"Passage 19 is out. The trail has been destroyed by fire."
"You need 4WD to get to the end of Passage 19."
"Passages 20 through 23 look beautiful, but what about snow?"
"Maybe we can skip over 19, and 18 but that would take two shuttles..."
We debate, and it becomes clear that section hiking is way more complicated than just doing the whole Arizona Trail at once. But we have jobs, and I'm also not convinced I want to section hike another entire trail. To do that, you have to be incredibly committed, focusing just on that trail, and walk sections that are...well..not so great.
So maybe not the whole trail. But perhaps I will become more like my friend Beekeeper, who because life is short, chooses trails that are "cherry picker delights". Thus the debate raging over the interwebs, while TC and I try to find someplace to hike in February.
|What it looks like here. It's beautiful, but I will need a mid-winter break. My young retired friends are going to Hawaii for two months. Me? A week in Arizona.|
Losing Callie has reinforced that I need to live a life of adventure, as much as I can. Who knows how long we have left? I'm reminded of a friend who refused to plant trees at his house, reasoning that he hated his job and planned to move soon. Ten years later he was still there, hating his job and with no trees. Another friend wanted to travel, but said he wanted to wait until he had a partner. Thirty years later, he hasn't gone anywhere.
When I hiked the PCT, it became apparent that there were two main types of people. There were the planners, who created elaborate spreadsheets of how many miles they would hike each day, how much water they would acquire at desert streams, and where they would send resupply boxes. Then there were the Wing Its, whose mantra was "the trail provides". (Interestingly, it often did) These people rarely consulted maps, had no plan beyond the day in front of them. Useless to ask where they planned to camp that day. The result would be a confused look, and a "I'm just going to walk until dark."
I fall somewhere in the middle, mostly because my work schedule dictates it. If I had a free six months, it might not matter and TC and I could just fly to Arizona and figure it out. We go back to the guidebooks. We email anyone who might know the answers, who could possibly predict snowline in February. It's all kind of ridiculous, but it is the fate of a section hiker.
Are you a Wing It or a planner? Do you cherry pick the best locations?