Yesterday we met Ron and Barbara at Picacho Peak State Park. You can see her blog here. Barbara suggested the park because it provides just about the only hiking near where we are parked and she and Ron had both hiked to the peak before. We were eager to go there because Picacho Peak is one of the Arizona state parks that will close in coming months because of budget shortfalls. We hiked there once last year.
This sign told us where we were headed. Frankly, I was a little disappointed that it was only two miles to the top. At least I felt that for a while. The "primitive trail" includes numerous stretches of cable attached to rebar to help hikers get up and down the peak. Are you serious? We guessed that is why they sell gloves at the entrance station. Here is John, showing off this gloves.
Before the trail got steep, we heard, and then saw, a bird squwaking at us. John took a picture of Barbara and Ron looking for the bird and me taking a picture of the bird. Below are his picture as well as mine of the bird.
The desert was beautiful as we hiked to the peak.
We reached the saddle, then we had to hike DOWN for a spell. And the trail became more difficult.
Time and again, Barbara said we had finished the hard part and it would be easier the rest of the way to the top. We learned to not believe her. Sometimes it was only steep and rough enough to need one cable. In a couple of sections there were two cables.
We did make it to the top! Thankfully, there were other people at the top who could take our picture.
And these views were our reward for all the work climbing to the top.
On the way down, which wasn't much easier than the trip up, we told Ron and Barbara that when we agreed to meet them at Picacho Peak, we didn't realize at first they meant we would climb TO the peak. We knew the park had several hiking trails. Barbara admitted that if she had remembered that the hike was this difficult, she never would have suggested it.
As we came down and saw the parking lot with our truck and their car, we were all proud of what we had accomplished.
But at least three of us don't intend to do hikes like that every week.