Rob decided he wanted to come up into town today and hike something at South Mountain as he has never been there. I've only done one trip there, but I picked a route that was something new for me and something that I thought he would like as well. Rather than an up and back or a loop, I took advantage of the fact that there were two vehicles and did a Shuttle Route. Met Rob at the Mormon TH and we left his car and drove to the Holbert TH. About 10 minutes drive time between TH's so not too bad and parking at both is really good.
Got him started right away in Petroglyph city at the beginning of the Holbert Trail. Pretty cool rock art to get us going. Trail started out nice and level, but then the elevation starts to take over and you're hiking up into a nice little canyon. The views and air quality weren't too bad today, making for some decent pictures. Hit the intersection with National after crossing a couple of roads, (that seems so out of place for me), and headed east towards Hidden Valley.
Right into Hidden Valley we go and I immediately show Rob "Fatman Pass". He's wondering, but I was sure he would be ok and tell him to go for it. No problem! We had fun sliding and scrambling around the rocks and boulders in the valley and came out of the tunnel on the other side and headed for Mormon. I originally took a right on National coming out, but realized my mistake pretty quickly and backtracked to the West, hitting Mormon and starting our descent.
We ran into 2 huge groups of people on Mormon, but after that, very few. About 3/4 of the way down, we see a dude running up the Trail coming towards us. We make a comment about must be some superman dude and as he nears, he kinda looks familiar. As he starts to go by I make a comment about a guy named "Denny" and the dude hits his brakes and says "I'm Denny!"
Yep, it was the Turbo Turtle! Introductions all around, a few minutes to chat and we part ways. Get down, Rob gives me a ride to my car and ended a great day. Very cool to meet and hike with Rob and meeting the Tortoise Hiker was a bonus as well...
Was amazed at how few people there actually were. Holbert only had a few on it, until you passed the Dobbins Point Parking area and then when you hit Buena Vista, it was pretty crowded. But after about a 1/2 mile past that on National, we pretty much had the trail to ourselves again and I think we were alone in Hidden Valley until the very end. Mormon had the most people but they were in groups mainly and it was later in the day. Enjoyed the solitude of an "Urban Hike".