Monday, December 12, 2011

Winter Training Hike: Bear Canyon Trail-Coronado National Forest

View at the beginning of Bear Canyon Trail
There are some really unique hikes in southern Arizona that you will not find anywhere else.  One popular local area is Sabino Canyon Recreation Area in the Coronado National Forest, which includes Bear Canyon Trail (aka:  Seven Falls Trail), Sabino Canyon Trail and many others.  Sabino is only 30 minutes from downtown Tucson and therefore very popular with locals - up to 1.25 millions visitors a year.  These trails also connect to Mt. Lemmon and the Santa Catalina Mountains.  It is possible to hike through several different eco-zones; from lowland deserts up into the "sky island" forests of pine, fir and spruce trees.  This is the elevation equivalent of hiking from Mexico to Canada.  What a great way to train for an ACTUAL Mexico to Canada PCT thru-hike!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Happiness of Pure and Un-interpreted Experience

I wanted to share a passage from Peter Matthiessen's book "The Snow Leopard", that leapt out at me:

"Amazingly, we take for granted that instinct for survival, fear of death, must separate us from the happiness of pure and uninterpreted experience, in which body, mind, and nature are the same.  And this debasement of our vision, the retreat from wonder, the backing away like lobsters from free-swimming life into safe crannies, the desperate instinct that our life passes un-lived, is reflected in proliferation without joy, corrosive money rot, the gross befouling of the earth and air and water from which we came.   
Compare the wild, free paintings of the child with the stiff, pinched "pictures" these become as the painter notices the painting and tries to portray "reality" as others see it; self-conscious now, he steps out of his own painting and, finding himself apart from things, notices the silence all around and becomes alarmed by the vast significations of Creation.  The armor of the "I" begins to form, the construction and desperate assertion of separate identity, the loneliness:  Man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through the narrow chinks of his cavern." 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dehydrating Potato Soup!

Nutrition is important to me.  Hiking through mainly small towns on a 5 month Pacific Crest Trail hike will require some nutritional trade-offs, but I plan on swinging the pendulum at least a little bit in my favor by pre-planning some nutritional meals and then dehydrating them, prepackaging them and shipping them to myself in several stops along my hike.  See my PCT Itinerary for my planned stops and shipping locations along the PCT.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Favorite Quotes

"I went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."  
- John Muir
"There is an intense but simple thrill in setting off in the morning on a mountain trail knowing that everything you need is on your back.  It is a confidence in having left all inessentials behind, and of entering a world of natural beauty which has not been violated, where money has no value, and possessions are a deadweight."  
- Paul Theroux (The Happy Isles of Oceana: Paddling the Pacific)

"Walk-about acts as a kind of remedy when the duties and obligations of life cause one to lose track of his true self.  What's intriguing about walkabout is that there's no physicial goal:  It simply continues until one becomes whole again."  
- Rolf Potts (Vagabonding)

PCT Northern Terminus

PCT Northern Terminus
On September 30, 2012 I reached the Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Thanks to everybody who supported and followed my journey. It was a life-changing experience!