Sometimes you feel like getting a little exercise while on vacation and this was one of those days. Having lived in Phoenix for 4 years, we did quite a few hikes, mostly over at South Mountain park, but never Piestewa Peak, which is north by Paradise Valley.
I had contacted one of our new sales gents a few months prior to let him know I would be in town, knowing that this particular hike was one that he does a few times a week. He was gracious enough to allow me to tag along for an early morning version of the hike.
We met at the parking lot at 5:45am to get the hike in before the work day started. Although I was on vacation, I wanted to get to see Simon and try the fairly steep peak. The hike covers approximately 1.2 miles up, with a vertical climb of almost 1,200 feet. The path is very well cut (into rock), but we did the incline in the dark so it was a challenge for a first timer. Not too many people on the path, but those that were on the path, had headbands with lights, or were using their cell phones.
Simon has done the hike regularly, so he knew the path very well and took off at a quick pace. I tried to keep up, but was second guessing my footing, despite his cell phone light, which was a little too far out in front of us to be useful for me. I eventually pulled out my phone to light up the path, by which time Simon had a bit of a lead on me. A combination of caution and getting stuck behind a few slower folks had me loose site of him. This caused me to make two wrong turns that I had to backtrack from and find my way. By the time I caught up with him, he had made it to the top and had come back down about 30 yards where he met me on my ascent. He went back up to the top with me where I was rewarded by a pre dawn view of the city.
On the way down, Simon was doing a speed decent and took a bad tumble. He popped back up and said he was ok, and seemed so all the way down and during our work conversation in the parking lot. But about 30 minutes later when I sat down back at the hotel, I received the following two images via text.
Photographic evidence that it was not a harmless tumble, but instead a gash that required 5 stitches to close up. I joked with him that I hoped this was not his contract signing hand, as it is end of the year for the sales team. Nope, he is right handed so he can sign away and enjoy a Christmas pint at the pub.
I will recap the rest of the trip in another post.