The last 2 months have been filled with water hikes and high elevation hikes and even a Pennsylvania hike. When the temperatures became sweltering, I did my best to stay near water, higher elevations, or super early morning hours. 

Highlights of all the hikes of the last 2 months ::

  • Cibecue Falls | 3.1 miles | Located in the Salt River Canyon, this trail was like a mini version of The Narrows in Zion National Park. Sweeping canyon views, cool flowing Salt River waters, cable ferry remains, and even a bald eagle siting! All ending at a gorgeous water fall! Very cool hike! This trail is accessible for all vehicles IF you take the 4 mile dirt road at a nice slow pace. 
  • Gold Ridge Trail 47 | 3.19 miles | Found this hike by accident. The original plan was to hike on the AZT in Payson with #1, but the weather was very threatening up Payson way so we made a u-turn and pulled over at the first trailhead we saw. This trail led us into the Tonto National Forest, even though there’s nothing foresty about this. At all. Glad I got to hike that day, but ultimately wouldn’t do this one again unless I was going further into the wilderness. 
  • Dreamy Draw Loop | 5.76 miles | I think it’s funny they call this trail dreamy. There’s nothing dreamy about it IMHO. The trail is in the Phoenix Mountain Park, not marked well at all. Every time I hike there, I’m reminded of why I don’t hike there. I always feel like I’m going to run out of water and get stranded. Side note fun fact :: there is a dam where there is allegedly a UFO buried underneath. I never saw the dam so I can neither confirm nor deny such a tall tale. 
  • Sabino Canyon Dam | 2 miles | This is a quick and fun little hike in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Went with #1 who came to Tucson for my last weekend of call. He was like a little kid as he sat in the water and ‘panned’ for gold. Haha! I really like this park and definitely recommend a visit to anyone. 
  • Butterfly Trail/Mt Bigelow | 5 miles | About 2/3 of the way up to Mt Lemmon is the Buttefly Trail. It’s in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness and part of an AZT bypass. Don’t let the name fool you. This trail is strenuous. And who doesn’t love a high elevation mountain trail? Did this one with #1 too. Surrounded by giant pine trees and cool mountain breezes. This is a must hike Trail if you are a must hike individual like me. 🙂
  • Highline to Donahue Trail | 7.45 miles | Located in Pine AZ, this is part of the AZT. The Highline Trail itself runs for more than 50 miles and was created to be a link between all the ranches on the Mogollon Rim. Set in the high country, surrounded by giant pine trees 🌲 and wildflower meadows, cooler temperatures, and stunning vistas, this is also a must do hike for all avid trekkers. 
  • Delaware + Lehigh Canal Trail | 7 miles | This was my bonus Pennsylvania hike. I made a quick trip home 🏡 to see my sister as she prepares for breast cancer treatment. Beautiful trail that follows the original towpath of the old Lehigh Canal. If you follow the entire trail, it covers almost 70 miles of old canal towpaths. Very cool trail!
  • Granite Mountain Trail 261 | 8 miles | First hike of autumn 🍂 with #1, who is becoming a very good hiking buddy after not being interested in hiking as much as me. This one is in the Prescott National Forest 🌳, about 2.5 hours NW of Phoenix. Beautiful high elevation. Expansive views. Giant granite outcroppings. Great hike to celebrate autumn AND National Public Lands day. 

Happy First Monday of autumn 🍂!
I’m hiking 1000MilesForMercyShips. For every mile I hike, I’m donating $1 to help cover the cost of life altering surgery in west African nations.

478 miles down. 522 miles to go. 


2776 :: 90 :: A fun quality week in PA with my people. Lunch with 4 of 6 family elders. Hiking the D + L Trail. Making it back to AZ to retire the backpack for a season. I am super thankful!

1792. “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” Nahum‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬
1793. So thankful the Lord is in charge of justice.
1794. Got to cut my favorite sister’s hair to prepare for chemo. She cried. I’m thankful she is still here and now we are hair twins for a minute.

1795. “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬
1796. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
1797. Even though the day ended with me being baffled about why a certain person is angry at me?

1798. “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
1799. My stronghold in the day of trouble.
1800. And just like that the storm has passed.

1801. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Romans‬ ‭6:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
1802. I am no longer a slave to sin!!!
1803. Quality time with all the adult ladies in my family.

1804. ‬‬“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians‬ ‭3:14-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬
1805. The peace of Christ.
1806. 1st day of fall AND dad’s birthday AND lunch with the old guard!

1807. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬
1808. Goodbyes are never forever now that I know the Lord.
1809. After a summer in Tucson, a quick hop to PA, a delay at the airport, and a long stuffy plane ride, I can finally put the backpack away BECAUSE I’m home again, home again, jiggity jig!

1810. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalms‬ ‭139:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬
1811. To spend the first whole day back in AZ with #1son hiking in Prescott National Forest.
1812. Happy National Public Lands Day! Free usage!

Happy Sunday!


From my #2son’s pastor in Gainesville. Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven! Come back soon Lord!

Mike Patz

1. Too many hashtags.

2. I keep hearing warnings not to overreact when another black men gets killed. It reminds me of the people of Israel responding to the cries of the prophets of old.

3. I’m not sure if we realize how toxic our silence is. When it comes to justice, the lack of a consistent, united, and culturally audible voice from the church is beyond troubling. Lift your voice.

4. Stop blaming the wrong people. I’ve watched abuse victims come into my office to bring to light the agonizing darkness of their family experience. And I have been horrified to watch families circle the wagons, turn the table, and blame the victim. Why are you trying to divide the family, they demand. Things are getting better, they argue. But the abused are not the problem. And insisting that people get over the abuse of the past in light of some level of improvement is absurd. Stop…

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