AZT is hard…

We’re finally sitting at a cafe in Patagonia. Holy mother of crap this trail is kicking our ass! Seriously. We knew it would be hard but this is beyond what either of us expected. And what’s blowing my mind is that people RACE this and in the DARK!

It’s way more technical than we anticipated and the ups/downs are definitely built for hiking and hikers. In fact, we met a powerhouse of a thru-hiker, Mary Poppins, and she is definitely hiking faster than we are biking, including the downs. We thought it may have just been us but then we met up with fellow thru-biker, Robert (from Vancouver!), and he’s shocked at the walking and pushing, too. And Mary Poppins definitely blew by him.On top of all of this is the heat. We had been anticipating around 20C for the first couple days, just pure luck on our part with the weather being kind, and happy for a bit of acclimation. But then it wasn’t. It was +30 (not 100% because of no internet but it’s +31 right now!) so we both were thrown into scorching heat, limited-to-no shade. And I know you’re probably most worried about me but it’s been ridiculously difficult on both of us. Adam was having heat exhaustion symptoms yesterday and I was bordering on heat stroke today (I’m still not confident that I won’t throw up…). I also washed out on a corner and had a spill today.

So the big question after all this complaining: are we having fun? Yeeees…? There are some absolutely beautiful and amazing pieces of trail…we just wish that there was more. And less straight ups! Honestly, it’s way too early to tell. It’s only our 3rd day. And we’re going to get to our planned destination this evening. We’re both exhausted and know it’s the heat. We’re expecting another +30C tomorrow but then the temps will cool to a reasonable low 20s. Our current attitude is to just keep trying. We’ll just plug away and see what happens. I do feel confident we’ll make it to Superior (AZT 300). And then we’ll decide from there.

To be clear: we’ve had an amazing burrito; saw a road runner (meep-meep!) and a javellina; beautiful sun rises + sun sets; and have met some great people already. We’re now more aware of what the trail is like and have local intel that it’s like this until past Superior, which helps with the mental aspect. I’m also so freaking grateful for my Liv Pique (absolutely not asked to mention that!) because the light weight of it has been a saviour for me.

What’s next? A little more rest out of the sun and then who knows?!

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