Black Mountain to Power Lines near I-10. 18 miles, 208 miles total.
There was a lot of snow on Fuller Ridge, and most people were advising to skip this section. Seven left the cabin early to hike back up Devil's Slide. I was able to catch a ride to Black Mountain from Joan (Sleuth's friend), so I did. I learner later in the day that the trail up Devil's Slide was closed by the forest service due to a fire, so it was a good thing that I opted to go to Black Mountain. I hope Seven (another hiker that stayed at the cabin) made it. I'm sure I'll see him again down the trail.
Joan had her two daughters with her when she arrived at the cabin, so we dropped them at school on the way to the trail. They had a lot of questions to ask about hiking on the trail, and we had a great exchange.
I hiked Southbound on the trail about 2 miles, and crossed 28 snow fields. I was glad that I decided to skip this section. I didn't have too much trouble following the trail, but where I turned around and started hiking North, it looked like the snow was getting heavier.
From Black Mountain, the trail drops steeply towards I-10. I hiked past dark, and really wanted to at least get to the freeway. It was very windy in this section, and there was a lot of sand blowing in the wind. I considered stopping at Snow Canyon Road ... several other hikers had stopped there for the night, but I kept going.
I lost the trail at the overhead power lines, and finally had to make camp. The wind was so strong that I couldn't put up my tent, but I layed out my tent and was able to crawl inside. The sand blew in the tent anyway. It wasn't cold, but the sound of the wind kept me up most of the night.