Monday, April 26, 2010


Suzanne and I went hiking through Aravaipa Canyon last Friday. We've been there once before and Suzanne drove both times. I should really get a map and figure out exactly where we were. Several people have asked and I don't really pay attention when I don't drive. I know we drove through Superior and drove through Kearney and it was about 2 1/2 hours total. I can't pinpoint it any closer than that. But it is a pretty drive and it is a GORGEOUS canyon!
We put this on the calendar a while back because you need a permit to get in the canyon and there is a limit of 20 people per day. So we planned it about the same time we went last year. Last year it was hot and we saw lots of wildlife (javelinas and a huge scary snake). So this year we left at the crack of dawn to get there before the heat of the day. When we arrived at 9:30 am, we opened the car door and questioned whether or not we could do a hike involving splashing through water all day because it was COLD outside.
Is this just gorgeous or what?? The hike consists of some trails that are along the banks of the creek, then you have to cross over to the other side. The water is very shallow, probably no more than a foot deep and most often shallow enough to just cover our shoes. It was chilly at first, but after about 15 minutes of hiking, we were warming up and never did feel cold through the day (although we did keep our light jackets on all day). A plus side to the cold -- no snakes!
I chose to wear tan and green. Blend in, natural colors, be one with nature, etc . . .
Suzanne on the other hand wore an outfit that said, If we get lost in this canyon, I hope someone can spot me! The hike is very level. It just follows the creek bed so there are no elevation changes outside of climbing up and down the banks of the creek. But there is definitely a workout factor in walking on a bed of rocks and trudging through sand. We had to make regular stops to dump out the little collection of gravel out of our shoes. That gets a bit uncomfortable after a while.
The canyon is 11 miles through to the other end. I think Suzanne calculated that we hiked just short of the halfway mark and then back . . . so roughly 8 or 9 miles?
It started to rain at one point in the day. We climbed up under a pathetic little tree next to the cliff wall and pretended that we were protected from the elements. Suzanne is the eternal optimist. Half the sky was perfectly blue and clear and the other half had ominous dark storm clouds. She just said - "look how clear the sky is, the rain will stop in a few minutes." I took the 'glass is half empty' thought pattern into my head and was wondering how we could stay dry and comfortable if we were trapped in an uninhabited canyon overnight, caught in a storm. But I guess the glass really was half full because the rain stopped after about 10 minutes and the sun was out off and on through the rest of the afternoon.
It couldn't have been a better day.
As we were talking all day while driving and hiking, I discovered that my friend has an addiction. Seriously, we may need to stage an intervention. We were talking about what we packed to make sure we had everything we needed for the day. And you know what was in her bag? A book. That's right . . . . a book. Why in the world would you need a book on a day like today? She was driving. We were going to be hiking. Then driving again. Suzanne, when exactly did you think you would be reading? She kind of said it was impulsive - that she can't go anywhere without a book. What if she gets somewhere early and has a few minutes to spare? What if she breaks down on the road and has to wait for the mechanic? What if, what if, what if? Ok, so what if we break down and have to wait for a mechanic. Are you really going to get out your book and read? Would you want me to just sit politely and quietly in your car for an hour so you can read while we wait for the mechanic? Were you going to get your book out on our hike and sit on a rock somewhere and read? I just thought that was funny that you were compelled to bring a book on our day trip. (The funny thing is, after we had discussed this and had a laugh about it, we got home and cleaned up and Suzanne was meeting some people for dinner at a restaurant and got there 10 minutes early and DIDN'T have a book with her. haha)
Anyway, we are going back to Aravaipa Canyon in September if anyone wants to go. We are getting a permit for a carload of people. Any takers?
The next morning, I had to be back out at the crack of dawn again. The women in our stake were going up to girls camp to preview the hiking trails and to go through the supplies in the storage closets up there. I ended up hiking another 5 or 6 miles near the always beautiful Mogollon Rim. The youth camp leaders went with us and two of the 16 year old girls led our hike. I love the fact that the youth can take the reins and take on leadership at camp. We've got a history of strong youth leadership in our stake and I love seeing the girls take charge. They do such a great job.
After two days of hiking, Sunday came around and we all passed out for a wonderful Sunday afternoon nap. Sometimes our house looks like there has been a carbon monoxide poisoning with all the sleeping, nearly unconscious bodies all over the beds and couches. But what is Sunday if not a day of rest? Sadly, a couple of Melanie's friends came over for lunch (well, not sadly that they came for lunch . . . ) but after lunch I thought they were going to get out board games so I layed down. When I woke up hours later, I found out they were too polite to ask Melanie if we could give them a ride home and they walked home. (Ok, it is a walkable distance, but still . . . sorry Brennan and Jordan.)
So how was your weekend??


Suzanne Barker said...

Hilarious! I confess, I am a book addict! And I did suffer not having it with me later.
No photos from the camp hikes?

Cynthia said...

Nope, didn't even think to take my camera or to pull out my phone camera.

Lauri said...

That sounds like a great hike. I'm sad that Spring in Arizona has passes and I haven't been for any hikes.

What did I do last weekend, you ask? Nothing that fun, for sure.

Roxy said...

Mom! I want to go in September! That hike looks amazing

bandanamomtoo said...

This looks awesome, and please sign me up for September.

And thanks for feeding my children on Sunday - they are used to passed out adults on Sunday afternoon and they did not mind walking home! They appreciated being fed!

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