This Week’s Hike: Arizona Trail, Molino Basin Part 2

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The Molino Basin Campground is closed during the summer, which I should have taken as a sign. This must be an amazing trail in the winter. In the summer… it was hot and sticky and gross for the first mile. There are a few scattered trees offering a (very) brief respite, but otherwise the trail is completely exposed.

On my first hike, I went south on the Arizona Trail, starting at the campground. I thought it was just called Molino Basin Trail, but have since learned that, yes, it was a part of MBT, but the trail is actually the Arizona Trail, which starts in Mexico and ends in Utah – 800 miles long. It’s kind of insane.

This week I hiked to the next trailhead before turning around because next week, I want to start where I left off. I’m interested in seeing how much of the trail I can do – piecemeal, of course. As long as I bring enough water and slather on enough sunscreen, I’ll be fine. 🙂

 

Hike Stats
Water consumed: just shy of 3 litres
Hours hiked: 2.75
Wildlife Spotted: bees, butterflies (black, orange, and yellow), smoky grouse, & white-tailed deer
Elevation at Start: 4370 ft
Smells: Arid, occasionally putrid when the trail dipped into the basin, very briefly pine
Sounds: The wind through long grass, the drone of cars on the road, which I never really left far behind on this hike, screams of birds, and the rattle of a certain kind of bug that had me looking for snakes more than once.

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This Week’s Hike: Green Mountain Trail

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I decided to head a bit further up the mountain to find a cooler and shadier hike this week. The basin was all well and good, but it was also a little – okay a lot – exposed. Only a few miles up the road there are plenty of pines to cool things down.

I’ve started up the Green Mountain Trail before, but we only made it a mile or so in because we weren’t prepared for the constant uphill. This time, I knew what to expect and therefore savored each precious flat run that much more.

Technically, you’re supposed to start at the top of the trail and work your way down, but I adhere to the rule of Uphill First, because there’s nothing like breezing through several miles straight downhill then realizing now you have to go straight back up.

It was a quiet, clear morning, with excellent views of the city and Thimble Peak once I got high enough.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Hike Stats
Water consumed: just shy of 3 liters
Hours hiked: 2.5
Wildlife Spotted: a few Mexican Jays, several squirrels, and so. many. lizards
Elevation at Start: 5830 ft
Smells: Mostly pine, some sand and sunscreen
Sounds: The drone of the road for a little while, then bees and flies and the incessant soft rustle of pine needles.

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Exciting News!!!

I’ve been sitting on this news for a few weeks because I wanted to make absolutely certain it was Official(TM), but but BUT:

I HAVE AN AGENT!

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Rainbows! Rainbows for everyone!
I am proud to be represented by Kurestin Armada of PS Literary Agency.

I still can’t quite believe those words. Honestly, any time the words “my agent” comes out of my mouth, I have to stop and giggle. Yes, giggle. I’m still a little how the f— did this happen?? but I know the answer to that.

And it goes a little like this:

I started writing The Impossible Contract in June of last year and finished a massive rewrite and subsequent rounds of edits sometime in March. I let it cool, then sent it to my first round of betas in April, and after hearing back from them and tweaking, sent out my first round of queries. The first round were all rejections, so I thoroughly revised my query and tried again.

Suddenly, I was no longer getting form rejections. I received a full request a few weeks in with my new query, then a partial, then another full. I was over the moon, even after a rejection on the partial, because finally I was making progress.

At this point, I started to mentally pack it in. This novel had done its job in getting me that much closer to my goal. Maybe the next one would be it. I still had a few fulls out, but then, what were the chances?

Fast forward to July 18th. I had quit my full-time job the day before because of a hundred different reasons. I was out late playing D&D, and normally I would have come home and gone straight to bed, but instead I idly checked my email. Oh, an email from an agent. Probably another rejection –

I had to read that email three times before the words registered. She wanted to set up a call for the next day. And then I cried. And then I made my wife read it to make sure I understood it correctly. I had. So I cried some more.

Needless to say I didn’t sleep that night.

Needless to say I convinced myself a hundred different ways that this couldn’t be The Call. That this was Something Else Entirely and I shouldn’t get my hopes up. I was dreaming. Hallucinating. Had I even read that email right??

But it was The Call and it happened and, even zombiefied from lack of sleep and way too much caffeine, I managed not to scare her off. She liked my book and she liked my characters and she got the story and then I expressed my gratitude by grilling her. Hah! But she still offered rep.

It was the hardest thing not to accept right then and there because I liked her agency and knew she personally was a good fit, but I still had fulls out to other agents. The responsible thing was to give them a chance.

I withdrew from the agents who only had partials, because I didn’t think they’d have the time, and then nudged the ones with fulls. They bowed out, citing time restraints, and I was secretly relieved because in the intervening days I had already made my decision.

So there you have it! This is only the beginning – an agent by no means guarantees publication, even when they do their best and are as awesome as mine – and I have a lot of work ahead.

What’s next? Well, writing something new because this next step can take a while. Also going around and thanking every single one of my betas profusely, thanking my friends for supporting me, thanking my family for encouraging me, and thanking the public library for providing countless air-conditioned hours of writing time.

Query Stats on TIC for those counting numbers:
Total queries: 30
Rejections: 25
Partial Requests: 3
Full Requests: 4
Offers of Rep: 1
Prior Queried Manuscripts: 2
How I’m feeling:

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This Week’s Hike: Molino Basin

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We won’t know whether or not we’re making a very big move for another month. That’s four weeks of not being able to plan, not being able to have anything solid, of drifting – but it is still four weeks of life. I need to take advantage of that, of every moment we have left in this gorgeous desert.

Hence my new weekly goal: going for a new hike in the Sonoran Desert each week. And not just that, but bringing my camera along.

I love taking pictures, but aside from a few here and there for friends, I just… haven’t been. So this is a three-fold goal of getting out of the house, exploring new places, and practicing my photography skillz.

This week I picked Molino Basin and a portion of the Arizona Trail. I should clarify that my goal isn’t to hike these to completion, but to hike until I’m halfway through my camelpak – which holds 3 liters of water – and turn around. So I won’t usually make it more than a few hours. Still – it was a gorgeous hike.

Photos below!

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hello August

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The month of figs and warm sunsets and bats and starry evenings and fireflies and thunderstorms and peaches and obscene amounts of sweat and virgos and blueberries and the smell of cut grass and leos and cow walks and morning hikes and sunflowers and palo verde beetles and double rainbows and birthdays and squeezing every last drop out of summer.