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.
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’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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The yearly Colorado backpacking trip can be a challenge, mainly because of the altitude. Coming up from Phoenix, AZ (elevation 1086’), makes for a tough first few days. I like to enjoy myself as much as possible, call me crazy, so being fit is the only way to get past the altitude problem. The main challenge during the summer in Phoenix? You guessed it, it’s hot. The good news: as long as you don’t mind early mornings Phoenix is a great place to train outdoors year-round. As I’ve gotten older the heat has started to effect me more and more, and every summer the news is filled with stories of people taken down while hiking in the heat, so you need to be careful and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I’ve got another Grand Canyon hike coming up in September as well, so being hiking fit and well acclimatized to the heat is required!
I try to make it to the gym for some strength training twice a week, get in at least one swim, and a hike or bike ride. Usually on my hikes I run the flat parts and try to hike quickly up the steep sections.
I’m not really a fan of training with my pack on, I prefer to just work on overall fitness, so that I’m prepared for the adventures I have planned and anything else that might pop-up. Last year there was some suffering on the uphill hikes, perhaps my plan needs some adjustments…
I am fortunate to live right next to South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the United States, and a fantastic collection of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and in general enjoying the outdoors. I love the fact that in my neighborhood I’m surrounded by other active people who like to enjoy the excellent outdoor recreation opportunities that Phoenix provides.
The map below shows all the trails and such.
Pyramid Trail is my standard training hike, a mile of slightly up, then a mile of lots of up!
Once you get up to the top you can add some fun mileage by traversing the ridge line all the way around and descend a few different ways. The ridge is great for running, a nice rolling single track!
I try put together some videos of various adventures, check’em out!
Working in the restaurant industry in Phoenix necessitates taking vacations during the summer. While it can be a little warm in Phoenix, I’m still able to do a decent amount of outdoor activities and get away for some cool backpacking.
One of the first escapes should be a few days car camping with my wife. I just recently got us a 6 man tent, for excellent comfort in the campgrounds. While I enjoy the backpacking experience immensely, some comfy car camping is fun as well!
After that comes the Colorado backpacking trip, usually the highlight of the year for outdoor adventures. The past few years, for various reasons (impressive volumes of rain and wind or serious lack of precipitations), we haven’t been able to have a campfire. Really hoping for a few small campfires to sit around this time. Heading to an area around the continental divide, moving between some lakes. After a long hectic season of work the simplicity of backpacking and the beauty of the mountains help recharge the spirit. I feel like I can live pretty comfortably while backpacking, the REI Co-op Double Shot Press Mug doesn’t hurt (apparently it’s not available anymore, but I bet you can something similar). A real cup of coffee sure makes mornings in the mountains exceedingly nice.
Then in early September it’s back to the Grand Canyon! There will be four of us this time, should be a fun group. We’re going about two weeks later than last year, but it’s early September so it will probably still be pretty hot! As usual, i’m sure we’ll challenge ourselves. So we’ve got that goin’ for us , which is fun. The canyon is such an amazing place, around every turn is another incredible picture!
If I mix in some SUPing out at the lakes around Phoenix, it should be a good summer.
I’ve been able to continue the heading down to Tempe Town Lake for some post-work Stand-up Paddleboarding theme. I’m new to the paddling, so I’m just looking to get in some miles and a good workout. I very much enjoyed listening to an audio book and putting forth effort, it’s a great way to decompress. Much need lately.
My Garmin Forerunner has always struggled a little with elevation, obviously the website will correct after the fact, but it is always very evident when I paddle. The graph below is my elevation while paddling Tempe Town Lake,,,
My 3rd time on the Stand-up Paddleboard was pretty nice, it has become an excellent Wednesday afternoon pastime. I feel that it can become a good workout, but mainly it’s just super relaxing to cruise around Tempe Town Lake. It is unbelievable how many buildings are being built along the lake, 20 years ago when I moved to Phoenix it was a dry riverbed!
