Jan Alfano & Embry Riddle Trails Saturday, Sep 24 2016 

Willow Creek Road Underpass View

Willow Creek Road Underpass View

From Pioneer Park, we hiked the Jan Alfano Trail to the Embry Riddle Trail. The Jan Alfano Trail, constructed in 2000, commemorates the founding member and long-time President of the Yavapai Trails Association. Both the Jan Alfano Trail and the Embry Riddle Trail are part of the 50-mile Prescott Circle Trail. The Embry Riddle Trail winds through chaparral near the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and ends after an underpass below Willow Creek Road in the Willow Lake recreational area. This level 5-mile out and back hike ranged in elevation from 5,150 feet to 5,280 feet. We encountered only one mountain biker. A variety of wildflowers were in bloom such as creosote, sacred datura, wild buckwheat, globemallows, and desert paintbrush. Another interesting “Take a Hike!”

Cavalry Trail Monday, Sep 12 2016 

Cavalry Trail Floating Bridge

Cavalry Trail Floating Bridge

The 2016 Take a Hike! program is underway. This annual event of the Highlands Center for Natural History and co-sponsored this year by Credit Union West and the Hike Shack details a dozen hikes. By completing eight of the hikes by December 7 one can purchase a specially designed medallion. Yesterday we visited Fain Park in Prescott Valley to hike a variation of the Cavalry Trail. After crossing a floating bridge, we examined the display of mining artifacts. There were a half-dozen water pumps, a trommel, and a stamp mill restored by the Prescott Valley Historical Society. Mosquitoes took advantage of our stop with a quick blood sucking snack. After the monsoon rains, many wildflowers were in bloom such as creosote, wholeleaf Indian paintbrush, rose heath, small-flowered globe mallow, Mexican hats, and Colorado four o’clocks. The Castle, built around 1894 by Barlow-Massicks, is an interesting private home. A lone chimney in the yard is a remnant of a fire that destroyed a store/post office. We left a visit inside the Chapel for our next visit. This loop trail is about 1.8 miles long with a high elevation of 5,090 feet and a low point of 5,000 feet. This Take a Hike! trail introduced us to yet another new trail.

2016 Yavapai County Fair Sunday, Sep 11 2016 

Yavapai Fair Food Booth

Yavapai Fair Food Booth

Yesterday afternoon we walked to the Yavapai County Fair held on the Prescott Rodeo Grounds. The layout was different this year with more emphasis on the rides and less on the animals. A new company brought newer carnival rides with more choices for younger children. The Show Tent was being deconstructed as we passed by so we didn’t see any events there. We toured areas that housed chickens, turkeys, rabbits, pigs, cattle, llama/alpaca, and goats. Interestingly, many goats were wearing colorful masks. The roses and other flowers were past their prime in the Garden & Flower area. A variety of peppers are grown in Yavapai County. A prize winning plate of grapes caught my attention. The Fine Arts exhibit featured some creative work from county youth. The Photography exhibit always impresses me. Local photographers have captured some amazing landscape scenes. A finely focused color photograph of a hibiscus flower won a major award. We left the fair passing by the empty grandstand where musicians were playing to two small cadres gathered in shade at both ends of the entertainment stage. It was interesting to visit the county fair again this year.

Prescott Chess Club Blitz #1 Saturday, Sep 10 2016 

Dan Patton

Dan Patton

Dan Patton, Prescott Valley, won $70 in the Prescott Chess Club’s Blitz #1 with an 11-1 score.  This was Patton’s first rated chess tournament in 29 years.

Tom Green, Prescott, won the 2nd place prize money of $40 for his 10-2 record. This was Green’s first blitz event. His rating and the rating of two other Prescott chess players, Dr. Henry Ebarb and Dr. Thomas Keenan, should show up next month on the U. S. Chess site for top 100 blitz players age 65 or older. Green is already listed as the 97th best quick chess player age 65 and older.

