I talked with John and Cindy about doing this one quite awhile back. Then later I told Cindy that I didn't want to go back up there (mainly because it scares me a little up top), thinking she would eventually go there with a group or something. She said she would rather do it privately instead as a posted event with lots of people. Well, I hear that, since that's my preferred way too. Lately I've had the desire to go, because it is such a nice hike in a beautiful area. So everything lined up right and away we went. This turned out to be a perfect day for the hike, especially since it was dry and the wind wasn't howling up top, which can make it even more treacherous.
The last couple of times down there I didn't summit, but this time I was determined to do so. I knew with John along I was in good company to get me through the tough spots when I started getting uptight with the exposure. I love almost everything about this hike, except the final moves near the top when you break away from the vegetation and are on bare rock.
I did get nervous in the spots I usually do,
but made it up (with a little crawling in one section). I was happy not to have chickened out this time, and be there with John and Cindy on their first ascent!
After the hike I drove over to nearby Montosa Canyon to show them the astronomy vista spot in the sheltered canyon for folks to set up their telescopes for star parties (this predates the establishment of the Smithsonian visitor center nearby). Also nearby is a genuine Navajo sweat lodge, where Native American ceremonies are occasionally conducted. It was there that we encountered some undocumented aliens, though they likely hadn't come from Mexico.
We ended the day with a nice dinner at the Mosaic Cafe in Tucson.
It was nice to see John again and to finish what we had talked about doing two years ago.