The Japanese Folk Drummer

Peak Summited2021 Piestewa Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadPiestewa Peak Summit Trail #300
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

As I read the comments on all trails, I knew I had to go do this hike as early as I could to avoid crowds. I woke up at 430am, drove and arrived around 515am. There was only about 8 cars in the parking lot. Which I thought, oh this is great!
Starting out the hike, I was hiking by moonlight (THANK YOU FULL MOON!) and it was an absolutely amazing experience just from the start. I knew this hike was rated as hard and in the first half of a mile, I was like “What are these people talking about? This is easy!”. BOY WAS I WRONG. I swear the mountain gods heard me and laughed because I struggled the rest of the way up. I met a gentleman on my way up who talked to me about backpacking and how he was visiting from San Francisco and heading to Death Valley National Park after this. He became my companion for about .4 miles of the hike until I ran into a lady and her daughter. We immediately bonded because we both work in a hospital! We talked the rest of the way up, and her daughter was talking here and there. Honestly, it was amazing to talk to someone who I could relate to. I just started hiking alone and have been scared to, but I went hiking yesterday and today (Different trail yesterday), and have met some amazing people. We got to the top, and I didn't know this was the mountain that the mountain drummer plays on and that he was going to be here TODAY!
So we waited as it as FREEZING and windy. The temperature was about 38 degrees and windy! A couple of people were at the top waiting for this drumming guy too and offered us tea which we declined but the little girl did have some donuts from the two man friend group. Honestly we had a l0t of laughs and were talking until this man came. The whole experience while he played made me feel grounded and connected to life. It was such a humbling few minutes. He played until the sun rose and after he was done, I made my trek back down with the lady and her daughter. We exchanged phone numbers and plan to do some more hikes. I told her I was doing this challenge as well as wanting to hike the Grand Canyon alone, and she was so encouraging which I needed. I needed today and I'm glad I got up and sat in the freezing wind.


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