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So...the hike

Was three miles, I'll give them that. But not three miles round trip, three miles one way. From the Gold Canyon foothills up into the edges of the Superstition peaks. Yeah, up. It was a gradual rise, but the whole trail was littered with round, smooth, loose stones and so you had to keep your eyes on your feet so you knew where to step next. No taking in the chapparal-covered hillsides and carved mesa peaks.

I took some pictures, which I'll post later, but I'm not sure what they're pictures of. When I stopped for a drink of water and to catch my breath, I'd shoot something but the glare was so bad I'm not sure what I had in frame.

Temps were mid-80's, with a breeze. You know, when I imagined this "hike" in my head, I was back meandering through the Armstrong Woods vibing with Redwoods. There were no Redwoods here, of course, there was no tree cover at all. Just the fun Arizona sun.

There were about 18 people on this sojourn, and damned if I was going to be a wimp in front of them or go to all this trouble and not see the Native American petroglyphs at the bottom of the box top, so I kept climbing. I was pretty well exhausted, but I had my water and the paint-spattered cap I bought in Monaco, and my hair in a ponytail and a short-sleeved shirt and lots of sunscreen, so I was fine. Just grouchy, you know.

No more hikes with other human people. OK, maybe just me and another person. 'Cause see...here's the thing. I don't hike. Not really. I nature-walk. I meander deep into unpopulated places, enjoying the physical challenge, but the physical challenge isn't the point. The point is to find a place completely isolated, just me and nature, and then I vibe. A wee bit of exhaustion helps turn off the clutter of everyday thought. But in nature, after walking, I find that spiritual connection I can't get anywhere else, no church, no religion, and I sit for a long time and I bathe in it.

Now, when we got to the petroglyphs, it was a place of large boulders and cliffsides that had some shade and water in rock pools, and if I sat removed from the rest of the group and let the breeze flow over me, I could feel my vibe. It was nice. I realized it's been a long time since I got back into nature and did my thing. But it couldn't last long, because my friend Robin wanted me to join the others for idle chit-chat, and there were group photos to be taken and then the long trek back to the cars.

Downhill. Downhill's when I finally felt it in my knees. Not so bad, though. Not as bad as feeling your muscles and lungs burning doing the cardiovascular thing going uphill.

So I did a strenuous walk and I met some new people and I had a moment of vibing.

And then I went home and gorged on way too much Mexican food.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
rebekahroxanna
Mar. 30th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
Being outside is the most wonderful experience. I love the feeling.
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
Maybe you've got a bit of pagan in you as well?
rebekahroxanna
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Of course, but then again, if God is creator, then God is revealed in nature.
mamculuna
Mar. 30th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, good for you! Six miles up and down is hard. You earned all the Mexican food you want!
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
I found myself craving chips, salsa, and Margaritas when we finally made it to the petroglyphs. So did some of the other folks. One of us suggested we just lick our arms. LOL
cactuswatcher
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
On this side there is a nice walk of about 3 miles total, in and back, to the foot of an almost always dry waterfall in the White Tank Mountains. It's also got petroglyphs and rugged scenery, but it sounds like there is a lot less climbing and descending. My sister and I have done the walk with her dog. I've loved hiking, but don't know if I'm in any shape for six miles up and down any more.

Even for that shorter walk you have to bring water, in our case, both for ourselves and the dog.
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Seems like there are a lot of local hikes that are within a skip and a hop of my house. I want to try out South Mountain at some point, but that point may be in the Fall, now.
cactuswatcher
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
I hear about people climbing South Mountain and Piestewa Peak in August, and have to wonder if they have any sense at all. Enough people get in trouble in those places in the winter, by not bringing enough water and just by getting over-tired.
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
My friends that hike in the summer do it before/at dawn.
cactuswatcher
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Dawn is fine here. That is about 4:30 in the morning in summer. It's the people who start climbing at 10:00 a.m or later that amaze me.
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
Maybe they're heat-tolerant?
cactuswatcher
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
The ones who make it, and many do, must be.
ann1962
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
Glad you got in the vibing!
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 30th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
That made it worthwhile. But I have to say, if I'd known what it would actually be like before hand, I'd have begged off.
ann1962
Mar. 30th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
I doubt I'd have done 6 miles on loose stones.
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 30th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
It was kind of insane.
cornerofmadness
Mar. 30th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
very nice. i would have loved to have done this
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 30th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Be my guest. Next time, you can go, and I'll stay home and write.

; )
cornerofmadness
Mar. 30th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
hahahaha, if i ever come out there, it's a deal
a2zmom
Mar. 31st, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
But you did it and that's the thing!
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 31st, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
That's why I insisted on photographic evidence. Now I'm waiting for the photo swap as soon as other people upload their pics.
(Deleted comment)
masqthephlsphr
Mar. 31st, 2009 02:54 am (UTC)
Mild suffering is OK. It has a long history in religions all over the world because it induces altered states of consciousness.

Major suffering? Not so much.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )