Last year, in July, my daughter springs this idea during one of our rare phone calls. "What would you think about hiking the Appalachian Trail?". I thought it was pretty cool and asked her what brought that on. She said she knew I am a good planner and thought I could help by planning way in advance as I normally do about things I am passionate about rather than the last minute stuff she specializes in (and makes work, BTW). Shortly after that exchange, I started to add things up. She's turning 40 the next month and I thought she was going to thru hike the entire AT to prove a point. I called her on her birthday and was relieved to find her aspirations were to do 100-some miles over 10-ish days on the AT thru the Shenandoah National Park with a long term goal of Grand Canyon.
She did a tourist day hike in Grand Canyon a couple of years ago and loved it. That was during an epic road trip from Virginia to Surprise, AZ with a girlfriend from high school in a mini Cooper. I called the mini (named Otto) a mobile luggage tetris arena and, in hindsight, almost qualifies as backpacking when considering that storage capacity shared by two women.
Today, I heard about something called the Arizona Trail on a podcast and wondered if it would provide a way for us to start in the Tucson Area, where my sister-in-law lives, and get us to the Grand Canyon. Some web-searching for a map that includes an elevation profile has been frustrating and I am reluctant to invest in a databook before exhausting some free options to evaluate if this qualifies as a bat-guano-crazy idea or not.
We are backpacking the SNP on the last week of April for 10-ish days. We did a shakedown hike in her home area in Florida in the Ocala National Forest during the last week of January and got our "hiking in torrential rain" ticket punched along with overnight lows in the mid-40's. We got sore, didn't end up hating each other's guts, and freakin' loved it! It was comically overloaded because we were doubling up on some items for comparison & we still have a lot to learn.
What I would like to start with is the basics of distance, elevation, & resources just for a quick sniff test to see, first, if it's possible and, having passed that test, the time I need to devote that backpacking adventure. I found an interactive map but it's got too many bells and whistles to filter away before getting results specific to the AZT and I never got close to getting results of a walk from Tucson to Grand Canyon that followed the AZT.
Thanks, in advance! I realize I am being lazy about this and could probably sift thru the forums for my answer but I want something quick to base a yes/no decision upon while I go back to concentrating on the AT prep.
I started a blog, an unsuccessful attempt to motivate routine communication with my daughter, that nobody (except a couple of posts from an AT veteran backpacking mentor) has commented on.