Since you’re bound to have questions, here are some answers:
Q. What is Trail 100, and where is it?
A. Trail 100, also known as the Charles M. Christiansen Memorial Trail, is an official City of Phoenix trail that runs from near the northern edge of Mountain View Park at 9901 7th Ave in Phoenix to a small parking lot near 8700 N. Tatum Blvd further east in Phoenix. The trail gains about 780 feet of elevation, mostly over small hills, and is not considered strenuous. It connects several desert mountain parks, crossing tunnels under major streets and the AZ-51 Piestewa freeway. There are a number of connecting trails and user-created routes that intersect Trail 100, so stay alert and look for the trail posts to ensure you stay on the right route.
Q. Which direction do you recommend hiking from?
A. I hiked it west to east, but I don’t think it matters much.
Q. How did you get back to the other end of the trail?
A. We set up a car shuttle before we started. That involves dropping a second vehicle at the end of the trail, then taking a vehicle to the starting point. When we arrived at the finish, we drove that car back to the starting point to retrieve the other vehicle. Please keep in mind that you’ll need two completely sober drivers to pull this off.
There are some other ways to do this, of course. One is a key exchange, where you have two groups start at opposite ends and meet somewhere along the trail to exchange car keys.
Finally, you could also catch the bus back to your car.
Q. What kind of beer do you recommend for this challenge?
A. I recommend bringing something that you like to drink. I’m not sure I’d go with too heavy of a brew, nor one with too high of an ABV. I drank Kilt Lifter, which is a Scottish Red and clocks in at 6.0% ABV. Some people may prefer so-called summer or light beers instead.
Here’s a great list of Arizona craft breweries where you can find some tasty brews.
Q. How do you bring your beer?
A. Well, that’s entirely up to you, though I suggest that you don’t bring bottles. I decided to use an older Camelbak hydration bladder, though I assumed that it might adopt a permanent beer smell. I also carried some additional cans with an ice block to keep them cold. I think you could easily make due with refilling an nalgene-style water bottle, or even just drinking from the can—though I’d also recommend against walking around with an open beer.
Q. What if I puke?
A. Well, you’ll probably feel better afterwards. Just please make sure you spew well off the trail; no one wants to hike past vomit while they enjoy the outdoors.
Q. Are there any restrooms along the trail?
A. Yes. There are restrooms at both the North Mountain Visitor Center and at Dreamy Draw Park.
Q. Are there any bars along the trail?
A. Hmm…not exactly, so be sure to bring enough to finish the challenge. However, if you really do need to hit a bar along the way, head either north or south along Cave Creek Road—you’ll hit one soon enough.
Q. Is this legal?
A. I dunno, I never asked anyone. For liability purposes, I don’t recommend doing this; it’s probably against the rules and could put yourself or others at danger. Better consult your own attorney. I can’t be held accountable for your actions in attempting this obviously foolhardy endeavor. Whatever you do, don’t drive drunk.
Q. What hazards should I be careful about?
A. You should be careful about all of the normal hiking risks—slipping and/or falling, getting run over by a mountain biker, bitten by a snake, eaten by an unleashed dog, stung by an angry bees, knocked over by a douchey trail runner, and sunburned beyond recognition to name just a few. Here are some handy tips. And you’ll also need to be careful for problems caused by drinking—dehydration, terrible perception, and downright awful decision making. Oh, and that whole “this probably isn’t really legal” part, too. Remember, it’s not my fault if you do this and get hurt and/or arrested and/or lose your girlfriend or your inheritance.
Q. How long did you take to complete the Beer100? I bet I can beat your time!
A. The Beer100 is not a race. Don’t be an asshat and make this competitive. This challenge isn’t for “race-ists.”
Q. How can I support the Phoenix Mountains Preserve?
A. That’s a great question. I recommend checking out the Phoenix Mountains Preservation Council, the Save Our Mountains Foundation, the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance, or becoming an official Park Steward.
Q. Do you know of any clubs that love running with beer?
A. I’ve heard these folks can be fun.
Q. You didn’t answer my question.
A. Sorry, that’s not actually a question. Better try again.