Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday What is it

Yellow dusted petunia
Here is a Wednesday What Is It? Flagstaff residents: you cannot play (because you know the answer)! :) Answer is below so don't scroll down too fast if you want to guess.

What made the Flagstaff skies hazy for about two weeks in early June?
Hazy Flagstaff skies

What covered our shelves, roads, flowers with a fine layer of dust?

What was kicked up in swirls by cars as they drove down the road?

What was so thick on our porch that it allowed me to leave a footprint in the yellow dust?
Footprint in yellow dust
What created mini yellow dust devils in the wind?






Hint: it's natural, happens every year, this year seemed heavier...




Answer: It blows in the wind, and it needs to, and we have had a lot of wind this year- not that that has had anything to do with it...


Clouds of it puff from the ponderosa pine trees

it's the pollen. And based on the amount of pollen I have wiping from my shelves I predict a lot of hearty pine cones and happy squirrels. Our local paper had an article about it.




Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Glad I was there

Big Lake big skies
I haven’t been writing in here lately. I realized two things.

1. Not much to write about when I am just walking around in a “circle”- good walking, not good writing. I have been walking around nearby Buffalo Park every morning. I am very proud of that but it doesn’t lead to many stories.
2. I really don’t have many photos of the stuff that I mentioned for the Wednesday stuff. I may have to let that go and let you know about it as I experience it.

Good morning Big Lake
However, I guess this is how I communicate with some friends and family members so I am back- again.

The Wallow Fire in eastern Arizona has been all over the news. The fire is huge and is directly impacting some small communities and indirectly impacting many other with the vast plume of smoke. Flagstaff has not been impacted at all. If we head to a high point in town we can sometimes see the smoke plume, waaaaaaay off in the distance. It looks like a far off thunderhead.

Pip looking for canoe
One of my husband’s favorite places to camp in late summer is at Big Lake in the White Mountains. It’s at least a two hour drive to get to the campground, probably more. Even from Flagstaff, which is in the “mountains,” it feels like you are going into the mountains. The forests are still ponderosa but there are spruce and fir. Open meadows are ringed with aspen. Small lakes dot the countryside. I call it the “big sky” country- it’s big, open, green.

Misty morning Big Lake
When we go there it’s monsoon season. Every afternoon towering cumulous gather in the skies, threatening rain. The first year we were in a tent. We had arrived at the campground wondering why everyone had a tarp. After the inch of rain flooded the campground we escaped to Springerville to buy our own tarp. The next time we went there it was in our pop-up trailer, much nicer.

My husband and son go out on a canoe in the lake to fish. I walk the shores with Pip. It’s a peaceful place and very pretty.

Camping spot at Big Lake
The Wallow Fire has already engulfed Big Lake and is threatening Springerville. It’s hard to imagine, it’s a huge area. Springerville was at least a half hour drive from Big Lake and Springerville is a town. Seeing the photos of the fire we are hoping the fire burned fast, leaving many trees. I have included photos of Big Lake and our camping spot.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

FUTS Trail by the Rio de Flag

First of all, I just have to congratulate Flagstaff for being designated as a bronze-level Walk Friendly Community! Flagstaff is one of eleven communities nationwide to receive a Walk Friendly Community designation, so way to go! A lot of people put a ton of work into this designation including Jack, Martin, Kim, Heather and many others. Congratulations!

from Jack:

MAY IS A BUSY MONTH!
City announces a new program for those interested in the Flagstaff Urban
Trail System. Become a FUTS Steward. It's called Adopt-A-Park or a section
of the FUTS. Great opportunity for groups, organizations or just the lone
individual interested in helping create a more beautiful Flagstaff.

FOR COMPLETE DETAILS CONTACT -
Tammy Bishop at: tbishop at ci dot flagstaff dot az dot us
or
Tom Boughner at: tboughner at flagstaff dot az dot us
Or Call: 213 3604
************************************
Shopping Carts Left Rolling Around Your Neighborhood?
Contact Michael Olson (679 8428), the man in charge of the Adult Probation Work Crew that is helping the city with this project and they will pick up the carts and returned them to the store where they belong.
Shopping Carts are just like broken windows or graffiti. ignore the problem and it only gets worse.
+++++++++++++++
National Senior Fitness Day - Wednesday 25 May at the Flagstaff Aqauplex on 4th Street from 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM. For more information contact the Staff at the Thorpe Park Community and Adult Center: 774 1068
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Table Tennis Play at the Adult Center Every Wednesday and Thursday evening except for the third Thursday of the month. 6:00 PM until 7:45 PM. We have three good tables in play
**********************************************
Karen Cooper FUTS dedication at Cheshire Park.
Friday 6 May
Start Location: Cheshire Park on Fremont Blvd
Time: 2:00 PM 2:00 PM
Ceremony will be followed by a walk along the newly dedication section with several locations where those doing the walk can turn around.
For More Information Contact Jack Welch at 714 0504
*********************************************

WALK THE WALK SCHEDULE
(Including the remainder of the Rio de Flag Series plus rescheduled walks)
MAY 2011

THURSDAY 28 APRIL 2011
Doney Park Multi-Modal Plan Open House
Location: Summit Fire District Station 32
6425 North Cosino Road
Time: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Opportunity for the community to comment on the multimodal transportation plan for Doney Park

FRIDAY 29 APRIL 2011 (Please note the change in the start location)
Walk Into Summer
Start Location: Police Department Parking Lot at 911 Sawmill Road (South of the New Frontiers Store on Butler
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood

SATURDAY 30 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio Through Baderville
Start Location: Parking area at the corner of Snowbowl Road and Highway 180
Time: 3:00 PM
About three miles of walking as we see where and why the Rio coming off the Peaks flowed south instead of north.

SUNDAY 1 MAY 2011
Audubon Bird Sanctuary Walk
Start Location: Southeast corner of Sam's Parking Lot
Time: 7:00 AM 7:00 AM
A bird walk with Jim Logan down to the Rio de Flag pond along the FUTS.
For more information contact Jim at 526 3244

SUNDAY 1 MAY
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Leroux Springs
Start Location: Parking Area next to the Hot Shot Entrance - On Snow Bowl Road - About a mile from the corner of Snowbowl Road and Highway 180
Time: 3:00 PM
Lots to see on this walk! History, the old NAU Arboretum, Big and Little Leroux Spring, Spur& Ski Ranch

TUESDAY 2 MAY 2011
Walk Into Summer
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood

THURSDAY 5 MAY
Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting
Location: City Hall upstairs in the Staff Conference Room
Time: 4:30 PM
Discussion of local bicycle issues and the upcoming Bike To Work Week

THURSDAY 5 MAY
Friends of the Rio de Flag Meeting
Location; Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM
Spring bird migration is an exciting activity along the Rio de Flag in May. Join us for a discussion with Jim Logan as we learn about the best locations to go birding and what birds you may encounter along the Rio's riparian corridor.

