(Not) Hiking Humphrey’s Peak
Veteran’s Day also happens to be my friend Alyssa’s birthday & for her 21st, she decided to hike the tallest peak in Arizona – Mt. Humphrey’s. It reaches 12,500ft elevation, and is currently covered in fresh-fallen snow from Friday and Saturday’s storms. Of course I was excited to join her, her mom, her brother and friend on the birthday hike!
Unfortunately, we had some direction mishaps…..Map Quest and someone’s smart phone navigation didn’t match up. We were driving down a desolate dirt road that warned “Not Maintained for Passenger Vehicles.”
It was nearing 11am, and I was worried that if we didn’t get started on the 8+ mile hike soon, we would be finishing after sunset. We decided to park our car on a random dirt road, and just start walking in the direction of the largest mountain we could see, which was covered in snow and trees. It was not Mt. Humphrey’s.
It started out with a semi “trail” which disappeared after about ten minutes.
*Okay, I am a very LOGICAL person and sometimes this can work to my disadvantage. I usually go over the worst-case scenario’s in my head, and I immediately envisioned us trapped in the deep forest with no light, food, or cell phone service. As soon as we deviated from the trail and started weed-whacking trees to create our own path, a red flag went off in my mind – “How are we going to find our way back to the car without a trail to follow when everything out here looks the same?!” Luckily, the snow allowed us to make pretty noticeable foot prints. We would just have to trace our footsteps all the way back.
After almost 2.5 hours, we could see the summit of the mountain. The last stretch had been so steep, we literally grabbed onto trees and pulled ourselves up. I was so relieved to see the end in sight!
And in honor of Veteran’s Day:
And in honor of Alyssa’s 21st Birthday:
Time to head back down! At first, it was pretty treacherous. Because it was so steep and covered in fresh snow, we were slipping and sliding our way down for a few minutes. But the hike down was definitely quicker than the hike up! We had to track our own footprints back down, which wasn’t too difficult seeing as how we were the only people on that mountain. We never passed a single person, and thankfully no wildlife either.
We saw animal tracks and “business” and knowing deer/foxes/potentially-very-hungry-mountain-goats were near us kept me alert. (I’m picturing Meredith on the camping trip from Parent Trap right now ;) )
But it really was total wilderness, and the day brought another “first” for me…
When the “trail” started to flatten out and things became familiar, I was able to breathe easy and actually enjoy the moment knowing we would not be eaten/starve/freeze to death. (Dramatic? Perhaps.) Our “exhausted” face:
We had hungry bellies and plenty of daylight to continue celebrating! Off to a Greek Grill Restaurant where Alyssa could order her first legal cocktail:
Haha too much? Just kidding :)
Definitely an unforgettable experience. Now we have to do some Google Maps research and figure out where the heck we were all day!
Posted on November 12, 2012, in College, Fitness and tagged 21st birthday, adventure, fitness, health, hiking, mountain, Mt. Humphrey's, snow, trail, wilderness. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
Looks beautiful! Hope your friend had a great 21st birthday!
Looks like a fun hike none the less, even if it wasn’t the original hike planned ha What a fun birthday, hike and her first legal drink! All a girl could ask for really! :) ha
Kenzie! I like to read your posts (is it the right word?). This one makes me laugh! Aren’t you afraid to meet ..bears? :-/
Happy birthday to your friend.. and the best for you!
Now that is one truly memorable college experience!! Your first champagne with friends, first snowy hike, and who can forget their first “yellow snow” experience! Ha Ha, good times. We were very happy to hear you made it up and back safely. We’ll tackle the REAL Humphrey’s in the very near future! :) xoxo
What an enjoyable post! Thank you for sharing your hiking experience and your friend’s birthday. What fun, and gorgeous terrain! Glad you took pics. ~ Lily
Pingback: Social Sweets and Snacks « Strong Like My Coffee
Pingback: Lookin’ Back at 2012 « Strong Like My Coffee
Pingback: Mt. Humphreys Hike // Senior Year Adventures | Strong Like My Coffee
Pingback: Mandatory Moment of Nostalgia from a Graduating Senior: Part II | Strong Like My Coffee