Sunday morning, at Ashley’s house in Orlando
My thru-hike of the Arizona Trail will start in 10 days. I have seven mail drop packages packed with food to keep me going. I’ll supplement these packages with a few grocery items that I pick up at these locations. This is the same method of re-supply I followed on the PCT and the AT.
Each box contains Mountain House freeze-dried dinners – Italian pepper steak, chicken a la king, beef stew and breakfast skillet. Those will constitute the only hot meal I will have each day. For my lunches I will have tunafish in foil packages along with small packets of mayonnaise and relish. (I bought the ones packed in oil because they have the highest calorie content.) I also have peanut butter, jelly, and cheese sticks packed. I will buy bagels at stores to have with these items that I carry.
I have also packed zip-lock bags of trail mix. I have assorted candy bars and granola bars and protein bars. I have small sized packages of beef jerky, packs of gum, hard candy, and high calorie individually packaged muffins. And of course I have Pop-tarts packed in the mail drops.
All of these items are stuffed into USPS flat rate boxes which cost me about $13 each to mail. I sent four of the seven boxes to places that told me they would hold them for the extended time of mid-March until my estimated arrival in April or May. These locations are the La Posts Quemada Ranch located at Colossal Cave Mt. Park near Vail, AZ; the Chalet Village Motel in Oracle, AZ; the LF Ranch near Payson; and general delivery to myself at the Flagstaff post office.
Three other mail drops will be sent by my wife closer to the date of my arrival to the following places – Roosevelt Lake Marina; Grand Canyon post office located at the south rim, and; the North Rim Country Store on the last leg of my hike. These places hold packages for only about two weeks, and I will call Terry from the trail to have her mail the boxes at the right time.
Check out pictures along the AZT by visiting the website http://www.aztrail.org. Seeing the pictures might help you understand better why I’m anxious for this long walk.
My gear next time.