2014 Arizona State Fair Saturday, Oct 25 2014 

Arizona State Fair

Arizona State Fair

Seniors were able to enter the Arizona State Fair free on Friday. We paid $10 for parking and spent the afternoon exploring this year’s offerings. We started in the Art and Photography exhibits in the Coliseum. “Aztca Sun” by Michael Perea is a detailed colored drawing that didn’t win a prize but caught my eye. I enjoyed seeing the work of photographers who captured animals such as hummingbirds with such focus. Also, familiar landscapes were artistically rendered. As we moved through the Coliseum we were confronted with giant dinosaurs opening their mouths and making sounds in desert-like scenes. I especially liked the stegosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex. After walking through food stands and rides including the Ferris wheel, we took in the smells of the Agriculture Center. We watched young people display their sheep in one area and cows in another. The Home Arts building contained the remains of culinary entries along with jewelry and crafts. The Commercial Exhibit featured young women with faces painted painting faces. We sat for a time listening to the humor of a Kitchen Craft cooking show. We circled back to the Grandstand Arena where the All Indian Rodeo was in progress. We watched the last three barrel racers and several competitors attempting to ride bulls. We found our way to the Wallace & Ladmo Stage to listen to the retro sounds of Chuck E. Baby while enjoying a free pie sample from Coco’s and a shave ice with margarita and pina colada syrup. We concluded our day at the Hangout where we watch an episode of Batman instead of the scheduled performance of Callie Young. We left as many others were eager for a fun-filled evening at the Arizona State Fair.

Advertisements

Granite Gardens Trail Sunday, Oct 19 2014 

Granite Gardens View

Granite Gardens View

Granite Gardens is a recently added City of Prescott trail that we previously hiked clockwise. Yesterday we traversed the 1.2 miles counterclockwise. The trailhead, located off Highway 89 across from Granite Gate Senior Living, is at an elevation of 5,040 feet. We gained some elevation on the Stairway Loop, enjoying the blue sky day and views of Granite Dells. After crossing over some slickrock, I took the 0.1 mile Castle Rock loop. Views along this segment of trail included the strong Granite Creek current flowing over a small dam originally built to divert water for the Chino Valley Irrigation District. Several homes are visible, including one recently constructed with a turret. As we hiked the the steep and winding switchbacks of the Rock Stacker we had good views of Granite Mountain peaking behind a Granite Gardens rock formation. The high point on this trail is 5,150 feet. We exited through the Grotto, a narrow rock tunnel that tests one balance. This is an adventurous trail with interesting surprises.

Legacy Trail Saturday, Oct 18 2014 

Legacy Trail Culvert View

Legacy Trail Culvert View

On Friday, we hiked another segment of the Prescott Circle Trail, 50 miles of trail around the City of Prescott. The Legacy Trail was completed in 2000 by youth from the Yavapai County Juvenile Community Services Program, “Probation Works in Arizona.” Previously we had hiked clockwise on this 2.5 mile loop. On this outing we saw things differently by going counterclockwise. The trailhead elevation was 5,240 feet. To reach the high point of 5,380 feet, the trail showed signs of trenching from water flow. The loop trail passes under Pioneer Parkway through two underpasses. Our return through the middle underpass offered an interesting view of the “P” and the Bradshaw Mountains.

South Lynx Loop Trail Saturday, Oct 18 2014 

Lynx Lake Fall Reflections

Lynx Lake Fall Reflections

We hiked some new trails for us in the Lynx Lake recreation area. From where we often park on the Lynx Lake South Shore, we walked 0.3 miles along the exit road to Trail #313. We saw an old dam that we had not previously seen when driving. The trailhead was at an elevation of 5,550 feet and we climbed 0.4 miles to 5,700 feet to Campground Loop B. We made our way on a campground road to where Loop A connects with Homestead Trail #305. This normally heavily used mountain bike trail was not used on Thursday. As expected, there were only a few campers. Loud music coming from one site, however, disturbed my commune with nature. At the north end of the campground we took Trail #404 off Loop E to connect with Trail #311, the Lynx Lake Loop Trail, in 0.2 miles. A fisherman’s bobber didn’t move while we stopped at a bench with a good view of Lynx Lake. A kayaker passed by enjoying the calm water. A cove offered an interesting reflection of fall leaves. A cormorant, blue heron, and ducks watched us closely as we completed our loop following trails near the lake.

Phoenix Zoo: October 2014 Monday, Oct 13 2014 

White-nosed Coati

White-nosed Coati

Our visit to the Phoenix Zoo yesterday morning rewarded us with many active animals. The white-nosed coati, for example, climbed his tree and savored its small berries. Four Mexican wolves slowly circled their private enclosure. One of the bald eagles spread his wings and enjoyed another Arizona blue sky day. The golden eagle maintained his perched dignity. A burrowing owl poised near its hole while two roadrunners flitted along the side fencing. Snowy egrets showed off their pure white plumage while a turkey vulture watched from atop a rugged stump. The black-tailed prairie dogs gourged themselves on carrots and greens. A Bornean orangutan swung by the glass viewing area with a stop to eye a toddler held up by dad. Four pelicans reflected on their good fortune perched on a raft in the lake. The scarlet macaw straightened its feathers. An Andean bear nursed its young one who didn’t look all that young. A Galapagos tortoise waded through its water pool. A wonderful fall day at the Phoenix Zoo.

Pioneers Park Saturday, Oct 11 2014 

Buffalo

Buffalo

Pioneers Park is a 1,132-acre park west of Lincoln, Nebraska. A statue of a bison and an elk greet visitors at the two entrances to the park. A small herd of buffalo and two elk with large antlers were active near the Prairie Building. This interpretive nature center and the Chet Ager Building have live small animals and taxidermied animals. Two colorful kestrals were enjoying the afternoon sunlight while blind owls remained confined in cages. Among the snakes, the western hognose snake lived up to its name. The mounted animals included a bobcat, coyote, muskrat, racoon, and Virginia opossum. The park has eight miles of trail. We took a short loop near wetlands and through woodlands. Trails also wind through tall prairie where we passed the Hudson Cabin and Heritage School. The Hudson Cabin was built by Thomas Jefferson Hudson in 1863 and moved to its present location in 2010. When built it was considered “the largest and grandest house.” The Cunningham School, Saunders County District 113, is a one-room schoolhouse built in the 19302 and retired in 1968. As we left the park for our trip home, we had one last view of the distinctive tower of the Nebraska Capitol. Fall break proved a good time to visit Lincoln, Nebraska.

Next Page »