Wow! I'm disappointed to be the first on the equestrian foru

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thenrie
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Joined: Sep 23 2012 7:17 pm
City, State: Stafford, VA

Wow! I'm disappointed to be the first on the equestrian foru

Post by thenrie » Sep 23 2012 7:27 pm

I was hoping to get some information to help plan a horse pack trip on the AZT, from the Mexican border and continuing on up the GWT to Canada. I know the trail has been ridden by many, but don't know where to find them to get information from them. I'm hoping to embark on the full ride in the spring of 2015. I will likely ride parts of the AZT between now and then in preparation and to help in planning for the full trip. I sure hope some more folks jump in here to help out with info.

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sirena
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Re: Wow! I'm disappointed to be the first on the equestrian

Post by sirena » Sep 23 2012 9:45 pm

@thenrie
Welcome and congrats on being the first to post! This format of the Arizona Trail forum is fairly new (Jan 2012) , hopefully more equestrians will contribute as they plan their journeys. Sounds like a fantastic adventure you have planned! My suggestion would be to contact trail steward Wendy Erica Werden- wendyericawerden(at)yahoo.com. She is an equestrian who knows the trail very well and can help point you in the right direction. Please keep us posted on your planning and progress on the Arizona Trail!
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com

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pralley
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Re: Wow! I'm disappointed to be the first on the equestrian

Post by pralley » Sep 24 2012 6:05 am

Well, it does say "hikearizona" as the title of this forum! But I say never ride a horse/mule into anything you can't hike out of! Ha!
I want to first say I am jealous, really, really jealous. I want to ride/pack my trail now. But alas, work beckons.
That being said. I am willing to help in any way I can. And I would highly recommend you contact Dick and Diane Wertz from Wickenburg, Arizona as they know the trail from an equestrian point of view and Diane has ridden her mule Billie on the whole thing. They are also experienced outfitters so their advice would be worth gold.
If you look under passages on the ATA website there is a tab called Stewards. There are several self identified equestrian listed there. And always the stewards are the go-to guys for each passage.
If you still use those antique things called paper topo maps, you can get those from me at the Bureau of Land Management. And I can tell you a source to find maps of the Great Western Trail... happy trails!

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blisterfree
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Re: Wow! I'm disappointed to be the first on the equestrian

Post by blisterfree » Sep 29 2012 10:35 am

Ha. Those "antique things" called paper topo maps never run out of battery life in the middle of nowhere, it's true. And in addition to overview maps (BLM, FS, DeLorme et al) as you probably know you can purchase detailed topo maps, specific to the Arizona Trail, directly from the ATA at aztrail.org. 8)

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thenrie
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City, State: Stafford, VA

Re: Wow! I'm disappointed to be the first on the equestrian

Post by thenrie » Nov 15 2012 7:59 pm

It's been a while since I checked back. Thanks for all the info. The contact names will certainly be useful. Pralley, I'll be getting in touch with you as soon as I figure out what maps I already have and which ones I'll need. I'm glad I still have some time before the ride. This is one undertaking on which I do not want to skimp on the preparations. I have several friends and relatives who are hoping to ride portions of the trip with me. Anybody else who wishes to do so is invited to join in. I figure having folks join in for portions of the trip will be useful for resupply points - have someone drop them off with supplies at a meeting point, ride with me a few days, then get picked up by someone bringing the next rider and supplies at the next stop-over. I figure I'll need two pack mules/horses for myself or myself and one other, so one extra rider wouldn't have to bring another pack animal, but I'd have to restrict it to one rider per section, unless they brought their own pack animal to carry the extra supplies. That's still up in the air, though. I might be able to make it with just one pack mule, if I can plan regular resupply points every 4-5 days, depending on feed for the animals. I plan to ride 5 days per week and rest one day. I also expect to stop anywhere I find water and feed, at least for a couple hours, to rest and recharge my stock.

One thing I plan to do is to take a GPS unit to track my progress, log the miles, and be able to reproduce the information for future riders. As I have researched the Great Western Trail, I find there is little or no information available of use for me in planning the trip. Different sites claim anywhere from 4552 miles to "over 3,000 miles". By road it's only just a hair over 1500 miles, so I expect the high mileage claims include all of the trail system, not just a direct route from Mexico to Canada. I expect somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 miles and I expect to be able to do it in 4 months or a little over- mid March to mid or late July. That should keep me out of the hottest and coldest weather all the way up and will hopefully allow me to capitalize on a decent winter/spring for water while traversing AZ.

I can't tell you how excited I am for this trip. My dad and I planned a trip from Eagar, AZ to Panguitch, UT many years ago, but never found the time to do it. He's plannng on taking part of this trip with me. He'll be 80. Hell, I'll be 56! It will be 2015 or never, I expect.

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thenrie
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Update on my AZT horse pack trip in 2015

Post by thenrie » Feb 01 2013 8:27 pm

Just an update. Just purchased the maps CD for planning purposes. I will eventually buy paper maps for the route, but I can wait a while on those. I had several people ask me to start a blog, so they could track my planning and preparations for the trip, as well as get my posts and pictures of the trip itself. I have had to dig so much to find information all over the place (oh, this site is so nice for the AZ portion) that I decided to start a website for folks like me who want to ride all over the western U.S. I bought a domain, which will be home to my blog, as well as a forum for those who have interest in trail riding in the western U.S. Anyone who is experienced in horse/mule packing, camping, trailriding, outfitting, guiding, etc, or anyone who has interest in those kinds of things, is invited. Anyone who has expertise/experience in any of those things is invited to start a blog under the site name (such as "yourblog@- - -.com") to provide information about trails, conditions, accommodations, ect.. Outfitters, guides, suppliers, etc are encouraged to join the forum plug their services and contribute with helpful information.

I'm hoping that eventually it will become a good resource and information exchange for folks like me who just want to get out and ride the trails in the west. I am trying to find all the websites I can for links, so there will be sort of a directory of good websites for information. I have placed a link to this site on there.

I hope this post doesn't get marked as spam (I made sure nothing links offsite, except my email address). There is no site like this one for the AZ Trail, but for anyone who may be going on up the GWT, or branching out onto other trails, or find places to ride in other western states, they will be able to find further information on the Western Trail Rider site...eventually...it will take time to populate.

Also, FYI, you can google "Unbranded, Ben Masters" to find out about a group of young men who will be making the Mexico to Canada horse pack trip using much of the AZT and GWT this spring (2013). They plan to use mustangs adopted from BLM as riding and pack stock and will be making a professional documentary film about the trip to enhance awareness of the American Mustang and promote wilderness preservation. I encourage everyone to check them out and track their progress. I have been in touch with Ben and hope to pick his brain about the route for my preparations. My trip will be a lot less complicated than his, but I won't be producing a feature-length professional documentary film. I am wishing them all the luck in the world and I look forward to seeing the film.

Tony Henrie
Stafford, VA

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