Saturday, July 25, 2015

WEEK TWO—Arizona National Scenic Trail Hike Training—(July 19-25, 2015)

Goal: Hike The Arizona Trail.  It is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people.   (From: I will be doing this as a solo hike.  I would also like to raise money for some worthy cause at the same time, but have not yet selected a cause.  I am open to suggestions.  Email your ideas to me at:

Previous post.

I have decided on writing a weekly post rather than a daily one.

Training Days Seven - Thirteen (7/19-25, 2015,  Sun.- Sat):

What have I accomplished in the four main components of preparing for this challenge?
Spent the first four days this week exploring Raton, NM to see if there was enough of what I need to spend extended time here.  And I am having car problems that I need to sort out and/or fix before any more long distance driving.  This location works for me… the altitude is good and I like Raton, NM.  See more about Raton, NM.

1) Get fit, food wise.  I haven’t done too well this week with food and find it extremely difficult to drive past fast food places and to resist sodas.  And ice cream, the bane of my existence.  It is however easier when the food is bad and the stores don’t carry Hagen Daz Coffee Ice Cream.  I believe I am making mental progress on this component through, as I used to wolf down a pint of ice cream with  no problem, or a whole candy bar, and can no longer eat 1/2 of them.  So maybe I will eventually loose my taste for it altogether, like I have breads (yeast ones), dairy, and yogurt)?  
Huge mural adds sea life to aquatic center-

By artist Melinda Marlowe.

2) Get fit, fitness wise. Day 11, I went to the Raton Aquatic Center and swam 1/4 mile.  I used to swim 2 miles in 45 minutes (a very long time ago).  I liked it.  I left, I thought about it.  Cost for one session is $4.   That’s cheaper than any shower I could get at a truck stop, and I don’t think there is even anywhere around here I can buy a shower.  So I went back and signed up for a one month membership for $25.  In Quartzsite a shower will cost you $11 or $12.  So it’s a bargain, I can shower every day if I want. Came back to van and cut the skirt off my swimming suit…. just gets in the way and that much more water to have to drip off it, in the van.  Day 12, I went back and swam 1/2 mile, only a very small muscle spasm that went away.  My goal is to slowly increase to a mile, and then time myself.  I want to cut my time down to 45 min.  It took me an hour to swim the 1/2 mile… so doing a mile in 45 min will be a huge improvement.  I can already feel my legs getting stronger and leaner.  Kayaking doesn’t do much for your legs unless you have a paddle kayak. 
And my lungs and sinuses are already getting better.  The only real danger here, is working out that hard can make you hungry as heck.  When I was swimming 2 miles, I’d come out of the pool having a Big Mac attack.  I think I should prepare for this by having a good healthy meal ready and on hand in the van…. and NOT drive past any fast food places.  Luckily, I can park near the Aquatic Center and don’t have to leave the parking area and there are some nice shade trees there, and even a porta-john.

They also have free wifi inside and a nice place to sit and rest or work.

3) Learn how to ward off biting bugs.   No progress made on this, but plan to add walking a mile on a trail near the Aquatic Center… this coming week and will begin experimenting with different things.  Saw a guy on that trail yesterday, walking along swatting in front of his face.  I’ll be covered up and wearing my hat and bug net.

4) Get the equipment I need.  No progress made on this, but gave up a FB group today that I really liked, because I was having too much fun sitting in this chair playing with all of them.  Now I will use that time to study my books about hiking and the AZ Trail and begin making a list, and looking for sponsors.  The local library also has free wifi and nice space to study or work on things, like my southwest note card art.   Please have a look at the samples and reserve your set now.  Thank you.

That’s the hill the panorama above was taken from.  This building is the Amtrak Station, which is across the Railroad Tracks from the Aquatic Center.

Kink in my plans.  My van is acting up.  I am trying to troubleshoot the cause.  I have no power on accelerating.  Fixed one thing today, got my on-board computer to communicate with the little device that Auto Zone uses to check your codes.  Turns out the fuse for the cig. lighter is also a fuse for the computer.  Pulled the fuse, it was blow, replaced it, and walla… the computer works.  Got some ideas of what is wrong and will be following up.  Afraid I might need expensive repairs which will really be hard on me.  I have no savings.

My Weight?   Last week: 240 pounds       This week:  235 pounds      Gain/Loss = –5       Keep in mind, loosing weight is only a by-product of getting fit, not the goal.

Thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link.

Help me a little if you can by donating to my equipment fund for the hike.  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.
Contribute to Equipment for the Trail Hike or for the Note Cards:

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
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? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.