FRIDAY 6 MAY
Walk Into Summer
Start Location: Police Department Parking Lot - 911 Sawmill Road
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood

FRIDAY 6 MAY
Karen Cooper Dedication of the FUTS
Start Location: Cheshire Park on Fremont Blvd in Cheshire
Time: 2:00 PM 2:00 PM
Dedication Ceremony to change the name of the North Rio FUTS to the Karen Cooper FUTS Walk on the newly dedicated section - From Cheshire south to City Hall with several points where those walking can return to Cheshire Park

SATURDAY 7 MAY
Work Day at Logan's Crossing
Start Location: From the corner of Highway 89 and Townsend-Winona Road
Go right on Townsend-Winona Road 4.5 miles
Turn left on the dirt Road - Look for the banner advertising the event
If you get to Slayton Ranch Road you have gone to far
Parking area is on that dirt road just off the highway.
Time: 9:00 AM
For more information contact Cliff Holtz at 214 9457

SATURDAY 7 MAY
Loop Trail Work Day
Segment 25 - Old Walnut Canyon Road to Campbell Mesa Trails
Look at the Flag Biking Web Site for more complete details


SATURDAY 7 MAY
Audubon Society Bird Sanctuary Program
Logan's Crossing
Start Location: Meet at Southeast corner of Sam's Parking Lot
Time: 7:00 AM
For more information please call Jim Logan at 526 3244

SUNDAY 8 MAY - Added Rio de Flag Series Walk
Rio Canyon next to Warners on Butler
Start Location: Sam's Parking Lot - South End
Time: 3:00 PM
We'll all looked at this canyon from Butler. This walk will take us to the other end and into canyon from the FUTS.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Wednesdays

somewhat random- not coffee, but what if...
It’s Wednesday and I am ready to try something new. I am sure that this will change as I move along, but these are my first ideas. There are three, actually:

One of my favorite things to see are what I call “random” sightings. Usually we see these on the road, but they definitely can be spotted while walking and it can be something experienced with other senses as well. “Random” to me means- something that makes you do a double take, makes you look twice, or think about what you just experienced, something a little out of step with ordinary. And to me, it always, always, always has to be positive- it has to bring a smile to my face. Here are some examples of recent “random experiences.”

The other day my son and I were stopped at a light and we saw a motorcycle, with its rider stopped at the light heading the opposite way. We saw something different sticking up behind the rider on the motorcycle. I thought it might be a folded up umbrella and we joked about that. My son looked as we passed the motorcycle. It was a vacuum cleaner! On a motorcycle. Random.

We were in a small desert town during spring break and passed a small, compact car with a palm tree in the back seat, the palm fronds sticking out the back window. Random.

Another of my favorite things to see are what I call “I Spy” places. I don’t know if there is a copyright of that, so for here I will call them, “look and see” but in life, “I Spy.” These are walls, cars, yards, fences, you-name-it that are covered with so much stuff that you could spend a lot of time just looking at it and seeing different things… “I see a tiny goat…” I have seen a “look and see” gravesite.

Finally, I love things that make me go… hmmm, what is that? And when I find out what it is, I want to tell everyone.

So Wednesdays will be dedicated to one of these three things. I would love it if you would contribute as well, just let me know

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

Kite Festival
Oh, Jack is starting his Walk Into Summer walks, barely feels like spring! But he is right, we are heading into the hot and dry phase of the season (but could still get snow!) so get out and enjoy the greenery while it lasts!

SATURDAY 23 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio from Crescent to Blue Willow Drive
Start Location: Sechrist School on Ft Valley Road
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
A closer look at the new bridge over the Rio de Flag and the wonderful Rio canyon in that area

SUNDAY 24 APRIL
Rio de Flag Series
The Rio through Cheshire
Start Location: Museum of Northern Arizona Parking Lot - North end
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
We'll explore the wonderful canyon behind the museum and the newly restored section of the Rio that goes through the Cheshire neighborhood.

TUESDAY 26 APRIL
Walk Into Spring
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood
Fast and Slow Pace

FRIDAY 29 APRIL Please note the Start Location Change
Walk Into Summer
Start Location: Police Department parking lot located at 911 Sawmill Road (about 1/4 mile south of New Frontiers on Butler)
Time: 9:00 AM 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood

SATURDAY 30 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio through Baderville
Start Location: Parking Lot located at the corner of 180 and Snowbowl Road
Time: 3:00 PM
The Rio came off the mountain and then started its southward flow toward town

SUNDAY 1 MAY 2011
Audubon Bird Sanctuary Walk
Start Location: Southeast corner of Sam's Parking Lot
Time: 7:00 AM
A walk with Jim Logan down to the Rio de Flag pond along the FUTS
Need more information?
Call Jim at 526 3244

SUNDAY 1 MAY 2011
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Leroux Springs
Start Location to be Announced
Time: 3:00 PM
Lot to see here. History, the old NAU Arboretum, the big and little springs, Spur and Ski Ranch
Don't miss this one!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday's Walker- Happy Walker

Aaack! This will be the last the of the Wednesday Walkers! Thank you so much to everyone who contributed. It isn't too late if you still want to- let me know. Also, if for some reason I failed to include your Wednesday Walker response, please let me know. I think I got them all in the posts over the course of about half a year. Thanks again, I have enjoyed them all!


Wednesday's Walker- Happy Walker

This "Happy Walker" is a close friend of mine. We worked together and fortunately have stayed in touch. I love to hear her walking adventures. The other day I ran into her at Buffalo Park, she was at the tail end of a 12 mile walk, smiling and happy to see me.

I have a part time job that pays me money, but mostly I am passionate about people, specifically family. And if I like you and love you, then you are my family. I want to always be involved with people. After caring for 'blood family' for years, in the form of raising my children and then as caregiver for aging/dying family members, I voluntarily care for others I have come to love. There are no set hours and no end in sight. It fuels my soul to love and share life with others. I have been and am loved, and cared for by others. How can I do otherwise than to love outside myself.

And another passion is being out in God's creation. I started walking when we were needing to mind our money, use our discretionary funds for children's activities. Previously, our family belonged to the athletic club. Since I had always exercised I knew I would have to find an affordable and satisfying form of exercise. One of my dearest friends, in her 80's, advised me to walk. Her example of fitness as an octogenarian got me thinking that maybe walking would work. I started about 1995. At first, it was rather unsatisfactory...difficult to get aerobic, a bit boring, missed the camaraderie of a class workout. But I carried on. 2 miles, then 3, soon 4 miles. Partners came and went. The dog died. I needed to walk early in the morning because of familial obligations. Not many people cared to go out in the dark. But I still moved.

In January 1998 I set a goal to hike the distance of the circumference of the earth, about 25,000 miles. I completed the goal in February 2009, 10 years and 1 month from the beginning. And I'm still walking. I have over 30,000 miles logged since I began. No injuries, most every weather, in any city I find myself in. It's a great, affordable and healthy activity.

Today I walk because I MUST. I clear my thoughts. I pray. I dream. Sometimes I argue. I listen to music, or radio, or not. I hear and see birds, dogs, deer, elk, skunk, possum, porcupine, fox, cats. I notice, or not, people...on foot, in cars, on bikes, on unicycles, laughing, crying, chatting, scowling, all living life.

I walk on streets, in the woods, at the beach, in the desert, in the dark, in the sun, in the rain, in the snow, but not in the sleet. I walk up hills, down hills, on flat land, in canyons, on mountains. I walk with walking shoes, hiking boots, ice grips or katoolas if the conditions necessitate. Sometimes I walk with poles depending on where I am going.

I walk 6 days a week. I always walk at least 6 miles, and often many miles more. Fast. I walk fast, but I am willing to slow down to accommodate a companion. I rest one day every week, because God gave us a day to rest, and my body needs it. Maybe that one day of rest is why I still love to walk. My mind and body get refreshed and I'm ready for yet another week of walking.

