On January 12th over 70 parents, students, former students, and staff congregated to participate in the annual Khalsa hike to Fat Man’s Pass. Unlike other years, the early morning chill due to cold mountain breezes was missing this year! However, the weather was very comfortable by the time families congregated at the Buena Vista lookout; warmer temperatures with the sun, sans the chill. The school van shuttled families from the Dobbins Point lookout, which had plenty of parking. A big thank you to the Karim family for driving the school van as a shuttle at the beginning and end of the hike. Thank you Soral and Samantha!
Thank you to PTO for organizing refreshments at the starting point of the hike; popcorn is welcomed at any hour of the day! Students who were waiting for other families to arrive warmed up by climbing the hill. Once our last shuttled group was ready, the entire group set out at an even pace. Walking along the ridge one could see the entire valley and the mountains encircling Phoenix. Adventurous students paced themselves ahead of the group, climbing at a rapid pace and then taking breaks along the way. As each person or family set their pace, it was wonderful to see familiar, smiling faces around each bend along with eager mountain bikers with soft bells announcing their arrival.
After an almost two mile hike among desert brush and boulders we reached Hidden Valley where the natural rock slide is located. While adults camped out on the top of the flat rock area next to the rock slide, children and some adults bravely slid down the slide or scrambled up to the top of the valley, climbing boulders, where they looked down upon us. Once the children had had their share, several adults enjoyed the natural rock slide. Most of us adults were happy to lounge on the flat rock at the base, chat, watch the students slide down the rock slide and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Since some families managed to join us a little later at the Fat Man’s Pass, we were happy to take our customary group picture with all who came. Families headed back according to their own schedules, happy to have spent a beautiful morning climbing, exploring, sliding and socializing. Thank you to Soral and Samantha for staying till the very end, ensuring that every family had a member back to their cars!