Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Arizona Road Trip (1): Lost Dutchman State Park


I finally started my Arizona trip in the early morning of Sun. Unlike what I was thinking, A TSA agent stamped my passport just after a few questions.The plane was shit. Small seat and no roam for arms and legs. The entire time of the trip they served two beverages which had been predicted. Food was available for purchase but there was no entertainment system. I guess that's because you can do whatever you want to do with your computer during a certain time of the trip, In fact you could rent an iPad for $10! I have to mention that I'm referring to Air Canada. Last time I flew with this airline it was Oct. of last year and the entertainment system was still available.Nevertheless the real shit happened when we finally landed. I was very tired and frustrated both because of the damn seat (I was in between, the bastards as soon as they saw my name and realized I was not Caucasian did that) and I was bored and hungry. We landed and it appeared that we had parked in the wrong spot! The pilot was a very polite guy and apologized a few times but I know that's their protocol. After a few shitty minutes, the plane was towed and parked at the original spot! I think Phoenix airport messed that up.
It was not hard to find where the rental car place was but I had to ask a couple of guys who happen to be very friendly, polite and helpful. You get a shuttle to go to the car rental place which is about 10 minutes drive. So I'm there and there's this huge line. A guy from the neighbouring rental places calls me and tells me that he would match the price. Obviously I don't want any time wasted so I accept. After a few minutes of talking finally I realized what M. C. was talking about renting cars being expensive. I then go down a huge escalator to rental car parking and get the car. Coming out of the parking I realize how could the desert be. You can barely open your eyes. I head east because I know that's where Lost Dutchman State Park is located and on the way stop somewhere and find the place on the GPS which is now set to miles. The park is some half an hour east of Phoenix. Admission in $7 which I didn't expect but I have to pay since I have flown and driven this much! I change quickly and hit the trail.The goal here is Flat Iron as part of Superstition Mountain which is not a very tall peak. The trail seems easy but after almost 1 hour I realize I'm on a loop not the path which goes to the top! Stupid me had a map given by the crew people and I paid no attention as usual.The park is amazing with all sorts of wildlife, plants, flowers and giant cactus. I head back and get myself on the trail which goes to a basin first and then the peak. The trail is very steep and I'm very tired and hot. Most of the people I see on the trail are in shorts and girls of course with a top. Time is some 14:00 and extremely hot. I climb up the rocks and struggle I'm constipated too! I haven't had anything but a cup of stupid coffee and small glass of water since last night. It's more than 16 hours! I'm not hungry but very thirsty and my digestion system is bothering me. At one spot I sit to take a break and that's where I'm certain that I'm on the track. A guy with a big jar of water comes and he sits a few meters away from me. He cannot secure the jar and it goes a few feet down, breaks it sealed cap and spills half of it! I tell him jokingly that I would pay $20 for whatever was left! I only have a little water and there's a long way up. He grabs the jar and offers it to me stating that he is tired and cannot go up. He has been there 5 times he adds. I fill up one of my bottles and drank the rest and start going up. The damn heat, exhaustion from lack of enough sleep in the past few days and constipation all help each other to drag me down and prevent me from going up. It's very frustrating and embarrassing I have been to many hikes and passed people 10 to 15 years younger than me and never got tired like this. Here of course I passed a few but not many. Even taking my shirt off does not help much. The damn pants is too hot to but I can't walk up in underwear! I then think to myself that it was getting late and I have to go to Sedona which is at least 2 hours from here. I give up eventually and head down.Going down is not that bad. I pass the basin and get myself to a flat area. On the way back I find a banana which someone probably has put there and I eat most of it. Too late to help. By the time I get to the parking lot, the sun has gone down below Downtown Phoenix. Very beautiful place and I enjoyed a lot but not satisfied completely. 

(Photo: Superstition Mountain in the park. Even you have impaired vision you can see this from anywhere in Phoenix. Finding nothing is easier than this!)

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