Arizona posts, page 3 of 4.

Grand Canyon: South Kaibab to Bright Angel

Dramatic night sky over Grand Canyon

A cold morning wind rushed up from below and cut deep into my layers of clothes. Cold was weird to experience in Arizona during the month of May. Up here near Flagstaff the nightly temperatures still dipped down to forty, though, enough to justify my shivering. I tried to take a few decent photos of…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 1, 2015
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Desert Hiking Goals for 2015

Usually around this time I have a full list of hikes to tackle for the year, an ambitious list of mountain peaks and waterfalls and other remote areas. A list focused on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, that is. It has been hard to get as excited for Arizona hikes. I've mentioned several times that…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 28, 2015
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Flatiron of the Superstition Mountains

Imposing silhouette of the Superstitions

Dim light seeped in from the east over the ridge, just enough to highlight the impressive rocky peaks of the Superstition Mountains. Everything else was dark. Our trail was dark, the cacti surrounding us was dark, and the mid-sized rocks that waited to roll under our ankles were dark. We carefully…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 21, 2015
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Goldmine Loop of San Tan Mountains

Tall ridge blocking morning light

Bringing Noah along for a hike has been a long-standing desire of mine. A love for the outdoors, for the dirt and trails and campfires, is something that I largely attribute to my parents. Well, my parents and some family friends growing up. We knew a family who camped and hunted regularly,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 11, 2015
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Camelback Mountain - Cholla to Echo Canyon

Full moon over Camelback Mountain

This would be my fourth time up Camelback Mountain. I had previously braved the crowds of Echo Canyon twice and the relative seclusion of the Cholla Trail once with Chris. He had some friends in town this weekend, some friends who were interested in a desert hike, so we decided to take them on the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 29, 2014
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Hot Hike to Tom's Thumb

Our destination, the distant little thumb

For several hikes now Chris had made the drive down the 101 to meet up with me. It's not a long drive from his place up in Scottsdale, maybe thirty miles to our usual meeting spot in Gilbert, though rush hour can double or triple travel time. To balance things out we decided to aim for a hike closer…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 23, 2014
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Storms above Siphon Draw

Superstition Mountains over the resturant

After a few city hikes in Phoenix I needed a good challenge. Camelback and Piestewa, each steep thousand-foot-plus climbs, had been good warmups. I needed something to make me sweat, something that I test my limits against. Flatiron, a rock formation high above Siphon Draw, looked like it would do…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 3, 2014
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Quick Summit on Piestewa Peak

Dark clouds hanging over the peaks

Emboldened after the quick hike up South Mountain I eagerly scanned over other quick hikes in the Phoenix valley. If Camelback Mountain, one of the more challenging treks in the city, was doable (climbed back in August) and South Mountain was that easy than I should have no problem on any other…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 30, 2014
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Hidden Valley of South Mountain

Bright morning sun over the parking lot

During the first two weeks of September my family spent some time in Phoenix, AZ. By now Katie and I had decided we would be moving down here before the end of the year, a decision I was hesitant about at best, and there were some things we needed to get figured out about the area. What neighborhood…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 19, 2014
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Moving to Arizona

The front of our new place

Moving is nothing new to Katie and I. Since graduation, some six years ago, we've lived in five different houses. Going from Houghton to the Fox Cities was a big deal, hauling down all of our belongings between two vans and a car, and since then we've mostly hopped from one Appleton rental to the…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted November 12, 2014
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