Thursday, June 7, 2012

Walnut see this while you're here!

We got a break from the under-the-weather and headed out, all jaunty-like, to Walnut Canyon National Monument. The ranger on duty showed us the Island Loop and the Rim Trail, and advised us to take the Island Loop only if we were "feeling healthy today." I figured Annie couldn't even remember when she last 'felt healthy,' so I was in for smooth cruising on the Rim.

But, no. Annie was hardy, and there was no way I was backing down. What have I done?

Log-walking is fine, but there is to be no segregation of the sexes.

On the way down, while it was still funny.

A pueblo we couldn't get to.

One we could.






I AM smiling.

"I have to use the bathroom. Hold my stick and water and hat and shades. Take my jacket, my keys and my camera." CLANG! The Louds hit the trail.
The Rim Trail, on the other hand, is designed for everyone, and is wheelchair-accessible. Why, oh why? I love wheelchair-accessible!

Several years ago, Annie and I hiked a trail in Upstate New York that I found especially strenuous. Along the way, a pregnant woman, three old ladies, and a guy with a broken leg pushing a wheelchair passed us on the way up. I'm proud to say I have the same level of physical stamina now as I did at that age.

Bottom line: whine all you want, but see this somehow. $5 per person, good for seven days. Or, use your America the Beautiful pass: free.

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Brenda A. said...

Annie looks mighty pleased with herself! :)

Yeah I just love when the geriatric set blows by me on the trail (happens a lot more than it should). Knocks the wind right outta my sails!

longdog2 said...

Enjoyment is what counts--not how fast you can get it done, right??

klbexplores said...

Ahh, one of my most unfavorite memories is when I climbed Mt Adams in Washington State. The ascent took 10 hours, the descent 2 1/2 hrs. It was like climbing stairs for all of the trip up. I have a picture that someone took of me, my face showing the pure torture of the day. Oh, and I was 24 yrs old. I know better today!

Karen Snyder said...

Walnut, indeed! 185 vertical feet?? Not sure I could round trip in an hour...maybe that much to get back out again?? Looks like fun though. Great photos!

Andra Watkins said...

Glad to see you both feeling better. Love this scenery. I will have to put it on my list for a future AZ visit.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Andra, you'll probably revisit Sunset Crater, right? So close!

Karen and Al said...

I remember a 70-80 year old woman blazing right by us on a trail once.....and she was using a walker, I think.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Karen, I started counting the steps and converting them to percentage climbed. It was so discouraging I had to cry, then I quit counting.

TEN HOURS?? Were you muttering rim trail, rim trail, rim trail all the way up? I would have had to roll down.

Longdoggie, I enjoyed every single landing and every single bench.

Brenda, she was pretty smug.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Karen, so humiliating. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only person this happens to.

Russ Krecklow said...

According to the signs, they don't want you to pick up any trash either? How come all of the pictures are either taken at the top, along the way, or near the bottom. Was there a secret way back out so you didn't have to actually climb all that way UP!?! After a climb like that I would look into getting a wheelchair for sure!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Russ, it's a true loop, so the steps we plopped down (so carefree!) were the same steps we hauled ourselves back up (older and wiser).

Mike and Terri said...

Last winter we often had a gentleman in his early 70's pass us. . . and then come around and pass us AGAIN on our walks around the campground. Oh the humiliation!

Donna K said...

Is Annie smiling or grimacing? I know which one I'd be doing. Glad you got some good pictures - I enjoyed them more than I would trying to see it for myself. Ten years ago I wouldn't have hesitated but age and gravity have taken their toll!!

Sherry said...

Really great pictures. Makes me want to see it for myself except that I really dislike the "do the down part first" type of trails. I don't want the hard stuff at the end, I want to get it over with. But you two must be in pretty seriously good shape to do a "Strenuous". Obviously you made it back to post this blog. Congrats!!

Jim and Sandie said...

Give me about five days and I might be able to do it. Then again maybe not. My 98 year old Aunt would do better than I do. But great pictures.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Mike and Terri, I feel your pain! Who ARE these physically-fit senior citizens??

Donna, gravity is especially strong at the Canyon. You won't find that in any fancy-schmancy brochure, but you're hearing it from ME.

Haha, Sherry! Says the woman who would run this loop while she was resting. Today, my arms are as sore as my legs, because I was using them to shove my bits up the steps.

Jim and Sandie, I kept wondering if they would send a ranger or two after me if I just didn't reappear. This thought caused me to buy a Junior Ranger Super-Survival Multi Tool at the gift shop upon my return.

Merikay said...

I dont think I will tell Craig about this one... He would have us down in a snap. I dont like staris!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Stairs are hard! I wish they could have done a series of ramps, but it's too steep for that.

Terry said...

Well, just to add to the tales of the geriatric crowd. Back many years ago my mother and an aunt went antique hunting in some old abandoned houses in Oklahoma. They saw through a basement window a bunch of good stuff, but they would have to crawl over a wall to get there. Just as my aunt was ready to boost up my mother, Mom looked up and saw the forked tongue of a snake just above her on the ledge.

As they were leaving they went looking for my grandmother (probably late 70's or early 80's) and found her playing with a rattlesnake with a stick.

Them pioneers have grit!

heyduke50 said...

i prefer to wine a lot... but love the pueblos...

intrepid-decrepit-traveler said...

Hey, "easy does it" when hiking UP/DOWN 185 feet at or near 7000' is redundant! Breathing is about all any of us can muster at that elevation!

Love the pictures. Looks like a wonderful place to explore.

Marianne said...

WOW! Something I've never seen myself and I'm very grateful for the pictures. Thanks to you, and our other friends who are sailing around the world on the Tsamaya, I feel pretty "well traveled" these days.

Incidentally, if we ever get out there, I will bid for the Rim Trail. After all, I've already SEEN the Island Loop trail, right????

Contessa said...

Great job! Love the photos, hope to do the trail one day. We did stairs like that in India, very tough in the heat.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Terry, that's like Okie Temple of Doom, where snakes guard the good stuff. Wow. I would have been guarding the car.

HeyDuke, the wine came later.

Intrepid, that's a good point. The "easy does it" is self-enforced.

Marianne, there's no point in doing the Island Loop - you've seen it all! The Rim Trail awaits!

Contessa, what part of India? That sounds intense.

stillhowlyn said...

Can't believe I've never heard of this spectacular site. Must go..thank you, thank you. The beauty of the Blog!