Sunday, May 24, 2009

by the dawn's early light

I'm such a night owl. I generally have nothing to do with the pre-dawn hours. I even had to do some research to see what time the sun comes up these days. But I got an idea in my head to take a sunrise hike Saturday morning. I'm not sure why. It is definitely too hot to be going out later in the mornings as I have been doing all winter. I set my alarm for 4:25 am, left the house at 4:4o, arrived at the trail head at 4:50. I wanted to hit the trail the minute it began to be light enough to see. I thought I might be one of the first ones in the park. I was the 13th car in the parking lot. (Are these people crazy??) . I started hiking at 4:55. I supposed I would have a half hour or so of that magical early morning light.Obviously I don't know a thing about morning light. I walked along and took some pictures for about 5 minutes, then *poof* the whole world was light.Enough for that idea.
I walked the circumference trail around Piestewa Peak. I walked the east side before the sun actually came up, then once the sun did come up, I was on the shady side of the mountain, then just 20 minutes or so back to the car on the east side at the end. I was worried about the heat, but didn't need to be, it was overcast and rained a little bit. By the time I got back to the car, there was not a single parking space in the entire park, cars were waiting at the entrance to get in.
The first time Suzanne and I hiked this trail, I thought it would be a fairly easy trail, just walking around the base of the mountain. Little did I know you have to hike halfway up the summit trail before it veers off around the back of the mountain. Then the trail goes over another stiff climb at the other end to come back over into the park again. The summit trail is my least favorite area of the park. It is so very crowded, and it is more of a staircase composed of rock and concrete than a trail. Once we can get off that trail and around to the backside, it is quiet and beautiful with gorgeous views of the city.

In other areas of randomness around our house, apparently Rachel has some rabbits. In her room. In our house. And I didn't know. I don't know how some things happen in our house. They just happen. (Rachel, just don't let any baby rabbits "happen"!)

And the girls went to the Chihuly exhibit at the Botanical Gardens. I think this is the last week it is in town and definitely worth getting out there.

School is ending this week and I'm looking forward to a relaxing few days. This week will include a three day weekend, High School graduation, a birthday party, an awards banquet, a dinner fundraiser put on by the Young Women, some long overdue projects around the house and I think some general sleeping in. It doesn't sound relaxing when I write it down, but I'm not in charge of anything except making dinner and a birthday cake for Dave. That's not so hard. (Except for the fact that I have never made a decent birthday cake in my life.) Any ideas for a good - and easy - birthday cake idea for someone who is a little challenged in the icing a cake department?


Katie said...

You're not afraid to hike in the dark after that snake incident? Not a joke, I awake abruptly THREE TIMES the night after I read your post with the snake picture sweating profusely and breathing heavy because of snake nightmares.

Rachel was seriously sneaking rabbits? What's next? You better keep a closer eye on that girl.

Cynthia said...

So sorry Katie - I hope to never run into a snake like that again, however if I ever post about it, I will give you a pre-warning to scroll past the description/photo portion.

Lauri said...

Did you go for this walk in the middle of the night by yourself? You're crazy! And I'm not a big fan of 4:30 a.m. alarm clocks. What a trooper you are. Saturday morning was pleasant though, wasn't it? Only a few more days of that, I'm sure.

Lauri said...

Oh, and by the way, did Mel jump the fence to get that close to the Chihuly pieces? I'm sure we couldn't get that close to ANY of them when I was there.

Cynthia said...

Good question about Melanie. She said she didn't jump any fences, but there was possibly a "do not touch" sign that she is standing in front of for the photo.
And yes, I did go hiking by myself. It is a very busy park, I wasn't alone by any means. By 5:30 there were people on all the trails. It's a busy park on weekends and especially on holiday weekends. It was a bit lighter outside than the photos show. The mountain silouette was taken from the parking lot during those few minutes it was still too dark, and when I started walking it was light enough to see clearly. No worries.

Curtis Whipple said...

We must be on the same wavelength, but one wave off... I hiked that same trail on Friday morning at about 630 and it rained the whole way. It was quite pleasant.

Lindsey said...

I mights have a cake idea for you. I don't know if I would call it easy because it involves a lot of thin different colored layers, but the icing is a fudge sauce that you just drizzle over the cake and it doesn't have to look pretty! My kind of icing. Let me know if you want the recipe.

Cynthia said...

Curtis, My plan was to hike early Friday morning, but when I woke up I realized it was still raining from the night before and I was afraid of how muddy it might be. So I shut off my alarm and went back to sleep. That would have been funny to run into you over here in my neighborhood.
And Lindsey -- yes. That is just what I need.

Suzanne Barker said...

Great photos Cindy! I feel bad that Katie had nightmares about our snake. I wonder how she would have done if she had been me and almost stepped on it! Certainly gave me palpitations!
And you certainly are a trooper!