Friday, March 27, 2009

A Hike Up Camelback Mountain

Last week during the kids' spring break, Brett took a couple days off. One day Zach and Allie were at preschool and Blake was over at a friend's house, so we decided to venture over to Scottsdale and see if we could make it up Camelback Mountain, the area's most prominent landmark that sports sheer red cliffs, a steep trail and a gorgeous view of the city once you reach the top.

Brett and I had talked about doing it for weeks. After reading up on it and repeatedly seeing warnings that the hike "is not for beginners," I wasn't sure how Nicky would fare.

But we thought if we brought along a friend for Nicky he might have more fun and be more enthusiastic about it -- more of an adventure for him.

And we were right.

Nick and his friend Trent scaled the mountainside and sought out every crack and crevice, requesting their picture be taken in every little cave they found.

We called Trent Spiderman. He'd venture a bit ahead of us and the next thing we knew, there he'd be, perched on some rock of climbing a precarious-looking boulder. Nick tried with all his might to keep up with his speedy friend, succeeding in short bursts before lagging behind, exerting himself to catch up, and then doing it all over again.

Part of the hike required the use of a handrail drilled into the mountainside (thank you, City of Phoenix). Many sections required traversing like an animal on all fours.

The views were amazing. We saw several very healthy (read LARGE, non backyard-variety) lizards along the way.

I thought coming down was more difficult than going up. Poor Nicky's legs were really giving out on him by the time we started our descent. He took a couple little tumbles due to week legs.

But he loved it -- we all did. It's kind of nice to have quite a few of these mountains plopped right in the middle of suburbia.

And ever since we made that impressive ascent, he's been repeatedly asking when we can go on the next hike.

Here's one of the two sections with the handrail.

The view from part way up the mountain.

Brett and Michele made it to the top.

and Trent check out the view.

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