Not since Columbus was sailing the ocean blue or......
….maybe one would have to go back to Noah's arc to find a February in AZ that produced so much rain. I haven't actually looked to see if we are closing in on a record amount of rain but it sure seems like it. For Saturday, so many trails and some parks were closed from the deluge of Thursday night, it took some thought to figure out where to go.
Fortunately, I am about a mile away from the trailhead at Pusch Peak and once out the car, it is all climbing. Although the water was flowing through the canyon the trail stays above that. I was alone and motivated so wanted to see if I could get a good time on Strava for the 2+ mile climb to the summit. As I have noted before, from the parking lot the average grade is 25% and for the steepest final 1/2 mile, it is over 30%.
I had a couple of issues. The water was not flowing from my pack so I had to take it off and fix and then I missed a turn on one of the switchbacks so had to back track. Still.....
….I was happy with the outcome. Really wanted to break an hour but don't think I can do that even with no hiccups.
The sky was partly cloudy so the shadows from the clouds provided some nice effects. At the top, I was joined by a couple of guys who were in town with the New York Red Bulls, a MLS team. They were coaches of the team and while the soccer players rested, the coaches came out to hike.
We departed together. I'm pretty cautious on the descents so lost them half way down which is ok because I use the descent to take....
….lots of pictures.
A guy pauses to take a selfie. Finished with a little over 4 miles and 2700' of climbing. Dang, now two more fronts are scheduled to swoop in from CA, one on Monday and one on Thursday. Highs this week will only be in the 50s!!! About 20 degrees below normal. Snow is forecast too and it may reach the valley. Glad I have the option to hike since bike riding is out. Oh, I bought a tennis racket and joined a tennis group and oh, I am hosting a ping pong event. The thought of having backhand smashes bounced against my forehead is appealing. I'm pretty sure if this was a normal winter I would be doing none of the aforementioned activities.