Early Saturday Morning, Matt and I drove South of the valley toward Gila Bend, AZ to visit the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site. From the picture below, one could understand why this site has such an archaeological significance among the ancient peoples containing hundreds of symbolic and artistic rock etchings, or "petroglyphs," produced centuries ago. I truly was not expecting much as we drove through the barren desert landscape, after spending a few minutes studying the pictures, we were impressed to say the least.
From Painted Rock we veered Northeast with every intention of summiting Woolsey Peak, until a road closure completely derailed our plans. After a few hours in the car and backtracking several miles, we made the decision to return to the valley and get a run in at South Mountain. There are only a handful of trails left in the park I have yet to set foot on, the Alta trail being one of those, Matt and I gave it a go. Turned out to be an awesome route, mostly along a ridgeline with some serious uphill sections.
Sunday March 27th
South Mountain Park
Mileage - 15.05
Time - 2:29
AEG - 2756
My marathon running group met this morning to run San Juan road on "Silent Sunday" at South Mountain. As for me, I took a left up the steep Summit road and headed for the hills. Upon reaching telegraph pass, I abandoned the road in exchange for the National Trail, opened up the legs, and let it rip. I've been dormant for the last three weeks, today I felt like an animal being freed from a cage and released back into the wild (that cage being my recent indoor gym workouts). Other than a little discomfort in my right knee, everything felt great, so much so that I re-routed to add a few extra miles and hills. The highlight of this run was definitely my long awaited encounter with a 4-pack of Javelinas barreling down the mountainside!
The fun wasn't over just yet, Matt mentioned he may want to get in a rappel Sunday evening at Papago Park, given the nearly two year hiatus I've had from canyoneering or rappelling, it sounded like a good way to cap off the weekend. Stephanie came along and Dana met us there for the practice and we each got a few raps in before sundown.