Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Romero Pools

September 20, 2014

Before our new puppy entered our family, we had another weekend adventure! This happened the day after we first met Charlotte, and so while we were hiking, most of our conversations revolved around her. We were trying to imagine what it would be like doing everything with a little puppy by our side.

Exactly one year ago from this weekend was our first hike together in Arizona, and we had hiked this exact same trail. Then, we went with the Navigator group from U of A. Today, it was just us, and I intentionally went out with my camera, ready to document the adventure, unlike last year.

We started around 8 this morning, and it wasn't long before we were hot and sweating profusely. This was thanks to the humidity that lingered over after the rain. We took several breaks and questioned whether we should even be hiking since it was already so hot this early. But we knew that at the end of this short 2.7 mile hike were pools that we could relax and cool down in, and so we pressed on. 

The trail starts off being a sandy, easy path that is relatively flat. It would have been very easy if it weren't for the heat. Because the trail is much shorter, it's also very busy with hiking groups headed to the pools.

No dogs beyond this point - guess this isn't a hike we'll be doing with Charlie! We joked about how her short legs wouldn't even be able to climb up the high rock steps. Also, this sign has been joked about probably as long as Curtis has hiked this trail - the "No Horses" part was obviously added as an afterthought as it's written on the sign unlike the rest of the writing. The joke is that the bighorn sheep were the ones that wanted to exclude the horses, so they added that line to the sign. :)

I remembered being tired and winded throughout most of the hike last year, and I thought that it was just because it was my first hike and I was still adjusting to the elevation. However, I realized that it really is a more difficult hike because of the trail conditions (rock face, steep steps) and because it does gain quite a bit of elevation quickly. Having done both trails twice, I would definitely say that 7 Falls is a much easier trail, and therefore better for a first time hiker in the area!

This was another trail that we were excited to see after all the rain. Not only were the pools at the end very full, but everything was so green the whole way up. 

Ahhh! We saw our 5th tarantula while hiking! Curtis took this picture, because obviously I was hiding from it. I guess only seeing 5 tarantulas in 1 year isn't that bad for an Arizonian...right?

After around 2 hours of hiking with several breaks, we finally reached the end. We found a spot to leave our things, then went to enjoy the pools. Here, the air was cool and fresh, as was the water.

Here's Curtis' favorite part about the pools - the cliff diving! To see it better, try enlarging the video. I was just figuring out the video recording on my new phone for this, so sorry if the quality isn't the best. I'm just glad I had it to be able to capture the fun. I'll work on finding a better way to share videos...which is especially important now that I have an adorable puppy who much easier to record than take pictures of. ;)

Facing the opposite direction of the cliff diving. Here are some of the quiet, refreshing pools.

Facing towards the cliffs - we had a snack while watching some others jump from the highest cliff possible.

Selfie! Just one happy couple, completely unaware of all the happiness and love about to join them in the next day. :)

After spending quite a bit of time at the pools, we began the trek down. At this point, clouds were starting to come over us, and with them came cooler air which made the hike more comfortable.

Yay, I can take my own panoramas now!This is facing Southeast, watching the clouds rolling in. 

Even wider view of the above picture - not the best, but you can see both sides of the trail here. 

Facing Northwest

And West! After this point, it started raining on us, so we put the devices away and finished the trail in the rain. However, since we were here, we decided to grab a box on the nature trail before finishing up. This added about a mile more to the hike.

A screenshot from the app "Map My Hike" on my phone. We had heard about this before and were excited to finally try it out, and we're excited about mapping out many more hikes! Here, you can see how far we went and what our trail looked like. The green dot is where our truck was, the red line to the right is the 5.4 mile hike to the pools, and the small loop above the dot was the nature trail to get the box.

Here, you can see the  elevation changes throughout the hike. The app uses GPS signal, and even though my phone lost service in parts of the canyon, it continued to keep track of where we were headed!

Now the real fun will we continue having adventures with a puppy by our side? Maybe we'll find out this weekend. :)

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