During the early part of the first week of May 2016 I received an instant message from Kat, my friend from work, asking if I wanted to join her for a hike that coming weekend in Payson, AZ. I had the weekend free and thought this sounded like a great idea. Around 10pm on the Friday night before our planned trip Kat and I were determining if the trip was worth taking because of auspicious weather forecasts: there was a 40% chance of thunderstorms and morning rain but the afternoon was supposed to clear up.
Ultimately, we decided to take the trip. On Saturday Kat, Kat’s friend Meredith, and myself headed up to Payson to meet an “acquaintance” of Kat’s. His name was Cody and he grew up in Arizona but has lived in New York City since 1991 (I think). Kat had met him one other time at a work function a few months earlier at Cody’s parents home near the woods where we hiked.
The weather turned out to be fine: it was mostly cloudy but we did have some sunny spells and a brief period of hail and drizzle. We parked at the Washington Park Trailhead and hiked to a location on the crest of the Mogollon Rim near General Springs Cabin, which is located along the Rim Trail. We had a great time and saw an old railroad tunnel that was going to be built but was ultimately abandoned, Cody found and kept a nice shovel, and the bird of the day was definitely a red-faced warbler that was singing along the creek and flew in when I did a little audio playback of the bird’s song.
It took me a little while to get used to being in the woods after hiking and always being surrounded by a desert environment. After the hike we stopped at THAT Bar and Pub in Pine, AZ and ate nachos with elk meat chili and cheese, tasty burgers, and tater tots. Kat and Meredith had a beer and I enjoyed a hot chocolate.