Day 363 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

March 23rd, 2017 ~ Day 363

A beautiful evening for a hike! Parking at Thunderbird Mountain off 67th Avenue, I decided to get a quick hike in tonight. Life is getting so busy, I have been having to try and make time for hiking. With only two days left, I think I can manage.

It had been raining off and on all day today and with a break in the rain, I decided to hit the trails immediately after work. It didn’t look like it was going to rain anymore today, but it also didn’t look like rain earlier in the day either.

The sun was peaking through the clouds, a beautiful image, as I headed south through the flat trails on the west side of the park. The trail I chose is a loop. Part of the trail is the Coachwhip Trail and the other part is an unnamed trail, which I believe is only a dirt road that is on the outskirts of the park, used by the city to manage the trails. It’s enough for me to get a mile hike in today, so I will use whatever trail is available.

Even though the grass is beginning to die and turn brown, there is still green all around me. I’m so grateful to live so close to such a beautiful place.

As I made my way around the trail, heading back to the trailhead, a dark cloud was hanging over the mountain, maybe it will rain again. I won’t be out here on the trail long enough to find out. I have been lucky enough to only encounter a little bit of sprinkles on this journey. I could probably count on one hand how many times I’ve hiked in the rain.

Just over the hill, I caught glimpse of a ray of sunshine peaking through the wildflowers. A perfect depiction of this beautiful spring day. I hiked my mile and headed off to do the busy things in life. Another beautiful day on the trails.

Although, I am getting a little sad that this journey is almost over. Not that I will never hike again, more journey’s are awaiting, but that I have almost completed what I set out to do. This has been my life for a year, and I have no idea what to do next!

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Day 361 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

March 21st, 2017 ~ Day 361

It was a beautiful evening for a hike. Tonight would be a quick one, I just have too much to do today. Parking at 67th Avenue, my whole goal was to get at least a mile in today. Debating between doing the flat trail or doing some elevation, I decided I would begin with the old route my friend Lori and I used to always do. This route would get me uphill a little bit and since it was going to be a short hike, I thought I would make it just a little bit harder.

I immediately headed uphill on the Desert Iguana Trail, which lasts for about half a second or a tenth of a mile. Coming to the first intersection I made a right and was now on the Chuckwalla Trail. Still climbing uphill a little higher.

Hiking along the Chuckwalla Trail ridgeline, if you could call it that, I looked back to see the sun still high in the sky. I guess there will be no more early sunsets, the days are getting longer as summer comes upon us. The temperature was 91 degrees out tonight, it didn’t feel hot, but the heat is on its way.

Once at the base of the Chuckwalla Trail, I decided instead of continuing on uphill, because this would be a quick hike, I would turn on the Sunrise Trail to head back to the trailhead.

The flowers still scattered all about on the hillside. Taking it all in where I can because they won’t last long with the heat coming. I have never seen so many flowers.

As I continued along the trail, I realized the grass is no longer green. We’re beginning to become the brown dried desert we once were. Soon that is all we will be. Still beautiful, but brown rather than green.

One last photo on the Sunrise Trail before I turned on the Coach Whip Trail that would bring me back to the parking lot. My hike ended up being less than a mile. I didn’t meet my goal, but still, I made it to the trails and went for a hike. Another day in this amazing life hiking everyday for 365 days!

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Day 356 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

March 16th, 2017 ~ Day 356

Meeting with my daughter’s girl scout troop tonight, the girls were planning on leading a meeting for a younger troop and taking the kids on a hike. I was all for it! Realizing it would be a small hike, a couple of the siblings of the girls in the troop and Lonnie our leaders husband decided to go on a big hike, so I joined them. 

The flowers were amazing! We were on the far north east side of Thunderbird Mountain. It’s been awhile since I’ve been over here for a hike. I was surprised to see so many flowers. 

Being as this was my second hike of the day, I was a little nervous. I do have a big hike tomorrow and I hoped I wasn’t killing my legs. I pushed on anyway. I’ll survive, I would always much rather be hiking. 

With the sun shining down upon us, the colors of the desert were so vibrant. The mountains across the valley looked so amazing with all the green. I hope the winters here continue to be as beautiful as they have been this year. 

We made it to the top. Once at the peak, we wandered around a short while and I noticed another side trail I never new existed. I set out to explore, I wanted to know how far it went. It never ended, or so it seemed. I couldn’t tell with the tall brush how far it would lead. After a quarter mile or so, I decided to turn around and come back to the group. I’ll save the exploring for another day. We had to get back to the girl scout troop. 

The girls staring off into the city below. I wish my kids liked hiking as much as they do. 

