Friday, April 29, 2016

Another Hike, Another Rescue - Piestewa

Weather:  73°, sunny

Time:  23 minutes

About this hike:  I have been busy hiking this week!  A beautiful morning warranted a trip up to Piestewa.  It was a little crowded at the summit, but the trails weren't too bad.

On my trip down I saw a group sitting just off to the side and talking about where they were from (tourists!).  I didn't think much of it until I heard someone say, "She's injured and waiting for the police..."  Not soon thereafter from my perch still above the parking area, I saw Phoenix Fire start rolling in, with enough fire engines to extinguish a high-rise blaze.  From the group's demeanor, I'm guessing the injuries weren't too severe, but will watch the news today to see if they report the story.

Otherwise an enjoyable, routine Piestewa climb...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Camelback Again!

Weather:  76°, sunny, breezy

Time:  29 minutes

About this hike:  My schedule this week—plus cool temps—have allowed two afternoon hikes at Camelback.  Today was largely a repeat of Tuesday's hike:  Not record-breaking, but under 30 minutes and uneventful.

It's good to be back at my favorite mountain.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Back on the Camel

Weather:  76°, sunny, breezy

Time:  29 minutes

About this hike:  It has been a while since I've visited the Camel's back!  My main reason has just been the crowded parking situation, which reaches an apex during March/April high season.  I favor Piestewa which has a better parking situation and abundant residential streets surrounding it.

This afternoon I had a little time to spare and I figured a weekday afternoon wouldn't be too crowded.  Factor in cooler temps, and it was a recipe for a perfect Camelback climb!

It's good to see that I'm still in the Under-30 Club, albeit by a slim margin.  Otherwise, this was an enjoyable, routine hike.  Always good to be back!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Quick Piestewa

Weather:  79°, sunny

Time:  23.5 minutes

About this hike:  It was hot even as I got an early start this Friday morning.  Parking was plentiful, and the trails weren't overly crowded.  I'll say this was a boring, routine hike.  Due to time constraints I merely touched the summit and headed back down; there was no time for relaxation today.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday at Piestewa

Weather:  75°, sunny, breezy

Time:  24 minutes

About this hike:  My cell phone kept ringing throughout this hike.  Therefore, my 24 minute time is a guesstimate.  It was not terribly crowded this Friday morning.  I enjoyed cool (by April standards!), breezy conditions this morning as a low-pressure system moves in.

Here's hoping the wind eliminates some of the smog around The Valley.  Instead of a brown cloud, today was some of the worst haze I've ever seen.  South Mountain was barely visible.  Hard to believe less than a week ago our atmosphere was being cleared by glorious rain.

Overall an enjoyable, routine hike today.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Breezy Saturday at Piestewa

Weather:  75°, sunny, breezy

Time:  23.5 minutes

About this hike:  Rain yesterday—finally!  The air was humid and you could still smell that wonderful "wet desert" smell all around Piestewa.  There were even a few spots of standing water on the trails.

While the humidity was definitely bumped up, it was a great Saturday for a hike.  The sun was often obscured by broken clouds and there was a cool breeze.  Some hikers took advantage of the breeze and were flying a kite off the side of the mountain.  At least they worked their way off the trail instead of blocking hikers...

Overall a very enjoyable Saturday morning hike!

A kite flies above Phoenix from Piestewa Peak

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Clear Skies and Trails at Piestewa

Weather:  75°, sunny, a little breeze

Time:  23 minutes

About this hike:  It's been a while since I've hiked. Really it's a combination of factors:  Spring Break crowds, starting a new (part-time, temporary) job, and helping with a move... Needless to say I've been kept busy over the past few weeks. Glad to see this little break hasn't cost me in the time/endurance department.

Regardless, I got back to Piestewa this morning.  For what I expected to be a crowded Saturday it wasn't very congested on the trails.  The summit was busy, but not overwhelmingly so.

We've been in a very dry stretch of weather and yet The Valley was the clearest I've seen in a while.  Pollution levels are apparently low, and even the White Tanks way out west were clearly visible.  The East Valley toward Superstition Mtn. was a bit hazier.

I parked in the "Beverly Hills," and upon returning to my car an old Toyota Sienna minivan was parked about an inch off my back bumper.  An inch may be a generous guestimate... I documented the whole thing and got the van's plate number, but it does not appear my car was hit...thankfully. Proves that no matter how carefully and far away you park someone will always find a way to try and hit your car :-(