Prescott Quads #11 Sunday, Oct 29 2017 

Lower Vs. Briggs, Ebarb Vs. Keenan

Lower Vs. Briggs, Ebarb Vs. Keenan

Chess Master Spencer Lower, Clarksdale, topped the Prescott Chess Club’s Quads #11. This former two-time Arizona State Champion received $50 for his undefeated record of three wins. Lower is currently ranked 22nd out of 1419 Arizona chess players. He is also ranked 42nd for his Quick chess rating among those aged 50 and over in the U. S.

Dr. Henry Ebarb, Prescott, and Jim Briggs, Chino Valley, split the $25 prize money for 2nd place. They each won one game and drew each other in a last round matchup. Ebarb’s Blitz rating ranks him as the 76th best among seniors in the U. S. Briggs is currently ranked 76th out of 1419 Arizona chess players.

Prescott Chess Club President Tom Green directed this U. S. Chess rated event held on the Yavapai College campus Saturday, October 28th.

 

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Pioneer Park Orange Trail Thursday, Oct 26 2017 

Trail Riding in Pioneer Park

Trail Riding in Pioneer Park

Today we parked at the Brownlow trailhead, elevation 5,280 feet, and hiked the 5 kilometer Orange Trail counterclockwise. Several pickleball courts, new since our last visit, were being used near the trailhead parking area. New signage at key trail intersections better identifies six loop trail systems for this 280 acre park with about 20 miles of trails. We walked through open meadows and among chaparral with juniper, pinyon pines, and scrub oak. A horse and rider entered the park at the Jack Drive trailhead. A beautiful fall day, perfect for hiking.

Stringfield Trail Monday, Oct 23 2017 

Granite, Baby Granite, & Little Granite Mtns

Granite, Baby Granite, & Little Granite Mtns

Yesterday we drove about 28.5 miles from Prescott to a section of the Prescott National Forest that few people visit in order to hike a segment of Stringfield Trail #625. This trail is part of a network created recently by the Back Country Horsemen. The trailhead elevation is 4,890 feet. The trail is mainly level. winding through junipers and pinyons. We covered a mile-and-a-half before returning. We caught a view looking south of Granite Mountain, Baby Granite, and Little Granite. The Highlands Center for Natural History “Take a Hike!” program continues to introduce us to new trails.

Spruce Mountain SE Trail Saturday, Oct 21 2017 

Coles' Cabin

Coles’ Cabin

Today we drove a short distance past where the blacktop ends on Senator Highway and parked by Campsite #5. We walked a half mile on Forest Road 78 and continued about 0.4 of a mile on Groom Creek Loop Trail #307. The trailhead is at 6,440 feet. This is a pretty trail through the pines. A short detour at our turnaround spot revealed Coles’ cabin, built with logs and caulking. If we had continued on this trail, it would have intersected with the Isabella Trail. The trail’s namesake, Colonel Bob Groom (1824-1899), surveyed the townsite of Prescott and served in the 1st Arizona Territorial Legislature.

Salida Loop Trail Sunday, Oct 8 2017 

Lynx Lake Reflection

Lynx Lake Reflection

Our fifth “Take a Hike!” was named “Salida Loop,” but we actually chose the shorter loop which involved the Stretch Pebble Loop Trail#443, Homestead Trail #305, and Highlands Trail #442. The trailhead is at an elevation of 5,580 feet with a low point at 5,410 feet and a high point at 5,650 feet. We passed a new bench in memory of Katie Leigh Rafters with the phrase “All you need is Love.” Some trees are changing color. Because this shorter loop trail was only 1.5 miles, we extended our hike by visiting the nearby Lynx Lake. We learned that the dam for this 53-acre lake was constructed in 1963. Lots of people were enjoying this beautiful Fall day by boating on the lake. There were some nice reflections of trees in the water. We stopped by the Lynx Lake Cafe for a German inspired lunch.

Phoenix Zoo: September 2017 Sunday, Oct 1 2017 

Pink-backed Pelican

Pink-backed Pelican

During our Phoenix Zoo visit yesterday, the temperatures were warm and the animals less active. Construction projects also meant some animals were off exhibit. We learned that two of the three elephants were rescued from a circus. Because all three are female in this matriarchal species and there is tension between who is the leader, only one elephant is exhibited at a time. The Zoo is expanding their exhibit area so that each of them can have more outdoors time in their own space. A pink-backed pelican posed. We don’t remember seeing in previous years all the algae that is present now. Later we watched the playful gibbons cavort on high placed ropes and bounce on a shade canvas. A Galapagos tortoise cooled in its pool. Among the visiting humans, strollers dominated the walkways.