Camelback Mountain, in Phoenix, boasts a rigorous hike with a glorious view. It fits easily between breakfast and lunch, and if you’re in the habit of brisk walks you’ll make it to the top. Probably.
I went with my brother-in-law, who rowed crew for Rutgers and can move a piano by himself. He’s a humble guy and, in deference to my advantage in years, allowed me set the pace. And set it I did. By halfway up I figured he was getting a run for his money. After all, I bike to work and occasionally skip desert.
Soon our thoughts turned from hiking to drinking, so we pulled off and downed a few water bottles. Then, because I didn’t want to wear him out, I let my brother-in-law go first.
After that, all I could think about was keeping up. And getting enough air. And the crucial difference between strength and vanity.