Imagine carrying a small person up nearly 4,000 feet of incline in 6.5 miles.
Yep. That's essentially what I did. And ow, painful.
Of course, Andy and his small pack and running legs rocketed up and had to wait multiple hours for my tank like maneuverability to get up the mountain.
We woke up at 7:30 in Tucson and met with Ken, our knowledgeable shuttle driver. After a quick pit stop for some coffee he brought us down to the start of the trail where we had to hike nearly two miles to the Mexican border.
Once we got down there, our journey officially began (and then we had to back track those two miles).
It was a beautiful breezy day, nice and cool as we increased in elevation. All around great hiking conditions... except the 90+ lb pack.
As the sun began to set, I knew I was in for a night hike. Andy had been atop the mountain long before sunset, and there I was, down the mountain slowly making my way up.
The pack, while back breakingly heavy, is manageable on flat and descents, but my hip flexers which propel myself up isn't used to the additional weight and fatigued quickly.
I managed to make it up the mountain (in the snow mind you) to where Andy had posted up. 1.8 miles before our water source, but with the amount of snow we had around us to melt, I simply could not continue.
We made a small fire, melted some snow and I crawled into my sleeping bag. I couldn't even eat much due to the 9000+ feet of elevation and the weary mind and body.
Day 1 is over, and now the journey continues.