Back in Mesa. And it’s hiking time. Our first hike is traditionally on in Usery State Park. It’s shorter, has less elevation and the views are pretty good. We are so out of hiking shape when we get to Mesa that an easy hike is the one for us. This year it has been even worse. Usually we at least walk a lot in Iowa but with refrigerator, RV and Jeep problems, we have not had much time even to walk.
It’s hot down here - the Phoenix area is setting several records as far as high temps are concerned. So: short hike, early start - that’s the way to go. Judging by the parking lot when we arrived, everyone else had the same idea. But we soon lost most of them by the time we had gotten 2 miles out and everyone else had taken another trail. When we got to the other side of the mountain, we saw only 5 others.
One of the iconic sights here is the white rock ‘PHOENIX’ and an arrow that someone has put on a nearby mountain to show airplane pilots where the Phoenix airport is.
Nice start to the day. Not too hot yet, sunny and back to the desert for hiking.
I do love desert hiking and this is definitely desert here.
We even found an ocotillo bloom along the way.
Love how the spines catch the morning sun.
Lots of cholla with lots of little babies getting ready to jump on unsuspecting hikers who happen to brush their way.
Nice bench to sit on and look over the valley. Thanks to Virginia from Marthaville, LA.
The hike circles around the Pass Mountain and when we got to the other side, we had views of the mountains in the distance.
It’s still pretty early and the sun hasn’t risen enough to highlight these mountains in their best light. Last year we were a bit later in the day and that second mountain from the right looked like this.
Finally, we reached the pass and time for a bite to eat and a rest before we head down. From here it’s all down hill - until the last mile or so. Is this a trail? Looks like rock to me. That’s Scottsdale and Phoenix in the distance.
OK, I said it was mostly downhill from here. Oh, sure, there are some washes that we go down into but come right out of but mostly it’s downhill. That was my memory and, as I age, my memory plays tricks. And, this time, it was a doozie. Did I remember that the last mile was uphill? Absolutely NOT.
It was 95°.
The sun was beating down.
There was no shade.
My legs were screaming for relief.
But I finally found a flat rock on which I could sit.
Ahhh. Then I spied a stop sign ahead of us amidst the cacti. Sure enough, our car was right over there. Whew, I made it. Compare how I feel now with how I started out.
I welcomed this sight - a drinking fountain. Oops, it’s not working.
And, I even managed to smile and say ‘hello’ and ‘have a good hike’ to the young couple in the parking lot, just starting out up the trail.
Glad I’m not them.
Ah, first hike in the books. Now I’m in shape. Ha, Ha. Yeah, right.
'Just because you're following a well-marked trail, doesn't mean that whoever made it knew where they were going.'