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Mark "SlowBro" Hurd
Begins: Mar 9, 2017
Date: Thu, Oct 5th, 2017
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 761.1
Entry Visits: 452
Journal Visits: 35,332
Guestbook Views: 414
Guestbook Entrys: 48
Reflections On Hiking The Arizona Trail
It was in October last year when I casually mentioned to my wife that I was thinking of hiking the Arizona Trail in the spring of 2017. Without missing a beat she asked me when I going to start. With that tacit approval, I plunged ahead with my planning for this trip. Working on water strategies, resupply, researching towns, weather reports, gear, time and distance calculations, reading other blogs, applying for permits, securing transportation, and training was all part of that planning. And now, almost exactly a year later, I am done.
This trip was different for me in many ways. The AZT is a more rugged trail than the PCT or the CT. The trail is rockier and, in places, less well maintained than the other two trails. Due, in part, to the remoteness of some sections. There are way more spiny pointy plants on this trail than the other two combined. And even though water, at least in the spring, was not really a problem- the perception that it might be was ever present. Then there was my foot.
I have to admit that, after hiking thousands of miles on long trails, that I was starting to think of myself as somewhat invincible. So it was a humbling experience to be brought down off my pedestal by a mere toe injury. The fact that I didn't acknowledge it for about 100 miles of painful walking shows you how stubborn I can be. Fortunately I finally came to my senses which allowed me to do the last part of this hike in the fall. And what a wonderful gift that has been.
The AZT has offered me an amazing adventure. I have visited sky islands, found streams in the desert, waltzed between thunderstorms, gotten water from manure filled stock ponds, survived roller skating down boulder strewn trails, seen the most amazing sunrises and sunsets, been the recipient of incredible kindness from total strangers, met fantastic people on and off the trail, hiked through the Grand Canyon, and on and on. Truly, the kind and number of experiences from this trip cannot be catalogued.
The Arizona Trail was hard, magical, unrelenting, beautiful, rocky, challenging, and even transformative. A worthy trek for the persistent adventurer. An amazing journey that I'm glad I took.
So once again I walked a long trail. And once again I couldn't have done it without my wife's support, my friend Scat Man's help, the kindness of Trail Angels, day hikers, and others on and off the trail, as well as friends and blog followers who encouraged me along the way. Thanks to all of you and thanks for coming along with me on this journey. Best wishes to you and...
SlowBro's Arizona Trail Journey
"I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days." -Daniel Boone
"The Journey IS The Reward" -SlowBro
"If you feel like quitting, just keep walking." -Gypsy Spirit
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