My 46th Birthday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This is my birthday video of the kids singing Happy Birthday to me. The video is completely dark because it was taped at 3:30AM in the van on our way to Picacho Peak for my birthday hike.

Wow, this has been an absolutely amazing day so I guess the best place to start is at the beginning so here we go. The first event of the day was to hike Picacho Peak which is about 40 minutes South of Phoenix. The alarm was set for 2:00AM; our meeting time 3:00AM here at the house and ready to depart by 3:30AM. We rented a 15 passenger van yesterday so that we wouldn't have to drive several vehicles. So everyone was up and arrived on time - we filled the camelbaks with ice & water, sliced oranges, loaded the van and off we went. The above video is how our trip began and the fun continued non stop from there...

We arrived at the gates about 4:40AM and had to wait until the park opened at 5:00AM, but once the gates opened we quickly found the trailhead and starting unloading the van, putting on our water packs, tying up shoes, and by 5:30 sharp we were taking our first steps up the mountain, our goal: to reach the top of the peak and back down. The first picture below on the left shows our destination, 900 feet above where we are standing in the parking lot. From there the trail quickly begins a steep incline and then switchbacks behind the canyon where it then begins to descend steeply. There are steel cables here that we had to use to help us descend. After this descent the trail flattens out a bit before it begins another steep incline with more cables to aid us on our way. The views are spectaculor. An hour and a half later we arrive at the peak, hot and exhausted but safe and I'm not saying the word "safe" lightly here, this was a serious climb and in some parts very dangerous but well worth it. We rested for a short period, ate some oranges, drank a little water, and of course took a few pictures and it was time to head back down.

NOTE: On tab #1 picture #6 if you look closely there is a rattlesnake in the bushes. He was watching us watch him. Marcus had the pleasure of having the lead spot at this moment and walked upon this guy hanging out in the bushes right next to the trail we were on. Boy you should've heard him scream...

NOTE: On tab #4 picture #5 there is a picture of a really big lizard, but you have to look really hard because he's blending in with the rocks. Mesha was leading at the point we came upon him and was about to place her hand between those rocks at that spot to pull herself up and that's when she spotted him. I'll let your imagination fill in the rest of that story...

Get the flash player here:

Going back down wasn't any faster than coming up since we were doing just the opposite of what we had to do to get to the top. There were deep declines and steep inclines and it was just as dangerous and required the same amount of attention at all points on what you were doing and where your steps were taking you. There were some points that was so steep you had to stop and take a deep breath and really talk yourself into making the next move. Then there were also those points where you started descending and you couldn't quite figure out where to place your foot or hands to safely continue moving forward... but another hour and a half and we had all safely made it back to the van, a little more tired and some shaky legs, definitely dirty but all safe. Thank you God!

Get the flash player here:

RATING: This hike was rated online as medium difficulty, my comparsion since I don't have any thing else to compare it to, I will do it this way. In the past I have done Squaw Peak and then drove over to Camelback and hiked it in the same day and recently I have been running/walking South Mountain about 3 times a week for 2 hours at a time. I would say that in one day I could go hike Squaw Peak, then Camelback and then come back to South Mountain and do my 2 hour run/walk and it still wouldn't be as difficult as Picacho Peak was to me. Would I EVER do it again - SURE! but I wouldn't have said that anytime during the 3 hours it took us to go up and back down or the first few hours after we were done.

Now on to more fun birthday stuff... We arrived home, unloaded, showered and then I took a 2 hour birthday nap which definitely could have been for the rest of the day but there were still too many fun things left to do. So after my nap I went for my massage and I didn't even have to drive myself, Mark took me there and picked me up, now that was a present all in itself. The massage after that hike was a very good decision it really help all my sore muscles, can you say REFRESHED because that's how I was feeling...

Get the flash player here:

Now it was time to go home to get all the kiddo's (my favorite part) and off to our 4 o'clock dinner at Los Sombreros in Scottsdale, cutest little Mexican restaurant, I love the ambiance of the place, so much character. So all the pictures here will show what a fun time we had at dinner, the birthday presents and the cake (YUM).

So now I have to tell you a little bit about how much Mark and my kids have so totally spoiled me rotten but first I must say that nothing can replace the gift of them going with me on this crazy hike this morning (family time the thing that pulls my heart strings).  Mark 2, Shannon and my babies had a necklace specially made for me with 3 charms: the big charm says MiMi and the 2 smaller ones are Trey & Boston with lots of room for all the other grandbabies that God will bless us with in the future. I will treasure it always and can't wait to sport it. From my 5 beautiful daughters in cohoots with Marcus, Reggie & Ken they bought me a Louis Vuitton monogramed canvas travel bag. I'm so glad no one was video taping because you would've heard me squeal. How do you say "love it" and "thank you" enough for something like that. I was told later that they really wanted to make my birthday special because every year I always go out of my way to make each of theirs so. If this was paper I was writing on, you would see tear stains... Now Mark, he just blew me out of the water presenting me with the Louis Vutton Epi Vernis Alma MM Electric Noir Bag (Don't even know what all that means, just know that I loved the look of that bag.)  that I have been wanting for months. It's one of the things on my "Not Gonna Happen Right Now Wish List" - wow! Wow! WOW! love it! Love It! LOVE IT! I mean him (smile).

I know this is a very longggg birthday post but it's really hard to sum up such a FABULOUS day. Thanks again to my family and friends who just loved and spoiled me from the beginning to the end of this my 46th birthday. The day ended quietly with Tana, Bri, Mark & I watching a movie until we were all started to doze...

Putting aside all the days activities and the wonderful presents there are 2 things that I feel will forever stand out in my memory of this day: 1) Our family time together and 2) the Proverbs 31 woman because that is how this family of mines made me feel.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Design by Smitten Blog Designs