October 16th, 2016 ~ Day 205
Arriving at the trailhead the moon was shining brightly in the sky. It looked to be another full moon, but I doubt it. I don’t really know if it actually is a full moon, it just looks that way to me. I don’t believe the moon would stay full for four our five days.
Eric and I made it just in time to begin our 5:45 a.m. hike. This mornings hike is with the Happy Hikers, the same group I hiked with yesterday. Only a few of the women came who were on yesterday’s hike and a few more came for today, along with Mike. We had a total of eight people in our group this morning.
The plan, to hike the Dixie Mountain Loop along with going to the Dixie Summit Peak and the Western Vista Trail Peak, for an approximate total of 5.5 miles. Once I heard that, I didn’t think I wanted to climb anymore. Especially after yesterday’s hike. I figured since both peaks are in and out, I could wait at the bottom.
The city lights were still glowing in the dark. I love how hiking at the same time in a different part of the year can give you an entirely different view. In the summer it is light out at five in the morning, this time of year the sun’s not rising until after six so you are surrounded in darkness. One thing about hiking everyday, you get to actually notice little changes like these on the trails.
Hot air balloons were all over the sky today. I think we saw at least ten total by the time the hike was done. Usually hiking Thunderbird Mountain, or anywhere around Phoenix, I see them off in the distance to the north. Today, I am in the north and I get to see the balloons from a much closer vantage point. One day Eric and I plan to take a ride in one. Something I’ve never done.
Coming to the Dixie Summit Peak I decided it didn’t look too bad, maybe a half mile uphill climb, so I decided to climb it. Especially since it was a group decision that we would only climb this peak and not the Western Vista Trail Peak.
Eric sitting at the top of Dixie Summit Peak staring off into the horizon, a great picture. We made it to the top of the mountain just as the sun was beginning to rise. Perfect timing! I’m so glad I decided to climb it.
I sometimes have to remember that I am here to see all that I can see. I want to experience the most out of life and all of these adventures. So, no matter how tired I am or how slow I become, I am going to continue hiking to places that I have never been.
Having never been to this part of the trail before and never climbing the Dixie Summit Peak, I’m grateful I chose to do the summit. My legs were tired and I was slow, but it was a good uphill climb. Sometimes it is about the destination and not the journey. Seeing the sunrise from the top of this peak was spectacular!
Once down the peak and continuing hiking the far north side of Dixie Mountain Loop, the hot air balloons came into view again. This time they were even closer to us. Had we been a littler faster, we may have been able to be directly under them. Some of our hikers were yelling hello and waving to the people in the balloons and they would wave back.
I took a video of this balloon flying across the mountain. From my vantage point, it looked like it was going so fast it was going to smash into the side of the mountain. So of course I had to record it, just in case. I had watched it a short while before recording. Grateful they didn’t crash!
We continued to see the hot air balloons along the way and even ran into the old rusty car in the wash. The hike was easy at this point, until we came to the last push uphill. A gradual uphill for about a mile or so. We made it to the top and then it was all downhill the rest of the way.
Our hike was a total of 5.5 miles. Had we done the second peak, it probably would have been a 6.5 mile hike. For the most part it was an easy hike, but any portion going uphill was difficult for me. Yesterday’s hike wore me out and I haven’t fully recovered. I’m just happy to be able to show up and continue on this journey. I’m happy a few other girls from yesterday’s hike made it too. Shows how strong we really are.