As usual, once the rain moved out of the area, clouds linger in the mountains as I drove to Sabino Canyon for the hike to the top of Blackett's Ridge. Most who do this hike know of their times and anything below an hour is considered very good. It is about 2.5 miles to the top of the ridge with the first mile just rolling before the trail starts up and does so rather steeply.
There were only 4 of us at the start with the "cold" starting temp of 49 degrees causing some cancellations. Kamaran, a good guy from Kurdistan (northern Iraq) being the most fit. I beat him to the top last Fall but after 2 months of down time in Ohio, I doubted I could hang. The two of us separated ourselves from the others once the trail went up. Kamaran paused to remove a jacket and I kept going, not wanting to pause as the clock was ticking. I hit it hard, thinking maybe Kamaran would get demoralized and give up but he kept coming and coming and caught me about half way up, where I paused to take the above image.
I lost hope of finishing under an hour as my legs ached, my heart was pounding and my head pounded too in unison with the heart beats. It was an odd sensation. I paused again to catch my breath but then resumed the uphill march. I noted that Kamaran, while having a good working gap, was no longer pulling away but beat me to the top. I arrived soon thereafter and surprised myself with a time of 56:30, one of my best. Above, Kamaran sits and entertains me with his stories of on-line dating, including a woman who described herself as "athletic" but meeting her, discovered she was 300 pounds.
The clouds rolled through the gap between us and Thimble Peak. Very cool. After 10 minutes, we started back down where a guy passed us going back up and I took the below image, kind of neat with the clouds, peaks and lone hiker reaching the top. Finished with just under 6 miles and then after lunch, went for an hour bike ride. So happy to be out here and watch the weather in Ohio with fascination. When is it going to relent?