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Bart Benchmark 3127
9 Photosets

mini location map2020-01-01
9 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Bart Benchmark 3127Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2020
Hiking3.40 Miles 1,090 AEG
Hiking3.40 Miles
1,090 ft AEG
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners 12 partners
HAZ - Event
Another New Year in the books. We set an Attendance Record this year. I have learned over the past 9 Years, to be pretty liberal with my estimate as far as supplies go. I always count the "Interested", unless I'm told otherwise, because there are usually last minute commitments. And at times, there have been very last minute surprises in the parking lot and sometimes even after we actually top out. We even had a Flat Denny once. He didn't drink or eat much, but he was the Life of the Party... [ photo ] My liberal estimate always pays off and this year was no exception. Terry ended up bringing the entire Harem out. There was another guy with them so Terry must have been in a sharing mood. All I can say is the ride in that truck looked very cozy. :lol: It was all good, more supplies than usual went up, but more people to help haul, so it all worked! It was a thirsty bunch too. 4 bottles of Champagne were depleted in record time!

Chilly at the start and the breeze at the cars had me worried about what awaited us at the top. Pretty windy all the way up, but the top was a pleasant surprise as the wind suddenly disappeared. Perfect Timing. The sun which showed itself early on, disappeared for most of the way up, but reappeared on the way down. All in all weather wise, it was a very good day, with some remaining snow on some of the Peaks adding to already stellar views.

The terrain change in this hike was amazing from mid November. The rains both in November and recently over Christmas, have transformed both the desert and the footing. In mid November, the desert was as dry as could be and the lake was very low. The game trail was very defined but the footing was pretty treacherous in places, with a hard packed surface combined with fine scree. Now, new grass is coming in strong, the trail is much fainter and with the Christmas rains, the ground was soft, making the ascents and descents way way better. The lake looks like it's even come up a bit. If the scenery could be improved on from the last hike, Mother Nature delivered just that. This area is well known for it's Spring Wildflower Show and this hike could be off the charts in a stellar spring. That may happen again with our winter rains in the past month. I may be seen on this hike again in March. :D

The Party and the Company were excellent as always! Always great to see old faces and get to meet some new faces as well. And they were all very patient. Due to extremely clogged ears, I felt like I was yelling all day instead of my usual just "loud" voice. :sweat: I have a hard time believing that it wasn't annoying to at least a few, if not more.

On a Personal Note, it didn't take me long to fall in love with this Event and I'm so glad I've made it a tradition. I've never had a regret. The HAZ community is unrivaled and although I generally hike solo, the people that this Event attracts, always ROCK! I am also extremely grateful for this Event. 2019 was my worst year ever since I reconnected with the outdoors and started hiking in earnest. Only 2 hikes total this last year and both were related to my New Year's Events. My total Commitment to keeping the Tradition forced me to get out. Without those 2 Hikes, I would have completely bombed in 2019. 1 1/2 Years of gaining weight with literally no exercise has taken it's toll. By mid October I started to turn things around, but I was still in poor shape when I did this hike in November. If I had been in that kind of shape yesterday, the SloFolks would have kicked my ass and been waiting for awhile at the top. As it was, the positioning of the marching line changed several times and I pretended to be the sweeper at least part of the time. :sweat: But 2 1/2 months of weight loss and gym time have helped, although I still have a ways to go. I at least wasn't feeling the Performance Anxiety that usually rears it's ugly head when hiking with others. After a continuing lifetime habit of smoking, I'm still slow, but I hope to change even that in 2020. With some more weight loss, conditioning and hopefully smoke free soon, I am looking forward to a much better year this year. HAZ has always been an awesome place for me. I haven't contributed much the last couple of years, mainly because I just haven't been out much. I hope to also change that this year.

A Huge Thanks to all that attended this Year and to all those that have shown up for the past eight years. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. And a big Thank You to Joe for not only participating in a few of my Hikes, but also for continuing to host a remarkable Site where Hikers, both new and old, have a place to go, learn and participate. This Event would not be possible without this amazing Resource.

I didn't take very many Photos this Time. I took quite a few in November. Now that some HAZers have seen these views in person, I have added those views to my original Photoset, although the air was way dirtier last time due to the wind and dryness.

I wish everyone the Best in this New Year of 2020. Cheers!
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!"
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