March 12,13, 2012- Monday morning, Sarah was back to work and Jason, to class. Fred and I put on our day packs and hit the trail. Lost Dutchman is the perfect place to put a few miles under our feet. We hiked a loop trail, joining Jacob’s Crosscut, Prospector’s View, and Treasure Loop for a total of 4.26 miles, and taking about 2 hrs 20 min. The total elevation change was 536 feet, about 1/2 of the Siphon Draw trail that we had hiked on Saturday.
Monday’s hiking felt much more comfortable. Our feet were finding their footing on the rocks and loose gravel surface, and our legs felt stronger. I had figured out which spots on my toes needed taping to keep from rubbing blisters (something that I always have to deal with) and managed to hike without any new ‘hot spots’. This left us more free to notice the beauty around us……….
The wildflowers are just breathtaking……..
Fields of flowers turning the desert landscape into a ‘meadow’……
Softening the edges of the rocks……
And painting the desert with color.
Birds…..ever present…..a small humming bird, caught in the moment that it alighted…..
And…… our friend, the Phainopepla.
Tuesday morning, we did the same hike….this time with our full backpacks. The weight of the pack was noticeable, but not ‘OMG awful’. We have tried to get as light as we can with our packs, and each carry just about 30 lbs.
I think that this is a good idea - to practice with our packs and gear- as we ‘fine tune’ each time we get out. We have found a way to comfortably carry our bigger camera, and Fred has been trying out his new Topo GPS. Packs, hydration system, etc, are working well.
Our bodies need to get accustomed to the added weight of the backpack. I could feel the effort…. in my calves and hip muscles as we hiked up hill and down. Fred feels it more on his hips and shoulders and other ‘pressure points’.
I have to say that I feel much more encouraged after Tuesday’s hike. I am beginning to hike with a bit more confidence……getting less timid on the downhill (but always trying not to slip on the loose gravel). This week of hiking will be good for us…..as well as simply beautiful!