March 4th, 2017 ~ Day 344
I found out about this event when I was volunteering for the Phoenix Summit Challenge as I sat on the side of the trail waiting to stamp a passport for one of the Summit Challenge hikers. Someone happened to walk by with an event t-shirt for SJW Hike for the Homeless.
The words “Hike for the Homeless” stood out for me. What a great cause doing what I love! I had to do this. I had to bet part of an amazing event. I immediately looked up the information on my phone. Registration wasn’t open back in November, so I took a screen shot to remind me. Fast forward to January when I was going through my screen shots, and I was reminded of the event and I signed up right away.
Recommending this event to my fellow Happy Hikers, we created our group and 7 of us signed up. The a Happy Hikers raised over $2000 for an amazing cause and our group came in 8th place for the total amount of donations! I’m so grateful to have helped contribute to a wonderful organization.
We we graced with the presence of Phil, @PhilTheGoatAZ, who was brought out today for the hike. How awesome is that? I’ve never seen a goat on a trail. There is a first time for everything!
The hike for this event began at 9am. It was a beautiful day for a hike! The sun was shining brightly. My energy was high! I felt great and I was ready to tackle this 4.5 mile hike.
We started out at the back of the group, in the back of over 300 people. I should have learned from last weekend, trying to pass groups of people like this is so difficult. I know everyone hikes at their own pace, I’m just a little bit faster than some here today. I ended up having to run past people off the side of the trail. I felt bad, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to handle a thirty plus minute mile. I was having fun and making it an adventure, determined to push myself as hard as I could.
The Scenic Trail is a beautiful trail in the McDowell Mountain Regional Park. I did a portion of this trail a few months while hiking the 100 miles in 100 days challenge. I didn’t finish the loop back then. I had turned around when I heard the coyotes. I was hiking alone in unexplored territory. I am grateful to have the opportunity to complete this trail today. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to finish something I started.
Soon we were heading up the Foothills. The line was long and people moved slower as we headed uphill. There was no room to pass, so I settled in for a relaxing uphill hike. Saving my energy for when I’d have the opportunity to pass again. Somewhere along the way I lost the rest of my group.
Hiking slower allowed me the opportunity to take in the beauty that surrounded me. The amazing view were so spectacular! With stunning views like this, I can see why this is called the Scenic Trail.
More amazing views from the top of the Scenic Trail. So amazing!!!
A sea of cacti alongside the trail. It was at this point, I ran into the other two guys who joined the event from Trail Mix. I hiked the remaining mile or so of the event with them.
We headed downhill a short half mile and then it was a flat trail the last mile or so. An easy 4.5 miles or so it seemed. It only took me an hour and twenty three minutes to do the hike at eighteen and a half minutes per mile. I didn’t think I had that type of speed in me anymore. I felt so accomplished.
Over 370 people signed up for this event, with an additional 150 people at their satellite location (Thunderbird Mountain). All together, over $70,000 with 753 donations was raised for an amazing cause!
It was such a beautiful day for a hike, an amazing event and a absolutely perfect trail. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I can’t wait until next year when I can bring even more friends and raise more money for SJW.