What was I thinking? I've been stressed out with work and not hiking much. This weekend the computer people were doing some work on the network so TIME TO HIKE.
I haven't been to Fossil Springs since the Dam was decommissioned. Looked like a good distance and elevation for a nice little training hike. It's north of Payson so it should be cool right? WRONG - not today. Since this was a training hike, I loaded up my pack to about 24lbs. 6 liters of water, dSLR and camera gear. Sure adds up quick. I would be glad I had the water but not glad I carried the weight.
I got to the TH early and it was already filling up. The hike down was a pleasure. Some microtrash but not too bad. But so many people. Four Boy Scout Troops. Lots of campers. Lots of hammocks. Some very makeshift - just sheets and rope.
The creek is fun which is why it's so popular. Then I started up. It was 100 eff(ahrenheit)en (a Deutsche word
) degrees. I don't know if it was the climb, the extra weight of the pack or the heat, but I was struggling so I slowed down and took my time. At one point I sat down in the shade and poured 1/2 liter of water over my head - I could feel the sizzle and see the steam. I'm home, iced my back and knees, and now I'm glad I hiked this hike today. But if you had asked me with a mile and 300AEG to go, I'm not sure how politely I would have questioned my sanity. I've been working out at the gym, but the only way to train for hiking is to hike. I can feel it in my hip flexors, shoulders and back. I'll need to work with a trainer on different exercises.
I stopped at the Strawberry Schoolhouse. That is a neat piece of history. I stopped at the Rimside Grill for a cooling libation. They probably think I'm crazy because I hold the ice cold drink to my carotid artery to cool my brain. And I stopped and hiked around the Tonto Natural Bridge. I didn't realize that Davey Gowan had homesteaded this and passed it to his relatives.