Freed Up Girl

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 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".  

Exploring Telluride

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

There is nothing quite like the first sight of snow and the crunch beneath your shoes to get you excited to play in a winter wonderland. 

We arrived to Telluride late in the evening after a very slow drive due to snowy conditions. We stayed at the Madeline Hotel & Residences in Mountain Village. It was in the perfect location. Just a short walk to the Gondola that takes you to Telluride and the lifts that you can test your skiing/snowboarding skills. 

The first morning we pulled back the curtains and were greeted by sunny skies and views of the mountain. We dressed (in what seemed to be) a thousand layers and hit the slopes. 

Chair lift after chair lift and fall after fall was the theme of my day. Who can complain with views like this?

By the end of the day I got my groove back and was zipping down the mountain passing many 5 and 6 year olds. Shaun White has nothing on me. 

I found my better half patiently waiting for me at a rustic bar perched mid way down the slopes. We ordered a few cold beverages to quench our thirst while taking in our beautiful surroundings. Cheers to a great first day.

The next day we slept in and grabbed a light brunch before making our way to Telluride Outfitters for our snowmobiling adventure. 

The windchill was no joke and the snow was coming down hard. We were greeted by our guide whose beard was full of hanging icicles. I had to mentally prepare myself for the frigid temperatures. 

We were offered goggles and helmets and were instructed how to properly operate the snowmobile. Then we were off...

It took all of five minutes for us to get stuck and lose the pack. Luckily for us they had others following a bit behind that came to our rescue a little while after. 

It did not take long before we took a wrong turn. We found ourselves at a dead end with no means to turn around. We were not starting off very well and had to be rescued for a second time.

We wound our way through tree lined paths covered in fresh snow and felt the crisp air on our face. The visibility was limited due to the snowstorm so we were unable to see the mountain views. Still, it was like we were driving in a post card.

 I only took over driving because the handles (if that is what you call them) were heated and I could not feel my fingers. I preferred being a back seat driver. First time snowmobiling and it will not be my last.

On the last day we had finally made our way to the town of Telluride. The gondola takes about 13 minutes from Mountain Village to town. We walked the quaint streets peeking in the shops and letting our nose guide us to breakfast. 

After filling our bellies with endless amounts of eggs and pastries we wandered around town and played in the endless white snow. Taking in all things winter before heading back to AZ. 

Check out our video of our experience below: