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Nancy - Arizona Trail Journal - 2010

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Nancy "Why Not" Huber
City: Gold River
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Feb 23, 2010
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Feb 16th, 2010

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,420
Journal Visits: 36,430
Guestbook Views: 2,554
Guestbook Entrys: 77

Last PLB Location

Arizona Trail Map

Preparation

I’m planning another hike. I finished the Pacific Crest Trail in September…. I kept a daily journal and you can read it here…. Just click on the link at the bottom of the page. It took no time at all to get used to soft beds, showers and indoor plumbing. At first my body and mind needed to decompress after 5 months of hiking. Since I retired right before planning and starting the PCT, once I got home I also got to adjust to not working. I was surprised at my lack of efficiency in accomplishing anything. I had a list of things I wanted or needed to do but it was easy to put them off until “tomorrow.” I learned that retirement doesn’t change the core of who you are…. procrastination lives on! The most surprising thing was that I didn’t feel the need or want to exercise. I have been pretty addicted to daily workouts for most of my adult life…. some would probably say I was obsessed with it. But, it suddenly seemed OK to not do much for October, November, December and most of January. Maybe my body earned a rest!

On January 19th I got an email from my friend, Jellybean, who I hiked with through the Sierra. She said she was hiking the Arizona Trail…… did I want to join her? I immediately sent her back a YES! She needed to start soon because she is going to start the 3000 mile long Continental Divide Trail at the end of April. And you thought I was crazy! Suddenly I got so much more efficient with my time. We set a start date of February 23rd. That gave me about a month to get ready. But 2 weeks were already committed….. a week in Washington for my sister’s 60th birthday and a week in Tucson, Arizona, for the Rock and Mineral Show. It would have made more sense to just make one trip to Arizona but I just couldn’t get it all together by then.

The Arizona Trail covers 800 miles from the Mexican border to the Utah border. We plan to start at the southern end and hike north. Arizona has had a wet winter…. this is good and bad. Most water sources should have water in them so we won’t have to carry as much water. That’s really good because water is HEAVY…. 2.2 lbs per liter. But we will also have snow to walk over. The PCT gave me practice in that so it's not that bad. The first day we hike up to over 9000 ft in the first 7 miles. There will be snow there. We could also hit snow on the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The PCT taught me a lot about hiking a long trail. I have all the gear I need. But in the constant quest for lighter I bought a few new things. I’m going to try Zpack’s hexamid cuben fiber tent…. weight 8 oz instead of the 24 oz Contrail Tarptent. I bought gossamer gear hiking poles that weigh 7 oz. The alcohol/wind screen system that I used on the PCT was the Caldera Cone. They now make an Ultralite version that fits inside the pot so it transports in a smaller size… of course I bought that. I’m making other tweaks to my gear list from the PCT. Arizona gets cold at night so I’m questioning how many extra clothes to bring. I’m bringing Katoola Microspikes for the snow.

I dehydrated a bunch of food for about half the dinners. I have purchased most of the rest of the food I will need. Now I just need to get it into my resupply boxes. That is tomorrow’s project.

The Arizona Trail Association website has lots of info on the trail. Once again it is information overload but none of it is as well organized as Yogi’s guide and the PCT Atlas. Jellybean has done lots of research and is willingly sharing it all with me….. Thanks Jellybean!

More later,

Nancy

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Journal Photo

Nancy Hikes The Arizona Trail

Be sure to click on The Arizona Trail Map link to the side to see all my SPOT locations.

 

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