Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Back at Camelback

Weather:  85°, sunny

Time:  32 minutes

About this hike:  The first day following Memorial Day...for all intents and purposes it's the unofficial beginning of the summer season. For me today feels like the last day of summer vacation... I've been on 'fun-employment' and then part-time 'under-employment' for the past 6 months since losing my job with American Airlines. In addition to job searching, I used much of my free time to hike. I set some new records. I (unintentionally) lost a few pounds. Hiking every morning at one our City's mountains was a dream come true...

Tomorrow I begin a new full-time job, so my hiking time will be relegated to weekends, holidays, and hot summer evenings (maybe).  But really, with this coming weekend's highs projected to be about 115°, I don't think I'd be willing to hike anyway...

So...about today's hike.  I can have a little grace and mercy (but not much!) on myself considering that I haven't hiked in nearly a month, and it was hot out today.  I've taken a hiking hiatus while letting my left knee recover from the bruising and bashing it took in early May.  Thankfully it's all better, although I did wear a knee brace on it as a precaution.

Today's Camelback hike was otherwise uncrowded and uneventful—just the way I like them to be.  It was good to be back at my favorite mountain.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Wild Animals and an Injury - Piestewa

Weather:  75°, sunny, windy

Time:  24 minutes

About this hike:  This was an eventful hike.  At the summit there were several friendly squirrels and chipmunks.  One squirrel was making me particularly nervous because he was too friendly and got way too close.  So I took my water bottle and sprayed him.  Instead of running away, he and his chipmunk  buddy loved it, and started lapping up the water.  I guess that's desert squirrels for you...

On the way down I completely lost my footing and slipped. I came down hard on a concrete/rock area right on my left knee.  I skinned the knee up and it's a little bruised, but I'm hopeful it's not a fracture (which would be a miracle considering how hard I landed).  I finished my hike and aside from a little residual soreness, my knee seems fine.  I even came home and lifted weights afterward.  Fingers crossed this is a non-issue after a few days of ice and rest.  I don't have time for crutches and injuries.  Typically I'm such a careful hiker, but no matter how careful you are stuff happens :(

Squirrel and chipmunk loving the water I sprayed at them