Phoenix is in the midst of varying landscapes. You can see flat land, mountains, deserts while at the same time experience extreme chill or even snow or rain depending on the time of the year. The varying landscape means there are a lot of hiking opportunities. The 2068 feet Piestewa peak (Squaw peak) is one of the popular hiking trails. With a 1.2 mile one-way to the peak, you gain an elevation of about 1200 feet. The hike itself if of moderate difficulty. We started at around 10:30 AM for the 15 minute drive and found the parking lot flooded on the Holiday weekday – the day after Christmas. The air was chilly but I could see many people coming back after the trail in just t-shirts and panting. But they all looked refreshed. The hike itself was much more difficult than moderate. The pathway was full of stones, some loose at that and then there were steps of varying heights. We hiked upto about 80% of the peak height and decided to start back down. It had taken us about 30 minutes to get up there. We could see the skyline of Phoenix from the trail and many cacti. One particular lone-samurai caught my attention. It was refreshing to see quite some people along the path – both young and old and willing. All in all, a nice start to the day.
As we drove back to the resort, I couldn’t help but notice how the drivers on the streets were very compliant with the speed limits unlike in and around Philadelphia and New Jersey towns. Impatience booms back home. Not to say everyone is perfect as I was to see later on while heading back to the airport one driver literally pushed me out of merging as he came in from nowhere and my swerve was pretty sudden to shake us all up. I still feel lucky that there was no accident.