April 2nd, 2016 ~ Day 8
It’s a Saturday night and I decide to go hiking. I had a busy day today, running the kids around everywhere, I couldn’t make it to the trails earlier. So here I am, continuing to reach my goal, on an evening hike at Thunderbird Mountain. Parking at the lot on 59th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road, I chose to do the north west mountain this time. My first time on this trail and only at the beginning of this journey. I used to hike this trail all the time. It’s the longest loop of the three mountains, about three and a half miles, and it usually takes me an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. I don’t get on this side often enough.
Beginning on the Cholla Loop, I headed up the switchbacks on the north side of the mountain. I made it to the peak, where the American Flag stands tall in a pile of rocks. The sun was beginning to set over the mountainside, as I thought of a friend whose son was being taken off the machines that were allowing him to live.
It was a beautiful sunset! This hike was so worth it! It started getting dark fast once the sun was on the other side of the White Tank Mountains. I was worried I was going to have a ticket on my car since the park closes at sunset, so I decided to pick up the pace.
As I hiked along the south side of the mountain, I imposed upon a snake. I never saw it, but I definitely heard the rattler snake hiss at me. That got my heart-rate jumping and I began running. My first encounter on a 365 day journey. Hopefully this will be the only one.
The sky began to get dark and silly me didn’t bring a headlamp. I had to slow my pace so I could see where I was going. I crossed over the bridge that joins two of the mountains, ending my hike on the Coach Whip Trail. I made it safely back to my car. There wasn’t a ticket on my car, thank God! I don’t know if I will go this late again, at least not alone. I’m learning it all by trial and error. Still, it was a beautiful day for a hike.
I later learned at 6:22 pm, just as the sun was beginning to set, my friend lost his son. May he rest in peace and may my friend find comfort through this most difficult time.
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