February 25th, 2017 ~ Day 337
Today is the day of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation event, Hike for Hops. Our group, the Happy Hikers, came out to support the event. With registration only $35, you couldn’t beat it. A fun hike, great people, a beautiful day and close to home… what more could you ask for?
Starting from the North Mountain Visitor Center, our hike began along Trail 100, and everyone began hiking at the same time. I believe registration was 100 people, so just imagine the crowd of people hiking along the trail.
Hiking with the huge group became too much for me. With three people busy taking, and hiking at a slower pace, I couldn’t get around them, so I decided to hold back and wait for everyone to go ahead so I could hike at my own pace.
By stopping for a few minutes, I ran into a few of the Happy Hikers, so I hiked with them. Soon we made it to our first of four uphill sections of this trail. Heading up the first peak, an easier one, because it isn’t so high yet it’s still steep enough to take your breath away. Taking a break at the top, we made a cairn for our bingo challenge.
The bingo challenge is part of the event to win more raffle tickets. They gave us a bingo sheet of photos needed to complete the game. A stack of rocks was one bingo square. Hence why we made a cairn.
A bright and sunny day with the sun casting it’s rays through the cholla. I really can’t get enough of the green Arizona desert! So amazingly beautiful! Who knows if it’ll be this way next year.
More spectacular views across the valley. I love hiking in beautiful Arizona!
Another part of the bingo challenge, a photo with four or more people. Taken just before hiking with the girls up the second peak. This section is a little bit more difficult. It’s the longest uphill section with a loose rocky trail.
I decided to push on up the hill leaving the girls at their rest stop. I didn’t want to stop my momentum. I made it up the third peak alone and ran into some more Happy Hikers. We began our climb up the fourth and final peak to summit Shaw Butte.
We made it to the top! The event didn’t require you to hike to the top of Shaw Butte, but with only a quarter mile or so away from the third uphill, who wouldn’t head to the peak? The girls I hiked with earlier were right behind us and we all got in a photo at the summit. A wonderful group of hikers!!!
More amazing views from the top of Shaw Butte Mountain. Have I mentioned, I love Arizona?
From the top of Shaw Butte it seems you could see for miles and the green, so much green in our desert. Hazy skies off in the distance, scare me a little. Who knows what we’re breathing in. Being that we are in a valley, maybe that’s expected?
We headed down the east side of Shaw Butte Mountain, on the old paved road. Torn and beat up, weathered by time. It’s a steep downhill that’s hard on the knees. We made it to the bottom in no time at all.
Hiking along the base of the mountain we made our way back to the North Mountain Visitor Center, ending our hike with about five miles. We were off to our lunch at the North Mountain Brewery.
Our group, as we were waiting for lunch, and waiting, and waiting. One hour and forty five minutes later, we were finally eating our food. This was the most disappointing part of the event for me. I don’t believe they were staffed to accommodate 100 people at one time. Hungry after a hike and after waiting so long, I decided I won’t be coming back to the North Mountain Brewery again.