Monday, December 24, 2007

To the Top (almost)

Marilyn and I resumed our "climb every mountain" plan. The plan is to climb every mountain in the Phoenix area. Our plans to do it last winter were put on hold when Marilyn was diagnosed with leukemia. Since neither of us are in shape we chose one of the easier climbs first. The Wind Cave is located in Usery Mountain Park. It costs six dollars to get in the park. I'm guessing the six dollars covers the cost of the little entrance building and the salary of the guy inside who collects the money.
It was a brisk December morning with few other hikers as we started up the trail. One lone hiker who started with us bounded ahead after telling us he climbed this trail every week day. At six dollars a climb, that's $130/month just to tromp through the desert. I would have told him he could get a nice gym membership for far less but he was already well past us.
Halfway up the trail, the climb was taking its toll on Marilyn. She hadn't exercised for the past year and it was showing. Rest stops became more frequent as the trail steepened. Two thirds up the trail we called it quits for the day. We probably could have gone on slowly, but Marilyn had Christmas shopping to do when we returned and needed her strength for that. Since she might be buying presents for me, I didn't press her to go on to the summit. We documented our achievement with a photo showing us proudly two thirds the way to the summit. We will give it another try in about a week.
Had it not been for the urgency of Christmas shopping, we would have stopped at the park entrance building and asked for a couple of dollars back since we didn't make it all the way to the top.


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