Days 309-312 ~Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ 

January 28th, 2017 ~ Day 309

Heading to the trails for something quick and easy, I went to Thunderbird Mountain, the closest to my house. I missed the National Trail Trek today. I couldn’t do it and I wasn’t able to get to the trails until later in the evening. Honestly, I kept myself busy with other things because I didn’t want to be out here. It’s just another sad day out here on the mountain. Trying to cope. Keeping myself moving, one day at a time. Trying to make my hike as short as possible because I don’t want to be here. 

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January 29th, 2017 ~ Day 310


Today I made it to Thunderbird, hiking alone, I hiked a portion of the Desert Iguana Trail. Crying as I’m hiking, the sadness taking over me. The loss of my mother is becoming overwhelming. I don’t want to be out here. I’m beginning to hate the fact that I set myself up for this challenge, but I keep pushing through. Thinking my mom would want me to.

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January 30th, 2017 ~ Day 311


Another quick hike at Thunderbird today. I’m only out here to accomplish this goal of hiking everyday. Making myself walk through this pain. I don’t care how small the hike is as long as I get out here and hike. Eric joined me today, my rock in all this pain, carrying me through the most difficult time of my life. 

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January 31st, 2017 ~ Day 312


Another quick hike at Thunderbird today. I did the same loop as yesterday, just different by starting at the parking lot off 67th. I felt I had to be alone today,  which only made it worse. I cried my entire hike. One day I know it won’t hurt so bad, but now isn’t that time. 

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Day 308 ~ Shaw Butte Trail #306 Phoenix, AZ 

January 27th, 2016 ~ Day 308

I don’t want to be here! I don’t want to go hiking! I never thought I’d say that, but with my mom passing away yesterday all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. I’m only out here because I set myself up on this challenge and I’m following through with it. My body and mind are numb. I feel so lost. There is so much to do and being out here on a hike isn’t one of the things I want to do.

So often I’ve used hiking for healing. Being outdoors is a good feeling and has helped me many times to deal with so many things. It’s my serenity. Today it isn’t working. I feel no peace.

After my grandma died last month, my best friend Robin dying in June and Jimmy dying a little over a year ago hiking helped with the pain, but this pain, the loss of my mother, is so unbearable. I don’t want to feel this way. I always thought there would be more time.

My mother was a fighter. The poor woman, since she was born, has fought many medical battles in her life and she always came out the other side. She wasn’t sick but she was in pain. I don’t know if she gave up the fight or if God just decided to call her home, I only know she is gone and my life will be forever changed.

I’m angry with myself for setting myself up on this goal to hike everyday. Today it feels like a chore and I don’t want to be here, but I am.

My mom always said she wished she could go hiking with me. Her body wasn’t capable to come out here and hike. My only thought to that is maybe she can now join me and see all the beauty I get the opportunity to see. A little comfort to this pain.

Today made our world even darker with sadness. As we had to say our goodbyes to our sweet little Toby! One of my mom’s seven dogs died the day after mom did. The one my daughter claimed as hers. He was going to come live with us and thought of giving my daughter this news breaks my heart even more. Toby was an old dog. A sweet little guy. His tongue always hanging out. Maybe he died of a broken heart at the loss of my mom. Who knows. All these questions we have as to why these things have to happen to us, we will never know. If it matters when we go, God will provide the answers.

I have had enough heartache the last couple days to last me a lifetime. I pray God helps our family walk through this pain.

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Day 307 ~ Coach Whip Trail Glendale, AZ

January 26th, 2016 ~ Day 307

Today’s hike began just like an other. An evening hike after work, I started out on 67th Avenue. Looking for a quick mile hike so I could get home to my kids and boyfriend for dinner. I went along the flat trails next to 67th Avenue.

The green grass caught my eye. It’s growing so fast here in the desert. Not only has there been so much of it lately, it’s getting longer. It’s still amazing to me how much grass there is. Our desert is no longer brown and dried, but green and wet.

Is that snow? I wasn’t sure if that was what I was seeing or not, but that is what it looked like to me.

Zooming in on the camera for a better view, I could see it was snow. I stopped to ask a couple if they could see it too. Of course they could. As I took a closer look, I realized it must be the Bradshaw Mountains again. I never realized I could see them from Glendale.

My hike was only a mile long. Enough for me to continue on this journey. I was headed home to eat dinner with my family. Little did I know, I wouldn’t be having dinner with the family and that my life would be forever changed from this day forward.

Just after I got home from my hike, I received a phone call from my dad telling me my mom had passed away. My world stopped. I rushed over to her house to find her lying on her kitchen floor. She was gone. Laying there looking as if she were sleeping peacefully.

