This week: Summit Piestewa Peak
By Susanna Ingalls
Exchange Student from Manheim Business School in Germany
On the first Saturday of Foundations, cohort leaders invited new students for a hike at/up Piestewa Peak, a hop up the road from campus. Nate posted the news in MTB and gave the impression of being a regular hiking junkie, so the newbies assumed that the foundations leaders knew what they were doing when they said we would meet at 5:30pm in the parking lot next to the Pub. However, as people were waiting, a few questioned leaving so late as we didn’t want to miss the sunset. Since the trip was only 10-15 minutes up the road, we hoped it would be fine.
At 5:40, about 25 people piled into cars: everyone mixed up except the Frenchies, who took their rental of the week, a silver Ford sedan. It wasn’t nearly as exciting or as packed as the black, leather-interior Suburban they rented a few days later to see a basketball game in Phoenix: eight Frenchman sitting in an all-American SUV with tinted windows blaring Hip-Hop and R&B was a funny sight to see.
As we drove down the 17 in a Thunderpool, several trucks got in the way and some of us almost got lost, but thanks to navigation systems – how did people live before without them?! – we all made it together.
We flew up the hill as the sun was setting and were able to have a breathtaking view of the valley in transition from dusk into night, marking a memorable start to our time in Arizona. It was challenging coming down once the sun had set, but Nate, Julia and Anastasiya came prepared with flashlights so that our group could make a safe descent. All in all, it was a lovely introduction to Arizona’s landscape, the skills of our cohort leaders and, to some degree, a lesson to go earlier next time.
For more information and directions to Piestewa Peak trail, check the Phoenix visitors website at http://phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/piestewapeak/ . To share your experiences and outing recommendations for upcoming issues, please submit to email@example.com by 5pm on each Thursday.