On Top of Union Peak

Today was a 6 mile hike in the Sonoran Preserve with the hardest part being the Union Peak Trail, which is only half a mile long! But it was steep and then tops out on what I guess would be called a ridgeline which felt very narrow and all I had was wide open space on each side of me! Photos show me it wasn’t quite as narrow as I felt it was but it was still quite narrow.

This hike was a series of trails that starts out at the Desert Tortoise Trailhead. We came out of the desert on the Hawks Nest Trail. (note, on the trail detail for that trail you’ll read mention of an owl’s nest. It is still there! However the owls have, of course, since moved on. But it’s very neat to see it. And I suspect there was other trails involved but I didn’t make note of them, really.

The first part of the hike basically takes us up a really nice incline. We move up it at a very good pace and then stop to catch our breath. Then we continue on and life is good.

Then we had excitement! We got to watch a Rescue Helicopter training exercise! At one point they told us to hold up and let them finish since debris was getting kicked around.

Once that fun was over? Off we went up more inclines and then up the Union Peak trail. I did pretty good. But then there was a spot that I kinda got stuck and one of the sweep ladies gave me a push up the hill and then off I went. It was like I was a stalled out car and she just nudged me to get the momentum going. A few minutes later she was all “Oh, I guess I should have asked if that was OK!” and I was very much “Nope, that was perfect.” Because it was. Something about the manner she did it made me feel comfortable and not rushed or anything like that. It felt helpful and kind. So I trusted her from then on out to hold my elbow when I felt like the path was just too damn narrow. And it was a great help and I did much better. I was still the last one up and down but who cares. I did it and I continue to do it and there. Yes.

 At the top selfie

On the way back down and around my knees started killing me. And my hips. That was no fun. And my toes went numb a few times and I don’t understand that one at all. But I’m living with it and I’m not getting blisters anymore so I guess I’ll just have to live with numb toes when I hike.

Here are the stats. The pace vs elevation one makes me laugh a lot.

                        wpid-screenshot_2014-11-08-18-09-12.pngwpid-screenshot_2014-11-08-18-09-18.pngwpid-screenshot_2014-11-08-18-09-22.png

And that was today’s hike!

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