To glisten once again
Cause we find ourselves in the same old mess
Singin' drunken lullabies"
Some of the guys went golfing today. Others went to the White Sox spring training game. One dumb motherfucker decided to go hiking. That would be me. I decided to drive out to Lost Dutchman State Park and hike the Syphon Draw Trail. After breakfast, this seemed like a great idea. A beautiful sunny day probably about 80 degrees, why not get out and enjoy a hike in the Superstition Mountains. Sure I was feeling a bit hazy. So I picked up a gatorade for the forty five minute drive out to the Tonto National Forest. The park was very crowded. I mention this because the state of Arizona is so broke they have begun closing state parks. The Lost Dutchman is scheduled to be closed on June 3rd. What a shame. This is a topic for another day. I find a parking spot and put on my hiking boots. I learned early on this trip to wear my good hiking boots on every hike. Even the short easy hikes have extremely rocky paths. Not the smooth, level, crushed rock paths like back home in suburban Chicago but jagged pieces of mountain tops that have broken free over the years. So that makes this state park seem like the wilderness to this city boy. I put four bottles of water in my backpack. Mistake #2. Let's backtrack a bit, thinking I could hike after two days of drinking would be Mistake #1, but that hasn't occurred to me yet. Forgot the sunscreen, Mistake #3. I find the trail head and figure I should be able to make it to the Flatiron mesa. Mistake #4, sure it is less than 3 miles away, but it is also at 5000 feet, the trail head is 2000 feet. Immediately, I am breathing heavy and sweating profusely. I began to think my body is punishing me for my activities of the past two days. I push on, sweating out a combination of Miller Lite, Mojitos and Harp Lager. The sun is really strong and there isn't a tree to be found anywhere. But I begin to feel better, the great views probably help. I'm thinking to myself, damn right I can do this hike right up to the top, The Flatiron. So I am hiking along at what seems like a good pace to me, when a family with young kids passes me. The young father with a frame backpack carrying his baby boy. OK, no problem, they are young and they do mountain hikes all the time. I continue up the trail breathing heavy, drinking water and resting often. Then two ladies, probably in their fifties say hello as they pass me. I noticed they were busy doing something with their hands when I realized they were knitting or crocheting. One held the yarn while the other worked the needles or whatever the fuck those hook things are called. I began yelling "God end this misery. Just kill me now". As it echoed in the canyon, some hikers yelled back "Okay!!" I found some much needed shade behind a huge rock. Reality hit me when I started drinking from my third of my four water bottles, I'm never gonna make it to The Flatiron. So I hiked up to the basin and ate my lunch, some trail mix and an energy bar. My legs were tired but I actually felt good. I took pictures along the way. The combination of rocky mountain and cactus made for a cool contrast I haven't seen too often. On my way back down I cut across the mountain on Jacob's Crosscut Trail, just to take a different way back to the car. I ended up hiking part of the Treasure Loop Trail also. Once again, I enjoyed my day of hiking.