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Vulture PeakSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2013
Hiking1.70 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking1.70 Miles   3 Hrs      1.13 mph
900 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break32 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners 9 partners
HAZ - Event
Mike Mattes
Hmmm....For the first time, I actually have Writer's Block... :o Not good, considering what a great day it was... :wrt:

2 hours and a half a pack later, I've got it now...I just had to figure out how and where to start... :o :D

I kept looking at pictures of that Peak and the thought of another heavy pack, up another difficult Peak was psyching me out, so I figured what the pumpkin and weighed my pack before I walked out the door. Psyche!!! 3 Full sized Bottles, (2 Champagnes, 1 non-Alcoholic Sparkling Cider, all wrapped in bubble wrap) 3 Tupperwares, (2 Cookies, 1 Chocolate covered Strawberries) 1 bag of Plastic party glasses, corkscrew, (just in case) 2 liters of Water and my barest of minimal gear, including a jacket, and I was out the door...I didn't put it on, but just lifting it, it felt heavier than my one and only Backpack trip.... :sweat:

The drive didn't take as long as I thought and even after a long wait at Micky D's in Wickenburg, I hit the TH about 8:30. I was the sole vehicle at the TH at that time. It was a tad chilly. I got a text from an unknown saying they were at Mickey D's and would hit the TH about 9:15. Kinda suspected it was from Randal with the "we" in the text. I knew he drove a purdy Red Truck, so when a dark Blue one came roaring up the road towards me, my first thought was that someone had been taking driving lessons from Todd. I forgot what color his Truck was, but sure enough, no one can drive like that except Todd, so when he popped out of the cab with his Mardi Gras Beads, Top Hat, Tiara, and something to keep his Kilt Lifted, I knew I shouldn't have been surprised... :sl:

Before too long, the Parking Lot started to really come to life, as Barrett and Preston showed up after an unsuccessful Arch Quest, followed by Dave and his wife, and then Randal and crew. Patrick pulled up the rear, but didn't stay in that position the rest of the day... :) We decided that with so many capable Toyotas in town, there was no need to start there and we all piled in the three Tacos for a fun little ride up to the upper TH...Something got into Todd, and he spared us from premature adrenalin on the way up... :sweat: Either that, or I scared him when I told him that the Bottles were just sparingly padded... :sl:

On the drive up, we encountered a Hare with Rocketfeet, carrying a life sized Tortoise...Not something you see everyday... :sl: They weren't hitchhiking, and I guess one look at the Crew in front of them made them decline a ride. They probably felt safer on foot... :D

Finally assembled and ready to go at the upper TH, minus one member who was going to catch up to us later. Slung on the Pack for the first time, and it actually wasn't as bad as it felt...That pack has always been super comfortable and worth it's weight in gold... :DANCE: Everyone insisted that I be first out of the gate, but knowing the Crew I was hobnobbing with, I quickly surrendered that lead about 10 steps in... :sweat: That would be almost the last I would see out of the fastest 8 until the Peak... :D But I was surprised. Yes, it was a gasper going up, but I actually had a little company this time and made the Saddle in fairly decent time. Preston and Randal stopped for a bit to wait for Randal's friend, Dave, who had a bum knee. I stopped long enough to catch my breath and decided to keep pressing, as I knew, typically, just about everyone was waiting. It was actually a fun Scramble up from the Saddle. Patrick popped his head over and spotted me a better area in the most difficult section. A little challenging, but not bad...I've seen and done worse... :)

And I arrive...To an awesome Party already in full swing... :D Dropped the Pack, took a little time to absorb the views, take some pictures and then it was time to indulge. Unpacked the treats onto a nice, little Rock Ledge, and we went to town! Bob, the Rocketfooted Bartender, nicely opened and poured while Denny looked on and kept grinning... :lol:

I drink Champagne very seldom, but I can tell you that that was the best tasting Champagne I have ever had. Wow! Not only did it taste good, but it also cut the thirst from the exertion, so it was double awesome. We toasted and drank and ate and joked and laughed. It was almost perfect!!! It became more perfect when a Yeti's head popped up from the notch and landed on top. Preston finally caught up to us!!! So the banter kept right on going with fresh meat... :sl: After more rounds of laughter, another Tour around the Peak, Photo Ops, a Group Shot and cursing the missed shot of the Stealth Bombers going overhead, it was time to head down and meet up with the other Preston and Dave, who couldn't quite make it up to the Peak. I wanted to catch up to them and share some of the treats, as I didn't want them to be totally left out... :cry: Just as we were leaving, another group showed up and told us that Preston had left the Saddle and was on his way back to the TH. I was still hoping to catch him, but we never did. Turns out, he took a shortcut back to his car and was anxious about getting home for the Rose Bowl. Sorry to hear your team lost Preston... :( Did catch up to Dave and we all piled back into the trucks for the ride back.

Upon our return to the lower TH, Randal pulls a Tailgate Party out of his hat and treats us all to barbecued Hebrew Nationals and Cheese Puffs, along with a few more Brews...WTG Randal! : app : Awesome! It was the perfect way to wind down before we all went our separate ways and went exploring again... :lol: After coming down to the lower TH, I'm glad I set the start time I did, the Parking Lot was packed!... :o

What a great day, with a great group of friends, new and old. A huge thanks to everyone for joining me and helping me welcome in the New Year! It rocked!! 13 very cool people helped lighten my pack at the top and then packed it all out...Not a drop remained... :sl: I think this is going to become an awesome Tradition and am looking forward to doing it all over again next year! Extra special thanks to Bartender Bob, who has joined me now for two years in a row! : app : I hope more of you can join in on that streak next year... :D

Happy New Year HAZers!!!! :y:

dry Syndicate Wash Dry Dry
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
HAZ Member
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