Cactus to Clouds

Ultra Running. Ultra Hiking. Ultra Beautiful.

Hiking, Outdoors, Running

Various Hikes & Runs 2011

Skeleton Point

Skeleton Point

Dec 26 / South Kaibab to Bright Angel via the Tonto

Skeleton Point

Skeleton Point

I took a quick day hike from the South Kaibab Trailhead to the Bright Angel Trailhead via the Tonto Plateau, taking roughly 6 hours.  I’d done a longer version of this hike two years earlier that took in Phantom Ranch and the Colorado, so this was more to see a part of the Tonto than I hadn’t seen before than to cover any real ground.  It was actually a nice change, taking in the scenery instead of just knocking back the miles.

Dec 25 / Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa (Mom)

Mom on the Mesa

Mom on the Mesa

After waking up rather late, eating late, and generally running late, Mom and I took a quick hike from Grandview Trailhead down to Horseshoe Mesa starting just past noon. After the snowy bits, I took off ahead and soon passed a couple and older man who appeared surprised and/or perplexed to see me go by. Thinking nothing of it, I plunged onward and soon reached a nice radiation / danger / freak out if you like your genetic material sign. A few seconds later, I came across another such sign right next to a faded marker for the trail to Page Springs. Coincidence or delicious glowing water? Hmm. Onward!

A while later, I reached the mesa and took off toward the northern point where the trail drops off to the Tonto, to see if I could see the river. I got there soon enough, boulder a bit out to the point. After a quick lunch, I headed back and ran into mom as she came onto the Mesa. Hi, Mom! We rested for a bit and then took off up the trail. Turns out, she’s had to talk to the group coming down (the one I’d run past) because the woman was apparently freaking out (scared / tired / etc.). Mom managed to talk her down, and we passed her on the way back up — looking relatively happy.

I’m always amazed how my mom can burn up the trails. She’s not speedy, but she keeps on going, almost relentless. Impressive stuff. In no time we were back at the car and ready for a warm dinner — the temperature had dropped fast, and we finished in the dark.

Dec 24 / Monument Valley (Mom)

This was a quick drive to and through Monument Valley, Arizona followed by an even quicker jaunt to the Navajo National Monument. Basically, monuments. My mom and I had come here two years earlier and while it was gorgeous, the main loop road had been pretty much impassable due to snow. This year it was dry as a bone and we spent an hour or two checking out some of nature’s more attractive rocks.

Dec 23 / Angels Landing in Zion

Angels Landing

Angels Landing

After a quick and somewhat random drive toward some reservoir north of Zion (whereupon we of course got briefly stuck in a stealth snow drift), mom and I took a quick hike up the Angels Landing Trail.  I made it to the top and down in just under two hours.  The hike includes some nicely peripatetic views, narrow ridgelines, and a fantastic view of the valley at the end

Dec 22 / Observation Point in Zion (Mom)

My mom and I took a quick trip to Zion on the way to the Grand Canyon for Christmas.  We got there in the afternoon and took a short hike from the Weeping Rock parking lot and part way up the Observation Point trail.  It was a chilly, but clear evening, and the light was beautiful — even if that’s not clear in my point-and-click photography.

Oct 31 / Mt. Whitney via Whitney Portal

Owens Valley

Owens Valley

See trip report.

Oct 15 / Dial Mountain and Nippletop (Adirondacks)

See trip report.

Sep 17 / Gothics Trail (Adirondacks)

See trip report.

Sep 2 / Mount Healy in Denali NP

I did a quick hike alone up the back of Healy and down toward the visitor center…

Sep 1 / Flight around Denali (Mt. McKinley) with Mom

After a harrowing day hiking in the park, we decided to let someone else do the work.  A quick flight around Mount McKinley gave us just the rest and inspiration we needed.

Aug 30 / Near the Eielson Visitor Center in Denali

My mom and I took another quick day hike from further into the park, just a bit past the Eielson Visitor Center.  Basically we got off the bus a mile or two down the road, plunged down to the riverbed, and headed over to the Muldrow Glacier.   It wasn’t what I expected, but a fantastic day…

Aug 29 / Cathedral Peak

My mom and I took a short day hike from the Denali Park road in the area surrounding Cathedral Peak.   Saw everything from gorgeous creaks and rivers to ptarmigan and bears.  It was the day I realized there are no good trail maps to Denali because there are no trails, and reaffirmed that my mom rocks.  Perfect weather with clear views of Denali (Mt. McKinley) and a great first day in the park.

Aug 20 / Mt. Marcy Loop in the Adirondacks

Marcy from Skylight

Marcy from Skylight

See the trip report.

Jul 22+ Adirondacks / Algonquin

Shawn on Algonquin

Shawn on Algonquin

See trip report.

May 30 / PA and VA

See trip report.

May 1 / Centralia and the Delaware Water Gap

See trip report.

Apr 9 / Anza Borrego & Hellhole Canyon (Lisa)

See trip report.

Apr 2 / Tooling Around Pennsylvania

Random thoughts and moments on the Appalachian Trail.

Mar 5 / Tooling Around Pennsylvania

Random thoughts and moments on the Appalachian Trail.

More Stuff

Hikes & Runs 2010 | Hikes & Runs 2012

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