We're on our annual February trip to the southwest to visit all the grandparents.
Next to I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson there is a very distinctive landmark named Picacho Peak. It has very steep sides and doesn't look like you could hike to the top. Last year, however, I got curious and looked it up. it turns out there is a popular hiking trail to the top. I vowed to do it this year.
We went on Sunday afternoon. Temperatures have been in the mid-70s during our visit which is quite pleasant for hiking. The girls took off up the trail like a couple of rabbits, leaving Grandpa Dennis in the dust. He told us not to wait.
The girls did great up to the saddle, which is the midway point. Charlotte was getting tired, though. And after the saddle the trail gets more dangerous, traveling along cliff edges with cables to hang on to. Charlotte wanted to go home.
Audrey was very disappointed as she had peak fever. I consoled her, and we decided to come back on Monday and go to the top.
Monday was another very pleasant day. Audrey said, "We'll go really fast back to the saddle, and then take it carefully from there." Ha!
We did, in fact, get back to the saddle pretty quickly. Then the fun began. The trail descends quite steeply from the saddle for about 400 vertical feet, along the base of (and often *under* the base of) the cliff. Then it turns around the end of a spur and begins climbing again toward the summit.
There are several very steep sections of rock with cables and one place with a "bridge" that allows you to traverse about eight feet across the face of a cliff. It's very adventurous! Audrey was a little nervous, but loved it.
Charlotte was sad not to get to make it to the top. But the hike was so fun that I'm pretty sure we'll make it a regular feature of our annual visits from no on, so she'll get to the top next year.
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