before the holidays, ryan and i decided we had some unfinished business with the superstition mountains. in 2006, pre-ninja and marriage, vegetarianism and a smattering of other life changing events, we traveled to visit ryan’s parents in their new arizona home. we went on water slides, relaxed in the sunshine, and attempted to hike the superstition mountains. our first attempt went something like this:
that is as close as we got, as far as we made it to the top of the flat iron. in our defense, it was a warm April day. there were bugs and lizards and possibly snakes somewhere. there was little for us to do but just give up.
5 and a half years later, with arizona and a 3 week vacation on the horizon, we decided a real effort should be made this time around. we are healthier, have matured, live a more active lifestyle. somehow we felt up for the challenge. ryan had hiked it as a child, how hard could it really be? plus we knew there would be lots of non-vegan dessert to be had over the holidays and hiking seemed like a fair way to justify it. and so, on december 26th we packed up a backpack full of water, some food, cameras and cell phones, and headed out.
trust me when i tell you that this was one of the most difficult things we have ever done together. there is a reason i took very few photos from the ‘during’ process of our hike. maybe there are several reasons. as soon as the hike started getting difficult i started getting annoyed and just pushing ahead. i barely let ryan stop for water, and i just could NOT believe how long and rough of a hike it was! realistically, i knew nothing about what point we were hiking to, or that it would mostly be scrambling up rocks holding on for your life. oh, and no one told me that after 3 hours of hiking over rocks you would have to scale a 12 foot rock wall in which your only leverage point was a tree growing out of the rock about 6 feet up. !!! not to mention families with children and dogs just raged on ahead of us, one perk of hiking it right after christmas. if we had fallen, someone would have definitely found us. if we had wandered off into rocky territory looking for trail markers that were not there, someone at least would have heard our screams. but it was all worth it in the end, as the photos show. we loved it, we felt accomplished, and we were thankful when we made it down in one piece with no broken bones. i did skin my knee, and by the end i could barely walk, but hey, we didn’t quit!