First of all, thank you for the prayers, well wishes and for your donations to the Foundation for Blind Children. The last four weeks have been incredible. Yancey, Ben and I have experienced an amazing adventure. The Arizona Trail does not disappoint ones expectations. Now as I sit here writing this all I can think about is how much I want to get back to the trail.
As many of you know, I injured my right leg in the Four Peaks Passage. I am not sure which trip, slip, kick or fall caused it, but by the middle of the next day I was limping. After a scheduled two day rest in Phoenix I assumed that I would be ok to return to the hike. Unfortunately, I was wrong. After a 16 mile hike on the 29th I knew I needed to have my leg checked out. Leaving the trail was the hardest decision of the trip. Fortunately my injury is not serious. The doc said to lay off it for a week or two. I am hoping that I can get back on the trail this Sunday. Regardless of how long it takes I will find a way to complete this hike-A-Thon.
I am still in awe by what we have already accomplished. This trail is not an easy hike for anyone. We have experienced some really challenging yet beautiful terrain. I find it amazing to hear nothing of the modern world for days. We have run across three rattle snakes, a bull snake, desert tortoise, two heal monsters, deer, lots of cows and horses. The sounds of birds are a constant and it is interesting how many different types there are.
Many times the trail is not more than a line on the GPS and an occasional cairn. Yancey and Ben have become quite adept at figuring out where we need to go. Without their help I could not have made it this far. Anthony’s logistical help has been a serious blessing. Thanks to all three of you for helping this blind guy out. This experience has helped us grow as friends and people.
We have now completed 22 of the 42 passages totaling 397 miles of the 807 mile trek. There are two more major hiking challenges left, the Mazatals and the Grand Canyon passages. I am told that the other 18 passages are not quite as difficult, but incredibly beautiful.
The main issue for me at this point is who is going to guide me for the last two weeks. Yancey and Ben have to go back to work on the 16th. If things go according to plan this should get me pretty close to Flagstaff. I have the weekends covered, but I am still looking for some guides through the two weeks after the 16th. I have faith that it will all work out.
This hike is not about me. It is about giving some great blind kids an opportunity to live a better quality of life. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to meet some of these kids a couple of months ago. Their spark for life truly inspired me. Many times when I was sore and tired, thinking of them helped keep me going. I will not give up and I will make it to Utah!