Thumbs Up!

Willy and I hiked a Prescott landmark trail up Thumb Butte.

I grew up with this Prescott Landmark practically in my back yard. However, I never hiked up it all those years. I recently put it on my bucket list of trails for Willy and I to conquer.

There are two ways you can hike this 2.5 mile trail. If you go to the left your first .75 miles is paved but extremely steep. Willy and I opted to take the trail to the right like the nice person who took this photo suggested.

 

The trail is well maintained and loops around at a gradual incline to the base of the rocks. I think we made a good choice taking the path to the right.

It was a gorgeous day for a hike. We enjoyed hitting the trails before the busyness of the holidays and while the weather was still nice.

There were plenty of places to stop and rest along the trail. We took our time and enjoyed the fresh air and scenery along our way.

The trail winds through the oak brush, pinon pines and even some prickly pear cactus toward the back side of the butte.

We made it to the top! Another hiker was nice enough to take our picture at the trail summit. Yes, to truly go to the top of Thumb Butte we would have had to scale the boulders behind us like some of the hikers were doing. Willy and I, however, were completely satisfied with calling the summit good enough.

At the summit there is an informal memorial dedicated to our beloved 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.  The movie, “Only the Brave”, was made about these brave men.

We locals lost so much when we lost these men. There are very few of us who were not impacted in a very personal way through this tragedy. Clayton Whitted (top row 3rd from the left) was very dear to our family’s hearts. He was a youth group leader at our church and impacted so many lives in a positive way, including our daughter. This little memorial was an unexpected surprise. We paid our respects then headed down the steep 3/4 mile trip to the bottom.

 

From the top down the trail is paved with plenty of rails to stop and enjoy the gorgeous view and at the bottom is this revolving gate. Willy was fascinated with it.

Of course, everywhere we go Willy makes a new friend. Everyone loves Willy and Willy loves everyone!

Another wonderful day spent doing what we love!

Aspen Creek Trail

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” – Mary Davis

To be in nature is therapy for my weary soul. To hear the breeze blowing through the pines is peaceful and soothing. Willy and I needed this hike – we needed this time in God’s creation to rejuvenate.

We did meet one couple along the trail – Willy never meets a stranger, he loves everyone. But, the rest of the hike was just us and nature. We never did figure out why it is called Aspen Creek – there aren’t any Aspen trees.

We were not alone in the forest, we were surrounded by animal life, we even saw some deer! They were too fast to get a photo, unfortunately. Willy could not understand why I wouldn’t let him chase them.

Willy had a blast exploring along the trail. He tried to get the squirrels to come out of the trees to play, but they opted to stay up at a safe distance.

The golds and reds of the oak leaves were a glorious splash of color against the pines. Willy loved rolling in the leaves and running through them to hear the crunch beneath his paws.

Sometimes we just have to be reminded to slow down. Willy helps me remember that. Without him, I would just keep hiking – pushing myself. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you don’t stop and take breaks, you miss the beauty.

Until next time, be sure to slow it down every once in awhile. Don’t miss the beauty.

Hittin’ the Trail

Willy enjoyed our hike on the Peavine Trail.

Although I was born in Prescott, Arizona and have lived in the area all but a few short months of my life, I am STILL discovering places to go and things to do in my home town. One discovery is this wonderful trail.

The 6 mile Peavine Trail is one of the few Rails to Trails projects in Arizona. It was originally built by the Santa Fe Railway in 1893.┬áIt winds around the back side of Watson Lake and the Granite Dells boulders. Willy and I didn’t hike the whole 6 miles but what we did hike was filled with beautiful scenery such as the wild Grapevines and Black Walnut trees that grow along the trail.

There are several little side trails to explore as well. Willy and I especially enjoyed this one, which took us to the back edge of Watson Lake where Willy was able to cool off.

Willy and I followed the white dots just like it said.

It was fun climbing the granite boulders. Willy felt like a real mountain climber!

Willy and I can’t wait for another fun local expedition. You don’t necessarily have to travel to find adventure. Sometimes you can find it in your own backyard.