My goals for last year got massively derailed. I did not hike the Grand Canyon, take my boys backpacking, or do any significant work on my website. Two events forced me to pivot: the creation of the Mazatzal Project and joining up with a local search and rescue group. So, I suppose that 2017 was fairly successful, as long as one accounts for changing priorities. Enough of the past, though - it's time to think about the new year.
So, back in August I thought that I could complete the project by the end of the year. That is, I was over halfway done with hiking the trails in the Mazatzal Wilderness and thought I could finish the other half during the fall. Then a few issues arose during September.
The first complication was a failed backpacking loop over Labor Day, when I got stung by a wasp and was forced to make an early exit down Davenport Wash Trail. This left two segments of trails unfinished, adding an unplanned dayhike to an already-full schedule. Then later that month I got two flat tires on the drive out to Sheep Bridge, turning what was supposed to be a three-day loop knocking out much of the Verde River Trail into a costly tow and repair.
So where does that leave 2018? Well, I want to finish the darn project. I have four adventures, two dayhikes and two backpacks, that should finish the trails… Provided no more issues crop up along the way. Once the initial goal is met I may do some social backpacks, or maybe start on another wilderness (Sierra Ancha?).
Grand Canyon R2R2R
This again. I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about it now, though. This summer I did a 35 mile dayhike, and just last weekend I did 30 miles in a day with a 35 lb pack. The thought of doing 50 miles hiking from one rim to the other and back in the Grand Canyon is starting to become feasible. Biggest thing to figure out is if I want to do it solo or turn it into a weekend in Flagstaff with Katie. Either way, I'm hoping to knock this one out in the early summer.
CAMRA Search & Rescue
This goal has been moving forward at a steady pace. I've been formerly accepted as a recruit, which means that I'll be doing monthly training for a year and (as soon as I get finish the MCSO Posse requirements) could be called out for missions within the next few months. The list of things I need to get done is extensive - I just passed a certification exam and have a HAM Technician's License and am now working on Basic Aviation Safety - but the tasks are getting more defined and I'm tackling them as they come in.
We didn't get to any family backpacks or camping trips this year - in fact, Katie hasn't been in a tent since 2016. That needs to be fixed. She and I will be doing some light training this year, gear and distance tests, with the intention of doing Havasu Falls in the late summer. I'm looking forward to getting her to La Barge Box and (maybe) the Mazzies for these tests.
Both boys are old enough for backpacking now so I'm planning to get them out in the Superstitions this spring for some short tests (First Water, Hackberry, etc) and then maybe a long summer weekend up on the Rim. We would stick to within a few miles from the car, and I'm not sure how sleeping in a tent will work out, though I'm sure we'd figure it out. Charlotte will have to wait a few years before we can do a true family camping trip; the thought of fitting a pack 'n play in a tent seems a bit extreme.
It'd be nice to do some other big trips with the family, now that I have PTO through work and Noah has designated days out of school. A long weekend in Flagstaff, a trip out to California, or maybe even a drive up to Utah would all be more fun then a busy amusement park. Though I'm sure DisneyLand will be in our future soon enough.
This year hasn't been bad on the health front. I've managed to keep most of the weight I lost in 2016 off and have been ramping up my workouts accordingly, focusing on weights lifting and plyo. I like to think that the extreme distances that I've been hiking is probably thanks to my daily exercises. However, my back is pretty messed up and I haven't been able to run due to knee issues. Planning on spending some time this year with physical therapy and whatnot to get all that figured out.
So this year is more reasonable goals, I suppose, or at least more constrained. CAMRA is bound to take up the majority of my attention and I suspect that my solo hiking and backpacking will take a hit, which makes the family outings all the more important. If anything falls through I hope it's the R2R2R, as that project is something I can easily kick to next year without any big sacrifices.