My first trip into the Grand Canyon began my love affair with "the Hole". It may have been in 2000 that I began day hikes, going to the river and back out using corridor trails, almost always alone. My first Rim to Rim was in 2005. I was so invigorated by the experience that I continued to do R2R's and soon began to dream of a Rim-Rim-Rim. My training for the endeavor began in earnest in late 2006. April 2007 I hiked a solo Rim3(cubed) in 14 hours and 25 minutes. In 2008, in honor of my 50th birthday, I hiked my first marathon in 5 hours 23 minutes.

I enjoy hiking with others and have come to savor the solitude of my regular walks. I've never depended on others to motivate me to hike. If I had to rely on the companionship of other people, I suspect I would have not completed my original goal of 25,000 miles. But walking/hiking has many benefits. Along with mental and emotional outlets and health, consistent walkers tend to have good bone mass, smaller waists, lower blood pressure, functioning metabolism, weight management, and other physical benefits. Not much in the way of equipment is required, so it really is affordable and portable. Every society walks, so I can do it everywhere, and always with pleasure.

I really enjoy exploring new places. Since I hike even when I travel, I make many discoveries. Seeing a new place on foot is entirely different than by car, or video, or photo. I've hiked in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho; at Lake Powell, in the Colorado Rockies, around Central Park in New York; in Hawaii, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico, Virginia; on the Appalachian Trail, and along the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Well, I explored a lot of places on foot.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Briskly Walking

It’s been a long time but I am finally back on a regular walking schedule and I am feeling pretty good. My feet and legs are still bothering me a little but overall I feel pretty good. When I first started this blog I was walking regularly, not a lot of miles, but walking, and walking briskly, regularly. I felt great. I reported about a terrific low blood pressure reading in this blog. Through rain, snow, everything I kept walking. I walked inside at the gym if I had to. And then came last summer.

I am not sure what happened but I know we had to work hard on our patio and I often felt too tired to walk. I put pressure on myself to walk longer distances and I did and I walked most days. But not all. I don’t think I was walking as briskly. Funny how that works. When I walk at our local city park, Buffalo Park, I can walk briskly and keep an even, steady brisk pace. Buffalo Park has a two-mile dirt course with quarter mile increments marked. I can keep track of how fast I walk between these increments and I do. On good days I try to go faster than ever before. Today I felt great and even walked/jogged parts of it. On bad days I just do my best and keep an even steady brisk pace. I think I do really well. Get me off of a course like this, however, and I go to la-la land. My pace slows way down.

I always thought I was a fast walker. My Mom was a fast walker. I thought I would have gotten it from her. My first indication that I wasn’t was when I talked a friend into doing a 5k walk with me, back when I lived in Utah. We started the walk off great and had a fun time visiting. It was a blustery late winter/early spring day or late fall/ early winter day. I hardly noticed all of the runners/walkers passing us by as we made our way through the course. In our/my defense- I have to pause here, my friend is quite athletic, she was just keeping me company- we actually stopped at one point to help an elderly woman cross an icy street with her groceries. But still I was shocked to get to the end of the “race” to find everyone packing up the food and everything. We were one of the last two people to finish the course.

I was talking with a friend the other day who was remarking about how she just goes faster and faster as she walks about the neighborhood. I admire that really. I have another friend who also can’t help going fast. I know it’s good for you.

I read a New York Times article the other day about the best exercise. I think they ultimately decided running up and down stairs was the best exercise, but walking briskly was right up there. Even 30 minutes a day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

Holding my breath but I think we are going to have a nice weekend...
Earth Day is celebrated on Saturday for Flagstaff. Lots of other walks going on- I know this part of the Rio de Flag is pretty.

From Jack:

SATURDAY 16 APRIL
Flagstaff Earth Day
Location: On the front lawn of City Hall
Look at the City Web Site for complete details.
I will be supervising the bicycle parking again this year so bring a bike and let me make sure it behaves!

SATURDAY 16 APRIL - Please note the start time
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Route of the Rio from City Hall North to Thorpe Park
Start Location: Earth Day Bicycle Parking venue
Time: Noon - Please note the start time

SUNDAY 17 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio Duck Pond
Start Location: Marshall School located at the corner of Thorpe Road and Bonito
Time: 3:00 PM
Lot's of interesting things to see around the Duck Pond including a cabin from Viet Springs, ducks
and hopefully a Heron (or two) Might also include a walk on the connected FUTS up part of a canyon that drains a lot of water into the Rio de Flag if we have a wet winter.

TUESDAY 19 APRIL
Walk Into Spring
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood

WEDNESDAY 20 APRIL
Outdoor Activities Meeting
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM
Presentation to be Announced

THURSDAY 21 APRIL
Outdoor Activities Meeting
Bicycle Touring Presentation by Logan White
Canyonlands - White Rim Trail - Rainbow Rim on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM
Interesting pictures of places where Logan has done bicycle touring.
The White Rim Trail in Canyonlands and Rainbow Rim on the North Rim will be featured along with a few other Utah locations. I have seen some of the slides Logan has accomplished and they are excellent. Bring your questions. Logan will answer those and I'll provide the Snickerdoodles
Don't miss this one!

FRIDAY 22 APRIL - Good Friday
NO Walk INTO SPRING THIS FRIDAY
BUT We'll do a Rio de Flag Walk Instead
The Rio de Flag Route North of Thorpe Park through Coconino Estates
Start Location: Marshall School Corner of Thorpe Road and Bonito
Time: 3:00 PM
We'll walk the FUTS and hopefully the Rio de Flag will have flowing water. Its been a very dry spring.

SATURDAY 23 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio from Crescent to Blue Willow Drive
Start Location: Sechrist School on Ft Valley Road
Time: 3:00 PM
A look at the new bridge over the Rio de Flag and the wonderful Rio canyon in that area.

SUNDAY 24 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio through Cheshire
Start Location: Museum of Northern Arizona Parking Lot
Time: 3:00 PM
We'll see the wonderful canyon behind the museum and the newly restored section of the Rio that goes through the Cheshire neighborhood. Some wonderful tree planting done by Peter Price and his Cheshire neighbors

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Snow more whining or more snow whining, ugh

Pip says... snow is cool.
I inadvertently let this blog slip this week. I have one more, I think, Wednesday Walker, to go but I think I will save it for next week. Since I have been whining about the snow (from my brother-in-law, do you want some cheese with that whine?), I thought I would provide you with my reasons for why it doesn’t need to snow any more in Flagstaff. Feel free to add your own reasons for spring to start in your regions.

1. Rain will do just fine now, thank you.
2. Our ski area, Snowbowl, has closed- why bother to snow.
3. I think the USGS is about to declare cinders (we use cinders on icy roads) an endangered product- we are running out of cinder hills to mine!
4. Even the ski shops have switched over bike shop rentals.
5. People are wearing shorts, bright colors and light jackets- get the hint!
6. Snow: here today, gone tomorrow- again why make the effort?
7. Winter already won the battle with potholes, we give. I don’t think you could find more places for potholes.
8. I think the guy down the street could use a break from shoveling off his roof.
9. Dogs love the snow, but they are ready to shed their winter coats.
10. If you don’t want to stop snowing for me, stop snowing for the hummingbirds, I mean really. Those tiny things, I am sure they are on their way up here.

