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    LINDAKAY228   211,827
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My favorite Black Friday activity - Hiking (pics)

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

There are a few times a year when I totally avoid the stores. Black Friday and the weekend after, and the day after Christmas. I don't like crowds and long lines and the money I would save is not worth the insanity to me. I'm not big on shopping anyway, unless I have a lot of money to spend, which I usually don't. So I chose to go for a strenuous hike instead.

I headed up to Signal Peak, which is a peak in the Gila National Forest that has a fire watch station at the top used during the fire season. It's almost 2000 feet climb in 2 1/2 miles. That is by the trail. There is a road up there, which winds a lot and is 7 miles in length. This is the 4th time I've done this hike over the years. The other 3 times I hiked up the trail and came down the road, which is what I intended to do this time. But it took me longer to get to the top this time, and I decided to go down the trail again instead of the much longer route, especially as the days are so short now. It was harder than I remembered. I think I was also still tired from standing and cooking all day on Thanksgiving. Standing makes my back and legs hurt much worse than walking does. But I don't cook very often any more so fixing Thanksgiving dinner is something I like to do for my family.

It was a beautiful day, in the low 60's. There are a lot of mountain bikers in my area, and at the top I saw a group of 4 who took off down the trail before I left the top. I think they road up the road. Then when I was nearing the bottom there was a man and his son, who looked about 8 years old, coming down the trail. So as you look at the pictures, think of riding a bike down it. I marvel at them because it would terrify me to death as it is steep, rocky, and narrow. But I know a few people here on Spark who would love the trail. But for me it looks absolutely insane! However I didn't see any blood on the trail of any signs of a wipe out, so I guess they all made it down safely LOL.

I parked about a 1/4 mile from the trailhead, at the bottom of the road because I had intended on coming down the road when I set out. So I walked that to get to this sign where the trail starts.



The trail starts out easily for just a bit, but less than 1/4 mile on the trail it starts climbing sharply and then keeps climbing. There aren't any ups and downs on this trail, like most trails around here, but steady up, then steady down coming back.



The trail turns and starts climbing up to the left.











Think about those bike riders coming down this!







There are only a few places where you can get a view because of all the trees along the way.













Almost to the top now. There was the 4 cyclists who don't show up in the picture and their German shephard which does right at the top. I was a little nervous about the dog but he didn't bother me.





Here is a cleared space at the top where a helicopter can land if necessary, and a few utility buildings and the tower. During fire season the person who has the fire watch lives in the top of the tower for a several months.







There is the road I would have gone down for the 7 miles back to my car but my legs were too tired and it was already after 2 pm.



And heres the sign with the elevation 8920 feet. It was about 6900 feet or so where I parked the car. My gps said I climbed 1955 ft from there. In SIlver City, where I live, the elevation is a little over 6,000 feet.



There is also a picnic table up there, where I rested for about 1/2 an hour and ate my turkey sandwich I had brought. I paused my gps during that time. My actual hiking time was really slow, taking me 2 hours and 15 minutes to climb the 2 1/2 miles. I had to stop a lot to catch my breath and my legs wanted to quit before I got to the top but I perservered. I think it was so hard because of being so busy the day before. I didn't realize how tired I still was. To go down the trail took me 1 1/2 hours because there are so many places where I have to go slow because its steep with lots of little loose rocks that roll under my shoes, a little bigger rocks that can roll or I can trip over, and huge boulders buried mostly underground with just parts sticking up to trip me. My hiking stick really comes in handy and saved me a few times when I would have tripped or slipped. I imagine the bikers made it down the trail in half an hour or less LOL. My calves and thighs are hurting me today and I'm really tired. I want to go back and do it again, when I start out more rested than I did yesterday, and do the road down. I don't know if I'll get a chance though because once it starts snowing it will stay up there much longer. I last did it in March 2011 and the trail didn't have any snow left by then but when I started down the other side on the road there were a lot of big patches of snow still, and a few places where it still covered the road although we hadn't had any snow in more than a month then I think. So not sure if I will get back up there in the next few weeks or not.

