We were up and at 'em early to beat the heat climbing the Summit at Squaw Peak. Hubby and Harry had made the climb about four years ago, but this was a first for me and Chip.
We were feeling all kinds of confident and strong standing at the base posing for pictures.
There were tons of cars in the parking lot, so it seemed like this was a pretty popular activity for a beautiful, chilly Phoenix morning.
From the base, it doesn't seem that far to the high point behind us....well that is not the top. That is not the top at all. We would later call this point....Mountain One of Three.
Starting the ascent....not yet realizing that Mountain One is not Squaw Peak. Oh, it doesn't take us long to shed the coat and realize this is a serious hike.
It is treacherous terrain...you have to look down the entire time or twist and ankle or fall off of a cliff.
Coat is off. Sun is out. We are only just beginning.
There are some areas where there are legit steps, but for the most part you are picking your way up and over big rocks, looking for a flat place to put your foot. I mean a twisted ankle up here could be some major trouble.
Starting to get to the thin air.
This is the path. Look at what a jumbled up mess that is! You just start trying to find a way up. Grabbing on to rocks, or your family members. People are coming and going and it is a busy trail. Some people are running up in hooded sweatshirts, getting a good sweat on. I called them "jerks". Others were racing down the path as fast as they could, running, jumping, like mountain goats. I called them "idiots".
You can start to see how very high we are getting when you see the city in the background.
We take lots of breaks....to catch our breath....let our legs stop burning...and enjoy the view. It was gorgeous.
Harry was part goat. Climbing up on high things. At the time it didn't seem extremely dangerous, but that next night I woke up three times in a cold sweat with visions of my children rolling down the side of that mountain. What was I thinking??
Even higher. The higher you went, the worse the trail became. At the end, I was practically crawling on my hands and knees.
Get away from the edge!!
Above the clouds. Can't even see the tiny cars in the parking lot. We are up high.
Almost to the top....people coming down were saying "Just about two more football fields to go. It is totally worth it once you get to the top!" I thought the view from Mountain Two was pretty spectacular....but NOOOOO Mountain Three is apparently where it is at.
We slowly but surely made our way to the top. And, surprise it was totally worth it.
We get all the way to the top and there is a squirrel just asking to have his picture taken. He was up there getting leftover snacks from people who were eating oranges and granola bars. We didn't have any snacks. I honestly had no idea it would be such a strenuous climb. I actually felt a little woozie at the top, not sure if it was the thin air or the lack of breakfast, but I was seriously wishing I had more than a bottle of water.
Our mountain guide and photographer. He loves Phoenix and told us so about every 20 minutes while we were on vacation. I think he means it.
We are at the top. It is very high. Feeling woozie is not an option because you have to get back down. That is also where the food is! Let's blow this Popsicle stand and get down this mountain.
And we spotted a cute chipmunk....this is for you Bob. Bob has a special relationship with the chipmunks in his backyard.
OMG....after a half hour going down (which was waaayyyy easier than going up!) we can finally tell that those tiny things are cars in the parking lot! I think we are going to make it!
Chip led the way and I was trying to step where he stepped. Only one instance where I was trying to stay way to the left to let someone pass me and I stepped down off a boulder and scrapped my shin big time. Nice bruise too. I didn't even stop to access the damage. I was focused on getting down this mountain!
We made it down, without a drop of water left and all of us desperate for a cold drink and some food. Next time, I will be a little better prepared....eat some breakfast and definitely bring along some snacks!
There was a McDonald's on the way back to the hotel and the boys wanted to run through the drive through and get something to eat.
This leads us to embarrassing Family Incident #2. We pulled in and ordered...I just got a giant unsweetened tea but the boys all got burgers. We pull up to the window and Hubby doesn't have his wallet. I don't have mine either. So we are sweating, hot, hungry, thirsty, have placed our order and have no money. So embarrassing. The sweet little girl at window calls her manager over and they decide to let us have our drinks and food and come back to pay. We were so appreciative! Never has a cold drink tasted so good! Hubby dropped us off, picked up his wallet and headed right back up there to pay.
Then we hit the pool. Ahhh, it was marvelous! We floated in the lazy river and let the sweat and grim of the climb just float away. It was delicious! And I had a poolside Bloody Mary...which was also delicious!
Early afternoon we headed down to a ballpark to watch the Dodgers and Angels play. We got there early to watch batting practice and stake out a place to get some autographs. The Dodgers were very obliging and the boys got several autographs. We had awesome seats and the game was a good one.
Another awesome, busy day of vacation and again I was asleep within four minutes of hitting the door of the hotel. I slept so good while we were gone!