Viewing posts about Arizona.

Getting into CAMRA (Search and Rescue)

Being part of a search and rescue group is something that I've been thinking about over the last few years. There are a lot of reasons why it makes sense, why I think volunteering for a group would be a good fit, though I think it all comes down to how difficult I found Arizona hiking to be. Chris…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted November 8, 2017
  • read more

Basic Rock Climbing Class

Last month I took a two-week course on rock climbing, offered by the Arizona Mountaineering Club, which covered everything from basic knots to self-rescue techniques. It was an experience that, after some initially doubts, was something I ultimately enjoyed and would recommend. And yes, this was my…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted November 4, 2017
  • read more

Shaw Butte

Hot desert landscape in northern Phoenix

A few mountain hikes lay scattered in the northern reaches of Phoenix, including Piestewa (Squaw Peak) and Camelback, both of which I've hiked when I was first getting used to these desert lands. There are some less lofty ones too, such as North Mountain and Lookout. Calling these mountains are a…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 16, 2017
  • read more

Sycamore Rim Loop

Morning sun over Sycamore Falls trailhead

Arizona is a state of transition. The Colorado Plateau intrudes from the north, an enormous plain of pines and grasslands around 7000', and reaches almost down to Globe. Where this plain ends there is a mix of steep rims and canyons that eventually drop into the hot, southern deserts closer to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 12, 2017
  • read more

Full-time Employment at Shutterstock

In early 2014 I started a new, shiny job working for a company based in New York. Shutterstock was my first fully remote position and my first time working for a 'big' technical company - that is, they had more than a hundred employees. Up until then I had worked for small, local shops in Wisconsin,…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted August 24, 2017
  • read more

Picacho Peak Loop

Start of the Calloway Trail

Picacho Peak is a sudden mound of rock located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. It isn't that tall, topping off at 3,370', nor is it large, especially compared to the nearby Newman Peak. However, it does have a very distinct profile. The sharp spur soars above the desert and provided early…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 17, 2017
  • read more

Descent from Tortilla Peak

Last look back at the peak

Coming down the north side of Tortilla Peak was a hundred times easier than my climb up. A few simple hops over jagged rocks and then a long, clear chunk of bedrock sloped gently away. Man, this approach would have been a breeze. I looked back a few times at the peak, now bright under a rising…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 27, 2017
  • read more

What Kind of Hiker Am I?

Even after living in and exploring the wilderness of Arizona for two years I still consider myself a Michigan hiker. It's only fair, in some ways: my hunger for the outdoors started in the Upper Peninsula and I spent seven years up there hunting waterfalls and old growth and forgotten places. Two…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted October 24, 2016
  • read more

Club Cabin of the Mazatzals

Walkway under the Horseshoe Dam spillway

The Mazatzals. For the last year I've wanted to venture into this wilderness, to take a break from the Superstitions and try out some new (and potentially more temperate) hikes, and never got around to it. Now it was time. I had a challenging weekend planned out that would start at Horseshoe Dam and…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 30, 2016
  • read more

A Missed Loop at Usury Park

Distant city lights under a dark sky

The old car pulled up behind me, lights flaring as they crossed me, and then the driver killed the engine next to my Jeep. I wasn't sure what to do. There was a low chance that they were also here to hike, that I'd have an early morning hiking partner to converse with for a short time, but I doubted…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 25, 2015
  • read more

Activity Stream

  • Read What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Hiked 30.00 miles and felt great.
  • Favorited Amanda Palmer - Creep (Radiohead Cover) on YouTube.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/lifestream-service.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/lifestream-service.
View more activities…