Today is our last day in Phoenix and since we’ve been a little lax on the blog this week I thought a catch up post was in order. Truthfully it hasn’t been the most exciting week around here so I’ll just give you a few sentences and a photo or two from each day.
With temperatures climbing into the 80s we thought a few hours at the lake would be the perfect way to spend our Sunday afternoon. It was much busier at Canyon Lake than during our last visit, probably because the air temperature was 30 degrees warmer! Due to all the people milling around we had to follow the rules and keep Phin on his leash so he didn’t get in any actual swimming. He wasn’t complaining though and had a blast playing in the water while we relaxed in our chairs on the edge of the lake.
We drove over to the First Water Trail-head for a small hike in the Tonto National Forest. Phineas came along with us so we didn’t go very far, but we did find a nice view of the geologic feature called The Needle.
A perfect day for a ball game. Phoenix is home to quite a few spring training baseball fields and right now is prime time to catch a spring training game. For under $10 a ticket we got very close up seats and spent the afternoon taking in the action (or lack of action). Baseball has never been my favorite sport, but I like to fool myself into thinking that watching it in person adds a sense of excitement to the game. Umm…no. In my opinion there is not even a little bit of entertainment to be found in America’s favorite past-time. I managed to make it through the entire 3 hour game though with a little help from a sugar laced lemonade and some ice cream. Next time Tim is on his own.
Not much happened on Wednesday. My kind-of, sort-of cold that I had been fighting for a few days turned into full-blown sickness and I spent most of the day napping, reading and blowing my nose. Tim was feeling fine and went out in the afternoon for a short solo hike. He returned just in time to see this spectacular sunset glow on the Superstition Mountains in our backyard.
This was the day we picked to hike to the top of Flatiron. Described as a strenuous hike (read the description here), the top of Flatiron was our goal from the first day we arrived at Lost Dutchman. The flat topped mountain that loomed over our campsite taunted us daily with its challenging steep sided cliffs. Unfortunately, only one of us made it to the top. I thought after resting all day Wednesday I was up for it, but only 1.5 miles in I knew it wasn’t happening. So after resting for a bit I turned and made my way down while Tim continued to make his way up. From his after hike report it sounds like conquering Flatiron was every bit as difficult as promised. Lots of boulder climbing and steep uphills made up the majority of the upper section of the hike. You can see from the photos that the view was pretty cool though.
On Friday we hitched up and moved about 20 minutes east from Lost Dutchman S.P. to Usery Mountain Regional Park. We had heard some really good things about this park and wanted to arrive earlier in the week, but due to its popularity could not get a site until Friday. As soon as we arrived it was apparent why this park is so popular. Generous sized sites, amazing views and tons of lush desert foliage make this one of the nicer parks we’ve been to in Arizona. I’ve cheated a little with this photo since it was actually taken today (Sunday) not on Friday. The reason is because when we arrived on Friday the rain was coming down at a steady pace and continued for most of the day.
Another chilly, cloudy drizzly day meant we spent a good portion of the day inside. We did get out between the sprinkles for a quick jaunt with Phin around the campground and down the nature trail loop. Later in the afternoon the rain seemed to have stopped so we headed out to the Mesa Rocks Block Party. It was a free event with music, food and local crafts. The weather deterred many would-be attendees but we stuck it out for a few hours taking in the sights and listening to the tunes. My favorite thing we saw was this Ectomobile that you could rent out. How cool is that!
The clouds cleared out overnight and this morning we awoke to bright sun and blue skies. Anything other than a long hike in the desert would be a waste of the day. We set out mid-morning on the Pass Mountain Loop Trail. The roughly 7.5 mile hike that loops around Pass Mountain is a popular trek especially on a sunny weekend day. The views were amazing from virtually every part of the trail. The best part was that due to the recent moisture in the past few weeks the desert was alive with lush green foliage and blooming wildflowers.
Tomorrow we leave Phoenix and head north to what we hope will be an awesome boondocking spot outside of Sedona. After more than a month in Tucson and Phoenix we are eager to spend some time near smaller towns. We are sad to leave all our cactus friends behind though :)
Beautiful photos! I’ve see The Needle on a map but never a picture. Thanks! Love the desert wildflowers.
I use to feel the same way about baseball. Then, we started going to our high school baseball games and my husband explained what was going on. I didn’t realize all that was so much going on all over the field. Now I actually can watch a game and enjoy it.
Sedona was so much fun. We had just purchased our Jeep and boy, did it get a work out and some real breaking in! You really need a higher clearance 4 wheel drive vehicle to get to the best spots. Make sure you hike to Devil’s Bridge. We have some awesome blog posts on our time there. We were there in Oct. Amazing place for hiking.
Hmm- maybe someday I’ll enjoy baseball :)
I just looked at your post about Devil’s Bridge. Sounds like an awesome hike! In fact we might just go do it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip!
“In my opinion there is not even a little bit of entertainment to be found in America’s favorite past-time.”
My favorite line.
Beautiful campsite. Glad you’re feeling better.
I am sure I offended a few people with that one! I guess baseball is just not my thing :-)
This was like a blast from the past for me. We have spent lots of time at Canyon Lake, hiked First Water Trail, gone to many spring training games when we lived in Phoenix, stayed at Usery and did the Pass Mountain hike. Thanks for posting on the Flatiron hike. We wanted to do this hike so badly but the wet weather precluded us from doing it. Kudos to Tim for getting it done! Love your sunset shot of the Superstitions…lovely!
Glad we could bring you back in time! Phoenix was a nice surprise for us. We had no idea there was so much nature surrounding the city. If we go back we want to spend more time at Usery because we loved the park and there were so many trails we didn’t have time to explore.