Help Save Ripsey Wash

Arizona Trail in Desert MountainsToxic waste is about to bury a desert wilderness, dumped directly onto the current route of the Arizona Trail. The Ripsey Wash area, unchanged and uninterrupted from its primal natural state, is unmarked on most maps. It’s quiet, remote, undisturbed, and a beautifully hostile desert land. There are few, if any other humans, save for the occasional Arizona Trail thru-hiker in spring or fall.… Keep reading...

Thoughts of Home

Sunrise over Sonoran Desert

Chapter 15

There weren’t other people back here. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across another AZT thru-hiker, but I wasn’t lucky. Though I was treated to a remarkably beautiful sunrise, my emotions and my will would be tested on this day.

Not realizing that just yet, I got busy capturing the sunrise, hoping I was close enough to Ripsey Wash so that some of the photos could be used for the area.… Keep reading...

Disturbances in Nature

Sonoran Desert Sunset

Chapter 14

The Tiger Mine Trailhead overlooks a vast and intimidating desert wilderness. No grand mountains ahead. No identifiable landmarks to decorate the horizon. Few roads to provide a safe outing in case of emergencies. Just a wide open desert land. This was seclusion. This was intimidating seclusion.

The obscure dirt roads intervened only every dozen miles or so in an abyss of desert.… Keep reading...

Zero Day Unknowns

Twilight over the Oracle Ridge Chapter 12

Zero days are a common practice among thru-hikers. Meaning, zero miles covered, they’re days when thru-hikers just want to rest weary feet, reconnect with new and old friends, share stories, replace supplies, do laundry, heal an injury, get more food, or any other chores or tasks or relaxation techniques that need tending to.… 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...