Four months ago I wrote a post about a fellow hiker by the name of Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva. We had previously met in August last year on the Continental Divide Trail. In early April, Dirtmonger set out on an approximately 3000 mile (4828 km) trek around the southwest of the US that he named the Vagabond Loop (VL). The journey included the Arizona, Hayduke and Grand Enchantment Trails. Much of the VL was spent traversing trail-less wilderness in what were often extreme conditions…………the desert of New Mexico/Arizona  tends to be a little on the warmish side during summer!

Amongst all the amazing hiking accomplishments of 2013, in my opinion the VL stands out in terms of planning, difficulty and chameleon-like stealthiness; indeed, ranchers can be a tad touchy at times in regards to scruffy hikers tip-toeing across remote corners of their properties! Dirtmonger finished his loop this week, and is currently “warming down” on the 486 mile (782 km) Colorado Trail. A huge congrats on an amazing effort! Check out his blog at http://freedirtmonger.blogspot.com/.

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