Education and Politics on the Arizona Trail

Mica Mountain Above Grassland Desert

Chapter 9

After overadmiring the overwhelming view, I headed back down on my way again. I had been taking full advantage of my trusty hiking poles the entire way, fearful that my legs couldn’t handle the weight of myself and my food and gear. But on my way down, the poles felt like they were just getting in the way, constantly snagging in the brush along the trail.… Keep reading...

The Health of National Parks

Sonoran Desert Vegetation

Chapter 8

The National Park System is a special concept that spread out worldwide, an inception that originated on our own sacred lands. They preserve that sacred feeling of a unique and treasured land in a special way. A lot of things were still being figured out even when Edward Abbey complained about them.… Keep reading...

Sorting Trail Life Out at the Second Mail Drop

Cottonwood Trees and Creek

Chapter 7

It was time to get my electronics in order.

I passed underneath the unending fury of Interstate 10 before finding quick seclusion in a desert oasis. The AZT passes through the Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, just north of I-10 and east of Tucson, where a beautiful and clear creek feeds hundreds of cottonwoods in a small sandy canyon.… Keep reading...

Civilization and My Night Skies

Night Sky over Sky Island

Chapter 6

The mark of the civilization was now becoming more obvious. I was hiking below large homes propped up on hills so the residents could boost their ego knowing that people were talking about their house. It didn’t matter if people were complaining about how their house ruins the view, they just wanted the attention, otherwise they wouldn’t have put their houses in such noticeable locations.… Keep reading...

Adjusting to 100 Miles of Trail

Silhouetted Trees Under Sunset Cloud

Chapter 5

My days were becoming more euphoric. The stresses of preparation that I had carried onto the trail were beginning to fade. I had learned how to cope with my (relatively) abundant array of electronics and was feeling good about it. The days were open and free. I seemed to have a perfect amount of delicious trail food that didn’t need cooking, and I had just enough to get me to the next stop – an average of about four days.… Keep reading...

Searching for the Boss

Mount Wrightson Above Foothills

Chapter 4

The Santa Rita Mountains are an underrated mountain range. They can be seen from dozens of miles around, but the draw of a national park directly to its north tends to lure visitors away. They hold a secret though. A secret that crawls through the most remote parts of the forests, avoiding the few visitors that hike the trails, and lives a lonely life of solitude.… Keep reading...