Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Arizona Trail Scouting Trips (Passages 1-3) (April 5-7, 2016)

These are mostly notes to myself, to track my progress and improvement.

Weather:  Pass: 1 – ?, Pass: 2 – hot, sunny.  Pass: 3 overcast and 83F at noon. Very comfortable.  Sleeping with door open at head of my bed.


April 5: Passage 1: 7am-11:30am. Rough.  Distance: trying Pedometer and it says one way is 1.42 miles which I don’t believe is right.  Cost is $20 and I may return it. Visitor Center said round-trip it was 3.7 miles but that does not seem to match the signs.

April 7: Passage 3: 11am-12:30pm.  Hiked out about one hour.  Looked at rocks.  Felt good stretching my sore legs. Did not use Pedometer, so don’t know how far I went.  Tried talking to SPOT on phone this morning to fix tracking and thought it was working, but it sent no signal out.  Turns out “tracking” was still not turned on.  So, I don’t know the distance.

Internet Signal Strength:

Montezuma Pass:  4G

On the way to Mexican border: sporatic

Passage 3: south of where AZT crosses Harshaw Rd, parking on right side of road with great camping spots and 4G signal.  I got a lot of work done here.  It was also the quietest night I have had so far.

Blog Posts: 

Passage 1:

Passage 2 and 3:

Passage 3 (cont.)

Mental Readiness:  I have my mind wrapped around the idea of doing the solo hike, but am fighting laziness in training.  I have to force myself to get out and go… but am really enjoying the wilderness when I do get out there.  I kinda resent running into other humans.

Physical Readiness:  A general feeling of wobbliness and being off balance, unsteady.  Tried using my new balance board inside the van and it is very doable.  I’ll begin with a timer for five minutes and gradually increase my time and learn other ways to use it… like on one foot????.

Legs:  Very sore after the 3.5 hr hike.  Sore very time I stood up. Skipped a day to rest them… then walked again for 2.5 hrs to loosen them up.  Felt good.

Shoulders:  Rt shoulder is sore, and the pinchy thing on my shoulder blade seems to be helped by massage with my Theracane.

Lungs:  A recent bout with COPD has me coughing some, and there is congestion in my right lung.  It seems better day by day.  My left nostril was bleeding a few days ago and seems to be healing now.

Feet: Pretty good, but cramp at night, have to keep socks on at night to avoid cramping.  I noticed when I walked downhill, I was flopping my feet down, letting them smack the ground.  I began paying more attention and controlling how I planted my feet, using my leg muscles more to control and strengthen them.

Using Magnesium Oil spray on sore muscles.

Equipment Notes:

Clothing:  My normal clothing was adequate.

Shoes: Old tennies,  not adequate.  Not enough tread, slipped several times going steeply downhill on scree. 

List of Equipment Needed

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Help me a little if you can by donating to my equipment fund for the Arizona Trail hike, in the Fall 2016.  I promise to pay it forward.  There is a PayPal donation button in the top right corner, but I realize people using phone may not see that so I am repeating the button below. You can see a list of gear I need at .

Contribute to Equipment for the Arizona Trail Hike.

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.