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.)