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    LINDAKAY228   261,631
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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."

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
60NLOVINIT2 11/25/2012 8:05AM

    those pictures make me want to move back to upstate ny..... i miss the hills and wooded areas...

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DDPICKLE 11/25/2012 8:04AM

    Beautiful trail, and looked like a great way to spend the day. Great pix! emoticon

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CICELY360 11/25/2012 7:58AM

  Great activity. Nice scenary.

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NOTTOOLATEJUDY 11/25/2012 7:56AM


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THEIS58 11/25/2012 7:47AM

    Wonderful way to spend the day!

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HEARTS116 11/25/2012 7:44AM

    Lovely photos! emoticon

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DEBBYNATION 11/25/2012 7:40AM

    Awesome! When I lived in Washington State I would hike as high as I could go without an overnight pass - loved it! I could see Mt St Helen's, Mt Adams - spectacular!

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BESSHAILE 11/25/2012 7:32AM

Your son is funny

And your walk is spectacular. I utterly love long walks and take many but I live in the flat tidewater so mountains are a rarity. How fortunate that you can get to such a magnificent place and open up your soul. Thank you for taking me along.

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PICKIE98 11/25/2012 7:29AM

    I am gasping and wheezing just looking at the pics, my asthma would kill me there!!
It does sound like fun though.. I know Speedydog is salivating though,LOL!

Laughing at your son's post.. If I was him I would call the bank first!! Why let China-wally world get all his $$?
Could be worse:they could have recruited HIM to carry packages!! Linda Kay

Comment edited on: 11/25/2012 7:30:32 AM

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SMALLERMELORIE 11/25/2012 7:28AM

    Great job on avoiding the crowds and what a great place to do it. Great job.

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LAURANCE 11/25/2012 7:24AM

  Thank you for your great pictures! I, too, am going to hike today on Black Sunday (is there such a day?) because I'm supposed to be training for a 25K due in April. It's cold out and not that nice a day here in central PA, but I'm going to do it.

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ANGELN325 11/25/2012 7:21AM

    Beautiful pics! So glad to hear that I'm not the only one who tries to avoid the stores for Black Friday and this weekend for the same reasons! I understand there are savings to be won, but it's not worth the time I lose which I could be enjoying with family or the harm since I always hear of the horror stories of people fighting over the last TV or something like that. Don't need that in my life. I went to work and did the morning shift and then just worked around the house.

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SKYWATCHER6 11/25/2012 7:11AM

  lovely hike. Thanks!

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KARIDIAN1 11/25/2012 7:09AM

    Nice photos and good hike

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NCSUE0514 11/25/2012 7:05AM

    Beautiful photos - no wonder you love it so

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SANDYCRANE 11/25/2012 7:02AM

    I wish I was there. Awesome. emoticon

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7WORSHIPS 11/25/2012 7:01AM

  Wow- your hiking certainly beats shopping anyday! The pictures are beautiful. thanks for sharing.

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TRYINGHARD54 11/25/2012 6:55AM

    wish I could of gone with you..... emoticon

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NWLIFESRC 11/25/2012 6:47AM

    Love the pics

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DNRAE1 11/25/2012 6:47AM

    Fabulous hike!

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TAHOSA 11/25/2012 6:38AM

    Oh yea you know how to spend Black Friday.
And here are some video's taken where I have a Geocache located.

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JSTETSER 11/25/2012 6:25AM

    What a beautiful Black Friday. I hope that you will read my Sunday 11/25 (today's) blog. I had a similar experience!

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DESERTDREAMERS 11/25/2012 6:19AM

    Wow - what a hike! Love your son's comments, too emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 11/25/2012 6:14AM

    A girl after my own heart! I cannot even imagine fighting Black Friday crowds; but a beautiful hike is such a wonderful way to spend the day after Thanksgiving, or any day at all. Thanks for the wonderful photos.

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SEABREEZE65 11/25/2012 5:50AM

    Congratulations on being voted "FEATURED BLOG POST." How awesome is this!!!

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LIFETIMER54 11/25/2012 5:43AM

  emoticon blog thanks so much for sharing emoticon

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FERFEY02 11/25/2012 5:31AM


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KRISUA 11/25/2012 4:49AM

    Beautiful pics!

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GRAMPIAN 11/25/2012 4:34AM

  Great pict emoticon ures.

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CLAIREINPARIS 11/25/2012 4:25AM

    What a gorgeous hike!!! I am not surprised your legs are hurting, it was hard work indeed!!! Thank you for sharing your pictures with us.

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SUNSET09 11/25/2012 4:19AM

  You done good and instead of spending, you deposited so much of the atmosphere, getting your workout on and away from the hustle bustle of the holiday season !This , really is what it's all about, connecting with nature and what God has to offer; as He is the reason for the season; simply beautiful! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 11/25/2012 4:13AM

    You rock!! That was brave of you to do that alone!! Gorgeous area!! Never knew New Mexico looked like that! That is one state I don't know too much about! I love it when ones post blogs like this with photos! We love to hike and I post videos and photos! I haven't walked that far in one day yet though-so impressive you did that! And on that kind of terrain!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKSUE198 11/25/2012 3:58AM

    Fantastic! That looks like a challenging trail so well done for doing it when you were already tired.
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OLIVIANIGHT 11/25/2012 3:45AM

    That's a lovely trail! Definitely looks more fun than wrestling in the shops.

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JANIEWWJD 11/25/2012 3:01AM

    All I can say is WOW!!!!!! emoticon

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ANDYLIN90 11/25/2012 2:28AM

    Standing and cooking I'm sure made you tired, but girlfriend you climbed a mountain!! That kind of elevation gain over such a short distance would take super effort even if you were well rested and raring to go. Good for you!!!

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EATVEGAN 11/25/2012 1:44AM

    Thanks for taking me along on your hike. That is something I look forward to sometime next year, along with the many other things I will then be able to do.

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PLANTAGO 11/24/2012 10:13PM

    So beautiful! Great way to spend Black Friday or any day!

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CHANGINGHORSES 11/24/2012 9:02PM

    Sounds like my kind of hike Linda! I love a good steep climb but I hate the coming down. My knees do "not like". I'm glad that you could get out and enjoy the day. I am not a shopper anytime, much less on Black Friday.

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NATPLUMMER 11/24/2012 8:52PM

    An excellent way to spend the day!

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SAMI199 11/24/2012 8:46PM

    You are my inspiration today,Linda! That is a beautiful area,but I'm tired just reading about your hike...

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STRINGI719 11/24/2012 8:22PM

    I can NOT imagine going down that trail on a bike where all the great big boulders are! CRAZY!!!!

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SPEEDYDOG 11/24/2012 6:46PM

    Hi Linda,

Thanks for sharing. The trail is beautiful. I found a YouTube video made by some mountain bikers

Is this the same trail? This looks like some really sweet single track.


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