Today’s hike was a pretty big step up from yesterday’s jaunt up Hole in the Rock, today’s hike was on the Double Butte Loop trail which was also part of the Papago Park trail system. Though its spelled BUTTE in a house of boys it was pronounced BUTT with lots of giggles every time. Go big or go home was today’s theme going from under a mile yesterday to almost 2.5 miles today was going to be huge test for 6 short legs and possibly a bigger test of patience for me.
We arrived at the trail head this morning and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect with the temperature right around 60 and with only few cars in the lot my hopes for the day were already pretty high. Munch, the middle boy, would be carrying the back pack on today’s adventure. The contents of the pack was, of course, water plus a few snacks, a pair of gloves, baby wipes, a field guide of North American insects, a 7 in 1 tool, and most importantly my copy of Take a Hike Phoenix which has a map of the trail in it. A quick photo in front of the trail signage and review of trail etiquette and how to avoid being eaten we were off! The trail was very well established and marked well with the blue 5’s on the trail markers which was made things super easy to stay on course and also gave the boys something to focus on. The first segment flew by and we arrived at the Eliot Ramada in about 20 mins and took a moment to drink up and do a quick check of everyone’s well-being and general attitudes, and all were good. At this point we could have just turned around and returned to the head or headed west and taken the shortened version of the loop which I had originally planned on with it being just over 1.5 miles, but with spirits high we headed east to tackle the Big Butt (butte) Loop. The trail begins to get a touch more technical with looser footing on the rolling parts. This is where we had our first and only skinned knee which was handled like a champ and not one tear shed. As we round the mountain it’s the first time we cross path with other hikers and without skipping a step the boys fall into single file and stay to the right and allow the not as friendly as us folks pass, I praise the boys for their manners and effort as we continued on our way. We approach the back side of the mountain we reach the amphitheater which is used as another trail head since it has available parking on the road there is a small group of people running the stairs and I usher the boys through quickly to avoid Luc wanting to participate and mostly a meltdown. Once we are free and clear of the group and I offer up snacks and another drink break which was received with open arms, the snack part anyways. We take a moment for a picture or two and make our way back to the Eliot Ramada where again we have a fork in the road. At this point we could of returned on the original trail or continue following the loop with everyone still holding on to smiles we stayed on course to finish the loop. This puts us on a trail that again is fairly wide and flat and heads towards the western boundary of the park right along the neighboring golf course, the boys have now also been taught golf etiquette. Moments after this life lesson, Luc has decided his little legs where finished and promptly took a seat to express his feeling about the situation, with less than half a mile left this wasn’t a battle worth fighting so onto my shoulders he happily went. As the end neared the boys again responded to traffic on the trail flawlessly this time with 2 mountain bikers on a descent, the two gentlemen were very appreciative of our allowing them the right of way and I was very proud of my tired little adventurers. I put Luc back on the ground for the closing steps of our journey and as he had the day before expressed his pride of a job well done and said hello to the ladies just beginning their trek.