Sunday, February 2, 2014

January Letterboxing Adventures

It feels so strange to title this post "January adventures." After surviving 20 Iowan winters, this feels nothing like "January" to me. Maybe it's the longest and nicest October I've ever lived through. I'm not complaining about this of course ~ now that I've been here though I don't think I can ever go back. ;)

This picture represents to me 4 of the things I love most about Arizona:
-Big, open, beautiful sky
-Hiking and letterboxing with my husband

This particular hike was on a Sunday afternoon. It was about 4 miles roundtrip hiking up to the peak of Babad Do'ag Mountain in the Catalinas. The weather was perfect, the sky magnificent, the view breathtaking! I was also elated to find that the elevation and hike didn't wear me out. Window Rock was certainly brutal but I'm getting better with each hike!

We made it to the peak only to realize we didn't have to go that far for the letterbox we were searching for. It was so worth the hike though!

Looking South over Tucson, with Mt. Wrightson - the tallest peak - in the background.

Looking West toward the Tucson Mountain Park

And as we were hiking down, we saw an amazing sunset. The perfect end to any hike!

I couldn't get enough of it - I took so many pictures while Curtis was driving!

The West side of the Catalina Mountains. Such pretty colors as the sun sets!

A little more boxing around Tucson on Martin Luther King Day weekend. I know Curtis thinks it's silly to have a 3 day weekend right after Christmas break, but it was still really nice to have a couple days to enjoy together!

On MLK Day, we took a trip to Phoenix to plant and find letterboxes. To be honest, we aren't big fans of the city, it's just way too big, too many people, and driving is too stressful. We did have a nice time though, and hiked in Phoenix South Mt. Park and the Estrella Mt. Park.

Here are some of the views from Phoenix South Mt. Park. Above is looking North toward Phoenix, and below is facing South.

Back in Tucson, we enjoyed one of our weekly hikes with our boxing buddies after they got off work!

We usually go hiking together in Tucson Mt. Park. We'll start when the sun is still shining, watch the sun set over the mountains, and hike back in the dark. This particular night, we reached a great 360 view on a peak and got a view of the city lights. I couldn't get rid of the weird spotlight in the picture, but I just had to share it anyway :)

Last weekend, we took a trip with our friends to Madera Canyon, South of Tucson. Curtis is very good about planning day trips that are very thorough in getting all the letterboxes in that area. So for this particular hike, we had about an 8 hour day with a delightful picnic lunch and scored 6 boxes!

We've done quite a bit of driving on some pretty rough dirt roads lately. Thankfully the Yeti can put up with all of this! The most exciting part about this road was seeing the cows in their open range. :)

Baby Cow!!

You know you live in a desert when …

And thus concludes the month of January's Adventures! 
Letterboxes found: 40
Miles hiked: 30
Places visited: Cedar Rapids, IA; Quincy, IL; Hannibal, MO; Fairfax, IA; Apache Junction, AZ; Window Rock, Babad Do'ag, Tucson Mt. Park, Phoenix, AZ; S. Phoenix Mountain Park, Estrella Mountains; Buckeye, AZ; Gila Bend, AZ; Freeman, AZ; Green Valley - Madera Canyon, AZ

Also important to note that we celebrated 6 months of marriage. What a wonderful 6 months it has been! :)

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