My brother and I woke up early to get breakfast in the hotel lobby at 6:30am before driving over to the Piestewa Peak trailhead. Yes, after 10 years of hiking Camelback Mountain on this trip we finally decided to try a new trail! We hiked up the Summit trail which took us up 1,200 feet to the top (2,608 feet) in just under an hour. It’s definitely a different experience than Camelback. Where the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback is a lot of dirt trails and extreme railing/rock climbs, Piestewa’s Summit trail is almost entirely stone stairs carved into the side of the mountain. It’s definitely an aerobic/leg workout! But like Camelback, the views from the top are amazing. We were back at the car by 10:00am and drove back to the hotel to clean up and get my sister (who opted not to hike due to knee issues) and then headed to Surprise in the northwest corner of the valley for today’s game.
We came to Surprise last year as well (free parking!) so we were back to see our Indians take on the Texas Rangers. The afternoon started out bright and sunny but as the game progressed it turned overcast and slightly chilly. Near the end of the game the stadium was seemingly invaded by a large flock of morning doves. Unfortunately, the home team was triumphant and the Indians lost 7-3.
Back at the hotel we watched a little March Madness NCAA tournament basketball while deciding what to do with our free evening. Consulting our list of friend-recommended restaurants we decided to check out Oregano’s. There was a 30-minute wait so we decided to sit and eat at the bar. The bartender was from Chicago … he had a Cubs hat on and we’re going to see the Cubs twice tomorrow so we had a very pleasant conversation with him. The food (bruschetta, BBQ chicken pizza, and rigatoni) was great, as was the general atmosphere of the restaurant … good choice!
Our hotel was down the street from Castles N’ Coasters, a local amusement park we noticed driving home last night. That was a our next stop for a little sibling mini-golf competition (tip: AAA members get a buy one/get one free promotion). By the time we were done around 9:45pm the place was closing down so we headed back to the hotel for the evening.
Tomorrow is our day/night double-header.