In planning an adventure for 2011, I ended up planning three separate ones:

1. The Arizona Trail to Great Divide Trail (AZT to GDT) Route: The AZT to GDT Route combines the Arizona National Scenic Trail, the Hayduke Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Great Divide Trail to create a never-before-attempted 4,265 mile long hiking route. It begins along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, wanders the Colorado Plateau (one of the most remote areas in the lower 48) for hundreds of miles, then climbs onto the Continental Divide – North America’s geologic backbone – which it follows north until it reaches its northern terminus in British Columbia, over 700 miles beyond the U.S.-Canada border.

2. The Florida National Scenic Trail: The Florida Trail (FT) is an 1,100-mile long footpath which spans the state from Big Cypress National Preserve (west of Miami) to Gulf Islands National Seashore (in Pensacola). In order to properly time my arrival in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, I won’t be able to start hiking the AZT to GDT Route until mid-to-late March, at the earliest. This gave me more than enough time to plan the AZT to GDT Route so I decided to thru-hike the FT as well. Aside from the fact that hiking the FT will be an enjoyable experience in itself, it will also serve as a training hike for the AZT to GDT Route, which I’ll begin less than a month after finishing the Florida Trail.

3. The Paddlers’ Waterway in Everglades National Park: The Paddlers’ Waterway is a ~105-mile long water route through Everglades National Park that is described in Johnny Molloy’s definitive guidebook, “A Paddlers’ Guide to Everglades National Park”. The Florida Trail begins so close to Everglades National Park that I felt obligated to explore it to some extent, given how close I would already be. A 10-day canoe trip seemed like the best way to meet that obligation, despite the fact that I haven’t paddled a canoe in years, let alone navigated one through a brackish, tidal-influenced, alligator-infested mangrove swamp.

Past Adventures

September, 2010
The Wonderland Trail
May-September, 2010
The Pacific Crest Trail
March, 2009
The Maze

February, 2007
Mud Caving
August, 2006
Outward Bound – Sierra