McDowell Sonoran Preserve The Southern section of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (MSP) trailhead Lost Dog Wash was packed with people on a Thursday morning in November. The desert had finally cooled and Covid mania was waning in Scottsdale. People wanted to be outside, doing something, and having fun. (See previous post about the MSP) Did … Continue reading McDowell Sonoran Preserve Day 2
Scottsdale, Arizona’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve (MSP) is a wonderful way to enjoy the desert landscape and hike safely. It is the largest urban preserve in America. All trailheads are easily accessible, have a wonderful shelter, ample parking, maps, and bathrooms. They open at 6:17 am? Not 6:30 am? And close at dark. Perhaps that is … Continue reading Urban Desert Hiking
Our final Sedona Vortex search took me back to Boynton Canyon for a supposedly quick hike. I had been there in 2019 on the same path visiting the same tree. I know the way to go. For sure. Wrong turns happen and I headed off through the brush on another path. After about ten minutes, … Continue reading Resolute Family Vortex Seekers
A road trip to Payson, AZ, “up in the mountains” and east of Sedona a couple of hours took several unexpected detours in November. The town itself was not very big, but is a crossroad for agriculture and ranching in the area. The new Dutch Brothers coffee shop in town was busy even in Covid … Continue reading Winding Sedona Side Trip
Cathedral Rock can be approached from both the Red Rocks State Park or from the other side of this monolith off the Back O’ Beyond road between Sedona and Village at Oak Creek. It is considered one of the highest energy vortex places and therefore, one of the busiest. Near the Chapel of the Holy Cross … Continue reading Cathedral Crazy Covid Climb
….the promise of a new dawn.” Ralph Waldo Emerson What is it about the magic of sunsets? People all over the world remember particular sunsets they have witnessed. The colors, clouds, changing horizon view, and composition of earth and rocks reflecting off of the declining sunlight are charmed. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to … Continue reading “Every Sunset brings…
Because of my husband’s injury and being in a boot, we were restricted for a couple of days to drives and short walks. We headed through the country southwest of Sedona to the towns of Jerome, Clarkdale and the Tuzigoot national monument. The most important thing we discovered was flavored Ginger Beer that was found only … Continue reading Contemplate Copper Conduction
Amazing Tree Colors. Inviting running Water. Shining Bright Sun. Temperature Perfect. Clear Nature Smell. Smooth Stacked Rocks and Even Trails. All our senses were delighted by a hike to Red Rock Crossing where Oak Creek flows outside of Sedona, AZ. This is a delightful space to visit in a state park outside of town about … Continue reading Colorful Fall Vortex
The Holy Cross Chapel (Location: 3190 West State Route 89A, between Village at Oak Creek and Sedona Arizona) is a place of spiritual reflective beauty. Open free to the public with a gift of silence, it is teeming with visitors in this time of Covid. It is always an opportunity to sit quietly and reflect on our … Continue reading Art Visits Sedona
Bell Rock is a butte near Village of Oak Creek south of Sedona and is known by its distinctive bell shape. It is also the location of an energy vortex. We headed to the area on the east side known for its energy and hoped to penetrate my husband’s injured ankle from the day before, … Continue reading Views from Bell Rock – Post Accident Day 2
A week hiking in Sedona! What could go wrong in this lifelong dream? My husband slipped, twisting his ankle on our first walk to Bell Rock. He was admiring the magnificent scenery and stepped off pavement IN THE PARKING LOT. He knew it was hurt, but wanted to continue the 3-mile hike we had planned. … Continue reading Super Sedona Accident Day 1
The Grand Canyon National Park celebrated its centennial, 1919-2019. Last time I was there was in 1999 to celebrate the New Millennium with my family. Peaceful beauty and amazing views, without tons of people are my memories. We arrived at the Grand Canyon ready with the masks and cleanser after a night in Flagstaff and … Continue reading GC Pandemic Majesty
