Holy tolitto -- two months.
I've gone on many treks and adventures, variously timed planning them all out in a year to a day. With two months to go, I'm not letting all the cards fall as if I wanted to instruct a child the joys of 52-card pickup. However, I am tossing the cards I like to see where they may fall. I.e. allowing the planning and logistics to fall in place where they may.
That all said, this trek is confirmed to be my first long distance solo trek.
With over 800 miles, and a month of trekking, this will be a 'shorter' trek than my others. While a month is nothing to scoff at, it definitely isn't the four to six month trek I've grown to know and love.
A month will be interesting. Half that time will be spent getting into true thru-hiker shape. The first couple weeks are always difficult and painful -- regardless of how much physical training you put into it.
As my mind wanders and ideas twist and twirl like plumes of smoke as they rise into the skies, the desire for something more plagues my conscious.
Don't get me wrong, I don't feel the AZT is lacking in beauty or excitement. It's simply the loose screws in my noggin that views a month long trek as a small journey and have the need and desire to push myself forward into new and unknown territory.
The solo aspect will most definitely add challenges to a journey, even at only a month. However, what can I do to make this journey a truly special one? How do I replicate the feeling of the old world explorers such as Roy Andrew Chapman (the real world iconic explore which Indiana Jones was based off of)?
Explorers of yesteryear didn't have the security of GPS, satellite phones, emergency beacons or maps that detail each inch of the area one travels through. It would be irresponsible, and foolish, of me to attempt to travel without the safety of items such as those -- especially on my own.
While a vast majority of the experience of thru-hiking comes through learning about the people and places along the journey, at the end of the day, it's about the wild. What if one were to not remove themselves from the the embrace of the wilderness? What if the need to resupply food and equipment was null and void, and one could spend a full month in the outside, uninterrupted, constantly exposed?
While planning stages are still early, and experimentation needs to happen my current equipment load, the initial plan is to carry 30 days of food with me as I begin the AZT, and hike it border to border without a resupply or need to stop off in 'civilization'.
Hey, if I'm going to be doing this alone, I may as well really do it alone, no?
A new experience (for me, outdated for most of this generation) of travel that dates back to the ocean explorers that had to carry enough food for many months on their boat as they travel the open, unknown, waters of this world.
What challenges will this pose? This is a self funded journey, so I will need to do it with most of the gear I already own. Will I be able to carry over 30 days of food? Camera equipment? The tools necessary to survive?
Keep checking in to see where this concept leads!