Photo of the Week 12/07/20

Top of Pyramid Trail, South Mountain Park -Phoenix, AZ

I’ve probably posted this view before, but it’s pretty cool and the trailhead is 10 minutes from my house!

New Bike Path!

A few years ago the main road I used to ride my bike on was torn up for a new freeway. They said a multi-use path would be built alongside the freeway, but I was skeptical.

Yesterday I got to ride on the new path and it’s pretty awesome!

I was really doing good pedaling during the spring lockdown, feeling strong! Unfortunately I allowed my return to work in early May and the Phoenix summer heat to put the kibosh on my riding (and most other fun outdoor activities).

I’m past ready to get back at it, so it was nice to get back on the bike on such a beautiful day. Did my standard start and cruised down to the new path.

Looking West

It’s wide, smooth, has some hills, and is super protected from the freeway traffic. As skeptical as I was about it existing, I have to say ADOT really hit a home run with this. I love living in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix and this is just another great addition!

Looking East

Now there’s really no excuse not to ride, and it’s the best time of year in AZ!!

Flyover Friday

While it doesn’t have to do with the outdoors, Luke AFB and the Arizona National Guard did a flyover of Phoenix to honor health care workers and first responders and I was able to get some cool footage. Enjoy and stay safe!

Phoenix Flyover

These Strange Times

These are definitely strange times for all of us. Who knew that just a few months into 2020 there’d be toilet paper hording and quarantines! Like many restaurants, the one that I work at is closed, which gives me quite bit of time right now. There is some work stuff to, but right now it’s not a whole lot.


I tend to get cabin fever pretty quickly when trapped in the house, even two days of no activity and I’m starting to aimlessly wander around the house. The one good thing is I enjoy solo outdoor activities. I think road biking is a pretty good for keeping a social distance, as long as you ride by yourself and give others a wide berth when passing.

The new standard morning view
A little mountain biking from the house

This weekend I signed up for the Ironman VR race. Basically you have 3 days to complete a 5k run, 90k bike, and 21k run. I’ve got the time and it’s something to do. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve ridden that far, we’ll see how it goes! Did the 5k portion this morning.


I’ve also gotten in some decent hiking, with some more planned this week. We live towards one end of South Mountain Park in Phoenix, and while parts of it can get overly crowded now, I know many places to go were you barley see anyone and it’s easy to feel safe.

I want to do the complete the ridge line traverse from my Pyramid – National – Gila Loop hike on March 20th, by going over the last peak and not the pass, and I’ve got a permit for Aravaipa Canyon at the end of next week. I’ve never been there but, it’s supposed to be amazing! Just going to drive over in the morning, hike into the canyon for a few hours, then hike out. Definitely looking forward to checking out a new place!

Pyramid – National – Gila Loop

What thing are you doing to keep occupied, enjoy the outdoors, and most importantly keep yourself and loved ones safe?

Time To Get Back At It!

My major December work is finished at the restaurant! It’s always the toughest month of the year for work, which translates into a tough month to train through.

I was on a solid 6 day a week spree ,but finally succumbed to then need to just crank through some work, much needed rest, and the holidays.

The main reason I haven’t signed up for the Rock and Roll Az race in a while is the lack of training I’m usually able to get in during December. This year I got a solid early start to the training, and really by the time the weight of work took hold I feel my body was ready for the rest. The goal now is to be good at jumping right back into the training, just gotta get back to those habits quickly!

The six day a week training schedule had me feeling good:

  • Monday – Afternoon Swim (need to start getting in morning runs)
  • Tuesday – Morning Strength/Cardio
  • Wednesday – Morning Run – Afternoon Strength
  • Thursday – Morning Strength/Cardio
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Run or Ride (mtn bike or road bike)
  • Sunday – Ride or run (whichever I didn’t do the day before)

I was starting to feel pretty fit and I want to have a fun and active winter/spring before it gets hot. That is my motivation to get back at it, that and the entry fee I paid for the 1/2 marathon!

I’d like to get in at least one or two weekend backpacking trip in the next few months, I’m probably only going to be able to take 1 long backpacking trip this year, but a few short jaunts into the woods will be great!

Here’s to getting 2020 training off to a good start now! What are some tricks you use to keep up the training habits?


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Signed Up

I pulled the trigger and signed up for the Rock and Roll Arizona Half Marathon. I’ve been feeling pretty good running and wanted to go ahead and commit, so much easier to maintain motivation once you’ve paid your entry fee! I haven’t been running very fast lately, but it has felt good and I’ve been enjoying getting back to it so far.

It’s nice to have a racing goal, I’ve really slacked off on the racing the past 5-6 years. I miss it sometimes, but life sure tends to make you busy and there are a lot of varied outdoor actives I’m trying to squeeze in nowadays. If nothing else being fit for racing makes many other activities easier!

