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

Wildlife Wednesday 01/11/2017

My friends and I discovered these two deer just off Mowich Lake Road in Mount Rainier National Park.  Little did they know that chaos ensued just above them on the snowy mountain road.  While several people and vehicles were attempting to help two trucks that were stuck in the snow, these two were in their own little winter wonderland.

Eastside Trail Thru Hike

Silver Falls

Silver Falls along the Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

11 miles / 1000′ elevation gain

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Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Ohanapecosh River, Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Mushroom along the Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Waterfall along the Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Ohanapecosh River, Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Waterfall along the Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Suspension bridge along the Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Suspension bridge along the Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Ohanapecosh River, Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Grove of the Patriarchs, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Silver Falls, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Silver Falls, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Silver Falls, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Silver Falls, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

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Silver Falls, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

Hot spring

Standing in a “hot” spring along the Eastside Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

 

Kayaking the Wailua River and Hiking to Uluwehi Falls

Kayak – 4 miles round trip, Hike – 2.5 miles round trip

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Peacocks near the Wailua Marina, Kaua’i, Hawai’i

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Wailua River, Kaua’i, Hwai’i

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Along the Wailua River, Kaua’i, Hwai’i

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Sunset flower

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The trail towards Uluwehi Falls

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Walking trees along the trail to Uluwehi Falls

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Trees along the trail to Uluwehi Falls

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An offering near Uluwehi Falls

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Uluwehi Falls, Hwai’i

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Standing under Uluwehi Falls, Hwai’i

 

Kuilau Ridge Trail, Kaua’i Day Hike

5.5 miles round trip / 1381′ elevation gain

Kuilau Ridge Trail

Kuilau Ridge Trail, Kaua’i, Hawai’i

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Lemon/lime tree along the Kuilau Ridge Trail

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A message written on the picnic table along the Kuilau Ridge Trail

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Kuilau Ridge Trail, Kaua’i, Hawai’i

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Kuilau Ridge Trail, Kaua’i, Hawai’i

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View from the Kuilau Ridge Trail

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View from the Kuilau Ridge Trail

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The end of the Kuilau Ridge Trail

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Continuing onto the Moalepe trail

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Moalepe trail, Kaua’i, Hawai’i