Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Weekend at Elevation - Heber, AZ

Smokey says...
Wearing a shirt is for losers!
When most people think of Arizona, they honestly think of the part of the state that I live in - Phoenix. It is dry, brown, hot miserable oppressive, with lots of sand and pockets of green that take more water than one of those cheerleader car washes after a comic book convention.  Turns out, just like a lot of states there is way more barren sand in other places too! there are lots of other beautiful places.  Arizona has mountains!  Like, real live trees don't grow on the top mountains.  This past weekend, I packed up the family and we headed to 6,500 feet to try to escape some of the heat. Heber, AZ.

Of course, this wouldn't be a running blog if I didn't talk about my run first.  After my bonk of the month run I took an extra day off and set out to run what ended up being 15 miles on Sunday.  I had complained about the run many times on Twitter, saying that the elevation was likely going to kill me and I was holding my breath as training.  But, truth be told, the elevation usually doesn't bother me because it is generally dry and cool way up high.  Either that, or my brain normally functions on less power than the average brain so I didn't have that much brain power to lose?

Fortunately, I was right. The 30+ degree cooler temps and almost non existent humidity made for an amazing run.  I ran along a path that weaved through forest and went along one of the main highways.  The run was hilly for sure and my legs were actually a bit sore for the rest of the day, but it was a solid 15 miles that made me remember why I run in the first place.  To scare old people shirtless while huffing and puffing within 6" of them.

I just KNOW that Yogi Bear is on the other side of that sign wanting to touch my picnic basket

The hill country of Arizona is actually really pretty.  Only a 3 hour short drive takes you from sand, to a cactus "forest", to an honest to goodness pine forest that gets real live snow!  We stayed in a relative's cabin that was actually in a development of sorts.  When I think cabin I think.....lake cabin with muddy water and leaches.  Instead, in AZ they have rock front yards and little toolsheds in the back where the murderers hide until night.

The cabins in the development

If you look between the cabins you can see the barren forest left behind from a forest fire 10 years ago

Of course as I've come to find out, with a toddler, vacations are no longer filled with lounging around with mai thais in hand.  Instead, they are full of activities, snacks, the occasional melt down because daddy wouldn't let me play with the extension cord, and lots of snacks.  Fortunately, the owners of the cabin that we were staying in also have kids so there were lots of toys to play with and things to explore.

Who needs batteries when you have DAD power!?

Dad power is hard on dad's back

Playing doctor. I think the diagnosis is that he has a full fledged case of busy body.


Erin said...

My in-laws live in Flag so that's where we go when we go to Arizona. Freaks Midwestern people out when I say I learned to ski in Arizona :-)

Of course, I always try to get in a run while I'm there. But the elevation slays me!

Sue's Ramblings said...

Can I come visit/stay when I'm in the US next year???? Am planning a trip to Houston in 1Q 2013, fingers crossed.

Jen said...

Looks beautiful there. Hope you had a great vacation.

Meghan said...

Snow in Arizona - now I know you're lying! Looks like a blast - I can't wait for that easy run to come. If this humidity keeps up - it won't be for a while!

Half-Crazed Runner said...

Great blue skies - NJ just gets hazy, hot & humid in the summer. Terrible for wild curly hair! My "ultimate" goal, aside from a 1/2 in each state, is to live in Arizona so I can easily blow my hair straight! Every now & then my shallow side shines thru!

Running Through Phoenix said...

I stayed in a similar cabin in Heber a few years ago. It was on Van Buren and disguised as a motel room with a very friendly 'maid' who was not so friendly when the 'tipping' stopped.