Earlier today I was privileged to guide Sensei Mike Armstrong across the Arizona/Utah border. In the past 57 days Mike has hiked 782.3 miles and became the first blind man to hike the Arizona Trail end to end.
When we first set out on this adventure we realized it was ambitious and as we made our way up and down the hills and deserts in the south, climbed over and under trees in the Mazatzals, weathered freak snow storms outside of Flagstaff, and crossed the Grand Canyon rim to rim. We realized this adventure wasn’t just a long hike through Arizona.
It was a life altering journey of hardship through hiking, and the beauty of the Arizona landscape that while Mike cannot see; he was able to experience in a way only a handful of people can share.
While the journey was longer and more treacherous than we imagined, we hiked on. Even with injuries and overwhelming homesickness Mike Armstrong tasted bitter and hiked on until his journey was complete.
Now that the trail is complete he can finally take a much needed vacation with the family he has missed dearly.
Congratulations Sensei Mike Armstrong, you have inspired me and many more with your dedication and perseverance.
-Ben Cane (Sighted Guide)