Wrong turn takes us on a most challenging hike! Sunrise Mountain Loop Trail West Wing Park Peoria Arizona…

by | Oct 7, 2012

Judy at top of Sunrise Mountain

Steve overlooking Phoenix


http://www.peoriaaz.gov/newsecondary.aspx?id=963  Quote from this website…
Sunrise Mountain Advanced“This hike will be one of the most enjoyable experiences you will have on Sunrise Mountain but you better be in pretty good physical shape to complete the 4.2 mile loop. Compared to the Sunrise Mountain intermediate level hike, this one will challenge you in some more unique ways. While the elevation incline is the same as the intermediate hike, don’t let that falsely misguide you – there is a lot more undulation and the inclines are going to be much steeper and challenging – not to mention the distance is an additional mile – but the added length provides better views from several peaks across the mountain ridge line.”

It was easy making the wrong turn on this challenging hike once getting to the top.   I delegated the decision to my bride and hiking buddy, Judy.  I had just a mouth full of water left.  Judy is always more conservative with her water.  But the truth is we didn’t take enough water with us this time, and there was really no excuse for it!  So we took the left fork on the path and moved on…  As fate would have it, we started wondering if we were going the right way.  Just at that moment we heard someone in the distance yelling at us, but could not hear well.  So, we moved on and the guy kept yelling a waving.  We were clearly going the wrong way!  We finally stopped and spent some quality problem solving time with our volunteer guide in the distance to figure this out.  After about 15 minutes of experimenting, including placing Judy in a spot lower than me, our friendly and helpful guide was able to wave and yell to signal that Judy was in the right spot that would take us up over the mountain and back to the right trail returning to West Wing Park Trail Head.

We were finally able to meet our new best friend, Steve, a local who was determined to get us on the right path.  We were grateful for his help and the extra water too…  Steve lived in the neighborhood below and hiked this trail about 7 days a week.  Another “60 something” in top shape.  We were inspired, but reminded that preparation, preparation, and more preparation; especially taking enough water on a hike in the desert, is super critical.  If it hadn’t been for Steve’s help we could have ended up miles away from the trail head, tired as hell, and thirsty, crabby and all the rest…

And, of course, we felt good about ourselves and the challenge of a great hike.  But had no desire  to end our road trip of a life-time, including all the adventures ahead and more hikes, right here in Phoenix, Arizona…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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