Okay, I feel better. I will let you know when it snows again but I will try not to whine, too much, anymore.
Funny how that is. I talked with someone yesterday and she loves the snow and is ready for more, more, more.
Good thing we all have different tastes or we would all want to live in the same place. Diversity- it’s a good thing. I guess that’s the good thing about seasons too, spring sure is sweet after winter

.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

Yesterday my internet went out and I felt like a duck out of water. I decided not to go to the library or coffee shop to finish up my work, but it's kind of funny how my household came to take this internet thingy for granted. "I'm going to go check the weather maps... " "I'm going to go to iTunes..." on and on and on. I can't complain, I was the main culprit. Sigh.

Big snow storm here, yesterday I took a quaint photo of my daffodils in the pre-storm little snow. This morning they are covered by five inches of snow with five more inches expected. I hope my cheery daffodils make it through the snow. Sigh.

From Jack:

Just a reminder:
We have two Rio de Flag walks this weekend. We never ask folks to drive through a snow storm or in icy conditions to get to a start location. If the conditions are bad please don't venture forth.
We can always reschedule

SATURDAY 9 APRIL
Rio de Flag Series
The Rio through Doney Park
Start Location: Peaks View County Park located near the corner of Koch Field Road and Silver Saddle Road
Time: 3:00 PM
A walk in Doney Park along the Rio de Flag where it makes its way toward Logan's Crossing.
Some great views of the Peaks and some perfectly awful looks at the Schultz Fire burn area

SUNDAY 10 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Logan's Crossing
Start Location: To be Announced
Time: 3:00 PM
See the great work done by Kathie Satterfield and her band of Weed Warriors and Thistle Thugs in cleaning up this wonderful Rio de Flag Canyon that is a prime site for a Bird Sanctuary Program

TUESDAY 12 APRIL
Walk Into Spring
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood

THURSDAY 14 APRIL
Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting
Location: City Hall in the room behind the City Council Chambers
Time: 4:30 PM
Discussion of local pedestrian issues.

FRIDAY 15 APRIL
Walk Into Spring
Start Location; FUTS Parking Lot located at the corner of Lone Tree Road and John Wesley Powell
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles in and around the surrounding neighborhood

SATURDAY 16 APRIL
Flagstaff Earth Day
Location: On the front lawn of City Hall
Look at the City Web Site for complete details.
I will be supervising the bicycle parking again this year so bring a bike and let me make sure it behaves!

SATURDAY 16 APRIL - Please note the start time
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Route of the Rio from City Hall North to Thorpe Park
Start Location: Earth Day Bicycle Parking venue
Time: Noon - Please note the start time

SUNDAY 17 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio Duck Pond
Start Location: Marshall School located at the corner of Thorpe Road and Bonito
Time: 3:00 PM
Lot's of interesting things to see around the Duck Pond including a cabin from Viet Springs, ducks and hopefully a Heron (or two) Might also include a walk on the connected FUTS up part of a canyon that drains a lot of water into the Rio de Flag if we have a wet winter.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday's Walker- Kevin Schindler

A tour at Lowell Observatory
Kevin Schindler was my boss at Lowell Observatory and now count him as my friend. He is very busy with life and work, but I enjoy catching up with him now and then.

What do you do? I work in the education program at Lowell Observatory, where we welcome 80,000 + visitors per year for activities such as educational programs, tours, and telescope viewing.

What keeps you busy? When not working I serve on a couple local boards and also write articles, especially on the topics of baseball and paleontology, for an online magazine.

What is your passion? Life!

I walk because ... I enjoy exploring country lanes, city streets, mountain tops, forest trails, cultural and historic venues, and anywhere that water is. Walking allows me to do all of this, while gaining the added benefit of exercise.

What do you do when you walk? Usually I like to observe my surroundings and simply enjoy being outside. Sometimes I focus on the exercise aspect and in this case, walk much more aggressively.

What do you like about walking? Opportunity to experience my surroundings, tranquility, exercise.

Describe a walk where you found something special or something that made you happy or something surprising? I was walking in the woods a couple years ago and found deer antlers, which inspired me to imagine the chain of events that led to the antlers being dropped in that particular place.

What is your favorite walk? I don’t necessarily have a favorite, but in general most enjoy walks in the woods.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trees, trees and more trees, beyond the ponderosa

I was sitting in a parking lot (okay, I wasn't walking, but I could have been...) waiting for my son to finish basketball practice and I started to notice all of the shapes of the different deciduous trees, the ones that lose their leaves.

I noticed the aspen keep branching ever smaller giving them a busy but graceful look.

I saw some elms, Siberian I think, and for once I noticed their beauty with some arching crowns.

Over in some nearby backyards tall poplars soared up past roof lines.

Two "weeping"-type trees stood near each other. I don't know what they were. I think one is a river birch because our neighbor has one like it and that is what she called it- that would be the white-barked one with the reddish tint to the outer branches. The dark-barked one with green spring-growth- I don't know.


Here in Flagstaff we are known more for our pine trees (Ponderosa) than other trees so it was fun to see all of these other trees. Early spring growth brought out some fresh color. I guess I had never just sat in one place looking at trees like this before.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

A desert sunflower, NOT Flagstaff

Happy April 1st, otherwise known as, April's Fools Day! For some reason I don't like this day. Actually I know why. I am very gullible. From my Mom walking me up at o'dark thirty for a phone call to my sister short-sheeting me (even tho I was too short to notice), I have fallen for every prank and joke. Our hometown newspaper, Arizona Daily Sun, comes out with a "fake" story every April 1 and I believed it the first few years. Now I prep myself in the days before so I remember not to go, "Why would someone do that! That's ridiculous!" Okay... it's kind of fun.

Now, back to Flagstaff Fridays.
It's going to be a record breaker today, maybe, temperature-wise. Possibly reach 70 degrees F (no joke), so it will be a nice night for First Friday Artwalk. Come and join the fun downtown. It's sure to be jam-packed with all of the spring feverish folks.

Jack, as always, has a full slate of activites:

FRIDAY 1 APRIL 2011 This is not an April Fool Joke!
Bald Eagle Talk
Location: Arizona Game and Fish Office
3500 South Lake Mary Road
Time: Noon - Bring your lunch!

SATURDAY 2 APRIL
5 K Walk for Willow Bend on the NAU campus
Blue Key Walk the Talk for the Environment
Start Location: South Field on NAU campus
Time: Walk starts at 9:00 AM
Registration between 7 AM and 8:45 AM
Check the Willow Bend web site for more information: www.willowbendcenter.org

SATURDAY 2 APRIL
The Rio de Flag Walk Series
Wildcat Reach - a section of the Rio in need of help
Start Location: Front Home Depot Parking Lot - East End
Time: 3:00 PM
A much abused section of the Rio after it goes under Highway 40 and Route 66.

SUNDAY 3 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio through Picture Canyon
Start Location: On the paved road between the Wildcat Waste Water Treatment Plant and The Gas Company
Time: 3:00 PM
Lot's to explore here. The recently restored of the Rio de Flag meander above and below Flagstaff's only water fall. Native American Glyphs and great views. Don't miss this one!

