It’s been a minute since my last blog because…IVE BEEN WORKING! For those of you who don’t know, some paperwork was delayed when we first moved to Arizona, so my start date was pushed back 2 weeks. I started working two weeks ago and LOVE my job. The people are friendly, the job is slow paced, which is a nice change, and I look forward to going in every day that I work.
Last Saturday Tony and I went on another hike. This time we tried Camelback Mountain. We heard this was a must do hike while we were in the area.
Here are some other things we heard about the hike:
- It is straight up. I heard on more than one occasion that we would truly be climbing a mountain. SOUNDS EXCITING TO ME!
- There is a bee problem. I googled this fact and found out that someone fell to their death a while back because of swarms of bees chasing him.
- Hikers are rescued daily by helicopter because of not being able to finish the hike for a number of reasons (fractured ankle, heat exhaustion, or not enough water just to name a few)
- It’s a beautiful view at the top.
We decided to only listen to the last fact, grabbed two cliff bars, two bottles of water, and headed out for the day to celebrate our 6 month anniversary!
When we arrived we chose to do the Cholla trail, which is described as “longer but not as steep”. We started up some “steps” which seemed like they were made out of the side of the mountain. Tony commented, “I wonder if this is what its like the whole way, this isn’t too bad!” Then we heard the first sound of a helicopter. Uh-oh, looks like they were going on their first rescue of the day.
We kept climbing and ended up walking a little ways on a path with some beautiful views and a straight drop off the side. After a little walking we came to an overlook where you could stop and take some pictures. To be honest, I thought this was either the top, or pretty close to it, when Tony said, “We have gone .18 miles, 1.2 miles left.”
Alrighty then. Lets do this.
About ½ of the way to the top one of us exclaimed, “You know we don’t have to go ALL the way to the top.” While the other one of us said, “No way! What are we going to say? That we hiked half of camel back?!”
So we continued. More than once we saw individuals that had decided they had gone far enough and were going to wait right there until the rest of their group came back down.
We saw a few bachelorette parties that made it about half way and decided that was enough fun for them, and they would be turning around now.
About ¾ of the way to the top we realized it would be a straight up climb from that point on. We were definitely climbing up rocks, with no more paths in sight. Many times we wondered if we were still technically on the path, but thankfully there were LOTS of people hiking with us, so we figured if we were off the path, so were about 50 other people.
The hardest part of the hike, in my opinion, was hearing everyone coming DOWN saying, “its harder coming down than going up”.
BUT, after persevering, we made it to the top! In one piece, alive.
These hikes recently have made me so unbelievably grateful for a body that has the ability to withstand things like this, so that I can see views and enjoy these experiences in person. I think of people without legs, or someone crippled at a young age that could never experience the joy and thrill of climbing a mountain; and when you’re sweaty, hot, hungry, thirsty, dirty, and exhausted, it really forces you to be grateful for all that you have, even if it was just the two legs you were born with.
We took some fun pictures, ate our cliff bars, finished off a bottle of water, sat for a while at the edge of the mountain, and headed back down the mountain.
Contrary to what we heard the whole way up, the hike down was NOT harder than the way up. It could have been partly because we made some friends on the way down, which made the time pass a lot faster.
We met one girl who made fun of herself. Apparently she and her friend headed up the mountain in black leggings and their Starbucks, and only one of them brought a water bottle. She said “I must have looked like an idiot starting up this mountain, I looked about as basic as it gets”. It was nice to know there were people even less prepared for this hike than us.
The lesson from this hike: We will not be hiking again without purchasing a camelback.