First I would like to apologize for not finishing my Thru-hike video of the Arizona Trail, I have a bunch of excuses, but that’s not really going to help anything is it 🙂

But here is a little Arizona Trail *update*

the video is not done yet – BUT it will be – or at least the last part of Chapter 4 will be, because I was not able complete the thru-hike because of the outbreak.
In the meanwhile you can watch the Arizona Trail episodes here

As you might have guessed I actually did start my thru-hike of the Arizona Trail.

A week before my initial plan to travel to the US, I decided that if I was to have any chance of getting on the trail I would have to be quick before everything shut down. So I bought a plane ticket to San Francisco together with a friend of mine who was supposed to do the Pacific Crest Trail. We were set to leave march 13th

The day after we booked our flight, USA announced that they would close down the flights for European flights on the coming friday at midnight! We had booked a flight that would land a few hours before that – so we were “safe” 🙂

San Francisco

Everything went smooth and we got to San Francisco where we booked a room for the night.
But boy was it a weird experience walking through SF without people on the streets.

Next day we went to the airport to rent a car so we could drive down Highway 1 to San Diego where we would stay at an AirBnB for a day to plan resupplies etc. for our respective trips.

Driving down Highway 1 once again reminded you that something strange was going on, as there deffinately was less traffic and usually. When we got to San Diego the streets were empty -but driving though Santa Monica in LA was chaos, there were people everywhere at the beach front – apparently they didnt get the memo 🙂

2 days later we were ready to leave and I got on a Greyhound to Tuscon, AZ and Thomas jumped on his bus towards Campo,CA

On the Trail

Fast forwards to March 18th when I started the trail. So far there had been no noteworthy problems so my hopes were high and I was pretty sure that being on the trail would be easy peasy in regards to resupply etc.
And for the duration of my time on the trail that was actually true.

Getting resupply was not a problem at all, but you could definitely see a huge difference in towns, restaurents were only serving take-out and there was once again very few people around. So the experience of getting to town was not excactly the same as I remembered from my Thru-hike of the PCT back in 2018

Rod Clemen with a big cactus - Arizona Trail 2020

Arizona started to shut down

But then Arizona started to close down trail heads to keep people from crowding out in nature, instead of staying home (look at me acting all high and mighty hehe). That still didn’t really make it harder to hike the Arizona Trail so it didn’t really make any difference to me, but when Grand Canyon got shut down, it kinda made it impossible to complete the trail. For about a week I didn’t really know what to do, and was just hoping that they would open it up again, or at least make it possible for hikers to hike through – which they of course didn’t do.

The day before getting to Superior I ran into Spoons on the trail and we leapfrogged the last day and got picked up at the trailhead by MJ who is a trail angel in Superior, AZ.

MJ and Al run an amazing place and were very hospitable so the time there was just perfect! but in the evening another hiker – The Kid – arrived and was not hiding the fact that he was DONE hiking.
He is one of those hikers that hike FAST and long miles each day, and he was just burned out – not but exhaustion, but more mentally and he had just lost the fun part of hiking so he would be returning home to Utah the next day.
Spoons was also in the process of figuring out when to quit, because he didn’t really plan on doing the whole trail anyways, and with the Grand Canyon closed it had to be soon before it got to difficult to get off trail.

Road trip with the boys

So the next morning after I had slept on it, I decided that it was probably a good a time as any to stop my hike, and Superior was a pretty good place to do it – nice ending to the first part, and an “easy” place to return to when I was to resume my thruhike.

It actually didn’t take much convincing Spoons and The Kid to rent a car and take a few days on the road – which ment that we would drive to Utah to drop off The Kid, and then drive me to Portland, Oregon where I could get an airplane home, and Spoons would drive down to Medford where he lived, and drop off the car.

So a nice 14 day hike ended with a nice 3,5 days road tip through Arizona, Utah and Oregon 🙂
And getting home from Portland was not a problem at all.

Lockdown back home

After I got home, Denmark was in lockdown, and half the employees at my work were sent home for the month but after my 14 day quarantine I was back at work dreaming of the day I would be able to finish The Arizona Trail.

And that dream is still there, but a lot of crazy stuff has happened with my working situation so I had to change workplace, which means that as of right now I am not really sure how that will affect my plans for next year.
Also the pandemic is still raging in the US so it might not even be possible or wise to travel to the US next year for hiking.

That was my Arizona Trail *update* 🙂