Friday, August 1, 2014

Valley Of The Sun | Photo Recap

Sunrise from South Mountain
Occasionally I travel for work. Yes, that's right, I have a grown up job in addition to my blogging and adventuring.

Unlike my my wife, Amy West, my day job doesn't include cushy 5 star resorts, award winning restaurants, and hot stone massages. 

Oh to be a beautiful travel blogger. But I digress.

I always try to find some fun when I'm on the road. This is my recap of a recent trip to Phoenix, AZ.

Obligatory airplane window photos

I left town a few days early to meet up with a friend for some cycling and visit family in Mesa, AZ. I knew it was going to be hot, but 112? Dry heat whatever! I guess they don't call it "Valley of the Sun" for nothing.

Me and Rob atop South Mountain

On day 2 I met up with my friend Rob Paulson and the JetSet Racing team for a morning ride. Rob hooked me up with one of his bikes and we hit the road at 4:30am for 84 miles. The greater Phoenix area is mostly flat... except for when its not.

We climbed South Mountain, west of Chandler, 1400 ft of nice pave with some switchbacks. Though I beat a few locals I was mostly crushed by the JetSet Racing guys... and maybe a chick. 

There is tons of great cycling throughout the Phoenix area. On road, or off road, pick your poison.

JetSet Racing Team approaching South Mountain

Strava stats from South Mountain ride

Proof I made it up South Mountain

View from the top of South Mountain

Sunset on Echo Canyon Trail
As if 84 miles wasn't enough in the AZ sun, the next day I decided to climb Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale. I convinced 3 of my cousins to join me. They all live little more than a stones throw from Camelback Mountain but hadn't climbed it in years.

Echo Canyon Trail is only 1.2 miles to the summit but climbs 1280 ft in that short distance. If you're hiking in summer months I recommend starting before sunrise to beat the heat. Also it helps beat the crowds.

Some people run the trails. One dude ran it 3 times in the time we hiked it once. Maybe I'll look him up next time I'm in Phoenix... or maybe not.

Sunrise on Echo Canyon Trail

Steep section of Echo Canyon Trail

Summit selfie

Paul, Ben, Jo, and Me

Strava stats

If you travel for work don't get stuck in the suck. Get out and find some adventure!

- David West

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