Catalina State Park, AZ

Sunset view from Catalina State Park, AZ

This morning I woke up filled with anticipation to finally start making my way towards southern Arizona.  My aunt and I loaded up her RV preparing for our upcoming adventure on the Arizona Trail. The RV will be our base camp until we start our hike on Monday morning.  We left Cottonwood full of excitement for the journey we are about to take. After dropping off two re-supply boxes with a good friend in Phoenix, we arrived at Catalina State Park in the late afternoon.  We couldn’t have asked for a better evening in the Arizona dessert.  Once we had settled into our new temporary home, we took a stroll through the park watching the sunset over the mountains to the west. 

Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina State Park, AZ

Alpenglow on the Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina State Park, AZ

Alpenglow on the Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina State Park, AZ

Alpenglow on the Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina State Park, AZ

Desert tree sunset, Catalina State Park, AZ

AZT – Boxes, Boxes, and More Boxes

I finally arrived in Arizona earlier this week and have been packing like crazy for my thru-hike on the Arizona Trail.  I arrived at my aunts’ house to a pile of various packages (most of them from Amazon.)

Packages piled up for AZT re-supply boxes.

It took a few days, but I have turned the pile into 10 neatly organized and packed re-supply boxes ready to be shipped and delivered throughout the state.

AZT re-supply boxes almost completed.

I had the pleasure of hand delivering one box to an old friend yesterday while visiting Jerome, AZ.  It was a nice break from all the madness that comes from prepping for a long distance hike. I spent the afternoon having good conversation, and even managed to squeeze in a short hike.  This afternoon I will be shipping my first two boxes – one to Colossal Cave Mountain Park, and one to The General Kearny Inn.  This is all starting to get very real!

The first two re-supply boxes to go in the mail.

This is my first of many blog posts from my iPhone 6s. With limited resources during my adventure, and I’m sure as hell not carrying a laptop with me, I’ll be using my phone to blog along the way.  Next Monday, March 27 is go time!  I can’t wait for the journey that lies ahead.  Happy trails!

AZT Re-supply Plan

The most frequented questions I receive once I start discussing my thru-hike on the Arizona Trail are about food.  Does that mean you will be carrying all of your food on your back?  Yes.  Isn’t that really heavy?  Yes.  Are you crazy?  YES!  How will you get more food while hiking along the trail?  Re-supply boxes.

I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to carry 2 1/2 months worth of food on my back.  Even if it was possible, why bother when you can re-supply along the way.  While I won’t be carrying 70 days worth of food with me, I do plan to carry up to 8 days worth of food at times.  During my 800 mile hike, I will be shipping myself packages along the way that will include many important items; but most importantly – my food.  My boxes will also include things such as first aid supplies, toiletries, stove fuel, batteries, and Ziploc bags.

Luckily for me, there are many hiker friendly locations along the trail that will accept and hold packages for Arizona Trail thru-hikers.  Here is my re-supply plan and the locations that I will be shipping boxes to:

Mile 52.8:  Patagonia, 3/30 – I will have a re-supply box in my aunt’s car, who will be hiking the first 5 days with me.

Mile 119.6:  Colossal Cave, 4/5 – Colossal Cave Mountain Park, 16721 E. Old Spanish Trail, Vail, AZ 85641

Mile 206.6:  Oracle, 4/14 – Chalet Village Motel, 1245 W American Avenue, Oracle, AZ 85623

Mile 264.9:  Kearny, 4/20  – General Kearny Inn, 301 Alden Road, Kearny, AZ 85137

Mile 345.9:  Roosevelt Lake, 4/27 – Roosevelt Lake Marina, 28085 N AZ HWY 188, Roosevelt Lake, AZ 85545

Mile 440.1:  Payson, 5/6 – LF Ranch, P. O. Box 796, Payson, AZ 85547

Mile 464:  Pine – THAT Brewery, 3270 N HWY 87, Pine, AZ 85544

Mile 537:  Mormon Lake, 5/16 – Mormon Lake Lodge, 1971 South Mormon Lake Road, Mormon Lake, AZ 86038

Mile 569.3:  Flagstaff, 5/19 – A friend will be picking me up to spend a night or two off trail.

Mile 690.6:  Grand Canyon South Rim,  5/29 – Grand Canyon Post Office, General delivery, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

If you are interested in sending a small package to me during my journey, make sure the package contains my name and an anticipated arrival date.

re-supply address

AZT Re-supply location, Colossal Cave Mountain Park

If you are hiking the Arizona Trail this year or have hiked it in recent years, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my re-supply plan.  This is my first thru-hike, and I’ll take any advice you’re willing to share.  Happy trails!

Dehydrating Fruit for the Arizona Trail

I will be flying to Phoenix to start my journey along the Arizona Trail in just a few weeks.  Before I make my way to Arizona, I will be taking a detour to Texas to visit my friends and family.  What this means is, I only have 12 days before I walk out of my house packed and ready for my hike along the AZT.  While food is one of the most important things to plan while preparing for a thru-hike, I have made zero plans!  Well, that’s not completely true…I have spent the last couple of weeks dehydrating 14 kiwi, 8 pineapples, and 2 bananas.  While this may sound like a lot of fruit, this barely scratches the surface of meal prep for an 800 mile thru-hike.  Since I don’t have enough time to make all of my meals for this journey I’m about to take, my only plan so far is to dehydrate as much fruit as I can until the day I leave.  What are some of your favorite fruits to dehydrate for backpacking or thru-hiking?

bananas

Dehydrating bananas for the AZT

kiwi

Dehydrating kiwi for the AZT

Pineapples

Dehydrating pineapples for the AZT

Fruit

14 kiwi, 8 pineapples, and 2 bananas