We Didn’t Die
Look at this picture. It looks fairly uneventful. But I need you to really look at the picture. Do you notice everyone, except for Pinky and Captain Impresso towards the right…I mean EVERY OTHER person in this picture is holding on to railing. All the folks in this picture look fairly young and in shape. And for goodness sakes there is fencing on the trail as well…it’s there to keep you from falling to your death!
Day 2 of our trip started here…hiking up Camelback Mountain. The concierge at the resort literally gave us 14 other options to hike…this is the one we chose. It was the Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback…rated as difficult (strenuous)…lies, all lies! I’ve done plenty of trails rated as difficult…difficult is the Na Pali Coast trails on Kauai…where there are no fences to protect you from falling 100’s of feet straight down the sea cliff into rough ocean waters. No, this trail is not difficult…it is some crossbreed trail combining hiking with rock climbing.
At any rate, we did not die! Thank you Jesus! Note to self: when the concierge at the resort tells you that she is not even allowed to suggest Camelback Mountain hikes to the guests, heed the warning! As I said, there were 14 other options for us to hike that morning. Honestly though, Camelback Mountain is part of Scottsdale/Phoenix’s identity. It’s the most well known mountain in the area…it’s the mountain that hotels and restaurants brag about having views of…so we wanted to conquer it. Us two middle aged, out of shape girls did not fully conquer it, but we took a good stab at it…sucking wind…one rest stop after the other!
It’s funny…the question on every hiker’s mind while they are recovering and trying to catch their breath from the massive spikes in elevation is…how many more of these gastly inclines do we have before we reach the top??? The second most common question among the hikers…did you make it? Trust me, almost as many do no make it as do!
For a self proclaimed research hound, I did not do enough research on this hike. In my defense, I was fairly certain that I could talk Elizabeth out of this hike, instead, somehow she talked me in to it! In a way, I’m glad she did…however, we agreed that we were lucky that both of us were able to walk off the mountain unscathed. It was definitely not the safest activity that we could have picked for ourselves. We walked that fine line between foolishness and empowerment. Even though we did not make it to the summit, we looked back feeling like conquerers for what we did accomplish. Would we do it again? Heck no! But are we glad we gave it a go? Absolutely!
Thing 4’s Business Advice
We did a couple of live Facebook feeds during the hike. So when I got off the mountain I had a couple of text messages from Thing 4, the 13 year old. For context, his comment on my Facebook feed said: “good job mom plug ur merch” (a comma anywhere in this statement would have made it so much easier to read!)
Gotta love the YouTube generation! The conversation we had after the text was me telling him I’m not selling shirts on the blog, for now it’s just informative and entertaining. But I love him for taking an interest in what I’m doing and wanting to see the blog succeed! He loves being Thing 4 in the blog and has requested to make an appearance as often as possible! So, of course, I’ll try!
What You Really Come to Scottsdale For
I think we would have made it to the top of Camelback Mountain if we would not have scheduled massages for after our hike. We all know, the real reason girls trips are so popular in Arizona is for the spas! There are no shortage of amazing spas in the area. I opted for a more therapeutic massage. I talked Elizabeth into it as well. We chose to get a Lymphatic Massage from The Lymphatic Healing Center. This particular massage is said to help the body detox, and aide in weight loss. The massage is followed by the opportunity to sit in a Far Infrared Sauna. Lots of you will have never heard of either of these two “treatments”. If you click on the link above it will give you a quick break down of the benefits of the massage and sauna. All I know is that when I came home from this trip I had lost 1.5lbs…so I’ll take it! Just so you know, this IS a massage…but if you looking for the type of massage that really works to get the stress out of your back and neck…this is not the massage for you. I did hop off of the massage table feeling super relaxed, but in the 90 minute session my therapist, Lyn, rarely touched my back or neck. If you go check this place out make sure to ask for Lyn…she was great!
By the time we had finished the massages and sauna time, we were starved!!! I think my Garmin estimated that we had burned somewhere around 1800 calories range in just 2 hours on our hike…couple that with the calorie burning of the Far Infrared sauna…we were super hungry. This late in the afternoon we didn’t want to load up on a huge meal since dinner was drawing near, and we wanted something on the lighter, healthier side since we were kind of on a roll. We found a smoothie shop called Nekter Juice Bar. Holy yummy! I opted for a Pink Flamingo…it was yummy and refreshing, and Elizabeth had an Acai Peanut Butter Bowl. Now, us midwest girls don’t have the option for Acai Bowls back home….so one of us…the one without all the weird food allergy stuff…had to try one! Elizabeth said it was amazing! It may have been one of the best things she had while on the trip! Nekter is a chain, but there are not a ton of locations…inside looks like farmers market meets Joanna Gains farmhouse…super cute. Definitely a place you could meet a girlfriend to gab and catch up over something healthier than a triple, venti, half sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato. Just saying.
Mexican Food In The Southwest
I mean you can’t go to the Southwest and not eat Mexican food, right??? Honestly, this is the one item that I probably did the most research on…so many options! I definitely wanted to get it right! We opted for Blanco Tacos & Tequila and it did not disappoint. Food was great, atmosphere was fun, service was good! They had an interesting array of tacos…like a short rib taco and a bbq taco…that bbq taco was my fav!!!! You can also do a tequila flight tasting there…Of course you can dance…signed, Tequila. It was just a great end to our busy day! Tacos and girl time go together like Wilma and Betty, Laverne and Shirley, Thelma and Louise…one just isn’t right without the other…
Suggestions From Day 2
Do not hike the Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain!!! If you must hike Camelback choose the Cholla Trail. But seriously, unless you are incredibly fit and an avid hiker…just choose a different mountain all together….there are plenty!
For a health promoting massage, the Lymphatic Healing Center was really nice! Other really well known spas in the area include Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Spa, Joya Spa, and Agave, The Arizona Spa @ The Westin.
For a light healthy meal or snack, Nekter Juice Bar is your go to place.
For Mexican food in a fun, vibrant atmosphere…Blanco Tacos & Tequilla is where it’s at. Other places that made my short list are Barrio Queen in Old Town, Sol in the Kierland Commons, El Chorro for beautiful views of Camelback Mountain. But, the Mexican restaurant that got the best reviews in my travel groups was The Mission. The Mission’s menu looked a little too adventurous for my guest, so we gladly went to Blanco, which had more of a girls night out kind of a vibe. But, if you are a foodie…The Mission is the place to check out!
What’s your “I’ll never do that again” story??? I’d love to hear it!