We caught the sunset as we headed down the side of the mountain. A beautiful evening! Making it back to the trailhead, I was so happy we set out on this hike. My legs felt great! Adding two and a half more miles to my journey of hiking everyday for 365 days!

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Day 354 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

March 14th, 2017 ~ Day 354

A dark moonlit morning. Yet the moon was bright enough, we could see the trail. Eric and I met at Thunderbird Mountain just off 59th Avenue. I wanted something easy today. My legs were sore from my weekend adventures. 

A little bit of color along the horizon as I turned back to look while climbing up the side of the mountain. This would be the only uphill climb we would be doing this morning. 

We headed west on the mountain. At the first turn off, we took a right, which then brought us downhill. We came to another parking area and hiked down the street a short ways, heading over to the flat trails that run along the north side of the mountain. Yet another trail without a name. Looking behind me, as the day came upon us, the moon hung high in the sky. The colors a soft hue along the horizon. 

We received a more vibrant golden color along the horizon as we headed back to the trailhead. Our hike ended up being just under two miles. With only a little uphill, I felt much better getting out here. I wasn’t in the mood to hike this morning, but I’m glad that I did and now that it’s over, I feel great. Just another day in this amazing life!

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Day 349 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

March 9th, 2017 ~ Day 349

A beautiful evening with the moon hanging over the green mountains, the sun shining brightly and me taking it all in while hiking. I parked at the first lot as you come into the park. As I began my hike I noticed new trails to the east of the drive. I’m not sure if it’s all the green plants that made the trail more noticeable, but I found it and one day I’ll head there and check it out. 

I began my hike heading east on the south side of the mountain. The flowers were blooming! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been on this section of the trail, in the daylight anyway and there was a sea of wildflowers. Mostly purple and yellow. A beautiful display of nature. Spring has sprung!

Heading west into the sunset, I was blinded by the sunlight. I followed the trail about 3/4 of a mile before heading north. Deciding to hike along the flat trails along 67th Avenue rather than going up the side of the mountain. 

It was a short half mile or so before I was headed east. Following the moon as I hiked. 

Hot air balloons were flying off in the distance, barely visible in my photo. I swear they look so big in real life. The pictures can never capture their true existence. 

Still following the moon, I headed back to the trailhead, having a total of two miles for my hike. It was a bright beautiful evening for a hike! I felt so blessed to be here. To be present. To see the beauty this life had to offer. It was another beautiful day in this life!

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Day 346 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

March 6th, 2017 ~ Day 346

Arriving at Thunderbird Mountain, starting from the 67th Avenue trailhead, I began a quick hike through the flat trails that run along 67th. I saw the hot air balloon in the sky before I even made it to the trailhead.

The balloon guided the direction I would go, as I tried to capture a decent photo. It seemed as if it was moving away from me. I continued on the trail, snapping pictures as I went along. 

The noise of rush hour traffic sang to me. I like this area, and the trails, but it’s not a peaceful quiet hike. 

Somehow, I don’t know if this is possible, but I swear our desert is even more green. Everytime I come here it seems so much more lush with green foliage. Hiking Thunderbird Mountain at least twice a week, you’d think I wouldn’t notice a difference, but it’s so green!

The moon was out. So high in the sky that it’s a tiny dot next to the cactus. 

“I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me “. 

The skies were clear and bright blue, and as I was heading back to the trailhead, I saw the Bradshaw Mountains. I remembered how the last time I was hiking here they were covered in snow. Then I remembered, this was the hike I was on the day my mom passed away and the tears began to flow. They just come. Not the sobbing, but a slow trickle of tears streaming down my face from the memories of my mom. 

I finished my hike, less than a mile, enough to continue on this journey of hiking everyday for 365 days. Life is good. Going to make the most of everyday and live life to the fullest. We never know how much time will have her on this earth. 

 
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Day 341 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

March 1st, 2017 ~ Day 341

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Total darkness surrounded me when I arrived at the trailhead just before 6 am. Being the only car in the parking lot made me a little nervous. There are usually people here in the mornings. Parking at the base of the mountain off 59th Avenue, my plan was to do my usual 1.6 mile hike.

I haven’t hiked alone in the mornings in awhile, and fear and anxiety overtook me as I began hiking uphill. No one was here. With the light from my flashlight guiding the way, the only sound was the rocks crunching under my feet. The eerie quiet sound of nature in total darkness gave me an anxiety I haven’t felt in a long time. 

Once I made it up the first hill, I decided to go left rather than right. My fears overtook me. To the left I would be hiking along the backyards of houses that backed up to the trail, to the right, it would have been a dark quiet desert. I felt safer being close to the houses. 

