The Origin of the Arizona Trail, as told by Darwin

Arizona Daily Sun (September 8, 2019) by Sam McManis

Off the trail and in captivity at the Kickstand Kafe, Darwin seems slightly uneasy, perhaps yearning for a return to his native habitat. His piercing blue eyes dart around when a big truck rumbles up North Humphreys Street, and he stops moving altogether when an ambulance, siren wailing, zooms past.

“So loud,” he says.

The sounds of civilization: so intrusive, so distracting. Just so, so much. An assault on the senses.

For someone who spends a vast swath of time immersed in nature and actually makes a living at it — his YouTube channel, “Darwin on the Trail,” had 204,013 subscribers at last count — Darwin perhaps can be excused for feeling corralled at a Flagstaff coffee shop to talk about the transcendent wonders of the Arizona Trail, the 800-mile path stretching from the Mexican border to the Utah state line that never ceases to be a source of self-discovery for him, the latest inspiration being an upcoming documentary on the trail.

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