Monday, December 01, 2008

Arizona Thanksgiving Fun

Despite working from home Tuesday and Wednesday, we made plenty of time for Thanksgiving fun in the Desert. We hadn’t been to AZ since July so as soon as we realized the kids were with their mom for the Holiday, Kerry and I jumped at the opportunity for a much needed getaway.

Kerry and I are as easy going (and non-traditional) as it gets, so I expected our Thanksgiving dinner to consist of a turkey Sandwich on the top of some mountain in Sedona. However, after a rainy morning, and a generous invitation from our friends Paul and Laura, we enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast at their abode. Paul and Laura are from the Twin Cities, and ironically we spend more time with them in AZ than we do at home. They also purchased a place in our community and it’s been great fun spending more time together. While digesting our wonderful meal, we came up with a plan to forgo the chaos of Black Friday shopping, and challenge ourselves to a new hiking adventure in the Superstition Mountains.

Aside from viewing the summit from the ground, we didn’t know much about the hike. We welcomed the unknown, however I was a little intimated early on as I saw one hiker with a 9 mm handgun on his belt. “Cougars” he said?!? Despite some reservation, we continued onward. Luckily no scary wildlife to report, but we also saw some guy carrying a SHOTGUN over his shoulder. Yes, this is the Wild West, but a Shotgun for a hike?! Deputy Jen, maybe I’ll have to take you up on those shooting lessons after all.

We started out from the base at 0830, and we wobbled back into the car at 1430. 6 hours to go just over 6 miles!! It was an epic hike to say the least.

Here's the view to the summit from the half way point.

The summit was remarkable. Despite low clouds obscuring what would have been spectacular views, it was amazing to make it to the top. There were several moments of uncertainly, but we stuck it out and enjoyed the reward. Unfortunately, it was a little chilly at 5000 ft.

Yes, the exclamation point on the rock WAS appropriate.

I must admit that the decent was much more challenging than the ascent. There was a lot of tricky bouldering, with sharp rocks and vegetation keeping us on our toes. We were all pretty exhausted towards the end, and after doing was equates to hours of squats and lunges during the hike, our legs on Saturday morning were barely functional.

Sunday was originally slated for more fun in the sun, however after deciding to print our boarding passes at 0850, we realized that our flight back to MSP departed at 1010. CRAP!! Our place is 25 miles from the airport, we had to return the rental car, our condo was a mess, and I was still in my PJs. We thought we were on the Sunday evening flight (the typical situation), and after a quick check, there were no Sun Country flights until Monday morning. I HAD to be back in the office Monday morning, so I threw my work laptop in my bag and off we went. Kerry dropped me at the airport and I made it through security without a problem. It sucked to leave my favorite sidekick behind, but there was no way we could have both made it. I guess, on the positive side, I didn’t have to do any cleaning!!

Thanks Jen for picking me up at the airport...The Door to door service was much appreciated.

Now at 18 degrees F, I guess its time to readjust the internal thermostat! BURRRRR...