Socially distanced hiking in unseasonably warm weather seems reasonable to me. Since being furloughed in March, I refuse to be “locked down” indoors and have continued to enjoy simple adventures around the areas that I live.
Carolyn had been requesting that we return to the Superstition Mountain Wilderness for a hike near Canyon Lake on the Boulder Canyon Trail. Our first Friday adventure has been decided and off we head to the Apache Trail and the Canyon Lake Marina.
Our start to the day is a slow one due to my ADD as I was quite discombobulated due to this reoccurring disability. Scattered and lacking focus, we head out and I left my hiking poles behind. Thank goodness I did remember water and snacks.
Once arriving we start our hike at 9:20 only about an hour behind our planned start. Once again, we are socially distanced only passing a couple returning from their morning hike and we will not see anyone else until the very end on our return. The hike is quite strenuous for me due to the rocky nature of the trail. Walking on rock takes its toll on my back and hips but I get through it. The scenery is beautiful. Deep in the Superstition Mountains the trail heads up before descending down to a wash that you crisscross multiple times. We fail to see any wildlife (not including me) but it is very peaceful and the views of Battleship and Weaver’s Needle are simply amazing. We hike in about 5.5 miles from the road and we could have continued but I just knew getting out would take a toll on my joints. The elevation gains total about 1800 feet and it is the going down that pounds on my lower back and hips and I missed my poles. The climb out is significant so be prepared as it is strenuous.
The views of Canyon Lake are special. Our journey lasted about six hours with plenty of stops to take in the scenery. Even with the pounding, I was happy and glad that I did it but sure that I will have plenty of residual aches and pains.
Upon returning we stop in to the Well Done Grill for some fish and chips, (A Friday thing) and they just happen to have Barrio Blonde one of our favorite light craft beers. On our way back to the Dreamy Draw condo, we stop by Goldwater Brewing Taproom in the Longbow Marketplace in East Mesa. We had no idea that Goldwater had opened in this area but what a lovely stop. Talking about favorites, their Desert Rose is a Kolsch style brewed with organic prickly pear that we have always loved. Not only does it taste good, it’s got a beautiful color to it. What a great day of hiking and crafting our way through Arizona. For an ADD guy, my attention was quickly focused on enjoying a cold one.
Our second hike of November takes us to Cave Creek Regional Park easily accessible and a beautiful area that doesn’t get overcrowded. After the pounding my body took Friday, I still manage to move around willing myself to get outdoors with Carolyn and her mother.
Another beautiful day in the desert and our hike gets started around 1:30. For November, it is a cloudy day but beautiful hiking weather. Today’s mini adventure takes us over 3.5 miles on the Overton to Go John to Overton Loop trail. We gain about 500 feet and we remained socially distanced with only a few encounters with hikers. Very peaceful with some good views looking south towards Phoenix. Only about 35 minute drive from our condo and we are in this beautiful county park. It is amazing to me that we are so close to 1.7 million Phoenicians yet far enough away to find solitude and peace. The hike starts by the Visitors’ Center and heads north behind one of the mountains with a gradual climb and eventually meets up with the Go John trail which is probably the most popular trail in the park. From there we head towards the picnic area parking lot rejoining the Overton Trail to complete the loop.
Since it is Saturday and we still have some time for a little enjoyment, we drive to the Cave Creek/Carefree area for a craft cocktail at the Elysian Desert Distilleries Cave Creek Tasting Room. Elysian is very unique place owned and operated by a mother/daughter combo. The bartenders make up some great tasting and unique cocktails that uses their Carefree Bourbon and some of their other spirits. It was fun to hangout and enjoy a local small business. On our way home we stopped for a pizza at Oregano’s.
A great start to our November outdoor adventures escaping the stresses of this Covid 2020 year. There is always peace to be found in the desert, socially distanced by choice and circumstance. In other words, Get Outdoors!