Arizona Trail Passage One, Here I Come…

I’ve never really had a special affinity for walking. I mean, we all have to walk everywhere we go (well with the current technology we don’t HAVE to walk anywhere anymore) but I’ve never really considered walking long distances for no real reason. Even at work I spend five days out of the week hiking for most of my shift. That being said, I will be hiking the first passage of the Arizona Trail (Huachuca Mountains Passage) in late December with my father-in-law, voluntarily.

I have to admit that I am a tad bit excited; I’ve never really thought about doing something quite this epic. Granted, just one passage out of the forty-three total passages isn’t all that much but this particular passage begins on the International Border, just south of the Coronado National Monument and ends up at Parker Canyon Lake. My father-in-law has made several substantial hikes in his life, one of which includes the Appalachian Trail years ago (way before I knew his daughter!)

I’m interested to see how a 25’ish mile hike will go with only the items I can carry with me. Most likely we’ll be spending a night out in the Huachuca Mountains. It will be cold. Unsure exactly HOW cold the mountains will get in Arizona during late December but I have no doubts it will be cold.

Over the last year, my life has taken a dramatic turn. I was already reevaluating the way I treat people and how I could best serve my fellow man, as a result of the Courageous bible study I did in early 2012, when really unpleasant things began to affect people I know. A husband and father taken too early from his family, a cancerous sickness hurting several families I know (yeah that’s you Katrina, Drew, and McKenna), and an array of other issues that come up in conversations. No one is unaffected. Life sucks for all of us at any given time and the only way we can make it through is by a faith in God and surrounding ourselves with true friends and caring families.

I need this hike. Very seldom do I get time to myself to just think and admire the nature around me. I’m being swept up in all the technology, as is my son. I get so aggravated with his constant connectivity but I really can’t say much. I check Facebook multiple times a day as if other people’s lives are more interesting than mine. I look forward to being disconnected, even if it’s only for a couple of days, and reconnecting to the outdoors. I’ve always found it interesting to read the journals people leave of trips they take and experiences they have. I plan on taking a little notepad to jot down notes and thoughts whenever the walking affords me the opportunity. As a writer, I really enjoyed reading Christian Mihai’s thoughts on being a writer means you are required to be an observer. I will be doing it for my OWN enjoyment later (and to refresh my memory of the hike) and for anyone else who may be courting the idea of making this hike in the future.

If you look below, I’ve taken a couple of screenshots from Google Earth showing where we’ll be. It appears that the first several miles are the worst; we start around an elevation of 5,900 feet and climb to roughly 9,200 feet. That’s a climb of over 3,000 feet within the first four miles. The good news is that it appears to be a gradual decline for the remainder of the hike.

There are a couple of water spots along the way and I’m in the process of getting more information, UPDATED information, as to the cleanliness of said water spots.

I’ll mention again when we’re leaving, even if it’s a “twitter-esque” blog entry detailing our departure. I’ll try to make it longer than 144 characters.

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