Twig Adventures

2019 CDT & AZT Gear Summary

This is a summary post on my gear and stats from my 2019 thru-hikes, combining both the CDT and AZT, since I didn’t change a thing about my gear in between. In fact, I’ve barely changed a thing from my previous 3 thru-hikes. I carried a bit heavier gear in 2019, mainly because I expected some rain and colder conditions. I wasn’t wrong about this. The CDT is high-elevation and therefore a colder and somewhat wetter thru-hike. The AZT was dry but also quite chilly at times, given that we were above 8000 feet during many parts of the trail and also approaching the end of October / beginning of November. I needed my 22 degree quilt and women’s Thermarest[…]

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2019 Trail Angel Recognition

This is a special post to recognize the many trail angels and trail magic that made my hiking so memorable and cohesive. I’m truly blessed to have had so many positive interactions and made many new friends. I’m amazed and humbled by the kind souls that exist out there. Someday I’ll write a book honoring trail angels and this year gave me so much material to work with. I’ve listed the trail angels and their magic by state. I don’t expect people to read every bit of this post but at least scroll down to the bottom just to realize the sheer magnitude of this kindness. I’m so sorry if I omitted anyone or their contributions, and that I didn’t[…]

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2019 AZT Summary and Stats

For links to each of my daily posts, see here. I thru-hiked the Arizona Trail for several reasons. One, I said I would when I first learned about it while visiting my friend Jon near Phoenix at the end of 2018. And secondly, I wanted to hike from Canada to Mexico again in one season. I finished my thru-hike of the CDT going southbound through Montana/Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and half of New Mexico‚Ķlong story, see my CDT summary. I finished this journey by hiking all the way south through Arizona. The official CDT is a 3100 mile trail but in reality/practicality, it’s about the same length as the PCT (on account of all the popular alternates). By adding the AZT,[…]

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AZT Day 34: The Hiking Season That Finally Ended

November 9th, 2019Bathtub Spring mm 780.5 to USA-Mexican Border mm 788.6Distance in miles: 8.10605-1220 This post is about my last day on the AZT and of a very long 2019 hiking season. Between the CDT and AZT, I calculated that I hiked around 3,500 miles. This is not including all the day hiking and short segments I did in Florida and Colorado, which probably brings my total to around 3,800 miles. I will follow up with summary posts but in the meantime, enjoy this last day, as I did. It was very quiet overnight and I had one of the best night’s sleep, ever. I was right about the condensation, though. My tent hadn’t been so wet inside and out[…]

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AZT Day 33: Feet Dragging

November 8th, 2019Canelo Hills saddle mm 761.8 to Bathtub Spring mm 780.5Distance in miles: 18.70605-1540 What to do with a whole day on the trail when you have less than 20 miles to hike? Go on a side-trip. I found a good one…a lake and marina store were just off the trail 6 miles ahead. I could get some easy water and extra snacks. I traveled down from the saddle and past a few creeks. The temperature was perfect for a leisurely morning stroll. It felt weird to be going so slow, after pushing pushing pushing for months. I guess I earned a break but I really like moving all day and getting somewhere. It just became habit. I took[…]

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AZT Day 32: Canelo Hills

November 7th, 2019Patagonia mm 737.4 to Canelo Hills saddle mm 761.8Distance in miles: 24.40910-1750 I was packed early, so as not to alarm anyone that might be out for an early morning stroll. I took advantage of the public restrooms in the park, which were nice. I headed to the Gathering Grounds for breakfast once again, having biscuits and gravy. Then I got another plate of french toast. Both were delicious. I of course saw Deb and Brent again, also having breakfast. They had been stewing all night about quitting their jobs and becoming thru-hikers. I’m a bad influence. I also failed to mention that thru-hiking ruined me from caring about much of anything else in life. Two thru-hikers come[…]

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AZT Days 30 & 31: Patagonia

November 5th, 2019Casa Blanca Canyon mm 721.9 to Patagonia mm 737.4Distance in miles: 15.50615-1100 There was a 1000′ climb to start the morning and then it was mostly downhill into town. The climb was nice because it offered good views of the sunrise and went by fast. Once over the saddle, the trail quickly turned into a jeep road and then a wide gravel road all the way to town. I was thankful for an easy time and smashed the miles. It was also nice not to have to concentrate on my footing, but instead enjoy the views. The road was quiet except for a caravan of jeeps that didn’t bother to slow down. The dust cloud that the 10[…]

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AZT Day 29: Grasslands of AZ

November 4th, 2019Twin Tanks mm 688.4 to Casa Blanca Canyon mm 721.9Distance in miles: 33.50615-1830 It got really chilly again overnight, seemingly because we were camped near a water tank. Once I climbed out of the wash, it warmed up considerably. The day started off in the desert scrub but climbed into the Santa Rita mountains by the end, passing through some more enchanting grassy hills. There were a lot of little ups and downs but it was very pleasant walking. These grasslands were not at all what I expected of southern Arizona and were a real treat. I almost felt like I was all the way back in Montana. What a surprise to be walking in such different terrain.[…]

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AZT Day 28: The Vail Safeway Sidetrip

November 3rd, 2019Mm 672.8 to Twin Tanks mm 688.4Distance in miles: 15.60615-1845 I was only a few miles from a trailhead, where I wanted to try to hitch into town. I needed resupplies from the nearby Safeway. I ran into some day hikers and tried to extract some local info from them, but it was like pulling teeth. I asked which of the next 2 trailheads would be better to hitch a ride from, but the guy replied that I should go back to the road to Colossal Cave, because that was the shortest distance to Safeway. Thru-hikers don’t do negative miles unless it’s an emergency, so this response was useless to me. The dayhikers didn’t seem to understand that[…]

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AZT Day 27: Mt Mica

November 2nd, 2019Italian Trap Trailhead mm 639.8 to mm 672.8Distance in miles: 330600-1820 Oh boy, what a climb that greeted me in the morning! I got an early start and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise. The climb was mellow at first but rapidly escalated, going up 3000′ in 4 miles…ugh! is all I can say. I wasn’t feeling my energy on this climb, tired from the hard days before. Luckily I was fit enough to go into auto-pilot mode. Up, Up, Up.I kept checking my GPS, unhappy with my pace but going way faster than most would, probably. At least the morning temps were cool and I was at the top by 9 am. A short side-trail led to the peak[…]

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