I’ve been getting in 2-3 runs per week, with a biking day, swimming day and 3 strength sessions a week.
Overall I feel pretty fit, and it’s been good to be back on track again. My bouts of the gout in early October appear to have been beaten back, that was a painful frustrating couple of weeks!.
I usually do 3ish mile runs during the week, and a longer run on the weekend. This past weekend I got in 10 miles relatively easily, and the weather was beautiful, a fine thing about AZ this time of year!

As far as a goal goes, I would love to PR (1:43;58) but I’m just not sure if I can run that fast anymore. I’ll be happy with anything under 1:50, I’ll try and do some post during this time just dedicated to the training for this race, and we’ll see how it goes!

Here’s this past weekend’s running effort!

Feel free to check in on my training, and drop some words of encouragement!

Walter the Dog in the Classy Canines Book!

While it has nothing to do with backpacking or the outdoors, my wife and are are big fans of animals!

Our dog, Walter and my wife’s parent’s dog, Chula, are raising money for the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA by being dog models in their book! Your vote could help them get on the cover of the Classy Canines Book. Just enter our last name “Moore” in the box when you vote. Voting only costs a dollar, and goes to a great cause!

The Summer Heat is Bringing Me Down

I was hoping to have a solid summer of biking and hiking, but I just haven’t had the motivation to go out in the Phoenix heat!

For a long time I’ve been able to deal with and train through the summer, but in the past few years it has really started to effect me. I started noticing this in 2015, there were a few hot bike rides that really sent me sideways. I’m much more careful than I used to be when it comes to afternoon summer activities, always want to make home to the wife!!

I know with proper hydration and getting up early I can safely enjoy outdoor activities all year long, lots of people do it. But, sometimes when I take the dog out at 4am and it’s hot I just don’t feel like sweating it out.

Hoping to find my mojo!

Standard Phoenix Summer Weather

What do you do when the weather makes you lack motivation to get out and go?

Afternoon at Canyon Lake

We cruised out to Canyon Lake, part of the Salt River, to hang out and so I could do a little SUPing. It’s about an hour from the house and the last part is a cool drive through some amazing desert scenery.

Walter the Dog

We brought Walter the Dog, we’re trying get him used to having people around so he can go do more stuff with us. He gets a little crazy around people he doesn’t know…

Since it was a Tuesday, and starting to get hot, I thought it would be quiet at the lake, but there were a good amount of people out there having fun. It always makes me very happy to see people out enjoying our National Forests, Parks, and public lands, they are one of our countries greatest natural resources.

The main reason we were there was just to relax in a cool outdoor spot not too far from the house, we were able to find a spot on the shore with a tree for some shade. We got a little camp set up and enjoyed the afternoon and some sandwiches. Most of the time there was a nice breeze and the water was super refreshing! Once I got the SUP inflated I took it for a cruise, paddled through some good rollers from the passing boats and almost fell in!

If you head out to Canyon Lake or any of the Tonto National Forest Recreation areas, make sure you get a Tonto Pass before you get all the way out there. They’re available at most gas stations and such as you leave town.

Canyon Lake from the Vista

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get in SUPing, this paddle board has been awesome so far! 

HydroForce White Cap Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard SUP and Kayak 10′

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Touring around the Old Stomping Grounds

On our 3 trips to Kentucky together my wife had never been to the Red River Gorge. We were in Kentucky this time as a quick trip for my nephew’s graduation, and since we had some time on Monday we made the hour drive down the Bert T Combs Mountain Parkway. Back in the early 90’s rock climbing was my passion, and the Red was the mecca of sport climbing for me and my friends.

We didn’t have a whole lot of time and weren’t prepared for a long hike, so the sky lift to Natural Bridge and a little driving tour around seemed like the way to go.

Top of Natural Bridge

While the Appalachian nature of the area was a bit new for her, she totally enjoyed the beauty of the place. The trail to the one crag we were going to hike to was super muddy, so we didn’t get to any actual rock climbing areas, maybe next time.

The sky lift was a great choice, we got up to Natural Bridge without the uphill hike and then could just walk around on the short trails up there, cruised through Fat Man’s Squeeze, and took in the view.

Fat Man’s Squeeze
Underneath Natural Bridge
Looking across at Natural Bridge

We drove through the ‘burg of Nada. This was truly the the eye opening part, it’s a very different place than we’re used to now. But we did get to drive through Nada Tunnel, a one lane tunnel carved through the rock!

Since I was talking about rock climbing, I had to throw in one of the best rock climbing pics ever taken of me! (probably 25 years ago)

Snooker at The Motherlode