TUESDAY 5 APRIL
Walk Into Spring
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About three total miles in and around the surrounding neighborhood

THURSDAY 7 APRIL
Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting
Location: City Hall upstairs in the Staff Conference Room
Time: 4:30 PM
Discussion of local bicycle issues

THURSDAY 7 APRIL
Friends of the Rio de Flag Meeting
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM
A presentation by Jessica Hall, "The LA Creek Freak" who will talk about the importance of restoring local waterways back into their natural surroundings. Update on the Rio de Flag Walk Series also.

FRIDAY 8 APRIL
Walk Into Spring
Start Location: FUTS parking area at the corner of Lone Tree Road and John Wesley Powell
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in the surrounding neighborhood. Expect a few hills

FRIDAY 8 APRIL
Condor Presentation
Where? Arizona Game and Fish Office
3500 South Lake Mary Road
Time: Noon - Bring your lunch
Information about the recovery program for the California Condor in Arizona

SATURDAY 9 APRIL
Work Day at Logan's Crossing
Logan's Crossing is a Rio de Flag birding site located off Townsend-Winona Road
For details about the work day check the Friends of the Rio de Flag web site or attend the Friends of the Rio de Flag meeting on Thursday 7 April for a complete copy of the schedule. You can also contact Kathie Satterfield at: k.satterfield at yahoo dot com

SATURDAY 9 APRIL
Rio de Flag Series
The Rio through Doney Park
Start Location: Peaks View County Park located near the corner of Koch Field Road and Silver Saddle Road
Time: 3:00 PM
A walk in Doney Park along the Rio de Flag where it makes its way toward Logan's Crossing.
Some great views of the Peaks and some perfectly awful looks at the Schultz Fire burn area

SUNDAY 10 APRIL
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Logan's Crossing
Start Location: To be Announced
Time: 3:00 PM
See the great work done by Kathie Satterfield and her band of Weed Warriors and Thistle Thugs in cleaning up this wonderful Rio de Flag Canyon that is a prime site for a Bird Sanctuary Program

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday's Walker- Janine

Girl's weekend in NYC. mmm, yummy. :)
This is from my good friend, Janine, who dared to move out-of-state. She apparently now lives on a green belt which makes for nice walking, I always picture their family walking along a busy walk-way visiting with neighbors while their boys zoom up and down on bikes and skateboards. Fun stuff.

What do you do? What keeps you busy? What is your passion? I'm a mom of 2 boys (12 and 8) and I work 2, flexible part-time jobs so that I can fit my hours into the school day. I guess you could say that my kids are my passion. I also am involved in a few volunteer commitments, one of which I'm starting to regret right about now. (: So, between work, homework, after school activities, laundry, cooking... I haven't found a lot of time to walk. Exercise is the first thing to go for me. Looking at my hands as I type I realize that I haven't even found time to file my nails!

I walk because … It makes me feel good physically - I have more energy. But more immediately, it clears my head, makes me feel peaceful, gets me outside and forces me to realize that there is still a world out there that is accessible to me outside of my nutty schedule, lets me indulge my own thoughts for a while.

What do you do when you walk?  I try to walk at a pace that pushes my muscles. A walk feels successful to me if they are twitching a little at the end. I focus on taking in my surroundings. Listening for birds, watching the ducks in the canal, checking out the passersby. Then, if a thought creeps in after my head has cleared that I want to roll around in my brain for a while, I enjoy the uninterrupted ability to follow it from beginning to end.

What do you like about walking? The only thing I would add to what I wrote above is that it is usually my only chance for solitude - to re-juice.

Describe a walk where you found something special or something that made you happy or something surprising ? Hmmm, dunnoh.
What is your favorite walk?  I most frequently walk on the race (a path beside an old canal in our town). It is by our house (convenient) and runs along the woods, a park, empties into a lake at one end and the farmer's market at the other. It's pleasant and easy. I also like the woods in a protected area 10 or so minutes away that has paths that take you around fields and along streams. There are tons of birds and I find I enjoy discovering them in my older age. (:

Any tips to get people walking?  Just start. It's hard to just get started, but once you do you will be quickly rewarded with how you feel physically and emotionally.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog details


A little blog upkeeping today.

I have been enjoying including your writing every Wednesday in the form of “Wednesday Walker.” That has been so fun for me to read and share. Unfortunately, I am reaching the end of this series. I think I have about three more weeks left. I will be more than happy to include any other responses for “Wednesday Walker” just email me (cleblanc46 at gmail dot com writing it all out to avoid the spam you know) and let me know. I have enjoyed the wide variety of responses and suggestions. So far, I have known everybody who has responded and everyone is so different. Yet walking has been a positive part of all of their lives in one way or another.

After I run out of “Wednesday Walkers” I will try out something else. My sister, Denise, shared some “green” photos with me for St. Patrick’s Day. That was a lot of fun. It would be fun to get more photos from folks, especially for holidays.

Thank you for your comments. On Facebook or on the blog. I am still learning how to be social online, but I will do my best to get back to you.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

Biking to school in spring- yayy! FUTS trail
Snow, sunshine, rain... ahhh, spring in Flagstaff. Time to get outside and explore. Oh, I almost forgot- wind. Still, there are plenty of nice days and Jack has listed plenty of wonderful walks.

From Jack-

SATURDAY 26 MARCH
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Behind Fox Glenn Park
Start Location: Fox Glenn Park on Butler
Time: 3:00 PM
The Rio is wide in this area and plays host to a beautiful section of the FUTS.
Restoration was done last year on this section of the Rio

SUNDAY 27 MARCH
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio through the Golf Course/Campbell Mesa area
Start Location: Please note new start location!
Cemetery Parking lot across from the Campbell Mesa Trailhead
From County Club Drive go East on Old Walnut Canyon Road for 1/2 on paved road.
Next 1/2 mile is gravel. Look for the large white cross on the right hand side of the road across from the Campbell Mesa Trailhead.
Time: 3:00 PM
We'll walk the wide route of the Rio de Flag to Highway 40 and on the way take a look at the Bottomless Pit.

TUESDAY 29 MARCH
Walk Into Spring
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood

FRIDAY 1 APRIL 2011 Note new start location:
Walk Into Spring
Start Location: FUTS parking area at the corner of Lone Tree Road and John Wesley Powell
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles in and around the surrounding neighborhood
Expect a few hills

FRIDAY 1 APRIL 2011 This is not an April Fool Joke!
Bald Eagle Talk
Location: Arizona Game and Fish Office
3500 South Lake Mary Road
Time: Noon - Bring your lunch!

SATURDAY 2 APRIL
5 K Walk for Willow Bend on the NAU campus
Blue Key Walk the Talk for the Environment
Start Location: South Field on NAU campus
Time: Walk starts at 9:00 AM
Registration between 7 AM and 8:45 AM
Check the Willow Bend web site for more information: www.willowbendcenter.org

SATURDAY 2 APRIL
The Rio de Flag Walk Series
Wildcat Reach - a section of the Rio in need of help
Start Location: Front Home Depot Parking Lot - East End
Time: 3:00 PM
A much abused section of the Rio after it goes under Highway 40 and Route 66.

