Fair Weather Hikers?

Not likely. Other than very heavy rain and snow days our club is out on the trails twice a week in all sorts of conditions. Some have even gone hiking in snow, and have pictures of snowmen on the mountain tops to prove it.

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The weather here in Gold Canyon has been cooler than normal, but still pretty decent compared to being most places in Canada these days. We’ve had some rain, and even frost on the vehicles in the morning, but usually have  sunny and warm temps by the afternoons. Today was cool to start, but warmed up nicely by noon.

We started out on the trail around Pass Mountain early this morning, and it was 2°C as we drove to the trailhead. That’s about 36°F but no matter what way you look at it, it’s cold! The bonus was that it was sunny and bright and as we could spend most of the hike staying out of the shade it was quite comfortable. Sylvia left the trailer wearing 5 different layers of shirts, jackets and hoodies but soon dropped one and was down another one before the hike was half over. By the time we were off the trails, the temp was up to 12°C or about 54°F which was actually quite comfortable.

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As you can see the brilliant blue skies have returned. Today there wasn’t a cloud to be seen.IMG_1570IMG_1571

The Pass Mountain hike is just over 8 miles long and circles Pass Mountain (surprisingly). This was only our fourth hike of the season, but one of the longer ones we attempt. We’re glad this was scheduled early in the season, as we will be ready when the various Debbie and Dana Death Marches happen soon after the New Year. There were just over 20 of us on the hike, which is a smaller group than normal. The cold weather seemed to be a hindrance to some of the less hardy members of the club.

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In case we forget which way the Big City is, this lets us know where to look. The sign is located just above a shooting range, and we were serenaded by the soothing(?) sound of guns set to fully automatic fire for some of our trek. Good thing they’re a long way away.

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The back side of the mountain gives a nice view of the 4 Peaks area as well as the Usury and Goldfield mountains.

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We did run across some ice on the shady side of the hill. This was taken close to noon, and I doubt if it melted over the rest of the day.

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On the back side of the trek I got to spend my time with these 3 lovely ladies. Lucky me.

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I tried to get as many cactus in this shot as possible. I figure there’s a Hedgehog in there somewhere, but you should be able to see the Ocotillo, Staghorn and Teddy Bear Cholla, as well as a Fish Hook Barrel and Saguaro Cacti.  There weren’t many flowers on the Ocotillo like we saw last year or any decorative grasses beside the trail this time. The various plants seem to change each and every year, but it’s always interesting and pretty in the desert.

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Not all of the Saguaro here are healthy.

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But some are definitely thriving.

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And some are starting up new families already.

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We finished up the 8 miles in just under 4 hours, and feel like we’ve pushed ourselves far enough for this week. Next up Softball and Pickleball.

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We did get a nice view of the Superstitions before we got off the trail. Before long we’ll be traipsing along the top of these mountains (Refer to previous comment about ‘Death Marches’)

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On top of the physical activities this week we drove to North Phoenix on Monday to attend the presentation ‘Celebration of Christmas’ at Dream City Church. This is a very large church and they put on a huge dramatic presentation every Christmas. There must have been 200 people on the stage when the entire cast was presented to us at the end of the show. As well, they had 5 angels flying over us above the auditorium, a horse and buggy and 3 very large camels as part of the show. Quite the presentation.

Camels are really really big animals. They used these to ferry the 3 Kings onto the stage to meet the baby Jesus.

We went to this presentation with the couple who are often mistaken for us here in the park. (except when we’re both on the dance floor, as they are awesome dancers. Us? not so awesome. Me in particular, far below average)

As we sat in a restaurant 55 miles away from our park waiting to order our dinner 12 people from Canyon Vistas walked into the same restaurant. Small world.

The following night we attended a House Warming party to christen Dana and Debbie’s new home here in the park. There were 30 or so of us in attendance, and with the assistance of 3 propane heaters we were able to spend the entire evening outdoors without freezing. Taking the short walk home proved to be quite chilly though, and by morning there was quite a bit of frost on my truck. We can’t wait for it to warm up, and by this weekend we should have a couple of days of decent temps before it cools off again. I don’t think we brought quite enough warm clothes for this weather. (Not feeling sorry for us are you?)

We’ve got a night off, and head out to a play tomorrow and a variety presentation with my Godparents on Friday. Busy, just the way we like it.

9 responses to “Fair Weather Hikers?

  1. It’s almost as cold in Gold Canyon as it is in West Kelowna. But it will warm up where you are.

    Another nice hike.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like a pretty sad snowman to me. Maybe he needed the temps to be a little colder.

    Like

  3. We had ice on a puddle beside the golf course this morning but by the time we returned from our walk it had melted. That’s the first ice we have seen this year, but since we fly home on Saturday I’m sure it won’t be the last! Beautiful pictures from you hike 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Always enjoy reading your blogs describing where I’ve been and what I’ve seen :-)!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good or you or getting out and just doing it. I do hope that the temps improve for you over the winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great photos – they really capture the landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

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