Final Preparations

Overnighter on the AZT near Saddle Mountain

Three days til departure … I’m ready to freaking get started! I’ve checked & re-checked my gear & all my food. I’ve organized all my resupply boxes and inundated Parker w/instructions and “suggestions” for our planned meet-ups. I’ve tested out my clothing, my tent and my sleeping bag. I’ve made reservations for town stops (and made sure they’re changeable if/when my plan changes), I’ve squared away my non-adventuring life, and even started a blog! All that’s left is to cache some water (see below) and get down to the border! 

Though we’ve had lots of snow & rain this winter, and seasonal creeks & streams are reportedly flowing well, water continues to be my biggest worry. The good news is that this worry (unlike getting lost, bears and lightning strikes) is something I can mitigate in advance.

The plan is to drop water at the beginning/end of each passage (an average of ~20 miles, though they vary in length from 11 to 36 miles). I’m hoping to cover roughly one passage a day, so this should ensure I begin and end my days with water. We’ll get the first 10 sections before we start, and Parker will then do 5-6 drops every weekend after he re-supplies me (I’m submitting him for Husband of The Year again this year!)

Trail protocol holds that if you are caching water for a specific person, you put a name & date on the bottle … before that date other hikers will leave it alone; after the date, it becomes public water. The plan is to drop one gallon for me and one for other hikers at/near accessible trail heads. All passages are not accessible by vehicle/ short hike (I’m trying not to stress over those passages—but prayers for plentiful enroute sources are welcomed) and some passages start/end in towns or other guaranteed water source like a marina, or campground w/spigot, and I’ve decided to spread a couple of the longer passages over 2 days, which will require a few extra water drops … all told, we are planning to drop water in roughly 30 locations. Parker has made up labels w/a paraphrase of the refrain from an old Kingston Trio song ‘Desert Pete’ to stick on the water jugs:

 “Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet, but leave some water here for others—Thank you kindly, Desert Pete” 

I’ve been calling him Desert a Pete all week … he’s already got a trail name & we haven’t even started yet!

 

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  1. Good luck, Carol! Will be following along, living vicariously through you, and thinking of R2R2R. Inspired to retire (for real) asap thanks to you!

  2. Thanks John … retirement is definitely worth the wait if you do it right! Really looking forward to another R2R2R!

  3. You are an inspiration! going to love reading your updates and live vicariously through you! Enjoy the peace…find solitude…have FUN!

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