Day 159 ~ Scarlett Canyon Phoenix, AZ

August 31st, 2016 ~ Day 159

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Today I met my friend Sam at Scarlett Canyon. I’ve only been to this mountain once before so we started out in the direction I had never been.

Heading north from the trailhead, we planned to do an easy loop around the mountain. There are no trail markers to tell you were to go, so we just followed what looked like a path.

Hugh boulders had come crashing down the mountain at some point in time. Walking through them made me feel small.

On the far northeast side of the mountain we came to a dead end. The mountain butted up against a fence and some commercial businesses. Looking up, we saw what we thought might be a trail, so we starting bouldering up the side of the mountain.

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We made it to a fairly decent road. At the top of this mountain is a radio signal for the Deer Valley Airport, so I’m assuming that’s what the road is for. The road continued up to the radio and we continued down around the mountain.

We came to another crossroads. Initially we started going uphill, then decided to turn around. Heading back we were able to find a trail going around the back side of the mountain.

Soon we were on flat ground again. Back to the trail I had hiked once before.

We missed the actual sunrise, but the little bit of color was still amazing. It was a great day for a hike!

Day 158 ~ Lookout Mountain Phoenix, AZ

August 30th, 2016 ~ Day 158

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It was dark when we arrived at the trailhead and you could see the crescent moon in the sky. A clear and cool morning. A beautiful day for a hike.

Eric and I hiked only the loop of Lookout Mountain today. Next time will head to the summit. I was trying to gain a little more mileage to make it to 100 miles for the month. Tomorrow is the last day and I’m only seven miles away.

We ended up with two miles, always due to my time constraints. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to do this everyday and still go to work daily. I know I’m a strong and determined person, but I am hoping this journey will make me just a little bit stronger.

Day 157 ~ Trails 100 and 306 Phoenix, AZ

August 29th, 2016 ~ Day 157

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With all the rain lately, it seemed like within only a week, we were walking through a forest. The bushes are green and covered in leaves. Usually you would be able to see the trail, more than what was ahead of you, but not today.

Today I noticed the Creosote Bush grew flowers. Is funny because I’ve been taking pictures of these flowers, just not realizing that they were on the Creosote.

Eric and I parked at the North Mountain Visitor Center and started out on Trail 100. The puddles from last Tuesdays hike had dried up.

It was a cool morning, much better than last night’s hike. About twenty degrees better.

Eric and I hiked a little over two miles. We didn’t get started until six. I needed my rest from the camping trip.

Day 156 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

August 28th, 2016 ~ Day 156

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100 degrees in the desert and I’m going hiking! Usually I stay out of the heat, but after packing up all our gear and driving the couple hours back home, I was tired.

Initially, we were going to stop somewhere in Payson to do a hike, but after we missed our turn, I decided a nap sounded better before a hike. So we headed home.

Once unpacked and kids were all cleaned, I took my nap. Love my weekend naps. I woke up around four, but decided not to go hiking till the evening.

Dreading going out in the heat, I left the house at six. Heading to Thunderbird, I took the easy short route. I was exhausted and it was hot. A mile and a half later, I was done.

I did get to see the sun setting, not completely, but enough to give me some bright and beautiful colors. A completely different feel than seeing the sun rising in the mornings like I usually see.

Day 155 ~ Forest Lakes, AZ

August 27th, 2016 ~ Day 155

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Camping up in Forest Lakes Arizona, we didn’t have an official trail to hike. It was much easier to just start walking through the woods than driving to a trail. Eric and I took the kids down what looked like a quad trail. Today’s hike has no name.

It’s beautiful up in Forest Lakes. So many pine trees. It rained most of the morning so we were hiking through some mud.

The scenery is so much different than in Phoenix. We saw a few brightly colored mushrooms, a frog and even some clovers. Of course there were pine needles everywhere and the smell of fresh rain and pine was in the air.

With kids, you can never go far with out them complaining. Although, I’m happy to share my journey with them. We only ended up with a mile hike. Still, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to continue on this journey, even if it is only a small hike.

Day 154 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

August 26th, 2016 ~ Day 154

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Woke up to the pouring rain and decided to wait awhile before going hiking. I still had to pack the car for our camping trip.

There were still dark clouds to the east at seven, so we decided to head west to Thunderbird. Today Eric and I took his daughter and her dog.

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It was a quick two mile hike around the mountain. Hanna hadn’t hiked in awhile, so I we took the easy loop without much uphill.

Now were off to cooler weather for a weekend of camping.

