Day 16 ~ Groom Creek Loop Trail #307 Prescott, AZ

April 10th, 2016 ~ Day 16

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I headed up to Prescott today for my first hike with the Arizona Strong Hikers, another Meetup group that I belong to. Prescott is about an hour and a half north of Phoenix. Wanting to get out of the heat of the valley, I signed up to do a hike I have never done before, the Groom Creek Loop Trail #307. This hike is just over nine miles with a 1500-foot elevation gain. I wanted to add more miles to my journey, so I thought this would be the perfect day and the perfect hike! On the drive up, I noticed the clouds covering the mountains to the west and wondered if I’d be lucky enough to hike through them.

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We didn’t get the hike started until 10:30 a.m. Coming to this Meetup, I was able to see friends who I hadn’t seen in a while, Cindy, Howard and Lori. Howard and I talked about up to Everest Base Camp hike next May. A dream an old friend had introduced me to, one that I will one day accomplish, hopefully in May!

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It was another amazingly beautiful day on the mountain! The trail was beautifully decorated with pine trees. The smell of the pine permeated the air. I was enjoying the beauty that surrounded me as I hiked this trail, although at a much faster pace than I would have ever assumed.

I soon realized why this group named themselves the Strong Hikers, they were fast and I couldn’t keep up. After the first 16-minute mile, while going uphill, I decided there was no way I was going to try and keep up with them. I let them go on ahead and hiked the trail in solitude at my 19-20-minute mile. Peacefully enjoying my surroundings.

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There were so many pine needles on the trail. Since it is spring, I wonder if these were from the fall season. I’m not sure what time of year the needles fall to the ground. I only know it only added to the beauty that surrounded me.

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Alone, I stopped to take a break. Being in the forest always reminds me of my childhood. It especially reminds me of the summers I spent growing up in Michigan. In Michigan, there are tall pine trees everywhere you turn. Great memories of camping and fishing with my family.

It was a chilly day up north with a little bit of rain. There wasn’t too much rain, just a little sprinkle, but enough to get me wet. I’m grateful for the new down jacket I recently purchased. Today is my first time wearing it. Kept me nice and warm, and I’m still grateful for the change from all my hot desert hiking.

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The clouds were extremely low today, and I received my wish. The clouds that were hanging over the mountain on my drive up were now hanging over the trail I was hiking.

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The clouds were so low, I actually was hiking through them. Amazing! I can’t say I’ve ever done that. I love finding new things on a trail. Having never been here, I had no idea what to expect, but I never would have expected this.

Shortly after mile six, I made it to the fire tower, where the rest of the group had been taking a break. Since we were now going to be heading downhill, I was able to keep up with the group making for the last 3.5-miles, a 16-minute mile yet again.

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One last photo of the clouds hanging over the mountain tops. A beautiful and amazing sight to see. I’m so grateful to have come north for this awesome adventurous hike! With the heat of the valley coming in, if I don’t hike early in the morning, north is where I’ll be. There are so many places to go in the next year, I can’t wait to share all my adventures!

Join me on my journey of hiking every day for 365 days, to see all that I can see! Never miss out on a post and “like” me on Facebook , check out my videos on YouTube, and for more photos follow me on Flick and Instagram!

 

 

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