Each Tuesday, one of the hiking groups organizes a "fitness" hike out of Sabino Canyon to Blacketts Ridge. Steep in places it is a very good hike that brings out the competitive juices in most. The elevation gain is 1800' with a flat 1.5 mile start and a 1 mile steepish end to the top of the ridge where a nice view is had of Thimble Peak. I was 15 minutes late but figured I'd catch most of the group. Too bad as I learned later there was a pool next to the trail beside a bridge where the snakes were lined up to catch the remaining minnows. That would have been cool to have seen. Oh well.
I caught the group about 1/2 way up the climb. Michael, the leader told me to take the lead for some reason. It's hard not to, you know, push things to see if they could keep up. Folks dropped back except for "Courtney", a 100 pound whippet who had a heck of an engine. My advantage was being able to take some steps two at a time and eventually she fell back. I reached the top, denoted by the above sign in 53:56, I think a personal best from the parking lot. I was gassed and Courtney arrived a couple of minutes later followed by Gary, Maurice, etc... Good people out here and all used to live in places like Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis...they don't seem to miss those places much.
Next day, Wednesday, I went out for a ride around the valley just to get out and shake the legs, headed north where it's kind of desolate yet the views are great in every direction. Temp today was 85 and unusually warm for mid November. Usually, when the temperature is above normal out west, it's below normal in the Midwest. Let's see.....ouch......that's cold back there. Well, got to go. Big, big weekend coming up. Off trail bush whacking hike on Saturday, group ride on Sunday. Been told to bring long pants for the hike and be prepared for snakes, Gila Monsters, scorpions, brown recluses, black widows and great white sharks. Some are bringing guns and I was told to bring a knife, nothing smaller then a Bowie. How cool is that?!?!?!?