7:00am and running a little late for a hike in the Tortolita Mountains, which are behind me and not what you see in the image above. If you look carefully, you'll see a balloon rising above the distant mountains, middle. I arrived at the trail head, grabbed my stuff and began walking toward the group when I heard someone say, "Oh, that guy. He practically runs up the mountain." and someone else said, "Yeah, he was on a hike I was on and he is fast." How about that. The hike was rated intermediate + so people are encouraged to attend who can at least make that pace, which is defined in the description when the hike leader sends out the invite.
I get a little ahead of the group but there they are, coming down from a climb, nine of us in total.
I wait while checking out this view. We take a quick break and I saw something I have not previously seen. A guy just out of the army lights a cigarette. That's a first for any ride or hike, I kid him about it and he laughs good naturedly.
Part of the group. The red haired woman brushed against a Cholla and doing so, a portion of it clings to her shirt. Instinctively she grabs to pull the clump but that's a mistake and the needles sink in to her hand. Someone has a pair of pliers and pulls the needles. Fortunately, she is not a bleeder. The woman in front of her has a daughter at Dennison and moved from Gahanna, another small world moment. Lot of Ohioans out here.
Nearing the end of the 8 mile hike. Good day hike with fun people and all done way before lunch.