Sun City resident Art Huseonica began Feb. 26 an attempt to hike the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail.
The Arizona Trail, one of the nation’s major long-distance trails, starts at the Mexico border and meanders north to the Utah border. At the Mexican border, Mr. Huseonica will have to contend with border security monitoring stations with cameras and specialized low-altitude radar. He was advised by border security to carry a weapon.
Mr. Huseonica’s route will take him through deserts, mountains, forests and the Grand Canyon from the South Rim down to the Colorado River, and then up to the North Rim. The Grand Canyon alone equals almost 10,000 feet in elevation change.
According to Mr. Huseonica, logistics is a key factor in determining his possibility of success. Before his departure to position himself near the border for an early start the next day, he will ship out 10 resupply boxes to individuals and businesses along the route. Each box will contain freeze-dried meals, snacks, fuel for his cook stove and toiletries.
These individuals and businesses are referred to as “Trail Angels.” Always accommodating to thru-hikers, the Trail Angels willingly accept resupply packages, offer overnight accommodations, laundry facilities, transportation to a grocery store and even a hot, home-cooked meal to the weary hiker. Their only charge is a few good hikers’ trail stories. Mr. Huseonica will have lots of interesting stories to share.
Safety is a concern when hiking such a great distance and starting from an international border that has not always been considered a safe place. Mr. Huseonica will be wearing a GPS monitoring device, plus he’ll carry a satellite phone and an SOS transponder.
Another safety issue, especially for anyone attempting a thru-hike in 2018 is the shortage of water. Many of the springs and small streams have already dried up or will dry up over the next few weeks unless the region receives a substantial and sustained rainfall. Again, the Trail Angels will come to the rescue with fresh drinking water at major trailheads along the 800-mile route.
This is a sponsored adventure with companies from Australia, Great Britain and the United States supporting Mr. Huseonica. Sponsors include Craghoppers outdoor apparel, ArmaSkin anti-blister socks. Paleo Meals to Go freeze-dried meals, Epic Wipes wet wipes and Wild Zora Foods snack bars.
The Arizona Trail Association is responsible for maintaining and promoting the Arizona Trail. Designated as a National Scenic Trail, the AZT is one of 30 in the United States.
Visit www.arizonianexplorer.wordpress.com to learn more about Mr. Huseonica and his adventures. Readers can also access his social media platforms for timely Arizona Trail adventure updates.