AZT Training – “Urban Hiking”

6.5 miles / 350′ elevation gain

Yesterday I spent two hours of my afternoon “hiking” along the Elliott Bay Trail carrying a 22.5 lb. pack.  Over the weekend I purchased new trail runners to wear during my hike along the Arizona Trail, so I decided it was time to test them out.  The first day of my thru-hike on the AZT I plan to hike 13.5 miles gaining over 3000′ in elevation.  After finishing this short hike, it looks like I have a lot of training ahead of me over the next few weeks.

Sculpture Park

“Hiking” through the SAM Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA


A view of Mount Rainier along the Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle, WA

Planning my First Thru-hike: The Arizona Trail

AZT guide book

Your Complete Guide to the Arizona National Scenic Trail by Matthew J. Nelson

I am so excited, nervous, eager, anxious, scared, and happy to announce that I’m planning to thru-hike the Arizona Trail (AZT) this year!  I have all the feels right now about this journey I’m about to take.  The AZT is a roughly 800 mile pedestrian, biker, and equestrian trail that runs from the border of Mexico to Utah through the state of Arizona.  I plan to hike the entire length of the trail South to North starting from the Mexican border on March 27, 2017.  As you can imagine, this is going to be a daunting task.

Since our move to Washington over four years ago, my husband and I have found our place in a wonderful circle of new friends.  That circle includes many adventurous people with goals and accomplishments I didn’t even know existed, much less thought were possible.  I’m so thankful to be surrounded by so many like minded individuals who have encouraged me to reach higher than I thought I ever could.  When I combine my old friends with these new ones, it creates a tribe like no other!  With the support of my friends and family, I feel confident that in early June I will walk in Utah on my own two feet.

As I prepare for this journey across Arizona, I am going to be using my blog as a platform to discuss all things AZT!  This means the format of my blog may change a bit, but will still focus on photography during my hiking and backpacking adventures.  Only now my hikes will be expanded outside of the PNW.  I hope my followers appreciate the changes I make along the way, and continue to support TamarasCameras.

Since making the decision to hike the AZT and sharing my plan with friends and family, I have received many different responses.  I am asking that people please refrain from using the following phrases:

  1.  “You’re such a bad-ass!” – While I really enjoying being called a bad-ass, I haven’t done anything bad-assery yet.  At this point I have spent way too much money on backpacking gear, sat in front of the computer and AZT guide book for way too many hours, and ignored the basic duties of a housewife leaving piles of dishes and laundry throughout the apartment.  These things do not give me the title of bad-ass.
  2. “I’m so proud of you.” – Including all of the reasons above, there is nothing to be proud of yet.  If I do make those steps into Utah after walking 800 miles, I’ll let that be a moment of pride.  Until then, just wish me luck.
  3. “You’re crazy!” – Ok, this one is true.

I look forward to sharing my adventures with you as I trek across the Arizona desert this spring.  Forgive me as I fumble through the process of planning for and attempting my first thru-hike.  I have sooooooo many things to learn, and look forward to any and all positive criticisms and advice shared.  Happy trails!

Guthook app

Guthook Hikes app – Arizona Trail screenshot