I was crushed! How? Why? Questions that would have no answers. The rest of that evening was a haze. I only know now that my life now is forever changed without my mom.

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Day 306 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

January 25th, 2016 ~ Day 306

I’ve seen this wall many times hiking Thunderbird Mountain. Today I finally decided to take a picture of this portion, as its beauty calls to me each time I begin a hike on this section of the trail. Somewhat rustic bricks slapped together to make a planter for the desert flora.

This area is a part of what looks to be stadium seating on the side of the mountain. I always thought it would be pretty awesome to watch a band here, in the outdoors.

As I was hiking along I saw a couple hot air balloons in the sky. I had to zoom in to make them really visible.

Then I noticed there were five. A bright beautiful day and the hot air balloons come out to play! I love seeing the balloons from the mountains. One day Eric and I will be in one of them.

I ended up doing the quick 1.6 mile loop around Thunderbird mountain. Doing a hike after work doesn’t leave me much time for my kids. Since they were on their winter break from school, I haven’t been able to summon the energy to get up in the morning to go do a hike. I need to revise my schedule so my evenings will be spent with them. Even though short, it was a beautiful day for a hike.

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Day 305 ~ Deem Hills Phoenix, AZ

January 25th, 2017 ~ Day 305

The mountain looked so majestic as we arrived at the trailhead. Looming over us as Eric and I began our hike on the Circumference Trail heading north this time.

The sun shining brightly on the trail, made the colors of the desert come alive. Glowing so brightly with sharp contrasts, was a beauty to behold.

Saguaro, sunlight and skies, just some of the beautiful views I get the opportunity to see in the amazing Arizona desert!

More vibrant colors of the desert as we came around the north side of the mountain. The clouds to the north of us looked like rain. Sweeping sheets of water off in the distance looked like clouds had made their way to the earth.

As we began heading south, I turned around to find the clouds and the rains behind us. Not a single drop was falling on us, yet I wanted to hurry in case it was coming our way.

As we continued heading south towards the saddle it began, the beautiful color show in the sky! Golden yellow hues began to light up the sky behind us.

The skies continued to give us a colorful display, onto a bright orange. The rain no longer a worry, we stopped often to take in the beauty.

Shades of pinks and purples with a little yellow and orange became our picture frame. A beautiful display of colors engulfed the sky, giving us a spectacular show.

And finally, just before heading over the saddle, a pink fluffy cotton ball! Truly amazing!

The sun was setting over the horizon just as we came over the saddle, but it was gone before we made it around the mountain.

What a beautiful night for a hike! I am so grateful we came here. From the sun shining brightly on the desert, to the beautiful colors of the sky and finally the last little bit of a sunset….made for a most wonderful hike!

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Day 304 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

January 23rd, 2017 ~ Day 304

I began my hike from the parking lot on 67th Avenue. Instead of doing the easy flat trail, I decided to head uphill. The trail was wet again from the rains. Treading as lightly as possibly, I tried not to destroy the trail and get mud on my shoes. Thunderbird mountain is a heavily trafficked mountain and the trails are mostly packed dirt, but there are still some parts of the trail that can be muddy. I’d hate to be the one to destroy a trail.

I made it to the mountain in time to receive a break in the rain. It had been raining all day and luckily at 5 p.m., once I got off work, was the perfect time for a hike. The clouds were still hanging in the sky, but I received a little bit of sunlight with a break in the clouds.

Once I make to the highest point I would be hiking today, the colorful clouds began to arise from the sun beginning it’s decent. The colors all around me were so rich from the rain. Lucky for me it didn’t rain on me while hiking, but I was able to see the beauty of it all.


The color of this barrel catcus is so amazing to me. I feel like this shouldn’t be so colorful, it’s too early in the year for the colors to be so vibrant. Maybe it’s from the rain. Maybe the rain has washed all the dust off this cactus and that’s why it’s so beautiful! Who knows. I’m just grateful to be out on a mountain enjoying another beautiful hike!

Join me on my journey of hiking everyday for 365 days, to see all that I can see! Never miss out on a post and “like” me on Facebook and for more photos follow me on Instagram!

Day 303 ~ Waterfall Trail Waddell, AZ

January 22nd, 2017 ~ Day 303

Wanting to get more mileage for the 100 miles in 100 days challenge, Eric and I took my two youngest children over to the White Tank Mountains to do the Waterfall Trail. An easy trail for the kids as it’s only a two mile hike. A nice little family hike to continue on my journey, spend time with the kids and get them outdoors and into nature.

