Mount Wrightson

Santa Rita Mountains

This past weekend we spent in Tubac, AZ. Tubac is a small tourist town about an hour south of Tucson. We ended up there because one of my yoga students grew up there and has a house there that she rents out. When it is available, she generously offers it to friends. We have been to Tubac before and saw it as an opportunity to get away for the weekend. There is good hiking in the nearby Santa Rita Mountains. Off we went on Friday evening following my True Hot Yoga class. It was about a 3 hr. drive into the middle of nowhere. We settled into a cozy house with all the amenities, tv, dvd, wi-fi, etc. I arose early on Saturday to hike Mount Wrightson. It is the highest peak in the range and has a

Gear prep

4000ft elevation gain from approx. three to over seven thousand feet. I evaluated the trails and chose one that was around 15 miles long. At my pace, that is about 7 hours of hiking.  Up at 6am, I was to the trailhead by 7:15am and after loading gear and water and stretching, I was on the trail by 7:40am. This was a training hike so I was carrying about a 70lb. Backpack. I was prepared for sun and heat but instead found the cool shade of pine trees. I love the smell of pine and the softness of pine needles on the trail under my feet. I started out slow. It takes me an hour or so to hit my stride. The views were beautiful as the

Creek

elevation increased. Then I missed a sharp switchback and ended up off the main trail. I knew something was wrong when I found myself on a small trail headed down a steep ravine along a creek. I went with it though. It was lush and green and moist. About an hour down this trail I came to a place where the trail crosses the creek and split in two opposing directions. At the trail crossing was a flat moist muddy area filled with beautiful butterflies drinking and resting on rocks. My arrival startled them.  I remained still and quiet. They went back to their routine, Drinking and flitting about. There were too many to count. Everything happens for a reason, and I believe that I was on this trail because I was meant to enjoy the beauty of the butterflies. I took some pictures (click to enlarge)  and marveled at their beauty for a few minutes before deciding a path to take.

Butterfly

I had a trail map, and was not lost. I was just a little mis- oriented. I chose the steep trail to the right. It was increasingly steep. It led me to Sylvester springs and the affirmation that I was definitely on the wrong trail.

Sylvester Springs

A quick check of the trail map put me almost 2 miles off course. I backtracked (mostly uphill) to the place where I missed the switchback, and returned to the main trail. I decided to skip the extension trail that I was going to take to lengthen the trek, and headed directly to the peak. After a few miles, I arrived at Josephine saddle, it showed it as a mere 2.2 miles to the next saddle and then only .9 miles to the summit. No problem, I thought. I was in my stride now about 3 hours into my hike without any breaks (other than to watch butterflies, adjust gear, and take pictures). As the trail became steeper it began a series of switchbacks. They seemed to go on forever. There were one after another and another. As I was ascending, I passed numerous groups of hikers descending. As I climbed higher I kept thinking that this was the longest 2.2 miles ever…. Finally, I reached the next saddle. The sign said that it was .9 miles to the peak. One of the hikers meandering around the saddle asked if I was going to the peak. “I’ve come this far” I said. “I might as well go the rest of the way.” The trail wandered off to the right, and there were beautiful slopes covered in yellow flowers. The views were breathtaking. The clouds left large shadows on the grounds far below. I was really enjoying the gentle upgrade and flowers when I heard talking, looked up to my right and saw hikers high up on switchbacks. Great… more uphill. It was another set of steep switchbacks. Not only was the uphill steep, but parts of the trail had very tenuous footing. It was a long way down. Definitely not survivable. My shoulders were really starting to feel the weight of the pack that I was carrying at this point. I was about 5 hours into the hike. Finally, a half hour later, I reached the top. The extra effort was well worth it. Amazing views in every direction. There was no one up there. I had the whole place to myself. I removed my backpack, changed my shirt, took pictures, ate a few power bars, and a glyco pack, re-hydrated and rested. I was going to change socks, but my feet felt really great, no blisters or “hot spots”, so I did not want to tempt fate. I rested a half hour, appreciating the energy of this high place, and then began my descent.

 

I decided to take the most direct trail down. It was 1:30pm and I wanted to be off the trail by 4:30pm. The shortest route was about 6 miles. That is a little less than 3hrs at the pace that I hike. My descent was really quick and unremarkable. I arrived back at the trailhead at 3:40pm. My legs and shoulders were fatigued, but my feet felt great.  The hike lasted almost exactly 8 hours.  Based on my off trail diversion, I guess it was about a 16 and a half mile trek. This was definitely a challenging hike and a great “tune up” for the Grand Canyon “rim to rim” hike coming up in a few weeks.

My Uncle and Aunt from Tucson joined us Saturday afternoon, and Sunday was spent resting and walking around the galleries in the town. We left late Sunday afternoon, dined in Tucson and arrived back in Scottsdale early evening…. Next weeks tentative hike is Thompson Peak….

