Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Adventure Time

my friend, erma, and i had a hiking date yesterday.
i had asked if she had time for a longer one because i had found a big loop to try.
{new trails are my goal for the year}.
she said she was game so, off we went...talking all the way.

this particular hike is on south mountain {my favorite}.
fun fact: south mountain is the largest city park in the country with 16,000 acres!
we started on the dirt road/fire road and headed to the national trail head.
{the national trail climbs across two mountain ranges and is 15.5 miles...one way}.
as we hiked further back in to the guadalupe range, we lost all sense of the city that surrounded us.
it is beautiful. 
saguaros, palo verde trees, and creosote bushes dot the landscape against a cornflower blue sky.
we saw the occasional chipmunk and squirrel and plenty of birds. 
{thank goodness the snakes are hibernating and the coyotes and bobcats are too skittish}.

after hiking for about two and a half miles, there is an area where you can venture off the national trail and explore the natural rock tunnel and fat man's pass.  i have heard of these and have been anxious to check them out.  it wasn't hard to talk erma in to a little adventure!
the trail is a little sketchy and there are no signs.
yay! we found the tunnel.

it's a short tunnel but, i would not want to be there during a flash flood!
fat man's pass.
not sure about the name of this little sight.
we both stared at it for a moment before attempting to squeeze through.
but, this is an adventure so, i went first and assured her she would make it...no problem.
easy peasy.
{if you are carrying a backpack, are claustrophobic, or simply don't want to go through...there is a path around the rocks}.

we continued on and connected back to the national trail.
we talked and walked for a few more miles...deeper in to the mountain.
after hiking for 5 miles, we arrived at the buena vista lookout where we stopped to check the map.
{this area also has restrooms}.
when looking at my map at home, i thought we could take geronimo trail to hidden valley trail and connect to the mormon loop...which would take us to the dirt road where we started.
well. i was wrong. kind of.
fortunately, there was a park ranger there who told us how it could be done.
however, it would take us longer than backtracking the way we came.
since we both had to pick up kids at some point...
we decided to backtrack. as usual, it seemed faster heading back...we were booking it though.
after 10 miles and three and a half hours - we made it back to our cars.
we both felt great.
{maybe a little tired and hungry...but, fabulous}

it was quite an adventure and i can't wait until the next one.

*if you go: we parked at the 48th st./ pima canyon lot.  it is about 5 miles roundtrip from the parking lot to fat man's pass and the tunnel.  it is a moderate hike.
there are also petroglyphs at the end of the dirt road and lots of areas to explore.
it is dog friendly, as well.

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