The last time I was here, we had the whole family. My Grandma D was with us and my son was only a baby. Good memories of that day came flooding back to me. My grandma and Jimmy, my children’s father, who are no longer with us in this life, were both on this trail the last time I was here.

My little guy hiking along. He had to bring his hiking stick and wear his momma’s hat.

One of the features of this trail, besides the waterfall at the end, is the petroglyph’s you get to see along side the trail. Ancient markings from the Native Americans who once inhabited this area long ago. This area must have been popular with the waterfall and the flowing creek. Nowadays water rarely flows, but you have to wonder, was it flowing regularly so long ago?

We came across a rustic looking object, I assumed to be a water tank. Bullet holes covered the face of the tank. I wonder how old this is and who placed it here? Was it in recent years or could it be from the miners? So much history on this trail, it left me with more questions. Maybe one day I’ll get the opportunity to research the answers to my questions.

It didn’t seem like we climbed any elevation on this hike, but with views of valley behind us, it looks like we were a little higher than I expected.

We made it to the waterfall. A small little trickle coming over the mountain side. With the recent rains I knew there had to be water flowing and luckily I was right. It was a great day to make it out here for a hike.

There was a pool of water at the base of the waterfall and my little girl wanted to climb across the water and up to where the water was actually falling. Trying not to get her feet wet, she made it across a few rocks. Frozen for quit awhile deciding where to go, she moved and fell in the water. Feet soaking wet, she made her way back and gave up.

Climbing back through the rocks to get to the trail, I had to help my little man through the crack.

Grateful my son did this hike today. He’s not always happy to go hiking and usually complains, but the smile on his face made it all worth it. It was a great family day with my son, daughter and boyfriend. Life is good and I’m grateful I’m out here living it!


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Day 302 ~ Pipeline Canyon Trail and Cottonwood Trail Peoria, AZ

January 21st, 2017 ~ Day 302

Heading out to Lake Pleasant to do a Meetup with HHH, which didn’t start until ten am, I decided to hike before the Meetup on a trail I did a few years ago while camping out here at Lake Pleasant. After all the recent rain, it was a surprise to see bright beautiful skies! It was a beautiful day for a hike…or two. ☺

Starting out on the Pipeline Canyon Trail, from the south cove, I was excited to go and explore a trail I could somewhat remeber. Since it has been a few years, I didn’t really remember how beautiful this place was. The dirt so rich and red with the green plants and cacti surrounding me on the trail, so beautiful!

Hiking up high along a ridge, you could see the water from a stream below. So much water was pouring into the lake, from the mountains above and the recent rains.

After only half a mile, I made it to the beautiful blue water. My plan was to go as far as I could in the time I had before my next hike, but to my surprise, the bridge we hiked across last time I was here, was gone. Just disappeared. (I found out later it had been washed away last summer.)

The trail ended at the water and there was no where to go except back from where I came, unless I was going to swim across the lake to get to the trail on the other side. I decided, today that wasn’t going to be an option.

I enjoyed the lake a short while. Looking out across the water and it’s beauty. Since I was unable to go any further, I turned around to head back uphill. It was then I really noticed the green grass against the red dirt. The contrast so stark with the bright and vibrant colors.

Heading uphill, I was able to catch a better view of the stream making its way to the lake. The water a little more murky from this vantage point, reminded me of brackish water leading into the ocean.

I made it back to the trailhead with only a mile under my feet. Crossing over the parking lot to capture a picture of the lake with the sun shining brightly on the water. I was trying to kill time before I headed to the north cove.

Driving from one trail to the next, heading north on the road, I saw snow. Barely visible in this photo, but I could see it. I love the view from my dashboard. Another passion of mine, road trips, to see all that I can see. Looking out through the window of your car, can be like a picture frame, depending on where you are. Exploring new areas and seeing new things can be an amazing experience if you allow it to be.

I made it to the north cove early. Luckily the ranger, Terry, was there and I was given the opportunity to ask all kinds of questions. I learned more about how to become a volunteer for the Maricopa County Parks. Did you know, if you are a volunteer for 20 hours a week, you get to live there for free? I’d love the opportunity to try it and one day I will.

Today’s hike is a guided tour of the park with Naturalist Frank. We began our hike on the Cottonwood Trail. (Notice the sign says Pipeline Canyon Trail? This is where I could have ended my hike, had there been a bridge.)

The clouds began to form and it began to get a little dark. Only pockets of blue skies on the north cove. I pulled out my rain jacket to keep warm also just in case it started to rain. It was a little chilly and I didn’t want to get wet and make it worse.

Frank talked about the plants and stopping often he would described them. He also spoke of what he called “Hell’s Canyon”. Across the road there is an area, about five miles in, with amazing views, rich in history and rarely explored. A great backpacking trip. One that I will be doing, some day.