Day 153 ~ Lookout Mountain Phoenix, AZ

August 25th, 2016 ~ Day 153

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Another awesome Meetup with Trail Mix and Rene. Such a great group of people to share my mornings with.

Today we parked in the south side of the mountain at the 18th Street parking lot. Heading up the hill to do the circumference Trail 308. Once we mad it to the T, we headed east around the mountain where we saw yet another beautiful sunrise over the McDowell Mountains.

This is the side with the petroglyph Becky and Irina found last time. It’s a little bit of ancient history in the middle of a city.

We hadn’t even gone a mile and it was time for me to take off. Instead of heading back to the trailhead, I decided to continue the loop.

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After I left the group, I had about 35 minutes left to hike. I picked up my pace and continued on Trail 308 until I found a trail heading down the side of the mountain. I wasn’t sure if this was an actual trail or a wash, but I followed it.

Once on level ground I headed toward the houses. Unsure if there was a trail leading back, I stopped and asked a man for directions. He told me I could get back, but it’d take time. Time I didn’t have.

So this wonderful guy had me follow him back up the trail and lead me in the right direction. It proved to me, that even on a small mountain people can get lost.

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Day 152 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

August 24th, 2016 ~ Day 152

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Gorgeous skies this morning, still from the aftermath of yesterday’s rain. Today I parked off 67th Avenue to get the two and half miles in. I haven’t calculated how many miles I’ve done so far, in at least a week. I’m almost to the 500 mark, with only a 1000 to go.

Usually I look at the ground while hiking to watch where I’m going, but today I was mesmerized by the beauty of the skies. Stopping often to take pictures.
It was a quiet hike as I was by myself. One thing about hiking this side of Thunderbird Mountain, I always see the same familiar faces. It’s comforting.

A short quick hike still makes for a beautiful way to stay my day!

Day 151 ~ Charles M. Christiansen Trail 100 Phoenix, AZ

August 23rd, 2016 ~ Day 151

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As soon as I stepped out the door this morning the sky was dark, almost pitch black and I heard the thunder. It was so dark outside, and once I got on the road, it seemed the lighting surrounded me. I was a little nervous. The rain came pouring down as I went to pick up Eric.

Parking at the North Mountain Visitor Center, once we arrived, it was only a light sprinkle and it didn’t last long. It was still somewhat dark, but you could see the storm clouds above heading east.

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Today was the fifth and final leg of the rock journey with Rene and Trail Mix. We had a nice sized group, with a few new people. I’m sure I’ve hiked with them at one time or another, but new to these morning hikes I love so much.

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From the monsoon reasons that came just before we arrived, we were blessed to find water on the trail. Never in the eight years I’ve lived here have I seen water in this area. It’s a little extra surprise, that had I not been hiking every day, I would have missed.

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Although you could only see a reflection of the sun rising off the clouds, it was still so beautiful. I’ve never seen the sky this color blue.

After our initial sprinkle at the trailhead, the skies opened up for us and there wasn’t another drop of rain. The best part, it was only 77 degrees. I was actually a little chilly.

Eric and I had to turn around before the end of the hike to get back for school, but we made it almost three miles. I’m grateful I was able to be a small part of this 25 mile journey. I look forward to when I get the opportunity to hike the entire trail end to end in one day. Soon, very soon. 😊

Day 150 ~ Shaw Butte Trail 306 Phoenix, AZ

August 22nd, 2016 ~ Day 150

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Another beautiful sunrise over the mountains this morning. Parking off Central south of Thunderbird, Eric and I hiked Shaw Butte Trail 306. Arriving just before six, it seemed this morning was much cooler.

The trail starts out going uphill immediately. Even with the cooler temperatures, the workout can get you sweating quickly.

I had a little more time today, so we planned to do the whole loop. I wanted to take pictures of the old restaurant Cloud 9, which is on the backside of the mountain.

From what I’ve read Cloud 9, was originally a home that was turned into a restaurant and had burned down in the late 60’s. They never bothered to restore the building after the fire.

What you see in the pictures are all that remains. I thought 9 had been here before, but everything I saw today seemed so foreign to me. I don’t remember the stairs or the ledge facing the city. It was really interesting to see a little piece of history.

From Cloud 9 we headed down the backside of the mountain. I’m not sure I’d is from the storms, but the trail was very rocky. Slipping and sliding, my knees were killing me going down.

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Towards the end of our hike, we got the pleasure of seeing a horse on the trail. It’s nice to have little surprises while hiking. Makes each hike an adventure.

I can’t believe it’s been 150 days and far I’ve come. Awonderful journey in this amazing life! Our hike totaled 3.8 miles. A great way to start the day!