Sunday, July 23, 2017

Family Hike

Our family spent the weekend of July 7th up north to spend time with my parents and my mom's sister and her husband, Jerre and Loren.  They were in Munds Park visiting from Loveland, Colorado. Saturday morning, while the other four adults golfed the Pinewood Country Club course, Josh and I took the kids on a three mile round trip hike in Flagstaff.  This was our first family hike.  We choose a relatively easy hike -- Red Mountain Trail #159.  The kike is no more that 2.5-3 miles round trip. All of the hiking websites state that it should take about thirty minutes to complete.  Here is a blurb about the trail from the Coconino National Forest website:
Red Mountain, located in the Coconino National Forest of northern Arizona, 25 miles northwest of Flagstaff, is a volcanic cinder cone that rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. It is unusual in having the shape of a "U," and in lacking the symmetrical shape of most cinder cones. In addition, a large natural amphitheater cuts into the cone's northeast flank. Erosional pillars called "hoodoos" decorate the amphitheater, and many dark mineral crystals erode out of its walls. Studies by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Northern Arizona University scientists suggest that Red Mountain formed in eruptions about 740,000 years ago.
Well, let me just say, we may have underestimated our kids' hiking ability and/or their motivation. About .25 miles into the hike, we started to hear the following remarks from our kids:
I'm tired.
It's hot!
My legs are sore; I cannot walk anymore.
Are we there yet?
Can we stop yet?
You will be happy to know that we didn't stop and turn around.  We did finish the hike, but it was not in record time and we may have had numerous rest stops and maybe some tears.

We took Harley on this family hike and he did amazing.  We had him off leash for a majority of the hike as there weren't many other people on the trail.  He was very good and never strayed too far.  In fact, he would run ahead to the next nearest shade spot and lay down to wait for us.  Once we caught up to him, he would repeat the the entire process again.  It was really adorable.

I personally thought it was a very unique hike.  The trail was very well maintained and the weather was warm, but not too hot.  Plus, it isn't too often that you can say you hiked into a volcano.  Towards the end of the trail, there is a short, sturdy ladder that takes you up the mountain to get hikers about six feet so you can walk in the middle of the amphitheater.  Josh carried Harley up the ladder, but on the way back, they both hiked over a ridge to get down.  Harley may have begrudgingly followed Josh over the ridge; but, being the loyal dog that he is, he did.

One family hike down.  Many, many more to go ...

Red Mountain Trailhead
Walking the trail
My family
Me with my hikers
Amazing trees
Aiden climbing a tree
Madi posing in a tree
Both kids
Being silly
Nearing the end of the hike
Up on the ridge of the volcano
Beautiful scenery
A selfie
Harley tired after the hike
Lunch at Flagstaff Brewing Company after the hike

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