Dr. Thomas Keenan, Prescott, received $25 as the top Class C finisher with a 6.5-5-5 score.

David K. Miller and Randee Dermer, both of Prescott, tied for the Class E/Unrated prize. They split $25 for their 2-10 records.

U. S. Chess rates over-the-board, quick, blitz, and correspondence chess. Blitz chess games also known as speed chess use a chess clock with two individual clocks to record each player’s time. The games played in this blitz event were played with each player having only 5 minutes for their entire chess game.

Agrarian Hop Harvest & More Wednesday, Sep 7 2016 

Agrarian Ales Hops

Agrarian Ales Hops

On Sunday we visited Armitage Park for a short hike along the McKenzie River and a tour of the campground. Perhaps we will stay here on our next visit. We then observed pickers separating hops from vines at the Agrarian Ales 2016 Hop Harvest. For lunch we ordered two pizzas, a cheese plate, and a pickle plate. We had to inquire in order to identify the pickled radish. I sampled their darkest beers: Uncle Dunkle, Prouble, and Wheat Stout. We listened to the end of the set by Caitlin Jemma, guitar and vocals, and Megan Graham, violin. On leaving we visited the Christiansen Boat Landing near the confluence of the McKenzie River and the Willamette.

On Monday, Labor Day, we hiked part of the Prefontaine Running Trail in Alton Baker Park. The homes along the Patterson Slough were well positioned to enjoy boating. Interestingly, the University of Oregon cross country team led by the highly decorated Edward Cheserek passed us. Our loop took us by the Whilamut Natural Area and along the Willamette River. On leaving Eugene we viewed the sunset rather uniquely as the plane gained elevation.

Camp Lane Wedding Tuesday, Sep 6 2016 

The wedding of one of my wife’s nephews provided us with an opportunity to visit Oregon over Labor Day. We took advantage of U. S. Air miles that transferred to American Airlines. Only one of five legs was on American but that one featured state-of-the-art individual entertainment centers. Four of the legs were on Alaskan Airlines and three of those were on small prop jet planes. To offset so many plane changes, Alaska Airlines granted customers on two of the legs with complimentary wine or beer in addition to the usual beverages.

Luke & Lindsay Wedding

Luke & Lindsay Wedding

Camp Lane, a county park located near Walton about half-way between Eugene and Florence, was the site of the wedding. This picturesque 15-acre wooded area on the Siuslaw River and surrounded by the Siuslaw National Forest. The sixty-year-old lodge had a large well-equipped kitchen. Most of the young people brought tents and camped in a large open area surrounded by trees. Some others selected the lodge, an A-frame, a yurt, two open air Adirondacks, or one of four treehouse sleeping structures. We stayed with my brother in Eugene.

Guests were invited to take a selfie with an instamatic camera and to insert their picture with a note in a guestbook. It was possible to have a flower crown made to order. Seven bridesmaids wearing a dress of their choosing were matched with seven groomsmen wearing white shirts with blue ties and pants. The bride and groom are an attractive couple. The minister, an older brother of the groom, performed the wedding ceremony in a dignified and polished manner. As the couple left the amphitheater, lavender was tossed from flower decorated cones. After the practice on Friday night, there was a taco buffet line. After the wedding, we enjoyed barbeque dishes augmented with lots to drink. Both nights featured great campfires. A well-equipped disc jockey played music that kept lots of guests dancing. In addition to a traditional wedding cake, one could choose a pie or brownie for dessert.

The only downside of this event for us was an encounter with a rock on our drive in a rental car back to Eugene Friday night. Since I was not following any car, it is a mystery where the rock came from. We have previously needed to replace a windshield from rock damage, but this rock damaged the hood and chipped the windshield in several places. Sorting out who pays for the damage adds another facet to our lives. Nevertheless, we are so glad to have been guests at the Camp Lane wedding this past weekend.

Next Page »