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...

How the Arizona Trail Weeds Out Thru-Hikers

Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountians

Chapter 11

Through some of the most spectacular desert scenery I had ever seen, I pushed on, continuing my downward trek to my surprise.

I reached Hutch’s Pool shortly after the trail began a gradual climb upward. Hutch’s Pool was the last reliable water before an intimidating and lengthy climb roughly 5,000 vertical feet up to Summerhaven.… Keep reading...

Advice from Milestones

Ocotillo Along Arizona Trail

Chapter 10

Today was the day I had decided to leave the trail. It just felt like the right decision. Being on the trail felt too forced and I simply wasn’t enjoying it due to the stress. I arranged a ride to meet me at the next passage end, the Molino Basin Campground, just inside the Santa Catalina Mountains.… 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...

The Stress of Starting a Thru-Hike

Desert Grasslands Hiking Trail

Chapter 2

Our first obstacle came before we even reached the trail. I had buddied up with two other thru-hikers through an online forum. Most Arizona Trail (AZT) thru-hikers will, at some point, get pointed to the hikearizona.com website to meet other thru-hikers and collect valuable information. Such was my case since I needed help.… Keep reading...