The Desert Trail runs 656 miles through California. Steve Tabor of Alameda has alphabetized it into 26 weekend hikes, A to Z, starting at the Mexican border in winter. When he isn’t walking the barren landscape, Tabor, 58, is a pumper and operator at a vegetable oil refinery in Richmond.
“I got involved with a group called Desert Survivors, which is a desert protection organization. I became their president and started leading hikes for them. I got involved in the Desert Trail program, which was supposedly going to go from Mexico to Canada. They had no one to do the route work in California and Nevada.
For many years people were trying to figure out how to do this and there were many different concepts. One guy just wanted to carry no food and no water and try to do it. That doesn’t work for most people. We wanted to make it like a backpack trip that the majority of hikers would be able to do. I said, ‘Why don’t we just do it the way we’ve done it in Desert Survivors? Instead of having these 100-mile-long segments, have quick bites that people could do in two, three or four days. They should be able to carry enough water.’
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