- Another Hike! Well, yes. Same park (South Mountain, Phoenix), different trails. Much like the one before, it was quite a challenge with sections of loose rock to maneuver, deep ruts in the trail, and a slightly higher elevation. Best advice: use suntan protection, bring lots and lots of water, wear a HAT! The scenery was great as always, but the best part was a stop at Dobbins Lookout (top of Summit Road). This rustic look out tower has amazing views in ALL directions. There was even a small fireplace if you wanted to get warm or cook out. The tower was built in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and named after Jim Dobbins who convinced the city of Phoenix to purchase and preserve the area as a park thereby keeping the mining industry at bay (great photo of Ray here on Flickr).
The weather was absolutely perfect with some cool breezes which were much appreciated by everyone. Fellow travelers were all seniors, many ex-military (boy can they hike), retired teachers, retired corporates, all kinds but all helpful and friendly.
And as a bonus, since I received a request for a photo of my shoes that have proudly kept me sure-footed on these trails, here it is. By the way, does anyone know what you’re supposed to do with the long lace when you pull these tight? I’ve never had this type before. And, yes, these are my handknit socks. I did NOT wear them hiking, just for the photo op.
- Note: a frustrating event occurred during our bike ride Wednesday. I lost my phone. Haven’t ever lost, lost it before. But there it is. I remember putting it in my pocket on the way out to the bike with the idea that I would put it in my pack. The poor thing never made it there. And, yes, we’ve looked everywhere in the trailer, on the road, at the restaurant where we ate breakfast, at our friends, we even called it – several times. Argh…. I did have a black cow later at the Ice Cream Social to down my sorrows in. yum!
- Second hike this week was a bit different; we went on the Tortilla Trail in the Tonto National Forrest. Advertised as an old Jeep road, I have to tell you the ruts were uneven and deeper than my knee is in places. That is to say, it’s been many years since a Jeep drove up this trail I can tell you. The trail is an up and back trail and leads to an abandoned homestead. When they originally formed much of our country’s park system, they grandfathered in many of the existing homesteads. Once the owner and family had passed on, the land reverts back to the park. I don’t know how long this one had been abandoned, but access by horse (or in today’s world, maybe a 4 wheeler but probably not on the road) would have been the only connection to the outer world. There were some remnants of the buildings but it must have been beautiful and awesome to live here. All you can see in any direction were mountains and valley.
- The Indian Fair and Market at the Heard Museum was a great way to wrap up the week. Unfortunately our companions (Bill and Joan) had to leave the park early due to a family emergency. Very sad and we will miss them, they certainly kept us up and going for the last 3 weeks. (Thank You B & J).
This fair was an awesome display of arts and crafts by Native American Indians. The quality was amazing. I saw wonderful woven cloth, pottery, jewelry, baskets, and sculptures. It wasn’t limited to traditional native art either, there was a lot of unique contemporary work as well. If you can make it to the fair don’t forget your wallet. Although there were plenty of items such as earrings for around $30 to $40, there were also baskets at $3000 and huge hand painted pots around $11,000. To break up our visit, we walked the tents first getting a feeling for the variety and quality, we then went inside for a tour of the museum (also to get some perspective on the work we had been seeing as well as the complexity of the tribes in the area). After the tour we bought some lunch, sat and listened to some performers (guitar, singing, dancing), then took a final run around the tents and headed home. Oh, and this little guy came with us (www.turtleclanart.com), “The turtle is seen as strength and solidarity – old and wise and well respected.” Other facts: the turtle is one of 3 in the Oneida Nation, there are 13 squares on the turtle’s back – one for each of the 13 full moons in a year, the turtle offered his shell as a foundation in the creation story.