|Posted by aztrail4fms on August 8, 2009 at 11:30 AM|
Newest journals posted are from 4-21 to 4-24 (archive page 2)
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have helped me during my Arizona Trail planning and hike. I hiked alone most of the time, but so many people helped me to achieve my dream. So (in no particular order) thank you to: Dave Hicks, Executive Director of the Arizona Trail Association, for always answering my questions and for arranging the group that hiked the first passage of the trail with me. It was a fantastic way to start my journey and thank you to Richard Corbett, Terry Woolston, and David Baker for being a part of it. David Baker, owner of Summit Hut, has been a fantastic sponsor and always took time to answer my questions about the trail. He also took me on my first mountain climbing trip this year on Baboquivari Peak. Thanks Dave, I still can't believe I did that! Thanks also go to Frank Camp, who was a great help with my sponsorship with Summit Hut.
Thanks to the Sandy Bennett at the National Fibromyalgia Association for all your help in the planning stages and for including me in your newsletter. Also many thanks to Randy Wold. I will be still collecting donations for the NFA, for another month, two tops, so if you haven't donated yet, please either go to my homepage at www.aztrail4fms.org or donate to the NFA directly with Arizona Trail for Fibromyalgia in the memo on the check.
Thank you to my Crazies, the Arizona Trail building crew I work with. You were there to help me plan and to hear my stories. They are some amazing people and I feel lucky to be one of the Crazies. Lee Allen, leader of the Crazies, bushwacked the Las Colinas segment with me in one very long hot afternoon. He and his wife Jan helped me out with shuttles and were also there to hike the final 9 miles with me. Bernie Stalmann was a wealth of information on Southern Arizona and drove us to Montezuma Pass to begin the Arizona Trail. Laddie Cox, hit and run crew leader, knew where all the tough spots would be and always had great advice on how to get through them. He also generously helped with a long shuttle in the Superstitions. Larry Schnebly, 80 years young and still trailbuilding, thank you for your encouraging and uplifting e-mails. Mark Bleisch along with his wife, Linda did a couple of dayhikes with me in the Las Cienegas and Rincon Valley. Mark also helped me out with an epic shuttle in the Superstitions and hiked the final 9 miles with me. Tom Kimmel, sawyer extraordinaire, was also along for the final 9 miles.
Thank you to all the trail stewards for answering my endless questions. Several trail stewards went above and beyond and helped me with shuttles or cached water for me. Thank you Zay Hartigan, for your informative shuttle through the Canelos and for having such a great website for your passage. Thanks to John Rendall for all your trail info and for helping me through the unbuilt part of the White Canyon passage. Thanks to Fred Gaudet for the water charts and the databook. Thanks to Cindy and Lou Hoover for lunch in Pine, shuttling me around the Mogollon Rim, and caching water for me in the Happy Jack passage. Thanks to Gay and Gary Hohner for their help in navigating the San Francisco Peaks bushwhack. Thank you to Li Brannfors for your wonderful GPS and TOPO! files. They were a lot of help! And thanks to Michael Carr for putting together such a great information packet for your passage. In addition to the stewards, I met some other fantastic people through the Arizona Trail Association. Thanks to Terri Gay for braving the 4 Peaks with me, sharing all your experience and for being a great support through my hike- I'm so glad we finally got to finish a trip together! Judy Eidson of www.hikengirls.com, thank you for showing me that there is a "leisurely way" to do the Arizona Trail (and cache wine while you're at it)! Thanks to Dave Babcock and Larry Snead for taking my calls, even on Easter, about where the new singletrack was in Alamo Canyon.
I was so fortunate to have great sponsors. In addition to Summit Hut, thank you to my other sponsors: Bumble Bar donated 150 super-tasty bars and the best endorsement I can think of is that after eating Bumble Bars on every trip, I still enjoy eating them! There are lots of different flavors to keep things interesting. Another thing I took on every trip was Monavie packets, generously donated for my hike. I think these are delicious, and they are loaded with berries and antioxidants. Tucson Hikers was also a sponsor. Deb Kortyna donated heavenly Reflexology treatments. I can't think of a better thing for a hiker than an hour-long massage concentrated on the feet.
Thank you to my massage clients for being flexible with your schedules and for the encouraging words. A special thanks goes to Linda Tarason, who was a great listener and also hooked me up with Bonnie Henry from the AZ Daily Star. I must also mention Angie Edge, my dear friend who I trade massage with. She often went out of her way to make room in her schedule for me. She has been my massage therapist since shortly after my accident and has seen me when my fibromyalgia was at its worst. She is part of the reason I am able to manage my fibromyalgia so well and I am grateful that we trade massage!
I want to thank Jeff Harris and Christy Snow and my full moon women's circle. What an amazing group of women, it is always such a delight to spend my full moons with you all.
And now, for my family. Anyone who has followed my story knows that my dad, Budh Prakash Rana, has come out from Chicago several times to be my support crew. He's shuttled me around, taken me to tasty restaurants after coming out of the backcountry, and spent too many hours to count talking about the Arizona Trail with me. He has always been 100% behind me ever since I started planning this hike and I am so lucky to have had his help. He'd drop me off, and I'd go on my adventure and he'd go on his and we always had pictures to show each other at the end. My dad jokes that while I've seen the Arizona Trail, he's seen all over Arizona and Southern Utah. I treasure the time we've been able to spend together. My mom, even though the whole idea of me hiking across Arizona scared her to death, came out twice to keep me and my dad company. She hiked with me near Mormon Lake and impressed me by hiking a 12-mile day. Sanjay, my brother, hiked rim to rim in the Grand Canyon with me- one of my favorite trips of the whole trail! And for my other brother Shawn- well, he didn't come out to Arizona, but hiking isn't really his thing. Nevertheless he was also supportive, but from afar. Not only do I have a great family, but I also am blessed with an amazingly supportive husband, Brian. How lucky am I? Brian, from the beginning, was really hesitant about me doing this hike alone. From fears of bears or crazy people or dangerous snakes and scorpions, he was usually on-edge when I was gone, yet he never suggested that I quit. Not only that, when I was having a difficult time with the trail, or I questioned if I would be able to finish, he always knew how to make me feel better.
Last but absolutely not least, thank you to all the people who have followed my story on my website, MySpace, and Trailjournals.com and to all who have so generously donated to the National Fibromyalgia Association. It was so awesome to be able to share my journey with you and hear your stories. I really enjoyed all the uplifting guestbook signatures and e-mails while I was on my hike.
I am so fortunate that when I decided to hike the Arizona Trail, there were people at every turn to answer my questions, help with logistics, and listen to me endlessly talk about my plans. It has been the experience of a lifetime.