Legs don’t fail me now!

My alarm went off at 4am this morning. By 4:30 I was on the road. By 5:30 I had started my first 5 mile hike! It was a really nice hike. Nice terrain. A few inclines to get my cardiovascular training in. Inclines, man. But I’m alive so I win!

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As we were going up one incline? The group leader was telling us to keep to the right and pointing. We all immediately knew there must have been a snake. The girl that was walking with me at that time was not really wanting to be near the snake so I said “Here, walk beside me and I’ll put myself between you and the snake.” That’s right. I put myself between a rattlesnake and a girl I just met. I’m a hero or something, right? Sure.

After we passed it and I saw that it was actually moving I asked “Would it be OK if I went and took a photo of the snake?” And everyone was all “NO DO NOT DO THAT! HE IS AGITATED!” So, I didn’t get to take a photo of the very first rattlesnake I ever saw. But I did see it. And now I know what they look like. They look like the desert. Have fun hunting for them when on a trail, y’all.

We started the walk at sunrise and it was really pretty. And I slowed myself down a bit by taking photos. But that’s ok.

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Then the sweeper, which is the guy that walks in the back to ensure none of the group gets left behind, pointed out all of the hot air balloons that were taking off and that’s always pretty to see.

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We had, I think, three or four stops on the hike. Which isn’t too bad, really. One stop was on the one small portion of hike that was on a sidewalk type trail. And everyone was taking photos with other people or of other people and one of those people took a photo of me doing this:

Sonoran Preserve Selfie

Way to be part of the group, Andrea! Good job!

I got to talk to one lady that has hiked the Grand Canyon already. She told me that I totally have it. “You got this!” She told me about the terrain and about the steep and more hints on how to get ready. Which, basically, translates to hike as much as possible, take longer hikes, hike part of the canyon before the rim to rim (which, no, I will not do. Because my friends don’t get to do that and so there), work on my cardio, and just be mentally prepared to look at some sections and the steepness of the canyon and the feeling that you have no idea what you just got yourself into. But she added “But just remind yourself then that yes you do, that you got this. Because you do.”

This group is just really nice. I dig them.

They also gave me a clearer view of the hike that I was signed up to do tomorrow and I determined that trail is not one I want to attempt for the first time with strangers. It sounds like a trail that I need to be with someone(s) that I trust and feel comfortable with. It sounds like the group going tomorrow moves faster and I’d likely wind up feeling uncomfortable, like a burden, and embarrassed. I don’t need that. So, I’m going on another hike with today’s group tomorrow morning! Yay!

Here are the stats for this morning’s hike:

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After the hike some of us went to breakfast and I ate a delicious Italian fritata. Yum!

Then? I came home and generally felt wiped out for most of the day. That was the longest hike I’ve been on, the first time I hiked wearing a pack with water, and it was warm. Not to mention I was up at 4 frickin’ AM!!

What I did realize today is that I just really do enjoy the hiking. I love the natural beauty of Arizona, I enjoy being out in it, I enjoy photographing it, and hiking just makes me feel good.

Now I should go hit the hay for tomorrow. Gladys has had her walk. All is right in our world. Good night!

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