Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail: Final Thoughts

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 So there you have it – my recount of how I came, saw and managed to survive the Arizona Trail. It was an experience made incredible both by its nature and how wildly different it was from anything I’ve done before, and I still feel like I’m stuck in a limbo […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 77: Civilization Is in the Other Direction

Sunday, June 02, 2013 The cicadas were noisy in the morning. I collected a few exoskeletons for my niece and started off. The temperature increased rapidly. I had plenty of water but was rationing it because I didn’t know how long I would have to wait for Pops C at Stateline Campground. At the Buckskin […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 76: Emergence

Saturday, June 01, 2013 Jacob Lake Inn has a reputation for making great cookies, so I bought some before I left today. They were underbaked. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo! I was so disappointed (I still ate them all). I’m giving the ‘best cookies along the AZT’ title to Summerhaven, since Summerhaven and Pine both had great-tasting cookies, but […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 75: Turkeysquirrel

Friday, May 31, 2013 Because of my long day yesterday, today I had a short jaunt to Jacob Lake, which can be accessed either via forest roads or a highway walk. I decided on the highway walk since its junction is 3-4 km further along the AZT and I wanted to complete those kilometres with […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 74: Screaming Children

Thursday, May 30, 2013 The AZT was entirely in forest today. At Telephone Hill, a short, steep climb ended in a major burn area with shrubbery and dandelions scattered around trees like black sticks. The wind sounded like children screaming. Freak me out, will you? I sat down, ate loads of chocolate and then automatoned […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 73: The Falling Piano

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 I woke up today, ate granola, looked at my GPS to record my location for journaling purposes, looked at the databook. Looked back at the GPS. Looked back at the databook. Oops. I wasn’t out of Grand Canyon National Park. Due to the rain and well-built trail I hadn’t been checking […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 72: Backpacker Ken Doll

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – 19.6 km Pops C suggested that we walk the last few days of the AZT together and hitchhike out to Lake Powell, where one of his in-laws could drive us to Flagstaff. The AZT ends at the Stateline Campground in the middle of nowhere and I had no plan about […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 71: I Could Leave Today or I Could Never Leave

Monday, May 27, 2013 When I went to the lodge this morning for breakfast, a family invited me to eat with them. Some of their relatives were attempting a rim-to-rim across the canyon, hiking the entire distance in one push. Previously I had thought that was something people did if they couldn’t get a permit […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 70: Leaving the Canyon

Sunday, May 26, 2013 – 10.8 km I started walking at 6:00 AM today. The trail was moderate leaving Cottonwood, and considering that I would have to gain 1268 metres of elevation within eleven kilometres, I kept wondering when the grade would steepen. The grind turned out to be at the very end, and for […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 69: Inside the Canyon

Saturday, May 25, 2013 – 12.4 km Pops C laughed when I told him yesterday that I been assigned the stock site at Cottonwood Campground. Well, I’ll have you know that I arrived to find no droppings anywhere, just a group of good-looking men working to improve the site. I kid you not. I bet […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 68: Incredibly Naughty

Friday, May 24, 2013 – 11.3 km I was only minutes from leaving the campground this morning when Pops C arrived. He told me that he was planning to hike rim-to-rim without getting a permit, starting tomorrow and arriving the day afterwards, and offered to buy me dinner on the North Rim. Sounds good to […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 67: Getting Stuff Accomplished

Thursday, May 23, 2013 Another morning at the backcountry office. The ranger gravely informed me that Cottonwood Campground wasn’t available for my requested day and might not be doable at all because the North Rim permit office has first dibs on its walk-in sites. I told him that I wanted Cottonwood because I was hiking […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 66: Walk-In Permits

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Having no idea when I would arrive at the Grand Canyon, I didn’t apply for a backcountry permit in advance and therefore have to obtain a walk-in permit. The process is as follows: You wait for the backcountry office to open in the morning, accompanied by a group of other twitchy […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 65: $6

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 Not much to say about today’s walk, which was short and mostly on a gravel road. Heading into Mather Campground at the junction, I was amazed to discover that the shared hiker/biker sites are $6/night. Wow! Sure, it’s a shared campsite, but it’s a shared campsite next to the Grand Canyon. […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 64: E Pluribus Unum

Monday, May 20, 2013 Helicopters were flying overhead all day, presumably carrying tourists wanting to view the Grand Canyon from above. They always seemed to appear when I was peeing, and I was paranoid that the occupants could see me. Then the pilots would have a discussion at the end of the day, like ‘Did […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 63: Pointless Signage

Sunday, May 19, 2013 I had 1.5 litres of water left this morning. I was hoping it would last until Grandview Watchtower, where potable water is available, but had trepidation about the trail between us because of the Managed Fire sign. Well, time to take a look. The AZT followed an old road closed to […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 62: Managed Fire

Saturday, May 18, 2013 My tent was sweltering from the sun when I woke up this morning. Oddly enough, because of shade or wind or early departures I hadn’t experienced that effect in AZ before. Last night I had strange dreams – in one of them, a man asked me whether I would fight in […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 61: Stink Beetle Killer

Friday, May 17, 2013 AZ! Y U SO WINDY? A strong wind has been blowing almost every day for the past few weeks, and today it was especially nasty. During a brief period of calm I started off along the trail, then the torrent began in force and never went away. I walked five kilometres […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 60: Can a Cannibal Be Likeable?

Thursday, May 16, 2013 And lo, the flow of bikers ended, leaving me alone again. The AZT descended through the forest from the Little Spring trail junction, joining a dirt road with good views of Humphreys Peak. An open area reminded me of the Canelo Hills, except more spread out with long stretches of flat […]

Categories
Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 59: Base Camp

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 The AZT near Flagstaff has been smooth and kind for biking, and today I encountered constant cyclist traffic. In peaceful silence I would be enjoying the scenery, then the bushes behind me would rustle… I would turn around… and a bike would be looming there like in Calvin and Hobbes, and […]