Sunday, September 6, 2015

WEEK EIGHT–The DREAM won’t die. I WILL hike the Arizona Trail. (Aug. 30–Sept. 5, 2015)

MY MOTTO – It doesn’t get any better than this, until tomorrow!

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:

My “second thoughts” are fading, and I realize while swimming almost 100 lengths of the pool and thinking of the hike almost the whole time, that it is a dream I should not let go of..  and I may skip the section by the Mexican Border and begin at the 2nd section.  OR, I may just get brave and do it anyway.  Anyone interested in hiking the first section of the trail with me??? 

Previous post.  


This week I began working on the sketches for my Southwest Note Cards.  Here are the first 3 sketches.  I may re-do the turtle one.



Training Days Forty-nine to Fifty-five (8/30-9/5, 2015,  Sun.- Sat):

What have I accomplished in the four main components of preparing for this challenge?

BETTER news. Being off the meds meant to help me deal with depression, has worked.  I am no longer depressed… I think!!!! 

1) Get fit, food wise.  I had ice cream once and it made me sick.  I had one soda.  This is getting easier but I still get huge sweet cravings.

2) Get fit, fitness wise.   July 24th I swam 1/2 mile in an hour.  This week I swam 1.5 miles in an hour and 40 min.  Great progress.

Day 49 (Sun).  I pretty much just rested.  In spite of planning to change this up… and do something on Sundays, walk or do a strength training routine, I lack the motivation.

Day 50 (Mon).   Woke with Plantar Fasciitis again… so will just chill and stretch.

Day 51 (Tue).  The Plantar Fasciitis is still bad, but I swam anyway.  Swimming made it better.  Broke my record and swam 1.25 miles in 1 hr and 30 min.  Last Weds I swam only 1 mile in the same amount of time.  Got real hungry.  Ate Ice Cream.  My bad.

Day 52 (Weds).  Have the runs from eating the ice cream… moved to a sunny spot and just did genealogy all the live long day.

Day 53 (Thurs).  Overslept today in spite of my determination and so did more genealogy.

Day 54 (Fri.).  Found the motivation and swam 1.5 miles in 1 hour and 40 min., breaking my record.  It has been decades since I swam that distance.  No pain, no cramps.  Legs are feeling slimmer.  I like it. 

Day 55 (Sat).  Drove out to one of my best boondocking spots, outside the gate to Ted Turner’s ranch/park.  Began working on the notecard sketches.

Life is good.  I am getting itchy feet though.  Payday is 9/16 and last day at pool is 9/25… then I head to Arizona… slowly.

3) Learn how to ward off biting bugs.   SAME. There just are not many bugs here!!!  I’m keeping a notebook of ideas for future reference.

4) Get the equipment I need.  Joined the Facebook Arizona Trail group and began asking about electronics and equipment.  Several people are making recommendations and posting lists.  I am going to ask for copies of their spreadsheets and begin adapting my list.  What equipment I do have is in Arizona, so I can’t begin weighing things until I get there.

Weight?   Last week: 227 pounds       This week:  224 pounds    Weekly Loss/Gain = -3.     Total Loss/Gain (since July 13) = -16 pounds.   Keep in mind, loosing weight is only a by-product of getting fit, not the goal.  I am one pound less than I planned to be by this weekend… so I am on track.  I CAN DO THIS!!!!

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While camped up on the mountain, I spotted this little guy.


Also, I am creating a set of notecards of southwestern images to sell in order to raise money for equipment or to help pay back my friends.  Please have a look at what they may look like.  I hope to have them finished and ready to mail out by Thanksgiving.  You can reserve your set of note cards now by sending a PayPal donation of $25 to  Note Cards will be sent out before Dec. 1, 2015, or delivered to you are the Winter RTR Rendezvous, your choice.  Only these advance sale cards will have my original signature.  Card sets will be available online afterward this advance sale but will have printed signature.

Sample Southwest Notecards

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:


Who is Swankie?

My photo
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.