Me, Myself, and I vs. the Arizona Trail

Welcome! My name is Tim and I am an avid outdoorsman who has spent most of my life finding ways to disconnect with society and connect with good ole mother nature. I currently call Arizona my home, although I think I have sweated out at least three of me since moving here. When I’m not out and about you will find me riding around in one of those big red boxes that screams through the streets at all hours of the day throwing Band-Aids out the windows.

Overlook, Dog, Rincon Mountains, Arizona, AZT

Overlooking the Rincon Mountains.

Wet and Dry

Often my lust for adventure leads to me being neck deep in whatever activity gets me out into the wilderness. I’ve been wet and cold in the Sierra, wet and hot in the South Pacific and the eastern US, all versions of hot and cold throughout multiple deserts, and blissfully content in the temperate zones. I’ve spent many a night staring up and out, watching the stars race across the sky. I’ve been scared by wildlife and enthralled in the violence that nature enacts in her arena. Through all this grew my unrelenting love for the outdoors and my passion in showing everyone else how magnificent she is. With this basis and some more the following idea sprang up.

Dog, Gear

Evita, my lovely mutt, and primary model. Plus, some gear.

Water, Water, Water

This next year in early spring I will be hiking the Arizona Trail (AZT) northbound (NOBO). I look forward to the experience of wandering around the desert climbing up and over the many sky islands and chasing water, eventually finding my way to the biggest ditch in the US. Hopefully, with very few Jesse Heywood (Don Knotts) moments. A little out of my era some of you old-timers may be thinking. This kid here just quoted Don in that movie about guns and shaking. Ahhh… what was it called? Yes, I quote a lot of movies and TV. shows not limited to this century. Anyway, back to the introduction.

Back to the Background

I grew up in the Boy Scouts and later joined the Marine Corps, where I continued to spend quite a few days, months, and years outside. After getting out of the Marines I moved from sunny Southern California to the heart of the Southwest. I have always dreamed of doing a long trail. Primarily the PCT, having grown up in Southern California. I was looking for a way to warm up to the PCT that was slightly less time involved as I couldn’t afford to take so much time off work. I had heard about the AZT from locals and immediately started wandering the sections near me.

After about 20+ days on the mountain. Note: the wind/sun burn. Ouch!

Breaking Point

During spring semester of last year, amid working 50+ hours a week and taking 16 credits I hit a breaking point. I wasn’t enjoying anything, I wasn’t sleeping, my diet consisted of monster, a steady staple of Starbucks, and gas station food. I was not happy. Eventually I always find myself retreating into the woods when things get tough, seeking solace to think and get in touch with the basics once again. So it was 16 miles deep and 1 p.m. on an alternate AZT trail through the Santa Catalina Mountains, sitting at the edge of the pines and looking N/NE toward Kearney, that I decided I was going to do it. I was going to hike the Arizona Trail.

Arizona, AZT, Santa Catalina Mountains

Looking N/NE toward Kearney, AZ.

Since Then

That was about six months ago and ever since I have planned out all the logistics and got my gear list finalized and tested out. I work four days in a row, which leaves three consecutive days off. During my time off I spend as much time as possible either in the mountains hiking, camping, photographing, or climbing. The countdown begins as I tediously watch weather reports and anxiously await the end of February. As many have and many are currently doing before their expeditions. I am ready, ready to embark on what is sure to be a hell of a ride.

Till then I will continue to explore, to photograph, and to write. Feel free to subscribe here on the Trek and follow me on Instagram @trialbydirt. Follow along as I take you on a 809-mile tour of Arizona.

Signing out for now,

Tim

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