I was surprised to see all the snow on the Supes flying into Phoenix last night. Much different than a weeks ago! Pretty cool for end of March! Since we got to the hotel about 8pm and had to leave early morning, I was excited to get in a night trail run. The closest hike I could find was the South Mountain Park. At three miles from the hotel it was very doable. I grabbed my headlamp and cellphone and headed out the door. I had the Pima Canyon Trailhead on my cell phone nav and got there with no problems. Someday I have to see if I can figure out how to load courses on my Garmin running watch. I stopped at a gas station just before heading into the park and grabbed some water.
There was only one car in the lot at the trailhead and I couldn't believe how many stars I could see. I looked at the map for a few minutes trying to figure out how in the world to run a trail in this area without getting lost. Just about any direction that I turned I could see a trail leading off in a different direction with my headlamp. I didn't want to run around in circles for three hours. I was hoping to catch a trail on the ridgeline and head west towards some of the higher hills. As I am looking at the trail map today, I think I got pretty lucky with the trails that I ended up on last night. It even feels familiar, like I know the area pretty good looking at the map! I would have liked to reach more of the eastern parts of the area though.
I started out towards the hills I could see facing the city. I swear the markers were alternately marked East Loop and West Loop. It was nuts and in the dark I was beginning to question finding a good trail that I could return on. But pretty soon I came across a wider trail with power lines on it and figured it had to lead somewhere. The markers said Beverly Canyon. Pretty soon I saw a trail heading right that was marked ridgeline and took that since I was hoping to cut along the ridgeline east. This trail was fun and had some great views of the night city as I went along. I came to a T in the trail and took a right on Javelina but after a quarter mile or so I could tell it was looping back west so I doubled back and followed it the other direction. I finally came to National and stayed on this one until climbing up for a good view of the city just past the Geronimo trail turnoff. By now it was approaching 11pm so I figured I needed to be heading back since I counted on getting lost once or twice. But going back was pretty simple and I found that I could see the reflections of the next trail marker out ahead with the headlamp and get an idea each time of where the trail was heading before running it. I didn't miss the other turns again until just about to the trailhead, where somehow I ended up on East Loop instead of West Loop in a basin and noticed that I was rounding the hill that I saw to the north of me when I reached the trailhead earlier. I cut across heading west along a trail until I reached a development and could see that resort/casino. From there it was easy to get back to the hotel. Very nice night trail run and I actually had a sweater with a hood on the whole time. I thought it would be a bit warmer in March!
All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds awake in the day to find it is vanity. The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes and make them reality.