But again: What could go wrong did go wrong. It started on day 1. I was happily hiking up the Mogollon Rim looking at my GPS every once in a while. It worked fine one moment - but when I tried to switch it on 5 minutes later, nothing happened. Absolutely nothing! It was dead. Surely that would be the batteries.... Still I was not happy: 4 more days of hiking with no GPS on the AZT is not an ideal situation. Doable, but not ideal.
I hiked on less happily, but still in relatively good spirits. This is when it started snowing - on MAY 2nd in Arizona. Not just snowing, it was rather dumping. I could hardly see a thing. And it was damned cold on MAY 2nd.... I pitched my tent and hoped for the best. Well, it stopped snowing, but it froze. I was bitterly cold at 22 degrees Fahrenheit and started to really get pissed with the trail, the weather and everything.
I woke up at 5 am and had breakfast. It surely could not get worse now - but it did. I bit on my granola - and something did not feel like granola. It was a gold inlay that had come off my tooth that very moment...I was about to cry. Here I was with no GPS, freezing my ass off and on top of that having a dental problem. Great! Did I mention that the batteries on my watch were dying as well? (I have to mention for the non-hikers that you need a watch for navigation - you time your progress to find out how far you hike.) The only thing that still worked was my cell phone.
I met some Forest Service employees later that day who gave me extra batteries for my GPS! I was very happy - but just for a moment, because even with new batteries the GPS would not work. It was dead.... Later that day Colin, a British AZT hiker and aerospace engineer showed up. He disassembled the whole thing, but it still would not work. His verdict: Ditch it!!!! Hey, just ditch a 300 EUR GPS! But he was right. Warranty period was over and it would be more expensive to repair it than to buy a new one.
|Colin and Kimberlie|
Then another miracle happened. I met Colin and his hiking partner Kimberlie in an outdoor shop. Kimberley was getting off trail for the next stretch and I just asked her about her GPS - and she lent it to me! So I will leave tomorrow with a working watch, good teeth and a GPS, hurray! Life is good!