Prescott Quads #15 Saturday, Nov 17 2018 

Jim Briggs

Jim Briggs

Jim Briggs, Chino Valley, was the top finisher in the Prescott Quads #15 held Saturday, November 17th. He received $50 by defeating three opponents. Briggs, co-champion in this year’s Prescott Open and a Candidate Master, gained 12 rating points. Kyle Christie, Flagstaff, was the second-place finisher in the top-rated quad. He won $25 for his 2-1 record.

The tournament, divided into three sections, attracted 13 chess players for a full day of chess at Yavapai College. Tom Green, President of the Prescott Chess Club, directed this U. S. Chess rated event which was co-sponsored by the Prescott Chess Club and the OLLI Chess Special Interest Group.

Cortney Reagle

Cortney Reagle

Cortney Reagle, Flagstaff, won $50 for his 3-0 undefeated record in Section B. He gained 121 rating points. Duncan Reay, Paulden, took home $25 for his 1.5-1.5 score which was good enough for second place.

David Steeves, Prescott, Don Stone, Prescott, and Niancen Cai, Flagstaff, shared first place honors in Section C. Steeves defeated Stone, but lost to Cai while Stone beat Cai. They split $75 for their 3-1 records.

 

Don Stone

Don Stone

Niancen Cai

Niancen Cai

Dave Steeves

Dave Steeves

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Willow & Hokaygon Trails Friday, Nov 16 2018 

Hokaygon Trail Vista

Hokaygon Trail Vista

Yesterday we parked at the west end of Katahn Drive in northwest Prescott where we accessed Willow Trail #347, the first segment of the Prescott Circle Trail. We last hiked here in 2010. The trailhead is at an elevation of 5,490 feet. We hiked 1.5 miles up a steep, rocky hill southeast of Granite Mountain. We passed a John Deere model 17G excavator whose recent work with its dozer blade and backhoe had been evident to us. We returned on Hokaygon Trail #341, a 1.4-mile internal trail that crosses power lines before connecting with the Willow Trail 0.6 miles from the trailhead. We did not encounter anyone on the trail, although another car was parked near ours at the trailhead.

Old Stone Corral Saturday, Nov 10 2018 

Old Stone Corral

Old Stone Corral

When I hiked General Crook Trail #64 back in October 2011, I got lost and didn’t see the most important landmark, the old stone corral. On yesterday’s hike we correctly followed the cairns set up by Boy Scouts marking this Arizona State Historical Trail for the 1976 Bicentennial. When we crossed a dry Ash Creek, the old stone corral was clearly visible. Our interest in this hike was motivated by a one-page article in the October 2018 Phoenix Magazine. General Crook established a wagon road from Fort Whipple to Fort Apache in the 1880s. It was used for 22 years to patrol the northern border of the Apache reservation. The old stone corral, a waystation for travelers, was known as Hecla, named after a nearby gold mine. A major flood in 1898 wiped out the fledging town amidst the cottonwoods. The area around the old stone corral is now an archaeological site shaded by massive cottonwoods.

Jay’s Bird Barn & Rock the Block Sunday, Oct 28 2018 

Step West Owl

Step West Owl

Yesterday we took advantage of the free lunch at Jay’s Bird Barn celebrating their 15 years serving Northern Arizona. After lunch, we looked at the live birds of prey on display including a cute step west owl, colorful American kestrel, stately Harris hawk and Swainson hawk. We admired the bird photo contest entries. We supported the “Save the Dells” registration effort that seeks to permanently protect the remaining undeveloped portions of the Granite Dells as public open space for people, wildlife, and community. We purchased a copy of Hannah’s Heart and had its author Melanie Ewbank autograph it. The play will be presented at the Ruth Street Theatre, Prescott High School on November 30, December 1st and 2nd with ticket proceeds supporting another good local cause, the Coalition for Compassion and Justice.

“Rock the Block” took place on the Crossings Drive cul de sac off Willow Creek. Some 20 vendors offered candy to children, many of whom were wearing their trick or treat costumes. The kid’s zone offered a bounce house and slide, balloon art, and chalk drawing. For the adults, the Funk FREQuency band performed from their 70s and 80s repertoire and Prescott Valley’s Lonesome Valley Brewery sold adult beverages. A percentage of proceeds from raffle, food and beverage sales went to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center BreastCare Center & the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona.

Storm Ranch Trails Friday, Oct 26 2018 

Watson Lake & Granite Mountain

Watson Lake & Granite Mountain

We completed our eighth “Take a Hike!” in the newly constructed Storm Ranch Trails. In 2017, the City of Prescott purchased land from the owners of Storm Ranch. The Over-the-Hill Gang constructed an extensive trail system earlier this year. After hiking 1.9 miles on the popular Peavine Trail, we took the Boulder Creek Trail for 0.6 miles. The trailhead is at an elevation of 5,190 feet. We intersected the Easter Island trail and followed it for 0.7 miles, including a wonderful overlook of the backwaters of Watson Lake with Granite Mountain in the distance.  Earlier this year we explored both of these trails, but on this hike we walked the opposite direction on the Easter Island Trail. We returned to the parking lot 1.5 miles on the Peavine. There were numerous hikers and mountain bikers on the Peavine; we only passed on hiker within the Storm Ranch Trail complex. While the city purchased some of the Storm Ranch land, a developer wants to build homes within the Granite Dells area and construct several roads that will cross the Peavine Trail. In my opinion, it is too bad we can’t make all this land public.

Willow Lake Trail Wednesday, Oct 24 2018 

Willow Lake

Willow Lake

For our seventh “Take a Hike!” we drove to Willow Lake. When I missed taking the main road where one pays a $3 parking fee, we parked adjacent one of the ball fields and walked about 0.3 mile to the boat ramp parking area where the trailhead begins. In the five years since I last did this hike, I’ve slowed down a bit. The trailhead elevation is 5,160 feet and rises to 5,210 feet. It climbs up and down over boulders through the scenic Granite Dells around part of Willow Lake. I was surprised to encounter a coral snake on a barren slab of granite. After hiking more than 1.5 miles because of my meandering off the trail, my wife and I decided to split up. She didn’t want to renegotiate the ups and downs we had already traversed. She would continue hiking on the trails around Willow Lake to the East Bay Trail while I would return to fetch the car and drive it to the parking area near that trail. We did reconnect, but it helped that we had cell phone coverage. Only one more required hike. Let’s hope it involves less drama.

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