Today may have been one of the best Adventure Challenges in awhile. I am working in Phoenix this week and it is HOT. Lately I haven’t had much desire to go outside and work out or go trail running because it’s so hot (you know, being August and all).
Today after work I came home and took a nice cool shower to get all of the sweat and dirt off of me. After a bottle of water and good salad I decided I was going to go adventuring. I took the car and drove towards a little oasis I saw driving to work one day. Right in the middle of the desert is the Gila River. It’s beautiful, and a complete contrast to everything around it. It’s lush and green. I was hoping to jump in and cool myself, but discovered it was flowing very swiftly. Instead I talked to the two men fishing off of the bridge.
From there I decided to go to nearby Estrella Mountain Regional Park. I talked to the Park Ranger at the entrance and told him I was going to hike and see a sunset. He gave me maps and requested trails that would be ideal. I thanked him and drove around the park. I ended up parking and started hiking. Because of the heat, I wasn’t really expecting to do much hiking. I hiked in a little over a mile until the sun started to set. It was beautiful. Such a different perspective of the world; this huge desert. The only sounds were the clicking of little lizards. I enjoyed the sunset and was invigorated a little by the shade from the heat and the crisp air. I decided to try to run back. I made almost the entire run. I will be completely honest. It wasn’t real far, but in 104 degree heat and having not ran a trail in awhile, it was quite a feat for me. I was very happy with myself.
I was also incredibly happy to reach my car and the air conditioning. I sat in my car for a few minutes letting the air conditioner cool me. The park ranger and his friend pulled up in a little ATV. They came to check on me and make sure I hadn’t gotten lost, especially since it was dark. I felt honored. He was officially off of work. I ended up spending an hour in the parking lot talking to the two of them and watching shooting stars.
Back home, I’m a little buzzed from the adrenalin rush of running and the amazing experience, and at the same time completely exhausted from the heat and effort. I’m going to sleep well tonight.