Hiking Day Again

And not a moment too soon as we both need to work off some of the extra calories we inhaled over the Christmas Season. We actually had a couple of chances to hike last week, but the club decided to head to Labarge Narrows which is a great hike but close to 12 miles with quite substantial inclines involved. We’d really like to do this hike again, but thought that we’d wait a bit to build up our stamina a bit first. We also had a chance to explore a new hike with Dana and Debbie, but when we woke up it was raining quite hard so we chickened out. They went without us later in the day and surprisingly had a very dry day on the trails. Our loss I guess.

Today’s trek was called the Praying Hands Loop and we’ve been there a couple of times before, but never stops us from enjoying it again, as the scenery changes every time, depending on the skies and the temperatures. On our first trip the weather was cold and windy and we were happy to get there and really happy to get back. The second time it was decently warm and sunny and we enjoyed it much more. This year the weather has been cooler than normal, and as the destination is on the north side of the mountain, we wisely decided to depart an hour later to try and stay in the sun as much as possible. It was quite comfortable when we were in the sunshine, but we were quite happy to be moving and working when we walked through the shady sections.

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Praying Hands is the formation that sticks out on the left side of this picture. From this vantage point it doesn’t look that far up Superstition Mountain, but by the time we got there we’d managed to climb almost 900 feet in elevation.

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The sun was out in full force today, but it was only in the mid 40’s when we started the hike.

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As per usual I was one of the last to arrive at the base of the Praying Hands as I was stopping to take pictures along with several others. As I was bringing along our lunch, Sylvia was quite happy to see me finally arrive. Everyone was sitting around in the bright sunshine as we’d planned, but due to the sun being so low on the horizon we lost the chance to be in the warmth for long as it snuck behind the mountain again.

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By the time we’d finished our snack and took off again the shadows covered the Hands, but the rest of the hike was mostly in the sunshine and was very comfortable.

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We got buzzed by a couple of vintage planes as we walked. More specifically this fella flew overhead just as a few ladies wandered off into the bush to look for the ladies room. When he circled around and flew overhead again I was starting to wonder just what he could see from up there.

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We’ve seen several of these balancing acts in the desert during our hikes. Some people have a lot of patience and very steady hands to set these up. I knocked one over once, and made sure I didn’t even breathe on this one.

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Our route took us to this formation where we eventually walked through a narrow slot before heading down the hill.

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We finally stood still long enough for someone to take a picture of us.

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Sylvia climbed up on this ledge for a great picture. I took what I thought was a similar picture of her taken on my phone and posted it on Facebook right away. The only problem was that I posted a picture of Deb and Kay instead. I think I could be in big trouble for mistaking someone else for my wife……..

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All in all it was a 5 mile hike in great weather and spent with great friends. Just the way we like it.

Since our last informational posting we’ve had a few outings. First up was a trip to the Hale Theatre to see A Christmas Carol with the CVCC (Canyon Vistas Culture Club) We saw the play last year, and while the lead actor was the same person, the play was done quite a bit differently, which added some extra entertainment value.

Sylvia managed to get her picture taken with Scrooge after the play. They even had snow falling outside the theater, which was a nice touch.

A couple of nights later we went to see The Duttons with my god parents who have a home in Mesa. The Duttons are a large family who are multi talented musicians. They put on a good Christmas show, and included about 30 members of their extended family in the production.

We had a great time with May and Neil who are in their late 80’s and will continue to come to Arizona as long as they possibly can. It’s much more fun to be here than back in Edmonton after all. Their costs for health insurance are high, as I think you could buy a compact car every year with what it costs them, but it’s obviously worth it to them.

Not long after that it was Christmas Eve and we were treated to a presentation by the Church Choir here in the park. I was pleased to handle the sound board work for the choir again this year.

Then Christmas was upon us and we had a great time talking with Sylvia’s folks and our kids and grandkids all morning.  Then we wandered over to John and Nancy’s for dinner and games. We had a lot of fun, but determined later that we’d been on our rear ends for almost 12 hours that day. No wonder we needed to get out hiking by today.

The cooler weather this year has by no means diminished the quality of the sunsets. This is taken right out our rear window, although some of our nicer views are going to be disappearing as rigs fill up the empty spots around us.

New Year’s Eve is coming, and we are going to be attending a party here in the park, just like we’ve done the past couple of years. It should be another great time. We hope you’ve all had a great Christmas, and look forward to a wonderful 2016.

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4 responses to “Hiking Day Again

  1. Interesting, informative and great pictures. Happy New Year you two!

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  2. Wow, you two are certainly busy! Your hiking adventures sound wonderful and way too ambitious! Chuckles….. I am only envious of your stamina and knees! We have been very busy with our son and his partner, Tina. They are big into photography so really wanted to see the sights which meant sitting in the car for two long days. It was all worth it in the long run. We managed to get in the sunrise at Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon and The Grand Canyon…. Sadly, along with thousands of others. We all had a great time over Christmas and was sad to see them leave yesterday. Today we are packing and cleaning for our new tenants that arrive on the 2nd and of course we must ring in the New Year tonight at a large house party with friends. I am wondering if I will still be awake by midnight? Unlikely! We leave on the 3rd and are looking forward to some warmth and seafood in Mexico for Jan and Feb! We wish you continued health, happiness and endless new adventures for 2016!

    Karen and Hugh

    >

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  3. Nice hike and photos too. Keeping active is so, so good too, isn’t it?
    Cheers

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  4. Great photos! Wishing you a Happy New Year full of new adventures.

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