Trail Through Patagonia

El Inde (May 10, 2020) by Devyn Edelstein

Patagonia has a lot of visitors who walk a long way to spend a short time there.

Former professional cyclist Chuck Veylupek is one of them. He passed through Patagonia in February, eight days into a four-month, 800-mile trek on the Arizona Trail.

Veylupek, 51 years old, has a beard, grey hair, and the long, lean body of a professional athlete.

He took a break at the Patagonia Public Library to check in with family members and loved ones via email. He sat down, breathing heavily after shedding his backpack full of food, clothes, and other necessities, and took a huge sip of water. He wiped his bow, pushed back his graying hair and sighed.

Veylupek said he takes his time traveling from town to town.

“What really is going on is you are doing this long hike, in the case of the Arizona Trail, 800 miles, but you are really dividing it into town-to-town excursions, essentially,” he says.

Veylupek is not really in a rush to get to his destination, so he spends time exploring each town. “If you are traveling light, you are moving a little quicker to get to the next town. I am traveling heavy right now — plenty of food.”

Veylupek says he understands that the lifestyle is not for everyone.

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