Day 232 ~ Trail #100 & Trail #101 Phoenix, AZ

November 12th, 2016 ~ Day 232


It was only 57 degrees when I showed up at the North Mountain Visitor Center to volunteer for the Phoenix Summit Challenge. I was so excited to see all my friends on top of Shaw Butte, ready to cheer them on their journey. I found out I wasn’t going to be at the top of the mountain, instead I would be stamping passports for the all abilities hikers, who’s summit was next to North Mountain.I was a little disappointed, because I wouldn’t see my friends, but figured I’d make the best of it since I would still get to stamp passports and meet new people.

So at 5:30 I headed out on Trail 100 to Trail 101 where there would be a flag waiting for me. It was exactly 1.1 miles. Hiking alone in the dark today wasn’t as scarey. I knew there were people around. I made it to my post fairly quickly and I set up camp.

It was dark and cold, and then the wind began to blow. I was freezing! Pulling out my down vest, rain jacket and my gloves, I still couldn’t keep warm. Waiting for the sun to rise so I could possibly warm up as I waited for the hikers to come so I could stamp their passports.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, the sun began to rise. I kept walking in circles trying to keep moving and stay warm. The flag was in the shade and the summit was a wind channel. As much as I tried, I never warmed up, although I never stopped trying. Still, I held my post while I waited for the hikers.


The view from my post was none other than Shaw Butte itself, a beautiful view, the spot I thought I would be today. I watched from a distance as the hikers climbed Shaw Butte, still waiting to stamp someone’s passport.

Eventually, I decided to look at the website to see if I could figure out when the hikers would be coming. I couldn’t believe it, they didn’t start their hike until 8 am and this trail would be their third summit. Hiking by my calculations, or at my speed, they wouldn’t arrive at this trailhead until 10 am, the time my post ended. I began to regret my decision to be a volunteer.


At ten am, my shift was over, I was the only one who got the opportunity to take a picture with this flag. If you look in the center it says “Thank God “, and that’s what I did. Today didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I felt like I wasted my time sitting alone on a mountain for four hours, but luckily I got to be outside on a mountain. I didn’t get to see any of my friends on the trails, let alone anyone doing the summit challenge and I didn’t stamp a single passport, but I was given the opportunity to make new friends.

I was apart of what was going to be a great event, and I’m sure it was, just I didn’t get the opportunity to be apart of it. Which is the most disappointing part of my day because it was what I was looking forward to the most. Seeing all the people and cheering them on.

Even though I didn’t get to be apart of the action, I did my part by following through with my commitment and although things didn’t go my way, I was able to be of service, even if it wasn’t necessary. I’m walking away from the events of today grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and looking at the positive side of the events that occurred. It’s still a beautiful life I get to live!
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