It was exhausing but it was fun! The trail itself was 5 miles up and back and with the 1/4 mile each way to my car it made it 5 1/2 miles. And even though I was really tired when I got home, I wasn't more tired than if I'd gone shopping all day and it was much more peaceful LOL!

My son, who lives in Fort Worth, posted this yesterday morning on his facebook page that made me laugh. "My wife has been gone for 14 hours with her sister and mother. Considering that she is usually home asleep by 11pm and it is now 10 am, I am getting worried. She did not leave with any food or water. I am not sure if I should call the police, the coast guard, or Walmart.
Damn you black friday! You have left so many men alone and scared, as they sit and look at their online bank accounts, wondering how they will ever recover."
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUPERSYLPH 7/8/2013 10:45AM

    emoticon I don't do Back Friday either. What a great alternative!

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NLYR20 12/19/2012 4:51PM

  Wonderful Experience... Reading it thru was fun... emoticon

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SANDYLH1 12/16/2012 1:18PM

  emoticon

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MONTREAL12 12/9/2012 2:28PM

  emoticon emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/4/2012 9:34AM

    Lovely hiking trail. Thanks for sharing.

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BEAUTIFUL_REINA 12/1/2012 12:39PM

    I loved your hike and your pics, that was an AWESOME journey you took us on! Plus I got a laugh out of your son's post!! =)

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MAIDAMONTREAL 12/1/2012 11:36AM

    Great way to spend Black Friday. I am also a hiker so I can relate to everything you said. I have been hiking for about 25 years but have slowed down a lot. Like you I take my time getting to the top by stopping to catch my breath and rest and to drink my water. When I get to the top it is always worth the effort and I am always glad that I did it.

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EMILYDOODLE 11/30/2012 9:42PM

  Great pics! i don't like long lines or crowds either. avoid them at all costs. emoticon

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KELLYPAQ 11/30/2012 5:48AM

    Great idea. A much better use of time than shopping. Enjoyed the photos.

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NHEMBERGER 11/29/2012 12:54PM

    What a great hike! Thanks for posting pics with your blog, I feel like I was hiking with you!

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CFMOSS 11/29/2012 7:11AM

    what a lovely hike - i'm glad i can take it vicariously through you.

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LISBETHSALANDER 11/28/2012 11:13PM

    I love your pictures and your description of your walk. Now to do my own.

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TERRIJ7 11/28/2012 12:30PM

    Lovely day for a hike and it looks as though you made good use of it. We went out and got our Christmas trees that day and did quite a bit of hiking too.

I had the same kind of fatigue as you after two days of cooking, cleaning and having guests. I don't think I felt truly rested until about Monday morning!

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AMANDEES76 11/28/2012 11:53AM

    Definitely a better way to spend black Friday since you get in your exercise and spend the day peacefully in the outdoors. I did go shopping with my mom and although I did get some good deals and didn't have any problems with the mobs I didn't get in much that could be considered exercise.

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PATTYSPENCER 11/28/2012 10:12AM

    Love this! The photos are beautiful and a great way to show us your journey up to the fire tower. That being said that is not a hike I would do by myself - not in today's age. Maybe where you live it's safer but not the big city parks where I am - I'd be a scared to walk the trails with no one else on them.

Your son's a hoot! That was too funny!!

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LOVEAZ 11/28/2012 1:35AM

    Lovely photos! That looks like a hike I would really want to try once I get in shape; it would be a nice weekend trip from my place also.

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MSBEKANATOR 11/27/2012 8:28PM

    Thank you for sharing the pictures from your hike. I would rather be there than any store after the beginning of November, lol. Great job on sticking with it, what a great motivation you are!

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WILSONWR 11/27/2012 8:15PM

    Great pictoral of a nice hike!

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MANDYLOVE_76 11/27/2012 4:07PM

    Awesome.

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ELIZABETH5268 11/27/2012 3:07PM

    What a fun blog! I wish we had hiking areas around here like that. Definately makes me want to look for some though!

