Freed Up Girl

Spring

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Temperatures are rising. Flowers are blooming. Spring is here.



We visited the Japanese Friendship Garden after a day spent in downtown Phoenix. It was quite small so it did not take us long to stroll around the paved pathway taking in the well manicured landscape. It was a beautiful day and a nice calming place just outside the city.


Japanese Friendship Garden Phoenix
Cost of Admission: $5.00
1125 N 3rd Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 

Desert Rain

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

I woke to the sound of raindrops on our window. Grey, cloudy skies that make most people want to curl up in a cozy blanket and binge watch their favorite shows. For me, it had been a while since we had a heavy rain and I wanted to enjoy it.


I wanted to smell the aromas that it brings. I wanted to feel the moisture that we so desperately lack in the desert. I wasn't even mad at my frizzy hair that was a bit unruly. 


This is when the desert seems to come alive. The cacti soak in every bit of water and the flowers then start to bloom. The mountains turned a shade of green compared to the reddish brown tints that we are so used to.


I did a little rain dance which made the rain last for another week.
 
 
Now if you find yourself wandering around and possibly doing rain dances in the desert...beware of the Jumping Cholla Cacti (aka cacti that attacks). These cacti have loose joints that fall off easily and seem to jump out at you. I ended up with those stickers all over me which was, oh so pleasant. 


As happy as I was to spend a day in the rain, I do love blue skies and sunshine. Happy that the weather report predicts just that for the next fifteen days.

Piestewa Peak

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

It's hard not to take full advantage of the great weather in Phoenix during the winter months. It's the perfect time to get outside and conquer the many hiking trails in the area. 

This past weekend we made our way to the second highest peak in Phoenix, Piestewa Peak. Our My plan was to hike the Summit Trail (#300). We made our way to the start of the trail and ignored the signs that stated it was extremely difficult and forged ahead. 

One thing to keep in mind...it does get crowded. It gave me a bit more motivation because there were all ages and all physical types on the trail. Giving me that extra boost of energy to keep pushing to the top. I mean, you feel kind of bad when your gasping for breath and an eighty year old passes you like it's just another walk around the old block. 


The trail itself has a staircase like effect and is made up of jagged rocks. The hardest part about the trail is the incline. My heart was pumping and my legs felt like jello afterwards so skip the StairMaster and get outside for amazing city views.


In just about ten minutes into the hike you have panoramic views of the city and desert (major bonus for me). I took a long hard glance up the mountain and debated if it was worth the extra climb.
 

While I sat (an excuse to catch my breath, lets be honest)and tried to become one with nature and find my zen my better half started swinging from rocks. He wanted to see how long he could hold himself up. Is this a guy thing or is he going through a mid-life crisis? Constantly giving me anxiety and snapping me right out of my peaceful state. 
 
If you can't beat 'em join 'em.     
  

We got seriously side tracked from playing around and never did make it to the top of the summit.  


I would suggest to go for sunrise or sunset. You can get those great shots of the beautiful colors I've only seen in Arizona.
 

If you do decide to tackle this trail in the summer months, make sure that you take plenty of water. If you think you have enough grab two more bottles. This is the desert and it does get extremely hot during June through September. During this time, you will want to go early before it starts to heat up. 


We will be back to conquer Summit Trail.

Watson Lake

Monday, January 23, 2017

After a full week of non stop rain, clouds, and being cooped up in the house I was eager to get outside. Thankfully, Arizona has unlimited options for outdoor adventures/hiking trails. 

We drove a little over an hour north to Watson Lake near Prescott. The temperature dropped about 30 degrees in that short amount of time. So, although, I received a few strange looks at our local gas station the parka and snow boots came in quite handy.  


Watson Lake is located in Prescott's Granite Dells with giant granite boulders lining the lake. There is a $3.00 charge for all day parking.


There are well marked trails for hiking... unless you are following this one. He kept losing the white dots that marked the trail and I found myself climbing boulder after boulder in the wrong direction. He found this to be hysterical. 


We were working up quite a sweat from all the climbing and took a break to enjoy our surroundings.


Soon it was time for more boulder climbing. (I promise this is much higher than it looks)


The further I climbed I started regretting my life decisions. You know because going up is easy. Making your way down is the difficult part. Hello bruise number 1, 2, 3 and 4.


The reward is always worth it though so keep climbing my friends. 


I know that when I see this face that I should be worried. (His pondering face. Can I...? Should I...?)


Yes. I stayed at the bottom for this one. I gave him a round of applause when he made it to the top because I am such a supportive wife. 



And waited patiently while he made his way down...tick tock. 


The sun began to set. A voice came over the intercom that it was time to head back or our car may be towed. We took in one last glance and bolted back to the "granny mobile".  

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