I am a hiking enthusiast, always seeking the next big adventure! I have lived in Phoenix AZ since 7.14.11 which marked the beginning of my “hiking career”. My main focus is in hiking, however I have some experience backpacking and some light canyoneering/mountaineering and mountain biking.
My First Hike, What got me started, and Why I continue to Hike
When I first moved to Arizona I had no idea what to expect! I remember thinking that this place looked like Mars when I got out into the deserts for the first time. The rock formations, the landscape, the strange creatures, it all was so new and strange. Up to moving to Arizona I had only lived in southeast US. I was so used to the wretched Virginia/Alabama humid heat so it goes without saying that a dry heat was a breath of fresh air in comparison (even if it was 115)!
I first moved to Phoenix on July 11th 2011 in the dead of summer. After being here only a few days my friends suggest that they take me on my first hike in Phoenix up Echo trail on Camelback Mountain. Having no idea what was in store for me I ignorantly but gladly accepted! So after an evening of taking down a few brews we woke bright and early, filling our Camelbacks with tap water (another thing I had yet to get used to), and hopped in the car heading for the mountain.
We took off all in good spirits; I was particularly excited to see something other than the inside of A/Ced houses. This hike was an eye opener for me. Not only for the beauty of the Phoenix area but mainly for how OUT OF SHAPE I WAS!!!! I had to stop 3 times involuntarily because I was on the verge of puking! Prior to my moving to Arizona my fitness included smoking half a pack of Marlboro’s a day and finishing out a light undergraduate senior semester at college which definitely had its fill of adult beverages. I was 25 lbs overweight and a long time veteran smoker. Needless to say I got whipped by a pile of rocks. Nothing lights a fire under me more than being beat. Ever since that day my hikes and need to be outside has done nothing but grown, and I continue to trek now always looking to push further and farther to new destinations and past my own limits!
I blame the mountain, this mountain for starting my journey into really respecting the outdoors and saving my life. Without it I would surely still be sucking down those coffin nails and stuck inside unknowingly missing out on all that Arizona has to offer. Trust me there is so much to see here! I am a true convert and there isn’t a weekend (or weekday for that matter) where I don’t either have trails beneath my feet or on my mind scheming for the next big adventure. Man I love this place! I have noticed, in every picture I have ever seen that someone has taken of me while I am on trial, that I have a ridiculous grin plastered on my pace. It wasn’t always this way, so I blame, and thank the mountain for saving me and giving me something to get passionate about and really enjoy! Get outside, you’ll be surprised what awaits you; it could just save your life!!