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TERRIH8118 11/27/2012 12:38PM

    What a beautiful area. That looks like so much fun as opposed to black friday emoticon

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STUFFNEARTABOR 11/27/2012 11:49AM

    Excellent!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 11/27/2012 10:44AM

    A great hike and definitely a better choice than the mall - I don't go anywhere near the stores during the crazy times and it looks like your blog struck a note for a lot of other people as well. Wish I could have gone on this hike with you but so glad you got out on the trails - good job!
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AMARILYNH 11/27/2012 9:50AM

    Wow Linda - what a great way to spend a Friday! Sorry about the tired legs though - I'm sure that took away a little of the joy of climbing. Glad to hear you had a walking stick - it makes it so much safer, especially on the downhill parts!! Good job!! emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 11/27/2012 9:23AM

    I really enjoyed your hiking blog! I agree, there is something amazing about a good hike in the mountains. Thank you for posting this!

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FARIS71 11/27/2012 9:02AM

    What an amazing hike and what a blessing to have that near you! Thanks for the pictures!

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NYKIMMIE 11/27/2012 8:15AM

    emoticon I love hiking!

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FATHINSN 11/27/2012 7:59AM

    With scenery like those, I will prefer hiking than squeezing in thick crowds during shopping!

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DFG5876 11/26/2012 11:45PM

    Beautiful pics, I didn't go out to shop I stayed home and had a wonderful visit with my son.

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IAMAGEMLOVER 11/26/2012 11:27PM

    Great pictures. Thanks for posting.

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LORAKO 11/26/2012 11:27PM

    Great photos! Looks like a beautiful hike and a great way to spend the day rather than in those crazy department stores. emoticon

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CRYSTAL7381 11/26/2012 10:30PM

  Beautiful Photos emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 11/26/2012 9:30PM

  Congrats on doing a tough hike, especially when you were already tired. I used to love that sort of hike in my younger days - the pictures were beautiful. Thanks for posting them.

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ARTJAC 11/26/2012 9:25PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LAWANDMUSIC 11/26/2012 7:53PM

    Wonderful pictures. Thanks!

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PATRICIAANN46 11/26/2012 7:21PM

  I am with you regarding Black Friday. I avoid it every year as I don't like the crowds either.
emoticon for taking us on your hike. It was beautiful and a much better way to spend the day. emoticon

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CURTIOSITY 11/26/2012 6:57PM

    This was wonderful - thank you. Your pictures remind me a lot of my area of TN (only 4,000 feet lower - HA!) Shopping is it's own punishment.

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TEEBEE44 11/26/2012 6:35PM

    emoticon

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TPETRIE 11/26/2012 6:30PM

  Love the pictures. I didn't do Black Friday either.

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HFAYE81 11/26/2012 5:26PM

    I have a serious aversion to anything Black Friday or holiday related shopping. I always hibernate in my house...next year I am DEFINITELY hiking instead!! emoticon

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ITISABOUTME 11/26/2012 3:57PM

    sounds like a great day to me!!!! But do tell did the son survive the day?? LOL emoticon

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SMILEY3826 11/26/2012 2:28PM

    what beautiful pictures! thanks for sharing!

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ESCHMIEDT 11/26/2012 2:04PM

    Love it!

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 11/26/2012 1:23PM

  What a beautiful way to spend your day!

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NEWCHINELO 11/26/2012 12:42PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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SERASARA 11/26/2012 12:36PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DUTCH1811 11/26/2012 12:22PM

    This is Awesome. Love the pics. You should be proud of yourself for your accomplishments. I now live within an hour of Yosemite National Park. I want to work on strengthening my legs and knees and doing a couple of hikes like that next year.
Thanks for posting.

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LUDGEUBOOHOO 11/26/2012 12:20PM

    You have a lot more guts than I do...It is awesome though....

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MYBABYGIRLS 11/26/2012 11:55AM

    Thanks for taking us with you on this beautiful hike! emoticon

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ROCKINROBYNOZ 11/26/2012 11:45AM

    Love the pictures. Makes me even more excited about my section hike on the Appalachian trail next month.
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