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AZT Yo-yo Finish, AZ
mini location map2015-12-20
7 by photographer avatarsirena
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AZT Yo-yo Finish, AZ 
AZT Yo-yo Finish, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2015
Hiking3.80 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles
900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Recently I got to be a small part of a friend’s inspiring journey and I wanted to share an article I wrote:

Traversing the Arizona Trail- Twice!

Coronado National Memorial, Arizona
: On December 20th, Kathy and Ras Vaughan of Whidbey Island, Washington became the first people to yo-yo the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail. For 93 days, this adventurous couple—known by their collective trail name as UltraPedestrian—traversed the state of Arizona twice. Starting at the US/Mexico border on September 18th and hiking to the Utah border, then immediately turning around and heading back to Mexico, the couple covered a total of 1,668 miles. They endured everything from 100-degree temperatures to several snowstorms during an unseasonably wet year.

“We wanted to experience the trail as completely as possible, seeing it in both directions and taking on a challenge that no one else has ever experienced before,” said Ras. The Vaughans thru-hiked the Arizona Trail in spring of 2014, with Kathy establishing the fastest known time for a female in 35 days. Not only is a yo-yo twice as long as a regular thru-hike of the trail, but extreme weather is more likely. They completed the trail self-supported and hiked in and out of the gateway communities, adding 68 miles to their journey to resupply rather than accepting rides.

“Meeting people along the trail and in the gateway communities helped us understand the connection between the people and the places of Arizona,” said Kathy. “The challenge of the trail helped us improvise solutions to the problems that came up, whether it was dealing with gear issues or weather conditions.”

They had a SPOT tracker so that folks could follow along and shared frequent updates from the trail on Instagram and Facebook.

I had met them briefly last year on the trail and had a bit of fun doing some trail angeling during the yo-yo, showing up in the middle of nowhere with treats and beverages and words of encouragement. I offered to pick them up at the Mexican border at the end of their journey and they let me tag along for the last two miles.

Congrats to this incredible couple! They will be coming back to Arizona in February for a speaking tour and are writing a book, I look forward to both.

About UltraPedestrian

UltraPedestrian is Kathy and Ras Vaughan, who strive to take on unique challenges and inspire others to “find their own version of epic.” Kathy holds the women’s fastest known time for the Arizona Trail and Ras is credited with innovating Only Known Times, including a sextuple Grand Canyon crossing and a unsupported (no resupply) Washington Traverse on the Pacific Crest Trail. Their website is Ultrapedestrian.blo ... .com and they are on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at @ultrapedestrian.
Throwing a Wendy
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
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