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    LINDAKAY228   211,261
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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:

JLEMUS1 11/26/2012 11:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROMEOSMOM27 11/26/2012 11:14AM

    Way to go

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ESME25 11/26/2012 10:47AM

    emoticon

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RANCHGAL9 11/26/2012 10:32AM

    Beautiful scenery and sounds like a very peaceful, fun hike

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MARGARITTM 11/26/2012 10:17AM

    I want to do this trail!

Thanks

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JACI4THEWIN 11/26/2012 8:36AM

    Good for you! Hiking is better than shopping ANY DAY!

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WORKOUTWITHPAM 11/26/2012 8:22AM

    Beautiful Photos! Thanks for sharing.

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BLESSTHISHOME 11/26/2012 8:21AM

    Great Idea! Thank you for sharing your story and beautiful pics!

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BLESSTHISHOME 11/26/2012 8:19AM

    GREAT idea!!! Beautiful pics! Thank you for sharing emoticon

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DEBLYNN323 11/26/2012 8:02AM

    Great hike....thanks for sharing!

And I'm with you....I would opt for the hike instead of the crowds!

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DMEYER4 11/26/2012 7:38AM

  congrats on your hike and loved your sons sense of humor

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HYATTI1 11/26/2012 7:34AM

    beautiful trail, looks a bit much and a little overgrown in places. I applaud you for your efforts. Thanks for sharing.

Joanna

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GETTO140 11/26/2012 7:29AM

    What a great place to hike! You are lucky! Thanks for sharing!

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CLUMBOY 11/26/2012 7:25AM

    great hike! wonderful way to spend black friday!

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MOTIVATED@LAST 11/26/2012 6:42AM

    Nice hike!

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JGRAY76 11/26/2012 6:30AM

    Gorgeous! One of my favorite things to do.

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NEWTINK 11/26/2012 6:08AM

    Beautiful pictures and sounds like a really good hike for you emoticon emoticon

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ROSE284 11/26/2012 6:05AM

    Those were gorgeous photos, thanks for sharing! And well done on a great hike!

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LEANMEAN2 11/26/2012 6:00AM

    Thanks for sharing.

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DOUGLYE 11/26/2012 4:59AM

    Nice photos, great hike
emoticon

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-WISPY- 11/26/2012 1:53AM

    Wow Linda, all just wonderful, loving it all. What a lot of wonderful comments. Your pictures are just perfect. xx

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BLUEJEAN99 11/26/2012 1:53AM

    emoticon

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LUVLYLORELEI 11/26/2012 1:43AM

    Awesome post and great pictures!

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DJHUMPHREY 11/26/2012 1:14AM

    Incredible!
Also I hate the lines, the rush too
Good luck to you

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L1ZB3TH354 11/26/2012 12:17AM

    You are awesome. Thanks for sharing your pictures I really like that in a blog.

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ROCKYCPA 11/26/2012 12:11AM

    Best way to spend Black Friday. Great pics from your hike.

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GRAMMAP1 11/25/2012 11:40PM

    I enjoyed taking that hike with you. Thank you for the inspiring pictures too. When you have scenery like that the trip is so interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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PCASEY7 11/25/2012 11:34PM

    Looks like it was a beautiful day for a hike. You certainly picked the better option on Black Friday in my opinion!

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AQUAGIRL08 11/25/2012 10:34PM

    What lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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JAMER123 11/25/2012 10:26PM

    Love your son's comment! emoticon
Enjoyed the pictures of your hike a well. You did a fabulous job of keeping to the task!
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PORTIAWILLIS 11/25/2012 9:59PM

    What a wonderful way to spend the day. Good to know there are others like me who hate to shop. What state are you in?

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AIAH23 11/25/2012 9:57PM

    Awesome that that is how you celebrate Black Friday. your son's comment was totally awesome! We don't do a ton of shopping either.

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JOANNHUNT 11/25/2012 9:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon pics. emoticon emoticon

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AMANDAROX 11/25/2012 9:27PM

    What a great way to burn those Thanksgiving dinner calories!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pics!!

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VOLLEYGIRL77 11/25/2012 9:13PM

    I don't like crowds either!

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REENIE131 11/25/2012 9:13PM

    Great pictures, and awesome blog!

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ONLYTEMPORARY 11/25/2012 9:03PM

    Beautiful!

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LINKYSD 11/25/2012 8:47PM

    Wow!. What a great way to avoid the insanity of Black Friday. I envy you your weather. I would love to do some hiking around Lewis and Clark Lake, but today's high was 31degrees, so that does put a little damper on things.

Barb in South Dakota

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_LINDA 11/25/2012 8:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Wow! Tough hike! Gorgeous photos!! Way to work it after turkey day!! Enjoyed sharing your hiking experience -it sounds like a great place to go!
Good one by your son :) Those poor spouses.
Keep on rocking your healthy lifestyle!!

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AJB121299 11/25/2012 8:28PM

    Nice

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CLAYARTIST 11/25/2012 8:17PM

  emoticon emoticon

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 11/25/2012 7:42PM

    What a scenic walk! Looks like quite a climb! A great alternative to shopping. emoticon

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3RDBABYWEIGHT 11/25/2012 7:37PM

    Way to go! That hike looks amazing! And I absolutely LOVE your son's post!
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GOSPARK45 11/25/2012 7:33PM

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful hike. Beautiful pictures.
Your son in very funny!

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AGK3112 11/25/2012 7:31PM

    wonderful emoticon

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KHALIA2 11/25/2012 7:08PM

  What a wonderful experience. Pictures of the trail were beautiful but a little scary.

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SHOSHANADP 11/25/2012 6:56PM

    Sounds and looks like beautiful hike.

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HEALTHY4ME 11/25/2012 6:49PM

    Awesome pics and I would need a stick for sure, with my knees being so bad, but would love to do it, and bike it NO WAY I would fall off going over those tree roots. Beautiful at the top.

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TEACH68 11/25/2012 6:46PM

    The pictures are fabulous! What a wonderful way to spend the day after Thanksgiving. That was quite a hike! emoticon

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JACRBUNCH 11/25/2012 6:35PM

    Sounds and looks like you had a great day. I too don't like to go shopping on black Friday, but I never thought about going hiking. I might try it next year. Thanks for the great idea.

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