Saturday, November 29, 2014

Piestewa Peak & New Shoes

Weather:  68°, sunny

Time:  25 minutes

About this hike:  I just did not have the patience today to deal with the crowds that are sure to be at Camelback Echo Canyon.  Doubtful that my little secret spot would have their parking garage open today either.  Add in the fact that I'm re-gaining my appreciation for Piestewa Peak (was my spot for over a year when Echo was closed), and this morning's hike was all but decided for me.

Upon arrival I chose to park on a residential side street assuming the main lots would be full. The trailhead lot actually had a few spots available. However, you wouldn't know it from the crowd on the mountain. From their conversations you could tell a lot were tourists/visitors, likely hiking off Thanksgiving feasts.

So achieving a 25 minute time was no easy task.  I had to push hard and be aggressive around some of these slower tourists.  Despite cooler temps, I had to stop a few times too.  Disappointing since at one time I could go at this mountain without a rest til the summit.

I broke in a Black Friday gift to myself of new Coleman hiking shoes.  I'm leery of the brand even if they are renown for their camping gear.  However, for the first hike the Colemans were comfortable with good padding in the sole and a solid rubber toe.  We'll see how they hold up.  These are to replace a cheap pair of Denalis which lasted me since March and went thru Grand Canyon and countless other strenuous hikes.  The uppers are still in great condition but the soles are hurting my feet now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful for Camelback

Weather:  71°, sunny

Time:  31.5 minutes

About this hike:  Crowded the day before Thanksgiving.  I don't know if extra paranoia or what, but it seemed like everyone was staring at me and/or purposely getting in my way.  Annoying at times.

Regardless, lots to be thankful for--great weather, the ability to hike, that Echo Canyon is open again, that parking isn't metered at the trailhead...

Speaking of parking, I'm thankful I found a good spot.  It was a little tough to come by when I arrived.  Lot was pretty open by the time I got back to the trailhead.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Unexpectedly Piestewa

Weather:  70°, sunny

Time:  ~25 minutes

About this hike:  Planned on going to Camelback around 11:30am.  I arrived at Echo Canyon and the line of cars waiting to get in was out to the traffic circle on Tatum Blvd.  I turned around at the guard shack and went to my favorite "secret" parking spot whose gates were all closed.

Instead of being pissed I was surprisingly docile as I drove down Lincoln St. to Piestewa Peak.  Piestewa was not nearly as packed and a trail-head parking spot was an easy score.  I'm so glad I did Piestewa today...

At the summit two friends asked me to get a picture of them together.  We ended up chatting for over an hour at the summit and then hiked down together.  A big reason I maintain this blog (besides having a count of all my hikes) is because so many hikes hold something interesting and unique.

So yeah, today was a good pre-Turkey Day hike.  With reduced work hours this coming week, here's hoping for a few more.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Been a While--Piestewa by Night

Weather:  70°, sunset

About this hike:  Got to experience this special sunset-and-city-lights hike with somebody very special :)  On the way down we used headlamps and thank God nobody was hurt.  There were a few other hikers lighting up the hillside but overall a quiet night on Piestewa.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Best Kind of Monday....

Weather:  70°, sunny

About this hike:  Got to introduce someone special  to their first Camelback hike :)  Was a cooler day, and the crowd was surprisingly heavy for a Monday.  Granted, parking wasn't hard to find, but still, this place is not abandoned even on a weekday.  A very enjoyable hike.