Yesterday, we had my favorite Arizona trails experience to date.
Arizona winter weather has really hit its sweet spot this weekend, with cool evenings and days topping out in the high 60s and low 70s.
So, Ed decided to take me someplace I'd wanted to go since we moved here - the Superstition Mountains! I can see these mountains daily as I drive home from work, and their very unique visage has alway made me want to go explore them. However, I was always afraid their trails would be out of my league.
Thankfully, the trails were surprisingly lovely! We realized that maybe there is a correlation between paying a park entrance fee and getting nice trails :). Totally worth the $7 to be on trails this smooth.
I also decided to borrow Ed's hydration pack for our hike, since on previous hikes, my one bottle of water seemed inadequate. Even though I didn't drink probably even half, since the weather was so mild, it was mentally great to know I had more than enough.
The lighting on the trails was just spectacular, and the recent rains meant that a fine layer of grass covered the ground.
Who would have thought - a green Sonoran Desert?
Eventually, we began climbing, which started gradually.
What's that in the distance?
Finally, we got up high enough where the sun was blocked by the cliffs, and the temperature dropped at least 15 degrees. Even though it wasn't that hot, being in the shade felt heavenly.
Being at the high point also afforded us some more views.
At our high point, we made good use of a bench while some horses passed by, and then started our (precarious) downward trek.
For future reference, we did this loop backwards. Our downhill was not the smooth, groomed experience we had going up, and I *may* have lost my footing coming down. Not usually a huge deal, but a little more concerning when you're carrying a little one inside. Luckily, it was one of those slow motion falls, where my feet slipped out from under me and I was suddenly not so gracefully sitting on the trail. I did scrape my back a bit on a sharp rock, but otherwise only my pride was injured.
Little Evan has been kicking plenty since then to let me know he's no worse for wear :). Ed and I wondered out loud on the hike how he experiences outings like this. How much can he hear? Can he tell we're outside? Can he feel the bumpiness of the trails?
As our journey came to a close, we got to take in some beautiful wildlife.
Finally, we reached flat land again, and took a few moments to soak in that view for a little longer.
Just 2.4 miles and an hour on the trails, but the beauty of the day made it incredibly memorable. Experiences like this make me realize that there really is a beauty to the nature here, and that maybe, just maybe, trails here aren't all bad after all :)