Break for the Sun

Three weeks ago I woke up to an email: RT to Tucson $127!

20 minutes later I was on the phone with my grandparents confirming they were in town. 20 minutes after that we had flights booked. 16 days later we were in sunny Arizona for some much needed sunshine and R&R!

After a record breaking wet winter (ugh!) in Washington, the desert was a welcome treat. We spent the week hiking and lounging, eating good food, more hiking, more pool time, and of course seeing family. We visited with great aunts and uncles, second cousins and grandparents. We ate fresh grapefruit and oranges for breakfast, made a tres leches cake from scratch, went to the symphony, Gaga treated me to a massage, and went out for Mexican food. Spent time in the sunshine. But the hiking. Did I mention we hiked? Some of the best hikes of my life!

Our first hike was a day trip to Chiricahua National Monument. We arrived to the park mostly being closed for construction, but we were still able to do the Heart of Rocks trail after a picnic with Grammy and Gaga. 7.4 miles was a good warm up for the rest of the trip! Scenery was stunning and the trail was almost empty.

Our second hike was in Sabino Canyon, only 10 minutes from Grammy and Gaga’s house. We got curbside dropoff (thanks grandparents!) and met up with some cousins to walk the road before peeling off for a longer trek. We walked and talked and then around noon (note: not the ideal time to start a hard hike in 90 degree heat!) we took off on a trail to do Blackett’s Ridge. This was a stunning hike, also very empty trail, and HARD! It was steep and uphill the whole way up. It felt longer than the 8ish miles it was, but totally worth it for the panoramic canyon views at the top.

After a day of rest we tackled our final (and favorite) hike: Seven Falls in Bear Canyon. Thanks to spring break the trail was pretty crowded (though not compared to I-90 trails in WA!) but we climbed up past the end of the trail to find some solitude. Highlight? Our own personal infinity pool at the top of one of the falls. Epic views and the cold water was a welcome relief from the heat. 11 out of 10 for this hike. We already want to do it again!

It was a wonderful trip. The perfect mix of relaxing and going. It had been 5 years since our last trip to Arizona and we are planning to make our next trip much, much sooner than that.

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