Petrified Forest National Park lies north and south of Interstate 40 between Flagstaff, Arizona and Gallup, New Mexico. Even during the time of Covid in 2020, the Painted Desert Visitor Center was sort of open— and not open. They were limiting visitors into the center, the theater was closed, but shopping was available. I did … Continue reading Magic Color Revealed
The Rabbit Ears Pass straddles the Continental Divide in Northern Colorado and is a source of recreational activity areas of all kinds. Rabbit Ears Pass area is outside of Steamboat Springs on Highway US 40. It covers 56 square miles and is an important transcontinental road started in 1911 and completed in 1917 and is being … Continue reading Rabbit Ears Challenge
Whether you are new to an area or a native, an experienced or novice hiker, one of the best ways to get to know people and your surroundings is to hike. You may never put on hiking boots, but people like to walk, even if it is around their neighborhood. There are so many trails, … Continue reading Goal: 500 Miles in 5 Months
I am not being lazy – I have run out of words for the beauty of this area of Colorado called Steamboat Springs. It is a lasting memory and I want to return there again and again to such magnificent nature. Hopefully, the fires will be out next year, and the smoke will not ruin … Continue reading Yampa River Garden
Stagecoach State Park is located in the Yampa Valley about 15 miles from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It has a large reservoir – over 800 acres for water sports with hiking trails around the perimeter of the lake. The buildings were all closed due to the Covid pandemic. Little did we know, there was history here … Continue reading Pandemic Disappointment – Again
Pearl Lake State Park is the destination for a beautiful fall hike in northern Colorado – gorgeous lake and reflections of fall all around us. It is very close to Steamboat Lake and can be hiked and visited the same day. A smaller body of water but enough if you have a kayak or canoe … Continue reading Pearl Perfection
Steamboat Lake State Park is about one and half hours north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It is a sizable lake and there were a few people boating, kayaking, and one lady napping on her paddleboard. The summer cabins were closed, a skeleton crew were at the visitors centers, and Covid had limited the people to the … Continue reading Survival of Beauty
Fish Creek Falls – what a name. I do not see how any fish would survive the falls or the rapidly flowing creek. It was cool and dark in the shadows of the mountain walls. It is 165 foot falls which is big in Colorado. This walk is “one of the most popular” in Steamboat Springs, … Continue reading Fish Creek?
Hark! the herald angels sing:“Glory to the newborn King!Peace on earth and mercy mildGod and sinners reconciled”Joyful, all ye nations riseJoin the triumph of the skiesWith angelic hosts proclaim:“Christ is born in Bethlehem”Hark! the herald angels sing:“Glory to the newborn King!” Christ by highest Heav’n adoredChrist the everlasting Lord!Late in time behold Him comeOffspring of … Continue reading Christmas Story
St. Ignace, Michigan is one area the tourist ferries depart to Mackinac Island for the day-trippers. We stayed there one night and walked the shoreline of Lake Huron and ate an amazing meal after driving through the Upper Peninsula in rain for 8 hours. We boarded the ferry at 8:30 am with Covid restrictions enforced. … Continue reading Island Fascination
I always heard about “Beautiful Door County” in upper Wisconsin when I lived in Chicago in the late 2000s. I never made it there until the Covid summer of 2020. We drove through the rural country through Wisconsin from northern Bayfield to Green Bay, WI and back up the “thumb” of Door County. How do … Continue reading Wisconsin Fish Boil
The Midwest hiking Blogger I follow suggested the destination of Bayfield, Wisconsin. What a beautiful small town on the shore of Lake Superior! Bed and Breakfasts, stores, churches all hugged the protected bay. Covid precautions were strongly encouraged in this remote town – masks, sanitizer everywhere, dining outside, and social distancing. We decided to visit … Continue reading Why do they do that?
