So I’ve had to postpone my Arizona Trail thru hike til this fall. Originally I wanted to do it as a fall hike anyway, but I got a bit excited when I heard some people I knew were heading out in March. I tried to pull off a March hike but realized I was rushing and overlooking details. Two things I’ve learned thru hiking is planning is part of the journey and to be flexible with your plans. When I prepared for PCT I had a hundred spreadsheets for gear, resupply, miles per day…..plans for my plans. I stressed for a couple hundred miles trying to stick to those plans. Then another hiker said to me ‘just let it go, you’ll make it’. Took me a bit to accept that, but when I did things just worked out. Besides I really need to focus on some personal commitments. That and the Appalachian Trail isn’t gonna be a cake walk, the Presidential mountain range no doubt has lessons for me.So Arizona I’m still coming for ya….just in the fall!
My shakedown hike went well. I got in 17 miles, probably would have gotten the whole 20 in but I kept getting distracted. There were pictures I needed to remember to take, the hidden tire swing and waterfalls. It was a good day, my pack sat nicely on my hips and felt light on my shoulders. Got a bunch of compliments on my tail (oh yea and it glows), found a great spot to clip it on my pack.
Hiking with my new ULA circuit backpack
I started in the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, it’s a pretty flat trail with some small climbs if you deviate onto the side trails. Plus there is a waterfall, there was a lot of people so I didn’t linger there. My new hiking outfit is cute and comfortable but I will have to remove the sewn in shorts from the skirt. This Danskin skirt I dug out of storage, I quickly remember why i never used it. The cut of the skirt is good and fits great, now. However when I was larger it did not. Most hiking skirts are not cut for girls with curves or hips. The built in shorts ride up because I do not have a thigh gap, so they will be replaced by some more spandexy capri’s!
Been attempting to post all week, I have like 24 drafts, I get a paragraph in and then nothing. Had a bit of an emotional meltdown this week, too. The internets really got me down mid week. Social media is exhausting and can be emotionally draining. So many many comments, everyone has a lot to say but there really doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of listening. I seems, and I could be wrong, that if you are not screaming or waving your flag you are not visible. If you have a dissenting opinion you may have a shit storm headed your way. Again I could be wrong. This is just how I see it through my glasses colored by my experiences. (new mantra: step away from the computer, put phone down and go outside)
It is only apropos as I prepare for my next hike that I feel this mix of emotion and a general life shift. The Arizona Trail is gonna test me with water issues and logistics. The Appalachian Trail will be about closure. This chapter of my life is coming to an end, yep. What is the next chapter…..don’t know…..I got writers block.
This is the first time I have not been hiking a bunch before a thru hike. Now, I have been running (read: slow jogging) but still I think I’m in need of some serious hiking miles. Lately all my hikes have been under 10 miles, at a leisurely pace I might add. This weekend calls for a Shakedown Hike!! (A shakedown hike is a hike that’s usually done to test your gear before a long hike.) My gear is mostly dialed in, it’s more like a shakedown for body (read: feet). Actually I do need to try out a hiking outfit I’m not totally sold on yet. Sorry to say the Walmart dress, from last year, did not make the cut this time around! Oh and I really want to try out my new…….wait for it….backpack!!! I’ve had the same backpack for the last three years, a ULA Circuit, it took a beating but got me through.
I toyed with the idea of going with a different pack, nope. See if ain’t broke don’t fix it. Your pack is an extension of you, the carrier of all the things. The ULA Circuit was recommended to me, so I got it and boom! Loved it. I’m not a gear nut, I just know what works and what I like. “Blue” as I called her was a great pack, we will roll again.
Fires on the CDT
My fav ULA backpack!
But for this next adventure I’m rolling with “Black Bird” (I got the black, it also comes in green, orange, red, and multi-camo!)
ULA Circuit – Black
ULA Circuit – Black
my new baby!!
weight: 2 lbs 9 oz
S-curved style shoulder straps
adjustable hip belt (no rubbing)
the 2 zip pockets fit my phone, snacks, chap-stick, knife, stuff I need to easily get to
plenty of adjustable straps (because sometimes you need to readjust your load)
hand loops (love these when I’m not using trekking poles)
side pockets that snug fit a water bottle or expand for tent poles, hat, gummie bears!
One hydration pocket and one small pocket for valuables in the interior
roll down top and a bunch of external attachment points
It’s so clean and nice I hate to take it outside. Yeah, right. I think it’s gonna be a big mile weekend! I’ll let you know how it goes!! Happy Trails!