It stayed dark for most of my hike, granted the hike was only a half hour. As I began climbing the south side trail, I was blessed to see a shooting star. Of course I made my wish. 

I continued hiking along the trail. Taking photos of the city lights dulled my anxiety. I hiked to a lookout spot with a bench. There I sat to enjoy a moment of peace. With the cold wind blowing on my face I began to meditate. A little bit of meditation and some reflection of recent events, I sat there quietly to try and calm my fears. 

I decided I had enough hiking for today and headed back the way I had come. 

It started to get a little bit brighter as I was hiking back to the trailhead. The colors of the sunrise coming up along the horizon. I finally ran into two other wandering souls as I was coming down the mountain. 

Even though fear and anxiety overwhelmed me today, I am grateful I pushed through this hike. I almost turned around. I do this in hopes that next time, I won’t be so afraid. 

 
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Day 339 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

February 27th, 2017 ~ Day 339

It was a cool and wet evening hike at Thunderbird Mountain today. By deciding not to go hiking in the morning, that decision put Eric and I in the rain this evening. A light sprinkle continued to fall throughout our hike. There were not many people out here at the park tonight. We saw no one on the trails and there were only a few cars in the parking lot.

Today really wasn’t my day. Besides the rain, I forgot my phone, so I had to use Eric’s for some pictures. I wasn’t able to track the hike either. I am guessing we did around 1.5 miles. 

We started out at the base of the mountain off 59th Avenue heading immediately uphill then to the north side of the mountain. The original plan was to hike the mile loop taking the road back to the car so we could get out of the rain faster.

When we came to the road, we decided instead of taking the road back, we could take the Desert Iguana Trail back. It wasn’t raining hard at all and we had our rain gear on. Why not enjoy the hike just a little longer and get that extra half mile in. 

We made it back to the trailhead in no time. It was a beautiful day for a hike, even in the rain. I don’t think I would have had it any other way. Love this life!

 
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Day 336 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

February 24th, 2017 ~ Day 336

I noticed the ground was damp as I pulled into the parking lot, and the smell of creosote hit me like a wall as I opened the door of my car. Parking at the base of Thunderbird Mountain at the lot off 59th Avenue, I began my usual 1.6 mile hike. The moon just slightly over the mountain across the street, captured beautifully in this photo. I believe there may be a planet in there too. 

Darkness surrounded me as I began my hike alone. I haven’t hiked in the dark alone for awhile. It was 40 degrees out and I was freezing! My hands were becoming numb when I held my flashlight. I had to switch hands constantly. 

From the top of the peak you could tell the sun was beginning to rise over the horizon. The city lights aglow. A beautiful morning for a hike!

A much prettier view of the mountains in the dark. The twinkle of the lights. Shaw Butte off in the distance. I couldn’t get enough. 

My hand beginning to get really numb, feeling as if they were frost bitten. I guess I’m not used to this cold weather. One thing about Arizona, it won’t stay cold for long. Soon we’ll be back in the 100’s.

As I came over the last ridge before heading downhill, I captured the final picture of the sun almost rising over the horizon. The colors becoming a brighter shade of yellow and orange. A fiery glow above the city lights. A beautiful way to end a beautiful hike. Love this life!

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Day 333 ~ Thunderbird Mountain Glendale, AZ

February 21st, 2017 ~ Day 333

After an amazing four day adventure in California, covered in gray skies, it was great to be back in our beautiful Arizona sunshine. With bright blue skies and white feathery clouds, it felt good to be outside. A bright and cheerful day!

Eric and I parked at the lot off 59th Avenue and began by heading up the road this time, rather than the trail. Time wouldn’t allow for a long hike today. The goal was to get in at least a mile.  

As we hiked up the road, we were in the shade. The sun was hanging low as it was beginning to set and the mountain blocked the sunlight on the west side.

As we headed back around the east side of the mountain, however, the sun was shining brightly on the rocks making the colors a beautiful reddish-orange. 

We caught sight of the sun setting over the White Tank Mountains. The sun has begun setting later in the evenings and as it was after 6pm when we began our hike. I felt lucky we caught the beginning of its majestic beauty. 

As we headed back to the trailhead, looking off to the north the colors of the desert were coming alive from the sun’s rays. Soon the skies would become painted. I would see the painted skies, but that would be on the drive home. 

We made it back to the trailhead in just under a mile, almost to the intended goal. I’m just grateful to be out here on a mountain completing my goal of hiking everyday for 365 days! With only 32 days to go, I got this! 
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!