I saw a sign today in Tucson that read, "Saguaro you today?"
Well, we're READY.
Our backpacks are packed, everything is charged, we're clean, and about to head to bed. We hit the trail tomorrow.
Over the past few days we've been bunking in Tucson. Here we've enjoyed the mobility of our car/home, the luxury of a nice hotel, and the comfort of friendly faces.
Our car has taken us up and down the state to various trail heads where we've cached both water, and fuel for our future selves. We've also left gallons of public water in "hiker boxes," available for other thru-hikers who may find themselves short on agua while passing through.
Our base for these excursions (including mailing all our mail drops, and some last minute gear grabs) has been, for the most part, a small hotel room where we've left no amenity untapped, as many a thru-hiker is known to do.
Showers (the last ones we'll get for a while), free hot breakfast, wifi, movies (you haven't been meaning to watch, but that you watch anyway..and they're somehow amazing due to their impending novelty. Thank you "Legally Blonde"!), the ability to spread out (and your stuff isn't lying in the dirt or in a parking lot), a clean bed, a/c, the list goes on. I'm not even walking and I can feel the appreciation for front country comforts swell inside me.
Before our hotel, we were hosted by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Southwest Branch, my alma mater and employer. There, we were the recipients of their gracious hospitality, and their kind and fun company. Thank you again to NOLS and for all of our friends who spent time with us.
Another reason we're feeling ready is in large part due to the Arizona Trail Assoiciation (ATA), who is responsible for the creation and improvement of the Arizona Trail. This year we'll be helping the ATA catalog their trail signs during our hike. The data we collect will be used to create a comprehensive sign plan for the National Scenic Trail.
We just had an exciting meeting with their Executive Director today to discuss our new job(!), and tomorrow we're catching a ride with them to the Mexico Border. Thanks again ATA!