 

Tubac
Senior Frog

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“I am a Hiker”

My Hiking Partner

Before this year I never really considered myself a hiker. I would go on hikes from time to time. We live 1.5 miles from the Via Linda Trailhead for Sunrise Mountain. I always would tell anyone that asked that I was a “Yoga guy who hiked, not a hiker that does yoga.” I think that what I have come to realize is that I can be both a yoga guy and a hiker. I came to this, and other realizations, while I was hiking the Tom Thumb trail yesterday (Saturday). As many of you know, I started training to hike with friends, and my wife in April/May, and then hiked the Grand Canyon, South Rim (South Kaibab trail , down to Phantom Ranch and back in the same day in June. There is whole previous post on that. The point is that even at that time I really did not consider myself a hiker. Now that I have been training to go “Rim to Rim” at the Grand Canyon, from South to North, no less, I

This Deer and I having a Moment (Click to enlarge)

realize that hiking is no easy thing. As I hiked the almost 12 miles yesterday, there was almost no one on the trail that I was on. Many people were on shorter hikes, but it takes a level of commitment and mental toughness to just keep going mile after mile, hour after hour. Yesterdays hike was only four and a half hours long. At the average pace that I hike, a little faster than 2 miles an hour, I anticipate that going Rim to rim for me will be about a 12-14 hour ordeal. It is about a 24 mile journey. I have hiked longer than that many times before when I was in the Marines, and I did it with a weapon and a heavy pack. That was like 30 years ago though. It is funny, the more I hike, the more I realize the there seem to be many more 50+ year old hikers that 20-40 year old hikers. Hiking for me is very

Tom Thumb seen from the trail side

meditative. It takes about an hour of hiking for me to hit my groove and then it is like being on auto pilot, the body just moves on it’s own and I can focus inwardly. Nature is always an awesome place to meditate. I constantly have little epiphanies, or flashes of insight while on long hikes.  Nature can be a very calming place depending on where you are. Today as I did a much shorter and steeper hike in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve with my friend Mike, I was reminded that there truly is much beauty in the desert, and that the views from high places can be spectacular. (of course I did not bring my camera today.) I will be logging as many miles as I can hiking, including some night hikes over the next three weeks in preparation for Canyon the second Saturday in October. I will be sure to take my camera for that. I will keep everyone updated on my progress….

Namaste from the Hiker and Yoga Guy

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“Living the Dream”

This morning as I was passing the front desk of Gainey Village after my 5:30am Hot Yoga class. I saw Tim, one of the managers. I said to him “Good morning Tim, How’s it going?” “Living the Dream” he replied. I replied something like “Keep “living the dream” throughout the weekend”. As I walked through the sliding glass doors and to the far end of the parking lot through the fresh sunlight of a new day, I thought about that saying, “Living the Dream”. We often say it in a sarcastic or semi-sarcastic state. As I arrived at the car and began to drive home, I realized that, in fact, many of us are really “living the dream”. There is no other time in the history of the world that has seen the amount of prosperity, opportunity, and freedoms that we enjoy now. We have access to fresh water and food. We have freedoms of Religion, Speech (kind of), and to Bear arms. Many of us are truly Blessed. We can fall in love and marry and have children, or not. We can travel freely pretty much wherever we choose. We can start businesses and make money and choose how we spend, save or invest it (with increasing interference by the government). We can own property and create the environment we choose to live. We have unprecedented access to information and entertainment. We have increasingly amazing medical technology.  It is a great time in history to be alive….. We should all be grateful for all of the blessings in our lives, because despite the trials an challenges, many of us truly are  “Living the Dream”.

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Breathe

Here is the article on Breathe that one of my students shared with me. It is from Womens Health Mag. Apologize for the quality. I had to scan it because I could not find it online…..

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Please sign this Petition to save Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Here is the Email that I recieved from my good friend Brooke regarding saving Golfo Dulce. I would appreciate if you would all sign this petition. It is in Spanish, but the directions below explain how to do it. For more info, here is a link to Brookes Blog where she writes about her research in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica..  http://www.brookebessesen.com/blog/?p=1983

Hi Scott! I have a personal favor to ask… can you please sign a (simple) petition? It is to protect my beloved Golfo Dulce… yes, the Costa Rican embayment where I did my research—remember all those amazing dolphins, baby whales, sea turtles and rare yellow sea snakes??? It’s such a unique habitat and I’m confident it will be turned into a Marine Protected Area if only we can hold off developers a little longer.

 

The tuna farm was finally stopped last year, but now there is a HUGE marina planned off Puerto Jimenez. I heard about it while I was down there, but it’s finally moving forward. Really scary! The Osa community needs 5,000 signatures before they can hope to have any voice against this development. My friends down there are freaking out and they need our help!

 

Here’s a translation of their plea:

 

Crocodile Bay wants to develop a marina and resort mega project with a capacity of over 300 boats on a fill of 16,000 sq m offshore. This megaproject threatens the fragile balance of ecosystems in the area, that would be affected by the spillage of contaminants. Adding to this, the sonic impact caused by the high boat traffic affect the mechanisms of echolocation of dolphins that live in the Gulf and the whales that visit it annually. In addition, the risk of accidents with the propellers of boats that can maul the turtles. We have seen several marinas and know the irreversible environmental and social impacts they cause. We extend an appeal to Avaaz and the world, who speak out and help us defend our precious Golfo Dulce on behalf of all living things that depend on its waters.

All you have to do is click this link: http://www.avaaz.org/es/petition/Detener_la_construccion_de_la_Marina_y_Resort_Cocodrilo_en_el_Golfo_Dulce_Costa_Rica/?tta and then fill out the part that says:

Tu primera vez en el sitio? Is this your first time to the site?

 

Top of Form

Nombre Your name

 

Email Your email

 

 

Pais   Country (drop down), pick Estados Unitos = United States

 

Código postal Your zip code

 

Then click FIRMAR (to sign)

 

Avaaz.org protegerá tu privacidad. Your information is protected.

Bottom of Form

 

Thanks for supporting my home away from home!!!

 

Hugs,

b

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The Yoga Aid World Challenge

Please support my fundraising efforts for The Yoga Aid World Challenge. I have selected the charity listed below to receive 100% of the funds I raise. Every dollar you can give will make a real difference! It will also inspire others to give too! Thank you, in advance, for your generosity and kindness!
Donations are made to Yoga Across America
Please click on http://yogaaid.com/scottpage  to visit my fundraising page.

Good Karma for generosity

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