We did it. We summited the highest peak in the state of Arizona: officially it is 12,633 feet above sea level, although my GPS watch gave us a few extra feet. The day couldn't have been any more fantastic either. Perfect weather. Started at 62 degrees when we got out of the car at the base of Snowbowl in Flagstaff at 8:00-ish. Probably didn't get above high 70's all day. A few sprinkles, a beautiful breeze. Ultra fab.
The view from the top...amazing! This is what I looked at while I ate my lunch. Not too shabby.
There was supposed to be about 10-12 of us going, but in the two days before the hike, all but four of us backed out for one reason or another. It ended up just being Ryan, me, and two of our good friends who are hiking the Canyon with us next month: Richard Garner (pictured here) who've I worked with for 17 years, and Penny Bauer (pictured below) who has become a great friend just this past year. She's also good friends with my cousin, Dyan, who was the one who originally invited her on our R2R trek. Penny's girls and our girls have become such great friends this year through basketball and softball and pretty much being together all summer long. Fall ball practices just started this week and our girls are playing together again. Barrett and Hallie are on the same juniors team and Afton and Syd are playing together in majors. Can't wait. But I could wait for the heat to pass a little. Holy cow...it's been smokin' hot this past week.
The car ride up and back was so fun too. We all just talked and talked and talked. Richard has a daughter, Amy, who is also great friends with both Barrett and Hallie, and Both Richard and Penny have boys at Mountain View who know each other and play sports together. And we all know so many of the same people living close by in Mesa. It was just great company all the way around.
The tundra terrain was rocky after we passed the tree line
But the landscape looked so different while we were inside the thick forest, making our way up. Lots of moist ground, lush greenery, and tall trees as high as we could see.
Penny... back to the place where we started. It looks deceptively easy at the start - wide open meadow with tall grasses.
Love this view - nothing but clouds at 12,633 feet!
Penny on the rocky hike - about 300 feet or so below the peak)
25 days from now we'll be heading up to the North Rim! Woot! Woot!