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    LINDAKAY228   209,608
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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:

STEVIEBEE569 11/25/2012 6:33PM

    Well done!

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THROOPER62 11/25/2012 6:32PM

    emoticon for sharing emoticon photos

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PATRICIA441 11/25/2012 6:22PM

  Sounds like a great day hiking. Way to Go! You must be so proud of yourself!! You Go Girl!! emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/25/2012 6:18PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NANNABLACK 11/25/2012 5:15PM

    emoticon

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JUDSTERF 11/25/2012 4:55PM

    I'm wth you!!! Stay away from stores/shopping on those days!!! I don't like crowds either. Nice pictures!!!! Love the scenery.

Judy

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MOMFAN 11/25/2012 4:50PM

    emoticon

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TURTLETRACK 11/25/2012 4:41PM

    That looks like it would be great fun to do with someone. I like to hike with someone. Your pictures are wonderful. emoticon emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 11/25/2012 4:30PM

    emoticon

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CAMSEDGE 11/25/2012 4:18PM

    Great blog...enjoyed the trip.

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CHOCOHIPPO 11/25/2012 4:13PM

    wonderful pictures!!!!! thanks for sharing.

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SMARIEB 11/25/2012 4:08PM

  thanks for writing this, felt like I was hiking too, always good to walk at least 30 mins every day,



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LUVS2BIKE101 11/25/2012 4:05PM

    Now that's my kind of activity! Thanks for sharing your day with us. The pics are so beautiful! I'm glad you had an enjoyable hike.
emoticon emoticon

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WALKSINLIGHT 11/25/2012 3:59PM

    Awesome - I would rather be hiking than shopping too and what a great way to burn off some of those extra calories from Thanksgiving. That hiking trail would make a great cross country ski trail too !
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THESUBY 11/25/2012 3:56PM

    Nice pictures, thank you for posting! I love to hike, too.

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JMMACKIE 11/25/2012 3:52PM

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!

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DONNABRIGHT 11/25/2012 3:39PM

    Beautiful pictures, great way to spend the day and I love your son's sense of humor!

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PEGGYO 11/25/2012 3:36PM

    great pictures

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WATERDIAMONDS 11/25/2012 3:27PM

    What a gloriously beautiful hike--and what a great idea for Black Friday!

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JANETTEB553 11/25/2012 3:19PM

    Good on you.. It is hard at first but gets easier surprisingly quickly. emoticon

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KRISTEN_SAYS 11/25/2012 2:58PM

    So great! A million times better than spending your day in a mall fighting crowds and long lines

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MARZIPAN22 11/25/2012 2:53PM

    I am so impressed ! Your writing drew me right along on your hike and I understand how dangerous a descent like that can be. So glad you got down with no sprains,etc. Also it was a great challenge to me. DH and I went on a "little hike" (compared to yours) yesterday that I thought was fairly significant but really it was just a stroll I see now. This is really good for me, to see that I can challenge myself to do lots more and it does not discourage me from what we did do. Even a stroll trumps sitting on the couch as SparkPeople reminds us !!
Thanks so much for your beautiful photos and interesting report on your expedition....

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DALID414 11/25/2012 2:47PM

    I don't do Black Friday either. I've been deleting Cyber Monday e-mails all day.
I'm with you, I'd be way too scared to head down on a bike!
Your son should've married a hiker emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 11/25/2012 2:28PM

    Fantastic!!! emoticon

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MARITIMER3 11/25/2012 2:27PM

    Good for you - much healthier, happier choice than shopping... besides, most of us already have way more "stuff" than we need.
gail

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LTMURPHY7 11/25/2012 2:18PM

 



Awesome trail & way to spend Black fri

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HLOCHRIDGE 11/25/2012 2:13PM

    Lov e the pix! Great alternative to the crowds!

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BARBANNA 11/25/2012 2:06PM

    Better activity than any Black Friday sale! Thanks for sharing the great pictures!

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GARDENSFORLIFE 11/25/2012 2:04PM

    emoticon emoticon
Great Blog and pictures!
emoticon emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 11/25/2012 2:00PM

    Beautiful! Thanks for taking us on a walk with you. I can't stand Black Friday shopping either. I'm the Amazon.com queen. emoticon

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KARRENLYNN 11/25/2012 1:51PM

    Loved your son's Black Friday post - very funny! I've never been a Black Friday Shopper and very much prefer your choice of hiking. What a beautiful trail you chose.

Have a great week coming up!

Karen emoticon emoticon

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TINY67 11/25/2012 1:41PM

    Lot better idea then fighting the crowds.

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BARBARASDIET 11/25/2012 1:40PM

    pretty!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 11/25/2012 1:34PM

    I agree about Black Friday! YUCK. I love your activity much better! BEAUTIFUL photos....what a lovely park! :)

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GIRLINMOTION 11/25/2012 1:30PM

    What a great way to spend the day. Much better than standing in line ups being stressed out and buying things you don't need or spend money on which causes even more stress.

Way to go!!!!

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SJKENT1 11/25/2012 1:30PM

    What a spectular hike!

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FCARMICH 11/25/2012 1:30PM

  thanx

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CM_GARDNER78 11/25/2012 1:24PM

    What a fabulous way to spend the day! :-) Your pictures are awesome - it looks like a wonderful, peaceful way to spend your time. I LOL'd over your son's facebook status too!! HAHA. Thanks for sharing!!

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CHERYLSBUTT 11/25/2012 1:24PM

    Beautiful
THank you for sharing

I love the post by your son....hysterical!


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SHOAPIE 11/25/2012 1:16PM

    emoticon

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LYNCHD05 11/25/2012 1:03PM

    I am so impressed with your long hike. Ndt sure my legs could do it!

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DIANNEMT 11/25/2012 1:00PM

    I also hiked but not as far or in mountains!

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WENDYWITKOSKI 11/25/2012 12:52PM

    What a great hike! Way to go!
That FB status is too funny!

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KIMBOLEAN 11/25/2012 12:42PM

  emoticon

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NOTSOFLUFFYDAD 11/25/2012 12:40PM

    What a great blog.... love the pics!!!

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HAPPYDEM 11/25/2012 12:35PM

    Those pics are so beautiful! I love hiking, too, but I live in the suburbs of Milwaukee and there's nowhere to really hike around here. And now it's getting a little too cold. Boo.

Congrats on 60 pounds lost! I set out to lose 38 (have lost two so far), so you are an inspiration to me!

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GAILRUU 11/25/2012 12:27PM

    That sure beats fighting the crowds in the stores!

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SONDRAJ20 11/25/2012 12:20PM

    Great hike, great photos, great blog! I cannot even imagine biking down that trail - but then I can't imagine hiking up that trail either!! More power to you!!

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JULIERAE41 11/25/2012 12:14PM

    Breathtaking photos and your descriptives are phenomenal! Thanks for sharing!

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BLUE42DOWN 11/25/2012 12:08PM

    Beautiful hike. emoticon for sharing!

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