Sunday, June 15, 2014

Red Ridge Trail

Hello from the desert! Yeah, we're still alive down here. There's no denying it's HOT. Highs have been in the 100's all week - it even smells hot! However, as you'll see, there isn't really much different about our lifestyle compared to during the winter months. We like it this way. :) Here's pictures and stories for our adventures this weekend:

Letterboxing in Marana around 1pm 6/13. Looking out at the Catalina Mountains. We just went for a drive-by box, and then a mile long walk. As you can see, there really isn't any shade…hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!

On our "hot date" - 105 degrees ;) Curtis says he was making that face because of the heat. I refused to sit on that hot bench.

"Curtis, look up!"
"It's too hot!"

At least there was a breeze…a hot breeze, but breeze nonetheless!

Happy to report there was no scary wildlife on the trail this day. The only thing that could make it better would be a vehicle with air conditioning. But hey, #firstworldprobs, am I right? At least our truck still drives! :) 

Our next hike took place yesterday, June 14, on the Red Ridge Trail in the Catalina Mountains.

Wow, a great view right at the beginning? Yeah, that's because for this trail, you drive up the Catalina Highway to Mt. Lemmon, and hike the trail down into a canyon, then back up. It was about 6.5 miles round trip.

We went with Mitch, Roxy, and Mitch's dog, Shadow. There were no letterboxes on this trail, (well, before we hiked it at least!) this was all altitude training for hikes with much higher elevation. 

The weather was in our favor - since we were around 8000 feet above sea level to begin with, it was much cooler at the start. It warmed up of course, but as we went further down, there was more and more shade. 

We made it to our destination in 1.5 hours. 3.25 miles, losing 2500 feet of elevation. It was very steep, there were some points where it was easier to run than walk. It was especially hard on our knees, but we took it easy and pressed through. This stream (above & below pictures) was at the end of our path. Sadly, not clean enough to sit in and cool off!

The end of the trail is interesting to Mitch & Curtis because there used to be cowboy camps and gold mining in this area. We walked around a bit and explored the area before having a small picnic.

The above picture is a very special location - this is where Curtis & Mitch went camping in December of 2012, and on that night they discussed and prayed over the idea of Curtis proposing to me. And of course, that's what happened a few short weeks later!

Another cool piece of history - but not our history - the patent date on this gold processing equipment was 1890!

More signs of a cowboy camp…and also the "demon mountain cows" that Curtis & Mitch claim exist but I have yet to see proof!

After about an hour of resting at the bottom, we began the hike back up…but didn't make it too far before the steep trail had us all out of breath! I knew the whole way up that it would be difficult, but actually having to do it was more difficult than I thought.

We wanted a picture with Shadow, but she would only pose with us if Mitch was there!

Mitch, Roxy, & Shadow

Such a good dog - just one of the very few times she actually sat down for a break!

Above is a picture of the trail - it got very narrow at some points, and we recommend long pants if you plan to ever hike this trail. 

Selfies while taking a break together. This isn't the best one but I thought it was pretty cute. My hair gives you an idea of how windy it was!

The better one. So thankful he's so patient with me and encourages me, while not pushing me too hard!

The above picture and below 3 make up a panorama of the view to the North. Sometimes Google pieces them together for me (since my camera doesn't) but it didn't this time. Use your imagination!

We also found some blossoming flowers on the way up - we completely missed them on the way down, but I was grateful to see them now to take another break!

Finally finished! Shadow rode on Curtis' lap the whole way up & down the mountain. After getting back to Mitch's home, we spent a fun afternoon and evening with friends, complete with delicious steaks and a game of Risk. And that was our weekend!

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