October 19th, 2016 ~ Day 208
Not wanting to hike alone in the dark, I came to the Shaw Butte Trail at 6 this morning. A little brighter out at this time of the day. The parking lot was almost full and there were lots of people on the trail too. I only had so much time before heading home so my goal was to hike up the mountain as far as I could go in 25 minutes before turning around. Juggling work, kids and hiking can be difficult sometimes. I have learned to manage it all and it seems to run smoothly, most days.
Having had the sun rising behind the mountains the last few days, I wanted to see it today. I was hoping by choosing Shaw Butte, I’d get the chance to see the sunrise.
Parking off Central, you immediately start to climb straight uphill on an old paved service road. I say old because the road is crumbling. Broken pieces of asphalt and rocks from the mountain cover the wide road. The climb is tough and can take your breath away. Going up or down the mountain, you have to be cautious as to not trip over the many rocks covering the trail.
I made it to the level part of the trail, just before the last uphill climb to the peak. I caught the views of the City of Phoenix before turning around and heading back to the trailhead.
The sun still hadn’t risen at this point and as I climbed down the mountain I was beginning to fear that I might be missing the sunrise again. At one section where I could tell it was beginning to rise, I wanted to stop and enjoy the view, but that wasn’t going to happen as I didn’t have time to wait. I was headed behind another mountain. Luckily I caught the tail end of it’s ascent and that was enough for me. I had to hike a little faster to see what I wanted, and the little bit of sunrise I did catch made this hike all the more worth it.