I am finally catching up on my narrative journey...I welcome you all to check out my blog, where I will posting current updates from now on. Here’s the link to my blog: https://aztorbust.weebly.com/adventures.htmlI also share photos on Instagram and Facebook, if you do social media. Will try to make first real post soon, suffice it to say I’m well, sunburned, loving this country, and grateful to all of you.
I made it to Arizona! A stop at REI to find a replacement layer for one that got locked in a friend’s house last minute... I found a Mamut pullover with pockets and a drawstring hood that I’m trying out, and picked up a fresh hat for good measure.
My second Uber took me to North Tuscan and the home of lovely Julie M, who has provided me with a bedroom and space for a few days until I have really shaken this cold. Plus: 800 acres of conservation habitat right out the backyard, with trails for hiking. After a 4am wake up, I needed a nap but not before I put on shorts and hiked around a bit.
Lizard; gopher snake; quail. All sighted within ten minutes of being outside. Truly I feel embraced here in a way I don’t anywhere else. My soul can breathe here.
When I came across just one of these petite books, I dumped the ultralight ideal for some old-school appeal: perfectly sized to travel with me one at a time on my journey, I have the whole little library. These are beautiful hardback editions, with a pearlescent sheen that looks a little magic. I recall fondly the voraciousness wherewith I read when I was last in a similar position, out herding goats in the mountains of Montana with no cell service, my dog, my lunch, and 1,000 ruminants for company. That's when I literally read a New Yorker cover to cover, even the boring stuff, and tackled The Metamorphosis, although I'm sure I still don't get Kafka.
Book, plus 4x6 accordion style watercolor booklet, favorite brushed, halved, and primary watercolors are part of what are making my pack weigh in at 17 pounds without food and water. I mailed my first resupply to Patagonia, Arizona today, and have everything I need for my trip at this point. I'm leaving for Seattle on the 31st, and flying out the morning of the 1st. I know, I know, but I don't start hiking until the 2nd, which is a dear-to-me horse's birthday....yes, I'm sentimental.
Trail magic is working pre-trail for me...Thanks, Margaret from NM for hooking me up with an AZ pal who will be picking me up in Tucson. Here's a preview of what I'm headed for in Passage 1.
Stay tuned for more fun!
Folks, I have done it! I managed to sort out the calories needed for 3 plus days—9200—and fit everything in a flat rate padded envelope. After 5 trys. And maybe a few swears.
Mysterious Ziploc substances are as follows, left to right: Powdered coconut milk; chia seeds; hemp seeds; millet and brown rice ramen; roasted garlic and olive oil couscous; dried apples + coconut clusters; dried mangos and coconut flakes; coconut flakes. The tablets (which I removed from the plastic containers) are plant-based electrolytes and superfood greens effervescent tablets to add to my water, 4 of each. Total calories for all here is 9250.
The real challenge: how the heck to get this to fit in here?
First, a shout out to Bill from YouTube, who gave the recommendation to use these flat rate mailing envelopes instead of boxes, and who helped me plan a plant-based backpacking diet. THANKS A MILLION. Here's the link to his very informative video: https://youtu.be/DCG-Jc0p6Ic
While Bill clearly has the system down a little better than I, I DID manage to get the envelope sealed after many many various packing methods.
My dear friend Kalyn has volunteered to be in charge of resupply packs, and I'm planning on mailing thirty in all. That's $240 worth of postage, and an invaluable peace of mind. Many thanks to Brian and Sherry for providing a space for me wrestle chaos, and a bed until I hit the trail the first part of April.
You all made this happen...with outside donations included, my goal is met and surpassed. I have so much gratitude in my heart for you all. Stay tuned for more updates!
Here's what I am bringing so far. (I have a few more items en route and will post when I decide on them.)
Left to right:
35 is Shaping Up to the Be Best Year Yet, thanks to you all.
In all my (green) glory talking trail food, clothing, and gratitude. Because I am an animated talker, you may have trouble hearing me as I hover back and forth near the horrible Apple speakers. Headphones or full volume should do the trick. I'll have a phone soon too, so this is hopefully a one-timer.
We’re over HALFWAY! Amazing, you guys!
At $3.13 per mile, that's 471 miles funded! Thank you all so very much.
Because I know I’ll be carrying a significant amount of water at certain points, and that the elevation will be constantly changing, I am being pretty careful about what weight I carry, and why.
But before I launch into all that, a few exciting updates: Aarn USA told me my pack is the only one of its kind in North America, yay! and are seeing what they can do to get me more info and some add-ons. High Country News reached out to see if I’m interested in writing something for them, around the trips or its themes, and I’m have a convo with an editor tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Ok, back to the specs on the lightweight gear you’ve purchased for me, to keep necessities pared down to minimum weight:
Next time, I’ll take you through apparel! And there’s the whole water system, which I am still ironing out, too.
Thanks so much for making this happen. I can’t wait to share my adventures with you all.