What a difference a day makes….
Today I didn’t pick the trail until this morning and decided on one I had done before and was pretty comfortable with, I went with the Kiwanis Trail in the South Mountain park system. The funny thing with this trail is that last week when I started thinking about this hike a day for spring break I thought this trail would be to long and challenging for the boys at 2.7 miles in length. Well with a technical 5 miler and two other 2 plus milers under their belt this now seemed like a very doable hike for these super trekker kids. The backpack was double checked and we loaded up and headed to South Mountain with a quick stop at Circle K to refresh my depleted gum stash. Taking the trip through South Phoenix is always full of interesting things and people even at 8:30 in the morning and just like that you go from the city to a huge nature area.
I was happy to see only 3 other cars in the small lot at the trail head as today was going to be a take our time and no rush type of hike. Everyone had good attitudes and only Munch had to pee so things couldn’t get much better. Once I got Munch situated behind a bush to handle his business I got the other 2 some gum and then we hit it. I had already figured I was going to be carrying Luc more then normal with his little legs tired from a week of adventures, but it turned out to be most of the day. The perks of being a super special two year old… This was the first hike where we were able to see petroglyphs on the rocks not far off the trail but far enough after the snake nobody dared explore. The weather was perfect in the ravine that our hike lead us through mostly shade with some sun patches. As we made our way up the trail before we knew we were climbing the last bit up to the main road that ran through the park. This where a vote was taken we carry on across the street and jump on the National Trail and finish up at the 85 year old rock building on the top, Munch voted yes and Drew said nay and the yes’s had it. Drew slightly dejected fell in behind us as we headed up the last little bit of climbing for the day, the reward of a snack kept the pace up and with Luc in my arms we made it lickity split. Once at the top you could see how much crap was in the air today more than normal for sure, a quick photo and some water plus the much anticipated snack everyone was ready to head down and call it a day. With very little traffic we were able to knock out the return in almost half the time plus with Luc on my shoulders for all but the last 100 yards it the day was done. With only a couple minor falls and some very knotted shoulders today was the kind of mellow no stress hike the boys need to avoid becoming jaded about hiking. Today was nearly perfect and will be hard to top but we shall see what tomorrow holds….
In an effort to get out and enjoy the amazing weather during the boys spring break, I’ve chosen a hike a day for the next five days that I hope they can handle. I choose the hikes out of the recently released Moon Outdoors Take A Hike Phoenix by Lilia Menconi (liliatakesahike.com)an amazing guide with over 300 pages of detailed information on hikes within a 2 hour drive of the city.
Today (Sunday) we started with a shorty of a hike with a bit of climb to test the water. I choose a hike I had done a bunch as a kid in Papago Park, called Hole In the Rock. I had forgotten how popular this trail was until we pulled into the lot and there were only 2 spots left plus I could see the crowd at the top to where the trail leads, but it was an amazing 80 degree day so it was to be expected. As we begin the ascent a tour bus pulls into the small lot and I give the “pick up the pace” nod to Sarah who is handling Lüc for this hike and we were off. Again this not being the longest, it wasn’t long before we had made it to the “hole in the rock”, lüc was very proud of his 2 and half year old self and let us all know it. Most of the crowd I saw from the parking lot had began already headed out which allowed for a little more exploration at the top, which there isn’t much to explore except the view which was exceptionally clear today. We snapped some photos and made our descent towards the parking lot this time taking an alternate route down which was a little more technical for little boys legs. Just as quick as it started we where back loading into the truck, drinking some water, and talking about tomorrow’s “real” hike…..