Today we did a training hike and “gear test” for our Camino pilgrimage (only 3 weeks and 2 days away!). We loaded up our backpacks with everything we have gathered so far to take with us. My goal has been 10 lbs. but today’s pack weighed 15. Mr. Mo’s pack weighed 17 lbs. These are still very good. But, I think I can shave off at least 2-3 pounds from mine.
We chose Adam’s Canyon because it’s a short drive from our house, and we have never actually climbed it before. We had heard there was a waterfall at the top, so off we went!
It was a very warm day today, and the air had an acrid smell due to a large forest fire burning in Payson Utah (about 75 miles away to the South, and the wind was blowing our way). However, by the time we had reached the shady section of our hike the smoke seemed to have dissipated.
This hike begins with several switch-backs and the trail is thick sand. It is exposed to full sun and was super hot for us. However, blessedly there is a lot of shade after that as we climbed up the canyon along a stream. I removed my sunglasses during the remainder of the hike up.
This is a pretty intense and steep hike. We saw some small children and a couple carrying a new baby and I honestly don’t know how they did it! The hike requires some bouldering at times and our new Black Diamond Z poles performed beautiful and were very much needed!
We met many hikers going up and down. Everyone was very cheerful and enjoying being in nature. One of the couples climbing near us took our photo. They were very curious about what we were wearing. These are Macabi adventure skirts that can be reconfigured and adjusted into multiple options long or short skirts, shorts, pants, etc. It’s a Utah company, so we were actually able to go to the owner’s home and try them on and purchase them. In this photo Mr. Mo is wearing his Macabi as a bifurcated short kilt, and I am wearing mine snapped up into a short skirt. They are lightweight but extremely durable, quick drying and incredibly comfortable! Also, two giant deep pockets that hold water bottles, phones, a selfie stick, and more, a small pocket for a key, plus a zippered hidden security pocket for cash and ID. We already love our Macabi’s.
As we got nearer the top there were two smaller waterfalls to enjoy. (I was grateful to learn that they were not the ultimate ‘end result’ yet of all of our effort)!
Evetually we made it to the large waterfall! It was very nice to feel the cold spray of the water when the wind blew. Some of the other hikers actually stood under the waterfall and enjoyed a cold shower. On such a warm day, it looked awfully inviting! But we didn’t really feel like taking off all of our gear, getting wet and then putting all the gear back on again.
It took us about 2 hours to reach the waterfall, and nearly as long to descend due to the rocks we needed to slowly navigate, so we experienced a good 4 hours of walking and hiking in our gear. This was very helpful! We learned a lot about how the packs feel when they are full and how we will need to adjust them as we walk. Our silk sock liners and Darn Tough wool socks performed brilliantly. No slipping or sliding or blisters. The Z poles are light weight and priceless. I only wish the wrist straps were padded like my inexpensive Costco poles. We chose to use our water bladders and it was really easy to keep hydrated and be able to just drink while walking. Water bottles require stopping and transferring poles to one hand. So, we may go ahead and bring our our camelback bladders for our Camino after all, and keep a plastic water bottle in our Macabi pocket as a backup.
The only piece of gear that failed today were my trail shoes! It turns out that they work fine on easy 2 miles treks, but a 4 hour technical trek (equivalent of at least 6 miles) with uneven rocky trails and steep declines revealed that the toe-box is much too small and tight. My toes were banging up against the front of the shoe over and over on my descent which was casing bruises, and a small hot spot was developing. I definitely can NOT bring these shoes for our Camino in Spain after all. It’s sure good I found this out BEFORE! Now I have some decisions to make. Either I can try to find another pair of hiking shoes this week and attempt to break them in, or I could just walk in my KEEN closed toe sandals with socks which are fully broken in and fit me perfectly… (my KEENS are so comfortable). I will need another pair of shoes as a backup, or at least something to change into at the end of the day (flip flops might suffice) I will be problem solving this!
As for Adam’s Canyon, it is a lovely hike – although steep and fairly challenging at times. I’m glad that it is practically in our backyard so we can go back again soom. We are anxious to get as many training hikes completed as possible before we head to Spain. It’s comforting to know that we will be hiking nearly at sea level there, as opposed to 5500 feet here. We are counting on our assumption that anything we can complete here will not be as difficult there.
Oh! We also got a little lost on our decent and took a steep detour that afforded us this lovely view!… And then we had to backtrack because there was no way down from here. Oops. 🙂
And by the time we had decended the wind had changed direction and there was a fairly clear view.
Buen Camino! – Holly