When Eric and I were in Lake Havasu a couple weeks ago, I saw this thing on the Creosote Bush. I had never seen it before, and when I saw it today I had to ask Frank what it was. He said it was a gall and described how insects and bees implant their larva in the stems. A protective barrier from predators, they feed off the plant until it’s time for them to break their way out of the gall. I found it interesting to learn more about my favorite plant.

I was able to capture the  snow covered peak, the snow I had seen on my drive to the north cove. I learned these were the Bradshaw Mountains up in the Crown King area. While Phoenix receive rain, they received snow.

We came the Cottonwood Creek flowing with amazing force. Rarely does it flow. Usually we find dried creek beds here in Phoenix. A wonderful sight to behold! We hung out here for a little while, enjoying the water.

This is where we decided to end our hike, rather than walking through the river to get to the trail on the other side. We headed back from where we came, making it a two mile hike overall.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to come out here on a nature hike and learn a little bit more about the desert surrounding me. I’ve never given myself the chance to do something like this. A nice relaxing slow paced hike, made fore a beautiful day on the trail.

Join me on my journey of hiking everyday for 365 days, to see all that I can see! Never miss out on a post and “like” me on Facebook and for more photos follow me on Instagram!

Day 301 ~ Desert Iguana Trail Glendale, AZ

January 20th, 2017 ~ Day 301

Cloudy skies and wet trails. It’s been raining all day! Luckily I found a break in the downpour right at five when I got off work.

There were only two cars in the parking lot when I arrived. I guess no one wants to hike in the rain. I wonder, had I not been on this challenge, would I be out here? Probably not. 

Hiking at Thunderbird Mountain, I was looking for something quick and easy. Trying to avoid the rain. I feel like I’m getting lazy with my hikes. 

I chose the Desert Iguana Trail on the north side of the park. The trails were covered with puddles. Working my way around the puddles, I tried to tread lightly as to not destroy the landscape. 

The clouds began hovering over the mountains. Not something you see often, especially in Phoenix. Last year was the first time in the nine years I’ve been here, that I have ever seen any type of fog. 

The smell of rain permeated the air from the Creosote Bush. I hiked to the trailhead at 67th Avenue before heading back to the trailhead from where I began. Just as I turned to head back, it began to rain. A light sprinkle, nothing too heavy. 

Thinking about it now, in the last 301 days, I’ve never hiked in more than a sprinkle. I’d consider myself lucky. I’m not a huge fan of the rain, unless I’m under cover watching it fall and listening to the sound. 

Coming back the way I came, the clouds hung heavier over the mountains. It was a wall of mist clinging to the earth. 

I saw no one on the trail, only a bunny and a few birds. Surprised to see any animal with this weather. 

Even with the rain, it made for a beautiful hike! I’m grateful for all I’ve been given to experience on this journey!

 Join me on my journey of hiking everyday for 365 days, to see all that I can see! Never miss out on a post and “like” me on Facebook and for more photos follow me on Instagram!

Day 300 ~ Lookout Mountain Phoenix, AZ

January 19th, 2017 ~ Day 300


Can you believe it? I’ve been hiking for 300 days! 300 days in a row I have made it to the trails to go hiking every single day. Sometimes long, sometimes short, but I’ve made it out here everyday! I feel very accomplished to have come so far. I can’t say when the last time was that I’ve set myself up for something and actually finished what I’ve started. For the first time in my life, I have set myself up for something and I’m going to complete it. No matter what happens in life. 

Eric wanted to share this day with me, since he’s been with me on each of my milestones. I’m so grateful he’s apart of this journey. My biggest supported!

We decided to meet at the 16th Street trailhead for Lookout Mountain. Taking the 308 Circumference Trail, we headed east from the parking lot. 

The ground was damp and the skies were cloudy. The air cool and crisp. We brought our rain jackets in case of rain. Another beautiful day in this life!

Stopping to take a picture of a cairn on top of the trail post, with Lookout Mountain behind, it began to sprinkle. Nothing too heavy, but it rained for the remainder of our hike. Good thing we had our rain jackets. 

Coming back around the north side of the mountain, we decided to take a different route. This would take us partially down the trail the heads straight up to the top of the peak. A little bit trickier with all the loose gravel, but we made it without injury. 

It was getting darker as we headed back to the trailhead. The city lights became brighter and the clouds seemed heavier. 

It was a beautiful evening hike! A great way to spend my day 300!!! Love this life!

Join me on my journey of hiking everyday for 365 days, to see all that I can see! Never miss out on a post and “like” me on Facebook and for more photos follow me on Instagram!