How well do you read maps? Do you know how to navigate without any GPS, Satellite or Internet service? This skill of map reading and navigation was vital in upper Wisconsin. I had forgotten the big atlas and had only a small map of the individual 50 states. The WiFi or Internet service was spotty, our … Continue reading Fear of Maps
“Always increasing illnesses, husband and his family issues, and operating a business for a few months had taken its toll. I was constantly sick with something. Head cold. Herpes. Pain in neck area. Back issues. Breathing issues. I was using essential oils to keep going. And then one night, I could not sleep. Sitting on … Continue reading My Remarkable Journey
Upper Minnesota wilderness gave us the opportunity to kayak and canoe in the Boundary Waters near Canada. Hiking trails were not as easily available as the water – so we switched to upper body exercise for two days. The temperature was in the 80s – perfect for watersports. Another Midwest Hiker Blogger had mentioned the … Continue reading WARNING to WARNING
Hiking. Ten Minutes from Home. Sometimes the magic delights you right where you are. I am trying to look for those places. Daily. What places delight your visual senses in your neighborhood? Riding Horses. Thirty Minutes from Home. Celebrating the unusually warm October in Colorado Springs, we rode horses through the yellow woods. Where can … Continue reading Local Delights
The Presidential election of 2020 is over. Hopefully. We will survive with battered bruises as a country. The division between rural and urban will be seen in the voting statistics for sure. When we traveled this summer, we stayed in rural areas throughout the states we visited. There was a definite bias in political signs … Continue reading Look for Green
In America, we normally do not hike on private property. The North Country Trail goes from Vermont to North Dakota and passes through many private fields. There are gates to be opened AND closed and small waterways. In August, the temperature soared and the bugs and humidity were constant companions. In Switzerland, where I learned … Continue reading Land Air Water Animals
Throughout this summer I was losing a friend to cancer. She and I were neighbors, spiritual sisters, cancer survivors, and hiking buddies. Her illnesses slowed her hiking over the last couple years, but she never stopped hiking and walking until she could no longer breathe from her lung metastasis. It is hard to not see … Continue reading Losing Her
The hardest thing in my hiking as I age is change. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV My desire to hike long distances above four … Continue reading Sixty Hiking
What lessons have I learned from three weeks on American roads? Do not be afraid. We are adaptable to disruption in our lives. We are informed. We traveled over 5000 miles, visited all but one of the Great Lakes, drove through 17 states in 21 days (6 days in New York with family). Hiked in … Continue reading Road Trip Revelations
Road trips are not my favorite way to travel.
East of Glenwood Springs, Colorado up in the Glenwood Canyon lies a rest stop off of I 70. It presents the Best of Colorado: Raging Colorado River, Grizzly Creek feeding into the River through the valley, boulders, rock path, crashed trees and those cerulean blue skies. And clean restrooms. It is also the place of my old … Continue reading Perfect Perfection Destroyed
Where did these seashells come from on the side of a mountain path
We have to transition from training to enjoyment of hiking. I have decided my word for the pandemic is adaptable.
“Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky” Genesis 26:3-4a NIV “We worked early and late, from … Continue reading Car Camping
The black cow lowers its head and watches us carefully as it chews on the grass. In the distance it has seen the little white dog in the grass. The little white dog becomes intertwined with its genetic calling. A schipperke was bred to nip at the heels of horses along the canals in Belgium. Taz, our … Continue reading Cow Jumped over the Moon
Facebook groups are a marvelous way to find people whom like the same things you like and have great information. I found two groups this year: “Women who Hike Colorado” and “Colorado Springs Lady Hikers”. You have to be approved to be in the group, but I enjoy the posts, pictures and the hiking information very much. Some … Continue reading Speed Hiking
Everyone who visits Colorado Springs is bombarded with “Have you visited Garden of the Gods?” It is a park of towering red and white stones located on the west side of Colorado Springs. There are pictures of visitors to this area in the 1800s in wagons. This year in 2020, we have updated bathrooms (do you detect the … Continue reading Garden of the gods
Spruce Mountain can be seen from I 25 at the Greenland exit between Monument and Larkspur, Colorado. There is an old ranch house, an Open Space area (good in the winter for snowshoeing), set off the gravel road over a couple of old sets of railroad tracks. Spruce Mountain has a large parking area and porta-potties at … Continue reading Cloudy Spruce Mountain
Less than four miles should be easy. It should be a delightful day. We should have enough time before it gets too hot. The dog should be alright with a creek. There should be shade. We should have enough water – three 16 oz bottles. I should not burn as I have sunscreen on my face and arms. We should … Continue reading Sunstroke in Canyon
