J. S. Acker Memorial Park Monday, Feb 17 2014 

Naturally Mural

Naturally Mural

James S. Acker (August 6, 1865-July 30, 1955) left more than 100 parcels of real estate to the City of Prescott “… to be used for parks and for promotion of music, especially for children.” Yesterday we visited for the first time this 80 acre city open space park and explored its scenic loop trail, especially enjoying the panoramic views of Prescott from hilltop vistas. The elevation of the trail ranges from 5,480 feet to 5,630 feet. The biggest surprise was the restroom’s full wrap mural, “Naturally Mural,” depicting the history of the land and Mr. Acker. This mural, completed in 2010, is part of the Prescott Downtown Mural Project. The following is from the Mural Artist’s Statement:

“Acker Park is recognized as an island of tranquility to those who seek to escape from the stresses of daily living. Individuals visit this sanctuary for its peacefulness, for its quiet solitude, and for the magnificent expanse of vistas afforded by this extraordinary environment. Upon entering the park, people are instantly embraced by the nurturing arms of Mother Nature. She surrounds all with her inherent splendor, while whispering the songs of the land to all who listen with quiet intent.”

The Friends of J. S. Acker have also erected signs with thought provoking quotations on the loop trail. We can concur with this John Muir quote: “…In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

Ranch Trail Revisited Sunday, Feb 16 2014 

Goldwater Lakes

Goldwater Lakes

Yesterday we returned to Ranch Trail #62 to see if any more work has been completed on this new trail since we hiked it last fall. No work has been done from our turn-around-point about 1.7 miles from the trailhead off the Senator Highway. I did proceed about 0.2 miles following the red flags indicating where the future trail will go. The Ranch Trail starts at an elevation of 6,170 feet and after rising to 6,480 feet is mainly flat. It offers nice views of the Goldwater Lakes, Thumb Butte, and Granite Mountain. The lakes are named after Morris Goldwater, a prominent Prescott citizen and uncle of Barry Goldwater. Although we missed out on a blue sky day, the 73 degree temperature tied the record for the 15th of February.

2014 Renaissance Festival Sunday, Feb 9 2014 

Mother Goose

Mother Goose

Yesterday we attended the opening of the 26th Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace. The weather was beautiful in this transformed section of desert below the Superstitions with an Apache Junction address. With thirteen stages there is changing entertainment about every half hour. Here are some of the acts that entertained us: Zilch the Toryseller – Tairy Fales on the Middleshire Stage was an amazing example of perfected spoonerisms, interchanging first letters. His rendition of “Paruzal” earned his reputation as a Loose Cannon. On Falconer’s Heath we sat on the grass partially in the shade for the Adam Crack – Fire Whip Show. This is one of the acts that we also saw during our first visit to the Arizona Renaissance Festival two years ago. Three Guys and a Bunch of Drums performed on the Mud Stage following the Wyld Man – Theatre in the Ground. Although we missed that show, one of the Wyld Men, completely covered in mud, continued to clean up the stage area after his ground breaking performance. In addition to their drums, the Three Guys wowed us with a piece for triangles and another on a giant wooden xyalphone. After a break for lunch, we listened to Cast in Bronze – The Musical Carillon located in the Palace Theatre. Some 23 bells wre played by a figure covered in black with a golden phoenix mask. On the Boat House Stage we took in the Vodca Family – Gypsy Music, Comedy & Dance! This was another act that we had seen two years ago. We were especially looking forward to their sword dance. In the Dancing Pig Pub we saw Jamila Lotus – Bellydance Carnivale accompanied by the Band of Eternal Souls. Especially impressive was the gymnastic routine using a secured ribbon. We listened to a couple of bawdy tunes by Gary Siler – Musical Mischief before making our way across the grounds to the exit. On our way out we stopped at thge Rialto Stage to take in the Clan Tynker – Family Circus. Their finale involved juggling fire with stilt walking and a unicycle. Near the Teatro de la Rose we watched the successful conclusion of a Glassblowing Demo. On the Festival’s opening day, I was impressed with the number of people in costume. We also walked through the free petting farm. The goose in the Mother Goose display kept trying to remove her blue skirt. Both the Dragon Tail Tower and a smiling tree stump separating buildings caught my attention. The Renaissance Festival continues through March 30th and is worth a visit.