SUNDAY 3 APRIL 2011
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Rio through Picture Canyon
Start Location: On the paved road between the Wildcat Waste Water Treatment Plant and The Gas Company
Time: 3:00 PM
Lot's to explore here. The recently restored of the Rio de Flag meander above and below Flagstaff's only water fall. Native American Glyphs and great views. Don't miss this one!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday's Walker- M.C. LaForge

M.C. is my very creative sister. I will never forget the time we found out she painted a mural on the walls of her bedroom, and our parents were not angry- the mural was so beautiful! (that's the way I remember it anyway)

Walking


Currently, I work four days per week as a concierge/receptionist at an acupuncture clinic. I am otherwise kept busy by supporting my ability “to go on” mentally and physically.
For the mental part I attend Buddhist classes and meditations regularly- this helps keep me calm and non-reactive to the never ending “messinesses” of life. At least, that is the goal. I also try to keep the brain active by trying to write about day to day events. Recently, I took a creative nonfiction writing class. I like the way words that have not been used by me for decades will come to the rescue when I’m trying to relate a story or thought.
For the physical I rely on the support of an acupuncturist, naturopath doctor, occasional massage therapist, (that helps keep my neck from cracking all the time.) As I told the N.D. recently, I don’t like to “work out”- though I know I should.
I like to walk. It’s free and freeing. Walking presses the reset button in my body. Breathing hard and warm from exertion, the body thanks me with good feeling. I also get to process life and get outside and out of myself. I get to breathe fresh air.
Locally, for the quick walks, we have the level trolley trail close by. For more of a work out, a walk down the hill to the Willamette River and then back up is the ticket. A pretty walk can be had by walking to Elk Rock Island. If the Willamette River level is down you can walk to the island and up and around. It is a sweet walk with beautiful scenery and wildlife. In the spring you get trilliums. Most recently a neighbor told of a beautiful walk to town. First you follow River Road, walk through Island Station (a quaint neighborhood overlooking Elk Rock Island from the river shore) onto a park path by the river leading to one of the traffic light intersections in Milwaukie, OR. What I loved about this walk was the close relationship that the walker has with the sky and water: recently, soft tones of late fall/early winter and low clouds blended in an airy watery fashion quite marvelous to be a part of. This can also be a purposeful walk for me; I can walk this way to the library or coffee shop with my little laptop in a backpack and use wifi at either place.
Back in 1999 I lived in Stehekin, WA. The only thing that made Stehekin a town was a dock and post office and a little cafe. The only way to get to Stehekin was by boat, float plane or walking. This tiny place is stapled to the end of 55 mile long Lake Chelan. While I lived there I walked a lot. Here is my very first ever writing (let alone writing about walking.) :
“Had to move. Even out those joints and muscles much used in the past few days. Cleaning and hauling, hauling and cleaning, up and down stairs. Not used to the physical labor. Easy work, just physical.
Loaded up my pack with a thermos of coffee, apple, and water. Put my boots on and hit the trail.
A bit of wind, lots of sun. I stepped past clumps of lupine, yarrow, Indian Paint Brush. The air is dry, smitten with that dusty pine scent. The lake had the hue that can only be achieved by infusing snow melt with glacier water. Aquamarine, quick silver, slate, jade, turquoise, royal blue, purple. A mélange.
Easy walk. Mostly level.
As I walk an unseen army of insects makes a scratchy click, click, click. Everywhere. I’m surrounded. The sound makes me itchy.
Lizards dry whisper out from under my feet. At least three kinds of butterflies float over my path- painted ladies, pale white swallowtail, and the kind with soft blue wings.
Coming round a bend close to Four Mile Creek I’m greeted by gunfire. Many shots. I stop, ready to hold up the white flag- if only I had one. Next to an old stone fence curving around the hill I spy on two older gents- one with a very large handgun. They see me and start walking down the hill.
We chat. One fellow said he knew there were hikers around and felt he was shooting in a safe direction. Said he hadn’t shot the gun in forty years. Said it was a ZZ…?
After my visit with the shooters, I continued walking to the creek. It was swollen…and loud. I was greeted by some bobbing heads of wild tiger lilies.
My return trip was good. Quiet. I like the smell, the dirt, the rocks…
Eight miles there and back.
Got home.
Took a long nap.
By the time evening came on, the wind had really started to roar down the valley. We lost electricity. My roommate and I went to the local café and had a wedge of mixed berry pie with a cumulus cloud of vanilla ice cream for dinner.”
I guess if I were to write about that walk nowadays, I’d mention one spot on the trail that has its own little ecosystem. You can look at the northern side of a tall rock wall and see moss with a veil of water that trickles through it. Wait. Look. A tiny, wild orchid!
About 12 years later, I’m still walking. The best walk, in my opinion, is when you can just step out of your front door. I’m so fortunate to have good places to walk close by. Our local trolley trail (soon to be connected with Portland’s Spring Water Corridor) reminds me of the lanes in England. Portland is a really beautiful and well planned city with lots of parks and trees and places to walk.
One thing that England has over us is this: all landowners must provide walkers access to their property anytime, anywhere. So you see quaint little steps going over fences everywhere.
It is, at least in the Lake District, the law.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Passions, walking with burros


Welcome to Oatman, got carrots?
I have read a few sources that say to remember what you are passionate about go back to what you liked in fourth grade. I have found myself trying to remember what I liked back then and all I get are fuzzy generalities. I liked being outside. I liked to draw. I liked animals. I liked looking at the stars. I am not going to come up with some great breakthrough story- oh I spent hours working on such-and-such as a kid, it’s no wonder I am still doing it today. But, sometimes those generalities really hit home as my passions, and it’s no surprise. Take my experience last week.

Last week was spring break. We went to Lake Mojave for a camping trip. The weather was beautiful (I write, frowning at the new seven inches of snow on the ground out the window), in the low 80s. A mild breeze kept things cool. We brought our canoe and kayak so we could go on day trips on the water. Very lovely.


The story of Oatman

One afternoon we took a trip to the old ghost town of Oatman, Arizona. The town has actually become a tourist trap, buses and all. The draw isn’t the just the old buildings, now souvenir shops, but the multitude of burros that wander the street. I kept telling myself that the chances of us seeing a burro would be small. Wrongo.

Frisky baby with protective mom
As we walked from our parked car toward the public restroom a baby burro (a foal?) came kicking and running towards us and the other people standing around. The mother was close behind. I, a very mature woman, was instantly transformed back into my young self- a kid with a bag of carrots intent on taking photos of the burros and petting all of them if at all possible.

Another baby, waiting for mom
Gone from my concern were my barking dog, my son and my husband. Fortunately, my husband had Pip behind the fence because the mom burro was intent on protecting her young and made to kick barking, whining Pip. I think I managed to squeak out questions of: did my husband and/or son need anything? Carrots? My son took a few but gave them back after awhile and they, plus Pip, headed off to do some shopping/sightseeing.

Yet another baby, with sticker
The baby burros had stickers on their foreheads asking people not to feed them and in general leave them alone. The adults on the other hand were use to being fed and in some cases very pushy. At one point I had four burros surrounding me and my quickly diminishing bags of carrots. I was in heaven. I am sure I had a silly grin on my face as one of the burros followed me and my purse down the street. I know I forgot to look both ways for cars, I was happily standing in the middle of the street. I did share the carrots with my son, but it was hard.

More carrots please...
So I confirmed one passion: Animals. But I think I already knew that.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

Rio de Flag, March 2010, near library
More walks along the Rio de Flag- be sure to check them out if you can!

from Jack Welch


SATURDAY 19 MARCH
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Confluence of the Rio de Flag, Sinclair Wash and Bow and Arrow Wash
Start Location: Sam’s parking lot- south end
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
A walk near the wetland and the convergence of three water routes.