Check the weather. Take your hiking pack. Water. Treats, leash, bowel and waste bags for the dog. Look at the app and/or map to plan an unknown journey. Boots. Walking Stick. Camera/Phone. We are prepared for an early morning 4 mile hike in town on a new trail in Palmer Park. Or so I thought. Within 10 minutes of climbing on the north side … Continue reading Unexpected Change
Seven Bridges Trail in Colorado Springs is located high up in Cheyenne Canyon, and represents ‘perfection and completion’ to me. Colorado perfection. Red Rocks. Green Pine trees. Lime green Aspens. Blue Columbine flowers. Flowing Streams. No bugs. Cold, Clear Snow Melt. Rocks and huge boulders. Cerulean Blue Sky. Cool temperatures in the morning and hot afternoon. Moderate hiking difficulty for 3.7 miles climbing … Continue reading Perfect and Complete Trail
Trees. A short drive north of Colorado Springs is the area called Black Forest. From the air, the trees are so thick the area appears black. But how did it get its name? This hike is called Section 16 in Black Forest. We have other areas called Section 16, so what does this name mean? The Romans first … Continue reading Four Miles of Trees
Go back in time. People in America are moving westward to explore and settle and find their fortunes. They use trains to navigate across country. It is the middle 1800s to the mid 1900s. There are few roads across America and fewer cars, and passenger travel was still a viable option. Then the world changed. The Freight lines replaced the passenger … Continue reading Deserted Land: Rails to Trails
In the age of Covid-19, we must be adaptable. We wanted to walk in one area in the mountains, but it was closed. We went to Mueller State Park, but there can be no dogs on the trail, so that did not work. We finally drove to a favorite hike – Dome Rock Wildlife Viewing. In my five times … Continue reading Country Walking with Social Distancing
Devastation. Seven years have passed since fire destroyed Black Forest Regional Park north of Colorado Springs in 2013. We came here to become engaged in a little outbuilding I loved. The shack was miraculously not destroyed in the fire, and has been renewed by an Eagle Scout. It is still a special place to us. The burned out … Continue reading Renewal Takes Time
Palmer Park is a 200-acre park in the middle of my city of Colorado Springs. It is popular with mountain bikers, hikers, and dog owners. There are miles of trails and I have hiked here frequently for 22 years. On a busy cloudy weekend, parking was unavailable close to one of my favorite trails, so we drove … Continue reading New Old Paths
Palmer Park is a favorite of people in Colorado Springs because of the off leash dog park, vistas, horse trails, rock climbing, and available access. With 27 miles of trails at 6,338 to 6,597 feet above sea level, there are easy, intermediate, hard, short (0.7 mile) and long (3.8 miles) trails to explore. (alltrails.com/parks/us/Colorado/palmer-park) But what … Continue reading Falling into Change
My name is Taz, the Schipperke, and I am the reason my people walk so much. My people and I do notice the incredible view and blue sky with the mountains in the distance, but only when I am not distracted. If I am on a mission, they have to watch out for me, and my … Continue reading Yelling! Fear! Come!
I am Taz the Wonderdog! I go with my people to the ‘Open Space’, after the Park visit, which is a big cleared dirt path in our neighborhood area with no sidewalks or homes when we want a long walk. We go together three miles – most of which I am illegally off leash. I have learned … Continue reading Friends, Strangers, Watch it!
My name is Taz, for ‘Tasmanian Devil’ and I am an active eleven-year-old handsome cream Schipperke. People talk to me and tell me I am handsome, but they do not know what kind of dog I am. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks – I learned to sit on command last year … Continue reading Sniff, Smell, Sniff, Smell
In Colorado in the USA, Spring is coming in April. We get teasers of sunshine mixed with five inches of snow within two days. With the statewide lockdown in our homes, the neighborhoods are flooded with families, kids and of course dogs. Our dog Taz, views the lock down very differently. There are two words in our house … Continue reading Walk! Yes! Twirl! Happy!
The Pikes Peak Greenway trail meanders up and down hills from the Edmondson Trailhead on Woodmen Road in Colorado Springs, north to the Air Force Academy. Beautiful homes are hidden along Monument Creek or in bluffs above the train tracks on the Pikes Peak Greenway trail. One home even had hoodoos in their backyard decoration. We … Continue reading Hailing Rattlesnakes
A trip to a favorite park is always uplifting for my spirit. We returned to Red Rocks Canyon Park in Colorado Springs in early March 2020, and started up Hogback Valley on a Friday morning. We knew there would be few people, but there was a new sign: Trail is MUDDY. Walk through the Mud. Do not … Continue reading Stand Firm in Mud
It was the first hike of 2020 up a mountain and I knew it would be hard. The snow on the trail was a mixture of ice, slush, hard pack and muddy. Life resembles this trail with a mixture of easy, fast, cautious, and not pleasant paths. It changed so quickly from one type of snow to … Continue reading Snowy Path Resembles Life