"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Flat Iron Hike - Veni Vidi Vici this time!!

Apache Junction, AZ
Lost Dutchman State Park

All year I have been waiting for this hike.  Flat Iron.  Some of you may remember back to last year when I attempted this hike by myself and climbed within the last 20 feet of the top but couldn't make that final almost vertical wall.  If not, you can read it HERE at The Amazing Flat Iron to really appreciate the rest of this post.

This was the most challenging, difficult hike I've tried.  Well, I'm proud to say I MADE IT this time! I got to "vici"!  And not just me.  Steve and two of our friends, Doug and Dotty climbed as well.  We ALL made it!

The pointed part in the middle with the white line through it is Flat Iron.  Here it's pictured the night before our hike as the sun was setting, draping it in a beautiful pinkish orange glow.
Good Night.   We have a big hike to get up early for.
Me, Dotty, Doug and Steve up early and ready for the challenge!

The Siphon Draw Trailhead leading to the top.  No switchbacks here.  Straight up baby!

Doug and Dotty

Here we go!

Not sure what the story was with this guys interesting backpack.

Flat Iron in the distance.  The wild flowers were in full bloom.

Here comes the sun.

It is a beautiful hike.  You really need to remind yourself to look around and admire the beauty between breaths.


Here we are at the bottom of what is called "The Bowl".  From a distance it looks smooth but in reality it's like thousands of tiny steep steps to climb.  This is where most turn around.  It's all rock climbing after here.

Me at the top of the bowl looking back down towards Steve.

There isn't much of a trail.  You just hike up the draw.  Climbing, crawling and bouldering.  You can't see the people in the center of the above picture, but look below where I blew it up and maybe you can spot them.  Really shows perspective on this trail.

Almost at the top.

Here comes Steve!

Doug above the wall looking at Flat Iron from the top!
Once you climb over the final wall, you still have to hike over to the "iron".  The most amazing view!

Woo-hoo!  Made it!  VENI VIDI VICI.  This time I vici-ed! 
And now for a well deserved rest, snack and hike around the top.

Lots of hoo-doos and spires to climb around.

Just when you thought the worst was over, surprise!  The way down is actually much harder.  I didn't take many pictures, but it's very steep and you really can't see where your feet are going.  There is a lot of butt scooting and sliding involved.
I liked this guys fashion sense.  Cowboy boots?

Getting ready to hike down the bowl.

Ta Da!  Almost on flat ground.

Here is a picture of the sunset from the trail and below, a picture of the city lights above what I call the "Thumb".

I said last year that if I made it to the top this time, I would get a tattoo.  I have never had one.  When I climb to the top of a peak, I always say "Veni, vidi, vici".  It's Latin for I came, I saw I conquered.  It's just something that I always do and it's very meaningful for me.
This is what I had in mind, above.  This is what I got, below above my ankle.

Me on the table.  And yes, it did hurt.

It was such an amazing hike and very memorable for all of us for different reasons.  So I thought it was awesome when everyone decided to get it too, done in different ways.