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

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

img_8493

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

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.