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!

Iron Goat Trail Day Hike

7.7 miles round trip / 1167′ elevation gain

The rainy season has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest, but that hasn’t stop me from hitting the trails.  A friend from the Pacific Northwest Outdoor Women Group asked if I’d like to join her on another mid-week hike, and I was thankful for the invitation.  I headed towards the Iron Goat Trail anticipating a rainy trek even though the sun was trying to make its’ way into Seattle as I left.  As I made my way towards Stevens Pass the weather turned to cloudy and rainy.  My friend and I met in a completely empty parking lot with a slight break in the weather including hints of sunshine peaking through the clouds.  The two of us weren’t fooled by the temptation of the sun and hit the trails wearing a final layer of wet weather gear.

After taking a class at REI last week learning to identify chanterelle mushrooms in the wild, I was excited to test my knowledge in the field.  The conditions were perfect for mushroom hunting in Washington, and they were everywhere!  Unfortunately, I didn’t find any chanterelles, but I did had a fun time trying.

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Mushrooms, Iron Goat Trail,  Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Mushrooms, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Mushrooms, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker -Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Mushroom, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Mushrooms, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Mushrooms, Iron goat Trail Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest

We started our hike at the Martin Creek trail head making our way east along the lower grade.  The pathway is wide, winding is way through the mossy forest.  At times the warm colors of fall leaves blanketed the landscape.

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Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

After about 3 miles of hiking we arrived at another trail head and parking lot with a bright red restored railway car.  We took a quick break and enjoyed reading about the history of the area on the posted interpretative signs and maps.

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Restored railway car, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

From this parking lot we took the Upper Loop Trail towards Windy Point.  This section of the trail is much more primitive than the lower grade.  It steeply climbs upwards, switching back and forth through the tress with their roots jutting out in every direction.  By this time the rain had become steady, making the trail very muddy.  After about a mile, the trail meets the upper grade where we chose to take the 1/4 mile journey making a right towards Windy Point viewpoint.

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View from Windy Point, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Snow bridge, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

We took shelter from the rain inside a tunnel where we enjoyed lunch in a dry space. Several tunnels can be seen along the trail with signs warning hikers not to travel too far inside.  The two of us made sure to pay attention to the signs only hiking in allowed areas.

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Tunnel, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Tunnel, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Tunnel, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Tunnel, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

We decided we didn’t have the time to hike the additional 3 miles and back to visit the Wellington Avalanche Disaster site.  The two of us hiked back towards the trail head, this time taking the upper grade section of the trail.  This portion of the path follows the remains of the railroad more closely, where at times the snow bridges become the trail itself.

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Snow bridge, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

The steady rain continued during last few miles of our hike creating large puddles in the middle of the pathway.  I felt like a kid splashing my way down the trail, happy that I didn’t let the weather keep me from exploring the outdoors.  I enjoyed photographing nature along the way with my new waterproof camera, not letting the weather get in the way of my art as well.  It was fun to compare photographic shots with my hiking partner who also enjoys nature photography as she hikes.

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Flowers, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

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Heart shaped leaf, Iron Goat Trail, Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest, WA

As I reached the parking lot completely soaked from head to toe, I had learned a few lessons:  1.  Get better wet weather gear!  2.  Always have a clean, dry pair of clothes in the car for the drive home.  3.  I will never let the rain keep me from going outside.  I was so cold on my drive home that I stopped in Monroe to buy a sweater and a hot latte.  By the time I reached Seattle that afternoon, the skies had opened up once more leaving the rain in the mountains behind me.