SUNDAY 20 MARCH
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Behind Little America
Start Location: Little America parking lot- east end near the gas station
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
The route of the Rio de Flag as it makes its way past the recent Hardy Fire location.

TUESDAY 22 MARCH
Walk into Spring
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood.

WEDNESDAY 23 MARCH
Table Tennis/Ping Pong Play
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM – 7:45 PM
We’ll have three tables in play

THURSDAY 24 MARCH
Table Tennis/Ping Pong Play
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM – 7:45 PM
We’ll have three tables in play

FRIDAY 25 MARCH
Walk into Spring
Start Location: Harkins Theater north parking lot
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood.
Expect a few hills.

SATURDAY 26 MARCH
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Fox Glenn Park
Start Location: Fox Glenn Parking Lot on Butler
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
A walk along the Rio on the FUTS near the recent restoration area.

SUNDAY 27 MARCH
Rio de Flag Walk Series
The Route of the Rio through the Continental Golf Course
Start Location: Park along the Old Walnut Canyon Road next to the two lakes
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
See where the Rio makes its turn out the Continental Neighborhood and on toward Picture Canyon.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Have a wonderful day o' green!
We just got back from a camping trip, in brown Arizona (near a lake, but still brown- how does that work? actually I know, it was all rock). So no green. These photos are from my sister, Denise, in green, green, green Oregon. Thank you, for the bit o' green. So lovely.



Friday, March 11, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

Abert's Squirrel, looking for food
We are back. Jack has been having email issues so hasn't been able to email his list. He provides such a wonderful service to the community. If you want a complete copy of his walks you can get one at one of his starting locations- or check the Arizona Daily Sun. Thank you, Jack, for all of your work.

The Rio de Flag is one of Flagstaff's hidden jewels. I hope to learn more about this greenbelt.

from Jack Welch (any typos are mine, tho)
KICK OFF FOR THE RIO DE FLAG SERIES
17 Walks along the Rio de Flag Greenbelt 3 to 5 total miles
SATURDAY 12 MARCH 2011
SOUTH SIDE RIO
Start Location: Mountain Line Transfer Station on Phoenix across from Fratelli’s Pizza
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
A walk to show folks the route of the Rio de Flag through the Southside Community from Route 66 to Lone Tree Road

SUNDAY 13 MARCH
The Rio de Flag in Sinclair Wash
Start Location: Police Parking Lot at 911 Sawmill Road just east of Willow Bend
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
A walk along the Rio that runs next to the FUTS in one of the most beautiful sections of Flagstaff.

TUESDAY 15 MARCH
Walk into Spring
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood.

WEDNESDAY 16 MARCH
Outdoor Presentation
Rock Art of the World
Presented by Evelyn Billow and Bob Mark
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM
The rock art around here is extremely interesting but this will be an opportunity to see some famous rock art in the rest of the world.

WEDNESDAY 16 MARCH
Table Tennis/Ping Pong Play
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM – 7:45 PM
We’ll have three tables in play

THURSDAY 17 MARCH
FLAGSTAFF AREA STREAM TEAM – F.A.S.T.
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM
Plan of action for the coming year.

THURSDAY 17 MARCH  NO TABLE TENNIS THIS EVENING

FRIDAY 18 MARCH
Walk into Spring
Start Location: Harkins Theater north parking lot
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood.
Expect some hills.

SATURDAY 19 MARCH
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Confluence of the Rio de Flag, Sinclair Wash and Bow and Arrow Wash
Start Location: Sam’s parking lot- south end
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
A walk near the wetland and the convergence of three water routes.

SUNDAY 20 MARCH
Rio de Flag Walk Series
Behind Little America
Start Location: Little America parking lot- east end near the gas station
Time: 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
The route of the Rio de Flag as it makes its way past the recent Hardy Fire location.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday's Walker

Their trip to Bryce Canyon

This Wednesday Walker is my brother-in-law, married to my sister, Denise. He is a talented wood worker artist, carpenter and keeps very busy. He writes that he is a sedate retiree, but I can't picture that...

What do you do? Sedate retiree
What keeps you busy? Housework, my family
What is your passion? My family, the outdoors, motorcycle riding

I walk because …. It wakes me out of my customary stupor, it is the only exercise I can do anymore on an everyday basis.

What do you do when you walk? Daydreaming mostly

What do you like about walking? Being outdoors, being aware of my body, and the aforementioned daydreaming.

Describe a walk where you found something special or something that made you
happy or something surprising. This morning I stumbled across 3 power poles down because a 100' fir killed by ivy had come down, the other day it was a coyote.
My most favorite walks are when Denise can enjoy the outdoors, like we did in Zion, and Fort Bragg botanical gardens.

What is your favorite walk? The one I am on.

Any tips to get people walking? There are many benefits to walking besides exercise but for me you feel more alive and can still enjoy your surroundings if you can get your pulse rate going. I watch lots of folks who stroll past our house and wonder why they don't ratchet it up a bit and get more out of it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Go Spring!


The air was crisp and cold this morning. Snow crystals brightened the road. I was on a walk with Pip, the dog, and just walking. I guess I was happy to be walking, but I think I was wishing it were warmer- as usual. And then I heard the robin. The clear, sweet American robin song.

Somehow that changed everything. I started to feel warmer somehow. It’s not that I haven’t seen robins recently, but their song just feels like warmth, like better days. I started to think of the sweetness of changing seasons. That’s one of the rewards of going through a tough winter, a tough time, a tough headache- you get to the end and … everything seems brighter or lighter.

I have been hearing lots of birds lately. We have been feeding the songbirds so they congregate in our pine tree and sound like the Grand Central Station of little birds. Buzzing, chirping, chips, titters, tweets: juncos, siskins, finches. I have also heard lots of drumming from flickers and woodpeckers, mainly on metal streetlights and wooden power poles, respectively (drumming: rapid hitting with beak, I read they do this to attract a mate).

Here in Flagstaff with spring comes the melting of the snow, thankfully we have had some (I can be thankful now), so for a time we will have some running water. And lots and lots of mud. But bring it on! Spring! Hurray!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday's Walker

My blurry photo on way to Park City to visit with Elise and the girls
I met my friend Elise fairly soon after we moved to Utah. She helped me find work in the field of wildlife biology. She is a very active person, biking and hiking, and has had a rough year with injuries. Her latest injury was the result of an interaction with an angry mama moose. Apparently, Elise was returning from a hike and heading down a fairly narrow canyon when she was confronted by the moose. Elise dove out of the way (sorry if I am getting this wrong), thankfully behind a a big tree, but in the process tore her ACL. She found out from another hiker that the moose cow had a calf in the area. And, yes, Elise is recuperating nicely.

What do you do? I’m a wildlife biologist but now I’m a manager more than anything.
What keeps you busy? Unfortunately work, but when not working I love to do just about anything outdoors and travel.

I walk because …. It makes me feel good and it gives me time to myself.

What do you do when you walk?  I have conversations in my head about issues of the day or plan out my future. Sometimes I listen to audiobooks.

What do you like about walking? I like it because it makes me feel good, it’s functional – transportation, and its relaxing.

Describe a walk where you found something special or something that made you happy or something surprising ? This one is stumping me. When I walk it always makes me happy when I see wildlife.

What is your favorite walk? I have too many to pick one! I have different “favorite” walks for different seasons and different locations- desert, mountains and cities.

