An adventure in Tempe
Editor’s note – This entry is by Dave Holtzman, Director of Media Relations for the Royals. Follow ‘Holtzy’ on Twitter, ( @HoltzyRoyals ) where he has regular insight on the Royals and the occasional post about his alma mater’s basketball team (clue – Dave’s dog is named Naismith).
This blog is not really baseball related, but hang with me. I think it’s an entertaining story nonetheless.
I dropped my family off at the airport this morning (one of the worst feelings in the world is walking away from my wife and 2-year old son as they get into that security line), looked at my phone and realized it was just 8 a.m. Now for those unfamiliar with Phoenix, the airport is only about a five minute drive from Phoenix Municipal Stadium, where the Royals will take on the A’s this afternoon at 3:05 p.m. KC time. Surprise, on the other hand, is about 45 minutes from the airport (in the opposite direction from Phoenix Muni). So, I had about two or so hours to kill around the Phoenix/Tempe area.
I decided to drive over to downtown Tempe and the Mill Avenue District. This is a great area right next to the Arizona State campus with restaurants, bars, shops, etc. Kind of reminds me of wonderful Mass Street in Lawrence, Kan. (Rock chalk!). After a donut and some decaf coffee, I still had an hour and a half until I needed to be at the ballpark.
I wandered toward the ASU campus and Sun Devil Stadium, but a large mountain caught my eye. Those familiar with football invariably has seen this mountain in many aerial shots of Sun Devil Stadium over the years. I walked up to the base of the mountain and read the sign:
Hayden Butte Preserve
Leonard Monti Trail
Something to think about here: I was dressed in work attire. We are a bit more casual in Spring Training, but not too much. I had on khaki pants, a black, Royals polo and, thankfully, tennis shoes. Without the tennis shoes, I wouldn’t even have considered the hike.
So, I began up the dirt and rock trail. Once I reached a point about two-thirds up, the incline greatly increased and I realized I couldn’t go any further without breaking a serious sweat and stinking up the entire press box the rest of the day. At this point, I took some photos which you can see here:
- The trail map sign showing where I started from (the circle on the bottom of the photo in the center) and where my climb ended (the big “you are here” arrow). I am not really sure what those two large circular buildings were to the right on the trail map.
- You get two-thirds of the way up the mountain before they have this nice informational sign about snakes. If it were me, I might put this sign at the trailhead so people deathly afraid of snakes can make the decision to walk the trail or not.
- Here’s a shot of a cactus right off the trail. If you use your imagination a bit, the cactus seems to be in the shape of a “KC”. Or perhaps a “KU”, if you’re so inclined.
- (Left) The view of downtown Tempe and Mill Avenue looking to the south and west
- (Right) The view of a portion of the Arizona State campus, looking to the south
- And finally, here’s a shot I took looking at the sunrise. Nice, huh? (Just kidding! That’s a file photo from my phone!)
After the hike, I drove to Phoenix Muni and am now settled in for the game. Kyle Davies is scheduled to take the mound for the Boys in Blue, who are now 5-3-1 this spring after yesterday’s 12-3 win over the Angels, who, coincidentally, train in Tempe.