Sunday, November 16, 2008

getting some fresh air

I've been out hiking the last few weeks. I thought I'd carry a camera with me one day to see what I could see. Although there are great views in every direction, I find I mostly just keep my eye on the trail. Well, that is probably not an accurate photo of what I am seeing. Mostly it is just this: The trail is so very rocky, I have to carefully watch my step. I have a slight fear of stumbling and busting my kneecap in two or cracking my tail bone. I don't need the population of the whole valley "tsk-tsk"-ing me as I am being air evac-ed off the mountain on the 5 o'clock news. So I just watch my every step. But once in a while I stop and look up and enjoy the views.Ok, I'm not a great photographer, but that is downtown Phoenix amidst all the smog. And even with the smog, it is a very pretty view in real life.
I don't know why I haven't used these trails and enjoyed these mountains very much over the years. I live right by them. I could conceivably walk to the Phoenix Mountain Preserves from my house. (But if I walked there, by the time I arrived I would be done with my walk so what would be the point of that?) Anyway, here is the view from my front yard over the neighbor's roof. And I drive right past them every single day of my life carpooling the kids around.
I hiked up Shaw Butte the other day. I found some curious things on my walk. This:
I couldn't figure out what a manhole was doing on a dirt trail on the side of a desert mountain. As it turns out, there are radio towers and some utility buildings on the top of this particular mountain. So I suppose there are things that need to be wired, plumbed, drained and flushed up there. Another curious thing I ran across:
What the heck? Hiking a strenuous summit trail and smoking along the way? I don't get it.
Also - evidence of another unhealthy hiker. A bag of Cheetos. Not only was this empty bag thrown aside, but there was a trail of Cheetos for a significant section of the hill. Was there an issue of leaving a trail of crumbs to find their way back? I found it helpful to just follow the trail markers, but I guess everyone has their own system. Maybe it was just a clumsy Cheeto Eater.
Cindi and I are hiking a 4 mile summit trail tomorrow morning. (There are no bathrooms around for miles, so we are planning on some speedy hiking. Wish us luck.)


amelia said...

Ha, cigarettes on a mountain trail always confuse me too. I mean really, doesn't that make hiking 10 times harder?

Lauri said...

Way to go. It's nice to be so close and I love looking at the Phoenix skyline.

I'll have to have you come out here sometime and hike Superstition with me. There are some great hikes out this way too.

Anonymous said...

I admire your ambition!

Anonymous said...

SUCCESS! (on all fronts; stamina, cardio-vascular function, unmolested kneecaps and ample water intake on the trail without concern or fear...)