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There are (trail) angels among us in Flagstaff

Off the dusty, wind-swept Arizona Trail, out of the oft-harsh elements over 800 miles that range from desert heat to forested chill and critters from rattlesnakes to rutting elks, Ray Dunton sinks with a sigh into a comfy easy chair in an elegant Kachina Village living room.

He cleans up nicely, Ray does. Khaki pants pressed, unshod feet nestled in a fresh pair of socks, silver hair coiffed and soiled laundry and gear whisked away, Dunton crosses his legs and stares out to the back deck and beyond to a tree-studded hillside with pine needles fluttering down in the late afternoon breeze.

The look on his face — contentment, perhaps, or a sense of peace — comes not just from finishing the final passages of his AZT thru-hike, after forest closures in 2018 forced him to leapfrog over several Flagstaff segments, but from the hospitality, graciousness and, yes, friendship of his “trail angels,” Ann and Brian Blue, who opened their home to Dunton in 2018 and again on this late October weekend.

Would he like some chips and dip? Go ahead, indulge yourself, as Anne and Brian, proffer plate and a smile. Maybe something to drink, too? Important to re-hydrate, you know.

Read the full article by Sam McManis on the Daily Sun's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 9, 2022

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Arizona Daily Sun

Media Mentions from Arizona Daily Sun

The Arizona Daily Sun is published six days a week (Tuesday-Sunday) from a modern office and printing facility in west Flagstaff. We began as the weekly Coconino Sun in 1883 before converting to a daily newspaper and taking our current name in 1946.

MEDIA MENTIONS

My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

MEDIA MENTIONS

Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
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