Hi, friends! Happy Humpday! I wanted to tell you about a fun little adventure I had with Nala this weekend!
We’ve been on this trail once or twice before, but we’ve never gone alone. Mr. Hungry wanted to go with us, but his knee was bothering him pretty badly, so he decided it wasn’t a good idea. I thought about not going, but the weather was perfect and going for a run did not sound near as fun as hiking. So we ate breakfast (Nala dog food and I ate an egg sandwich) then we loaded up the car and headed out. Nala and I share water out of my hydration vest (here is theaffiliate link) and this was the first time we got to take it hiking. Every time I use it, I can’t believe I didn’t purchase one sooner, so convenient to keep everything in and have tons of water! For Nala, I just squeeze the end, and she drinks from the stream.
Lost Dutchman State Park
I decided on the Siphon Draw Trail at the Lost Dutchman State Park because I’ve been there twice before so I knew where I was going and I knew there would be a ton of people around. I’ve never been hiking by myself or just with the pup, so I wanted there to be tons of people. We arrived around 8:45 am and headed down the trail.
Then I realized I had to pee, so I headed past the trailhead to the restrooms which clearly said NO PETS, and I very blatantly ignored that. Took Nala in the stall with me as if she was a little child. I have no idea if she would have sat nicely and waited for me, I wasn’t about to find out. There was only one other lady in the bathroom, and she said she would have done the same thing so at least I didn’t offend anyone. After my potty break, we headed to the trailhead.
Siphon Draw Trail
I noticed this time around Nala acted like a real grown up dog compared to any other times I’ve taken her hiking. She didn’t pull toward other dogs or people that much, she was interested in the trail and making sure she stayed with me which was pretty cool. Although every time the trail had a mountain bike offshoot she definitely found it, I don’t know what her obsession is with mountain bikes is about!
We made our way up the trail which is about four miles round trip. People kept asking me as we proceeded along if she was going to go all the way up to flat iron. Siphon Draw is about 2 miles, and then you hit another trail which another 1 mile entirely steep with tons of jaggedness. I’ve never hiked on it, but the park ranger told me she wouldn’t take her German Shepherd up there, so I figured if the park ranger isn’t taking her dog, I’m DEFINITELY not taking my dog, especially by myself. So when people asked me that I just said we would see how far we’d get. This was the truth because I was nervous about the way down, every time we’ve gone hiking Mr. Hungry takes the leash on the way down because my sea legs can’t stand it. We still went up pretty far though!
So bummed my finger got in the way of such a cool photo! I’d say we hiked at least 45 to 50 minutes up the trail, but we did not get all the way to the end.
When we got to the point of steepness going up that I wasn’t comfortable with, we rested a bit then started our decent back down. At first, I let Nala lead, but I hated that because I couldn’t see around the corners and felt like she would pull me over. I made the decision to walk ahead of her. I kept telling her “me first, ” and you know what’s funny, I think she understood me. She nicely stayed behind me, and it worked out sooooo much better. After I switched to leader, we had no problem coming down at all. I was super relieved, and as we got to flatter ground, we ran the last part of the trail. I had to be super careful though because I’m not used to trail running at all. I had to continously remind myself to plan every step and look at the ground. Listening to country fitness pandora station the whole way up and the whole way down!
Towards the trailhead, we stopped and said hello to Nala’s old friend. So funny, one time we took her to this trail last summer on my birthday and she stalked it like it was a real coyote. She didn’t fall for that trick this time though!
I was SOOOO proud of us when we got to the end. I was thinking how much appreciated having her with me because there is no way I would have gone totally by myself, I would have been to scared. So I was thankful to have my little hiking/running buddy to get me out of the house and enjoy the amazing Arizona weather on Sunday.
When we got the car it was around 10:45 am. I gave her a ton of water, praise, treats, and love to let her know how proud I was of her for being such a good dog! Then I ate some raspberry muffins that will be on the blog very soon! She literally slept in the back the whole way home, she was soooo tired out!
Now for the less fun part of the story. We got home safely, I took a shower, went grocery shopping, and did some work on the blog. When I got up to make dinner my foot started bothering me and by the time I finished making dinner I couldn’t put pressure on it. It hurt so bad I thought I was going to have to go to the emergency room, but luckily pain killers and a heating pad did the trick. In the morning, it became obvious that it was my Achilles or more so my peroneal tendon that was the problem. Thinking back, on the way to the hike my shoes were bothering my heal a little bit while I was driving. I figured this was because I wore my old shoes that had been giving me Achilles trouble (that’s always a sign to me to get new shoes). I almost turned back to get the new ones but really didn’t want to get them “super dirty” hiking (worst thing to worry about ever). Monday evening I went to see Dr.K and since I didn’t role my ankle or do more mileage than I’m used to he agreed it was probably my shoes. By that time I had taken a super strong anti-inflammatory and could finally walk on it. So between my shoulder and foot, I’ll be taking it easy this week. Lot’s of ice and rest will hopefully do the trick. I 100% will go hiking again as soon as my foot heels but with better shoes. Dr.K suggested some trail running shoes by ASICS I will likely get to hopefully avoid this problem in the future! I’m still so proud of myself for getting out there and going, while I regret wearing the wrong shoes I don’t regret the hike at all. It was so beautiful out and we had a ton of fun!
More Hiking Adventures:
- San Tan Mountain Park Goldmine Trail (Queen Creek, Arizona)
- Lost Dutchman State Park – Treasure Loop Trail (Apache Junction, Arizona)
- Boulder Canyon, Mesa Trail & Mallory Cave (Boulder, Colorado)
- Meredith Trail (Des Moines, Iowa)