We realize we’re about to leave Tucson without doing any of the “challenges” we concocted for ourselves while researching the area. The most practical one is to hike Mount Kimball via a trail in Finger Rock canyon that gains 4,000 feet of elevation in 5 miles, for a 10 mile round trip. We figure we’ve been averaging 2 miles per hour lately, so six hours should be plenty of time, and we plan a 1 pm departure. We’re even a little early when start hiking toward the iconic Finger Rock, but after two hours we check the map see we’ve made about … 2 miles. You think we hike enough to consider trail grade in our estimates? Perhaps we thought we’re in such good shape that grade doesn’t matter – ha!
Ann recalls the moon is full tonight, and we have headlamps, so we decide to proceed anyway and descend in the dark. The trail has some exposed sections above cliffs, but we’re pretty sure we’ll make it down these in the light, and we do. I love hiking at dusk when everything grows calm and still, all bathed in a fading glow. To her surprise Ann enjoys it too, and we stop at the spring and eat in the dark, listening to a chorus of frogs make sounds so big you could mistake them for goats.
Our last treat is the full moon rising over the saguaro-covered ridges to shine down on a sparkling Tucson. This has been our best planning failure so far.