September 10th, 2016 ~ Day 169
Starting out at Apache Wash Trailhead, I attempted to do six of the Phoenix Seven Summits. This was a Meetup with the Strong Hikers, with Cindy as our awesome leader.
I met Cindy a couple years ago hiking the National Trail. We were apart of a group of four hikers with a Meetup for HHH, and took off ahead of the crowd trying to get a good pace. We definitely kept a great pace and somewhere along the way we missed our turn. Our planned 13 mile hike had become an 18 mile hike. I’ll never forget that day.
We started out with six in our group. Right from the get go Cindy, Don and Howard took off. Juli, Sharon and I took our time and kept an easy pace.
At six in the morning it was nice and cool. We caught a beautiful sunrise across the desert with a few clouds in the sky.
Apache Vista Summit is only 1.37 miles. A quick easy hike. I like that they chose Apache Wash and Ridgeback as two of the peaks for the Seven Summits. It’s only one trailhead and your driving time is less.
Along the way, the tree for the little boy Cody who passed away while hiking this trail, was still decorated. A gentle reminder, the desert is no joke.
Since the first two summits are connected, after Apache Vista, we hiked along the Sidewinder Trail to Ridgeback. This hike is A total of 4.52 miles.
I was beginning to get tired and hot. The sun was out and it was heating up. I also ran out of water at the peak, but luckily we only had a mile to go until we made it back to the trailhead.
Initially, the plan was to do six of the seven summits, but with the day heating up, I didn’t know how long I was going to last.
From the Apache Wash Trailhead, the three of us headed over to Deem Hills. This was the same trail I had done on Monday. We began around 8:30 and it was getting hotter!
We ran into the other three hikers coming down the trail, two almost as we started hiking up and Howard halfway up the mountain.
I was dragging going uphill because of the heat. My legs didn’t quite want to work the way they should. Part of it may have been driving as well. Sitting for any length of time doesn’t seem to help.
We made it to the top of the summit, where we ran into another group of hikers training for the seven summits. I hope to meet more people along the way who will see me atop of Shaw Butte.
On the way down the trail we saw a huge lizard chilling on a rock. He didn’t run. He just stared at us as we walked slowly by staring at him. Not sure what kind it was, but my daughter was really adamant it was an iguana. I’ve never seen anything like this on the trail before. You never know when there could be a nice surprise.
My fourth and final summit of the day was Shaw Butte. I was exhausted as I began. It was sweltering outside. Well over a hundred degrees. Sharon and Juli decided to stop after Deems. Smart girls!
I cheated on this summit and parked off Central, saving myself at least a mile of hiking in the heat, but still hitting the summit. Right as I began, I ran into Cindy and Don. They were off to Lookout Mountain. I didn’t know if I was going to make it to Lookout this point. I wanted to, but it was so hot out. My plan was to cheat the milage on Lookout by parking on 16th Street rather than 18th Street.
Soon I began to climb the mountain, uphill. I’ve climbed this many times before, but I don’t believe this hill ever looked so daunting.
I did see a few people hiking while I was out there, so at least I’m not the only crazy one. I made it to the top at a decent pace. Took a few pictures before heading back down.
I was grateful to be done. I wasn’t going to Lookout Mountain. Four of seven was enough for me. I finished up at 11:45 and it was 108 degrees when I got in my car. I’ll wait a few weeks before I try these summits again.