Friday, January 10, 2020

Return to McDowell Mountain

Fountain Hills, Arizona:  pulled into my campsite at McDowell Mountain Regional Park just before sunset on January 7th.  The site was huge and meticulously clean.  Someone had carefully raked all the gravel into decorative patterns and it looked like I had my own private zen garden out my back window.  So quiet and peaceful.  I immediately began wishing I had booked more than 5 days.

McDowell Mountain was actually our first introduction to the Sonoran Desert near Phoenix.  We stayed here 7 years ago when Jason came down to run the Javelina Hundred ultra marathon in 2013.  I remember thinking at the time that it was like a whole different planet than the one I had lived in most of my life:  different plants, different animals, different landscape.  I really liked it!

Site #57

The past few days I have just been relaxing out here in my little zen garden and hiking some of the many trails around the park.  I put out a bird feeder when I arrived and the birds have been busy eating their way though my entire stock of birdseed.

I also had a coyote visit the campsite several nights in a row, reminding me to keep Frankie in my sight at all times.

There are more than 40 miles of multi-use trails at McDowell Mountain and I have only started to scratch the surface of what is available to hike. The most popular activity here is the trail biking and it looks like an absolute blast with mostly gentle hills weaving through the cactus.  Unfortunately Jason and I only have road bikes and neither one of us has ever tried riding trails with a mountain bike.  I think that next time we come I will have to look into renting a couple so we can give it a try.

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