I wore the earphones today and rocked my AC/DC playlist, ripe for digging in. I definitely need to get some good technique, I feel like the main limiter in it being a cardio workout instead of just pleasure is my poor paddling stroke, so any knowledgeable tips are appreciated! Perhaps I should watch some YouTube videos. Fortunately for me, the people who’s totally awesome pics of paddling around made me want to try it are gong to start paddling around soon .
There was some actual going where I wanted!
Effort #2, so much better than the first time battling the wind.
This mess was my first SUP time, because I had decided to go and just because the winds are gusting to 25 ain’t no thing. apparently…
In the 20 years that I had lived in Arizona I had been to the Grand Canyon once, and didn’t venture below the rim. I had heard such cool stories and seen many amazing pictures. I knew that I needed to experience it for myself, Fortunately, I was easily able to convince 2 friends to come along.
I applied a little late in the application time frame, but since it was an August date, not too much of a problem. We all live and recreate outdoors year round in Phoenix, So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
This was an awesome trip. Headed out from Phoenix around 10am, I love the excitement of leaving town for an adventure , you feel the city melt away! It’s about 4 hours from Phoenix, it’s a cool drive as you pass from the desert to high desert to mountains and back to high desert.
I Love This Sign
This sign is posted around the National Park Corridor Trails, it warns people of the challenging, extreme conditions hiking in the canyon can expose you to. While the warning is written in a few languages, I love the visual they gave to get the message across to almost anyone…
We could not have gotten luckier with the weather, we hiked in the around 4ish. We parked at the Backcountry Information Center and had to hop 2 buses over to the South Kaibab Trailhead. It’s amazing the number of foreign visitor the canyon gets. On the second bus I didn’t hear a single word of English. The first mile or so of our hike we were surrounded by a group of younger Italians, after Cedar Point we saw very few people, just us and the awesome canyon views!
It was dark by the time we got to Bright Angel Campground, we quietly set up camp, around many sleeping people. We strolled over to Boat Beach to chill for a bit, so as not to make too much noise. The only bummer about the campground is how close the sites are to each other, but flat space is pretty limited down there. One huge highlight, a flush toilet!! Here’s my Garmin track from the hike in.
The next day we hiked up North Kaibab Trail for a ways, just exploring around and enjoying being in such an amazing place. After that we headed back to the campground and cooled off by sitting in Bright Angel Creek, sooo nice!
A little later we walked over to the Canteen at Phantom Ranch and enjoyed a couple beers, not something that happens too often while backpacking. We started talking to the guy working the counter there. Pretty interesting guy who lives in upstate New York. He had been retired for 5-6 years, his wife had retired just a few years ago and told him he needed to get a job, so he did… at the bottom of the Grand Canyon!
We woke up pretty early the next morning, packed up camp and headed out for the Indian Garden campground about halfway up the Bright Angel Trail. This trail is completely different from South Kaibab, as it winds its way up through the natural weaknesses. Here’s my Garmin track from the hike to Indian Garden.
The hike to Indian Garden was a lot easier than I had expected. I suffered some at altitude in Colorado, apparently the altitude really kicked my ass because this entire hike felt relaxing. Indian Garden is another excellent campground. With ramadas and picnic tables at each campsite, it’s living in luxury!
We hiked out to Plateau Point for the view and it did not disappoint. Unfortunately for me the wind was kicking up and it looked like rain. I left my rain fly off to let the tent air out a little, so I got to run the mile and a half or so back to camp to get my rain fly on, good fun, I’m a genius!
After another even earlier wake up, we packed up and headed for the rim! The trail looks impossible when viewed from the campground but winds its way up though the weakness. The 3 rest-houses on the trail are great, nice little stops with water. Here’s my Garmin track from Indian Garden to the Rim. This was an amazing trip, and I can’t recommend it enough. I liked it so much I just faxed in my application for this September!!