took my credit card number and I was good to go. Easy enough.

Spent the morning on the Colossal Cave tour (which has not changed in 50 years) did some primitive laundry and hung out with hiker Nemo from Saskatchewan. He seems to be doing well on his first ever desert hiking experience.

After I was done lounging around the patio outside the cave I bought a beer and a bag of Cheetos to go and headed out the 6 miles to Rincon Creek, just shy of the NP boundary.

The desert is lush in the Rincon Valley, lots of daisy- and fleabane-like flowers are out here, bunched strategically between the prickly pears. The ocotillos are all leafed out as well, making a fine show.

My creekside camp is experiencing an outburst of bird and frog song as the sun eases down under a crescent moon. I have a sandy camp to make my bed on and stars popping out of a full still sky. Everything is good.