Saturday, August 30, 2014

Celebration of Free Parking

Weather:  90°, sunny, breezy, notably less humid

Time:  33 minutes

About this hike:  It's going to be a hot one today and yet the heat didn't get to me nearly as much this morning.  Goes to show that humidity really is the factor that wears me down, because today was a lot less humid than my past few previous hikes.

Despite the temps the mountain was fairly crowded.  While parking wasn't hard to come by, personal space on the trails was a challenge.  A lot of out-of-towners here for the Labor Day holiday I imagine.

Last night it was announced that City of Phoenix is dropping the parking meter proposal at the mountain parks/preserves.  I am glad I wrote my elected officials and glad that citizens rallied on this one.  Yes, parking is a nightmare during high season in the winter.  But shouldn't we as a city celebrate these points of pride that visitors and locals alike come out in droves to enjoy?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Camelback 5 Times in 8 Days

Weather:  87°, sunny and humid

Time:  31 minutes

About this hike:  ASU is back to school and today is only a called-for high of 97.  I expected a huge crowd and foolishly jumped on the very first parking spot I saw.  That was completely unnecessary as the crowd was surprisingly light for a Saturday.  I guess the walk from the main road parking area to the trailhead was a nice warm up and cool down--not that it's at all far.  Give it a few more months and I'll be glad to find a parking spot at all!

Lighter crowds made for a nice hike.  I could see a flooded golf course in Scottsdale, reminder of all the rain we had earlier in the week (and subsequent cooler temps!).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rainy Reflections Atop Camelback

Weather:  80°, overcast, rain in the area, humid

Time:  32 minutes

About this hike:  Had a lot of rain overnight and throughout today.  I was fortunate to take advantage of a brief window of opportunity from 9:00am - noon.  The trails were surprisingly dry (just a few puddles) and the washes were dry as well.  Dark clouds enveloped the Valley to the north and east.  I got home just before noon--just in time for the next round of monsoon downpour to unleash.

While not crowded, it was far from deserted on the trails.  Bugs were a little nasty at the summit, as is expected after a rain.

I have had 4 great Camelback experiences this week during my "staycation" from work.  Tomorrow it's back to the office, but hopefully Saturday I'll be back at my mountain.

Cactus with a beautiful flower ring

Crazy monsoon clouds looking north toward Mummy Mountain

Monday, August 18, 2014

Just Missed Another TV Interview...

Weather:  88°, overcast and humid

Time:  31 minutes

About this hike:  Cooler and humid this morning--definitely helped improve my time by a few minutes.  There was rain last night as evidenced by mud and puddles.  The main trails were dry though.

I ended this hike just a few minutes too early.  Fox10 showed up and was interviewing the hikers right behind me.  I'm a devoted Ch. 10 fan and had to see which news anchor was doing the story. I just regret it wasn't me on camera telling my hiking tales.

This may be related to a flyer that was posted at the trailhead where the City of Phoenix is holding a public forum on adding parking meters.  I sure hope this gets struck down (again!).  I grabbed a copy of the flyer and plan to write the elected officials noted therein.  We'll see what comes of it.

Beautiful panorama looking north at Piestewa Pk., McDowells, & Four Peaks

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Weather:  92°, sunny, humid

Time:  34 minutes :-(

About this hike:  Was a typical summer Saturday morning--a little crowded but still plenty of parking.  The heat and a few slower hikers really dragged my time down.  It was mostly the heat, sorry to say.  Regardless, I never get bored of my favorite PHX mountain.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hot Friday

Weather:  92°, sunny, humid

Time:  Forgot my phone so no time taken, but it wasn't good!!

About this hike:  The heat and humidity continue to slow me down.  I'm sure I'd have been disappointed with a ~35 minute time to the top.  I have a few days off from work, and I took advantage of lighter crowds on this weekday morning.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hot & Muggy = Slow

Weather:  92°, sunny, humid

Time:  34 minutes

About this hike:  As the weather gets hotter and more muggy, my times get worse.  I have no choice but to stop and take a few breaks, especially in that last vertical section.  Could've been worse though, I could've been the person who puked all over the foot holds on the right-side hand rail going down.  Seriously gross.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Monsoon is Here

Weather:  87°, overcast, humid

Time:  31 minutes

About this hike:  I thought cooler temps and overcast skies would spur me on to a 30-or-less time this morning.  No such luck.  Actually felt a little tired and had to stop a few times.  The humidity definitely got to me.  Was a little busier this morning (people taking advantage of cooler temps?) but parking was still easy to come by.

There was a neat looking mist enveloping the Four Peaks and you could just barely see their pointy tops poking up thru it.  Regretfully I planned to take a picture when I reached the summit (didn't want to stop and slow down my time).  The mist had turned into clouds covering the entire mountains by the time I reached the top.  Overall uneventful but good hike.  I never get sick of my Camelback :)