So. It’s been a year since I last posted a blog on this neglected site. I wish I could say that the reason I haven’t blogged the past year was because life was so incredibly exciting! Nope. I’ve just been preoccupied with work and doing the regular home improvement stuff that first-time homeowners tend to get caught up in. However, this winter, there are a few good changes as compared to last winter. First, I’ve taken this season off from accompanying my choir, which means I have weekends off! Second, it’s winter in the desert, which means it’s safe to go outside! (Remember that “winter” in the southwest means “awesome weather” and “summer” in the southwest means “death due to heat exhaustion and dehydration.”) Third, because of reasons one and two, I’ve been doing some more hiking lately.
Two weekends ago, my SAT (“self-appointed trainer”) and I teamed up with our friend Ian to hike Wasson Peak, just outside of Tucson. This hike is considered to be a moderate trail hike: 7.5 miles (round-trip) and 1900 ft elevation gain. It was an overcast day, so temperatures were on the cool side. I enjoyed stretching my legs out and remembering what it felt like to do a long walk.
(1: pretty cactus pattern; 2: SAT and Ian near beginning of hike; 3: view of what we have hiked; 4: view from top; 5: view from top; 6: summit selfie)
Yesterday, SAT, Ian, and I successfully summited Quartz Peak in the Sierra Estrella mountain range. The top of this peak is made up of white quartz boulders, thus, the (unimaginative) name. This hike is a workout! It’s almost 6 miles long and gains about 2,550 feet in elevation (my legs hurt yesterday). From the top, you have great views of the Phoenix valley while relaxing on the pretty quartz rock. Two extra cool things about this hike include the scrambling that you have to do to reach the top and the many pieces of mica available near the top. The drive to the trailhead is a bit of a chore: the last 5-7 miles is on a dirt road that requires a high-clearance vehicle (preferably 4×4).
(1: our goal is the white peak!; 2: SAT peering at me through a transparent piece of mica; 3: sitting on top of the peak; 4: peek-a-boo!; 5: view from the top; 6: another view from the top; 7: I made vegan Oreos to enjoy at the top….and they were GOOD.)
What’s next? Well, my SAT and I are planning to visit White Sands Monument in New Mexico over Thanksgiving weekend, which should be really cool. Stay tuned for the trip report!