I must be “cursed” by Mt Humphrey, the highest peak in AZ. Last time I was sick with high altitude (12,633 ft) and “sleepwalked” up the mountain (Post #212). This time was even worse.
I had a stomach ache the day before and still felt my stomach churning in the morning. Since both Libby and Phil were going, I didn’t want to change our plan because of me. As soon as we started hiking, I knew something was wrong. I had low energy. Libby wasn’t in any better shape. With her Vertigo (due to a head injury when she was on duty), she felt dizzy all along the way. Still, neither of us said a word to turn back. We kept going, slowly.
It was very slow. It took us 6 hours to hike 5 miles with 3400ft elevation gain.
I thought coming down would be faster. Well, by then I had no energy left. My whole body ached, and I was chilled. Clearly I had a fever. All I wanted to do was to lie down and fall asleep. Libby wasn’t doing any better. She slipped and fell half a dozen times, fracturing her tailbone.
It took us another 5 hours to hike back. I fell asleep as soon as I was in the car.
The only funny part was, even both Libby and I were in terrible shapes, we perked up whenever we saw mushrooms. We picked 12 pounds, and poor Phil had to carry them.
The next day I had a fever up to 101.7F, and even after four days’ rest, I still had a fever that comes and goes.
This hike (7 miles round trip, 2,430ft elevation gain) visits two beautiful lake basins, traverses through meadows full of wildflowers, and passes numerous waterfalls along the way.
It was sunny and warm when we started. Half-an-hour later clouds moved in, and it started raining. As we were still hiking up, the rain turned to sleet. Soon the ground was covered by ice pellets.
Both of us were prepared. But even with a wool hat, gloves, jacket, and raincoat, I was freezing cold by the time we reached Ice Lake. Dark clouds hovered above us. Loud thunders boomed around us. We didn’t have any luxury to enjoy the gorgeous lake before heading back. I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of the lake for fear of ruining my camera.
Half way down the mountain the rain and the sleet stopped. A ray of sunlight peeked through the clouds and lit up the dramatic peaks around the area. What a nice way to conclude the San Juan Mountains adventure!
Thank you, David!
Today’s hike turned out to be easier than that of the first day. I still huffed and puffed, and we made it to 12,800ft, but the slope seemed less steep and I didn’t stop “every 30 seconds” as David joked. The view from the top was equally breathtaking, and the experience was no less memorable.
Petroglyph National Monument stretches almost twenty miles along Albuquerque, New Mexico. It protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in the U.S. I only had time to hike one trail—Rinconada Canyon, which offers 300 petroglyphs. Here are samples of the large collection there.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been to this park now. Since it’s only two and a half hours away from Sedona, I’ve taken advantage of its close proximity. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, the unique petrified wood still amazes me very time.
Coal Mine Canyon is located about 15 miles east of Tuba City in northeastern Arizona. It’s remote and little-visited. One can drive to the rim of the canyon, but there is no official trail going down except an unofficial path which is very steep and crumbly. But the hike (more like slide) is well worth the trouble if you can overcome the fear. I’m glad that Libby and her husband were there; I wouldn’t go down without them. We were the only ones among the multi-colored and strangely-formed sandstones.
The Desert Botanical Garden is located in Phoenix, central Arizona. Founded by the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society in 1937, the garden has more than 21,000 plants. It’s a great time to visit before it gets too hot.