Any tips to get people walking?  Just do it – I’ve never regretted a walk – ok, maybe the one where I got attacked by a moose, but that’s it…..

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Slow Hiking Time

Not on Sycamore Rim, but similar landscape
I have been unable to walk much recently so have gotten out of shape. My thoughts have gone to walks o’ the past. One hike was to the Sycamore Rim Loop Trail which was about an 11 mile hike. I was probably the least experienced hiker of the bunch, but as our intrepid guide (IG) said, I had a “good hiking constitution.” I think that meant I could go for long distances without complaining. She figured we would start around 9 am and be done about noon or one.

She described the hike as easy, but long. We would be doing the hike reverse what other hikers typically do, to get the harder part out of the way.

Okay. Let me describe this hike. Take a flat sixty inch round table. Throw on a table cloth, roughly. Don’t make it smooth. So there are bumps here and there, right? But overall pretty flat. Pretend the trail goes around the edge of the table.

Now go get a mixing bowl that has steep sides and plunk it down in the middle of the trail. Oh, you might say, but the trail can go around the bowl. But it doesn’t. The bowl is called KA Hill and the trail goes up one side and down the other. Go ahead and come up with all sorts of meanings for the acronym KA- we did. The description says it’s a 500 foot elevation gain, seemed higher.

So we went up and down the unnecessary hill first instead of last, and I am thankful for that. Overall the hike was really amazing. It hits some highlights along the Sycamore Rim: Sycamore Falls (they were dry), wetlands, other viewpoints of the rim. This is a hike I would do again.

Towards the end of the hike we lost the trail. We were in good hands with our IG and others who had maps and compasses and we headed off through the woods. At one point our IG turned to check on me and I looked up and whump, fell flat on my face. I think my knee did hit a rock, but what I remember most is soft cushion of the thick bed pine needles. The fall was almost comfortable.

We met up with the trail without any further incidents. I think we made it back to the cars by about 4 pm. Our IG was definitely not on slow hiking time when she thought we would be done by noon.

I wish I had photos of this trip. This is a very pretty area (especially the vistas looking over the rim) and I hope to visit again soon- hiking. Some of the places are accessible via car.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

M-e-l-a-n-o-m-a

My walking passion
I am taking a little break this week from regular work and blogging. I wasn’t going to mention what I was up to and then I realized that it was directly related to what this blog was about.

On Monday I had a small melanoma removed from my face. When I had gone into the dermatologist to have it checked he took a biopsy. This was done on a “beauty spot” mole that I had had for many years. This past year it started to look a little bigger and a little funny. My husband told me many times to have it checked and then my dentist said, “have that checked!” So I finally did. Between the biopsy and the results I did some web surfing and read about basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and, the scariest of them all, melanoma.

When the doctor called me in for the results and said, “melanoma,” I just kept thinking, “wrong word, wrong word.” But he also said, “It’s a 1a tumor, in the upper layers of the epidermis. We need to cut it out. Your five year survival rate is 95%” All good news.

So it’s been removed. As the plastic surgeon (because it was removed from my face) said, “this [surgery] will be a blip in your life, if we don’t get it, it would be lethal.”

Why share on a walking blog? Because being outdoors is my passion and always has been! I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona at an altitude of 7000 feet. I won’t stop loving the outdoors. I will continue to be diligent with the sunscreen. But now I won’t be embarrassed to check on funny looking moles and I hope you won’t be either. Have someone check your whole body too. The doctors said it was rare for women to have melanomas on the face, usually it’s on the back or back of legs.

Anyway, that's it, I will have an update on what's going on in Flagstaff later this week. We have had some snow and expect more later- at least the flowers like the moisture.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flagstaff Fridays

garden corn
This is something new to me, from the Arizona Daily Sun: "Slow Food NAU will host the second annual Flagstaff Food Film Festival on Friday and Saturday at NAU. The festival will be held at Cline Library Auditorium on Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m." Check out their Facebook page or web page.

So, we are suppose to have a big storm coming our way this weekend. That's how February goes in Flagstaff, and March too. March definitely will come in like a lion.

The following events are from Jack:

SATURDAY 19 FEBRUARY
Game and Fish Bald Eagle Work Shop
Location: The Game and Fish Office
3500 East Lake Mary Road
Time: 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM
Two workshops with field trips if the weather is good Birds from Liberty Wildlife will be on the scene!
Must make reservations at 774 5045 or look to the Arizona Game and Fish web site for more details.

SUNDAY 20 FEBRUARY
Walk The Walk
Bow and Arrow Wash
Start Location: John Wesley Powell Dead-end just east of where Lone Tree Road intersections JWP.
Time: Noon
We'll venture into the Bow & Arrow Wash and walk down to the pond near the Arizona Trail.
About 4 total miles. Expect one good hill at the end of the walk and there will be muddy places!

MONDAY 21 FEBRUARY
Adult Ice Skate at the Jay Lively Activity Center
Location: Jay Lively Ice Skating Rink
1650 North Turquoise
Time: 10:00 AM
Come join us for a great skate at the newly released ice skating rink
Call for details about cost at 774 1051

TUESDAY 22 FEBRUARY
Walk Into Spring
Start Location: Adult Center
Time: 9:00 AM
About 3 total miles of walking in and around the surrounding neighborhood

WEDNESDAY 23 FEBRUARY
Table Tennis/Ping Pong Play
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:45 PM
We'll have three tables going. Both competitive and recreational players welcome. Adults Only Please.

THURSDAY 24 FEBRUARY
Table Tennis/Ping Pong Play
Location: Adult Center
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:45 PM
We'll have three tables going. Both competitive and recreational players welcomed. Adults Only Please

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday's Walker- Denise

Denise is my very active sister. Retirement hasn't slowed her down, just changed what she does. She is another one in the family responsible for bringing out the games after the meals are over. Can we say "Bananas?"

What do you do? What keeps you busy? What is your passion?
I'm a retired Kindergarten teacher. Life and family keeps me busy. Nature is my passion, so working in the garden and going for walks does it for me.

I walk because ...
If I don't walk, I lose the ability to walk. I have had MS for 35 years and I have to keep my muscles working.

What do you do when you walk?
I have to watch where I put my feet, so that I don't trip. But it helps me see the little things in nature: leaf patterns and colors, animal and bird tracks in the soil, (Oregon always has some wet soil along the trail or road). I enjoy the scents and the breezes. I try to go up hills, since I can't do long distances. My mind wanders as well.

What do you like about walking?
Walking gets me outside in nature. If walking in the neighborhood, I usually come upon someone I know, working in their yard or walking their dog. It's nice to see others. I don't like to see the coyotes walking the same route!

Describe a walk where you found something special or something that made you happy or something surprising .
I was walking along the Metolious River (near Sister's Oregon) with my husband, when we came upon a mother Merganser and her 11 babies. They were perched on a log in the water. But every now and then, a duckling would slip into the water, paddle around and climb back up. It was a fine day for sunning.

What is your favorite walk?
One of our favorite walks is a bike path along the Willamette River from Willamette Park to Downtown Portland. But our neighborhood walk along the Willamette River to George Roger's Park is wonderful. We can see the river, fishermen in their boats, lots of trees, hawks and sometimes seals, heading for the Oregon City Falls.

Any tips to get people walking?
use guilt; a reward halfway, like a view of something wonderful or Starbucks coffee