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Mark "SlowBro" Hurd
Begins: Mar 9, 2017
Date: Sun, Jan 1st, 2017
Entry Visits: 3,196
Journal Visits: 34,994
Guestbook Views: 414
Guestbook Entrys: 48
Arizona National Scenic Trail This Year
What is 800 miles long, crosses portions of the Sonoran Desert, climbs up to the Colorado Plateau over the Mogollon Rim escarpment, traverses the Grand Canyon, and stops at the Utah border? If you guessed the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT for short) you probably read the title of this entry. :^)
One of the more rugged of the National Scenic Trails, it has a reputation for being short on water and long on heat except, of course for the freezing temps and snow in the higher elevations. Even in the desert one has to ascend and descend four different mountain ranges known as Sky Islands. The stats are interesting. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 93,000 feet of elevation gain. It will take roughly a million and a half steps to walk the 800 miles. The trail traverses 11 of the 13 natural biotic communities in the state. The wildlife runs the gamot from Gila Monster and Rattlesnake to Deer and Bear. In other words, it looks to be an epic journey with variety more akin to the PCT than the Colorado Trail.
I will be starting in early March and plan to finish by late April. I will be doing this alone and plan on 20 mile days until the last hundred miles of the journey. My good friend Twister is planning on joining me at that point as we cross the Grand Canyon and finish up on the Utah border.
As I prepare for another long trek I ask myself what draws me to these journeys? In part it is the grandure of the country, the vista at the top of the climb, the chance sighting of wildlife, the careless rambling of a vine, or the gnarled bark of a forest giant. I love seeing the seasons change day to day, watching the moon go through its cycle, and experiencing sunrises and sunsets that make you stop and stare. The solitude, the wind and rain, the crunch of snow, the heat and the biting cold all make you aware you're alive. And in the end feeling alive is maybe what it is all about.
As with my previous adventures, I will travel as long and as far as I am able to safely go. If I don't finish, at least I will have tried, which is, probably, the most important aspect of any journey.
(For a little more back story on me and my endeavors- check the first few entries in my PCT Journal. The link is at the bottom of this space.)
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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