Tony’s Trail

In addition to getting Delaney to join us for a swim in the lake, allowing every fish in same lake to remain unhooked, and completing a 1000 piece puzzle, one big accomplishment today involved taking a stroll down the road to a neighbor’s yard, where they have constructed an elaborate fitness trail. It stands as a memorial to their son, who had entered the Army but died shortly after in unrelated circumstances.


The trail is about 1/4 mile long and circles the perimeter of their property. It has 7ish stations where one can conduct various exercises. 

Intended exercise not as demonstrated.


It was hot. Our performance was sub-par. But the shade on the trail kept our spirits up between stations and provided a setting for contemplation.


Here was my favorite (informal) station:

Although we had low energy today, we all acknowledged the strength these people had to construct such a meaningful memorial and then share it with others as a place to come and improve oneself. Even if it’s only your heart muscle, this place really provides a workout.

Me2

When you’re 50 and going to a big venue concert, you’re smart enough to park in a lot away from the venue to avoid pre- and post-concert traffic. But that might necessitate walking a 1/2 mile, jumping a fence, scrambling down an embankment and playing frogger across the traffic you were aiming to avoid.  But it’s worth it.

Granite Mountain Hotshots

Last story from our little road trip: we drove south and west through Arizona from Grand Canyon, mostly on 2 lane roads. We were surprised by how pretty the scenery was, and a little annoyed that the phone maps routed us around a small town, Prescott. Lots of zigging and zagging that seemed unnecessary, but proved to be serendipitous.

As we were driving, but appropos of nothing, JJ mentioned a movie coming out next month called “Only The Brave” that he was knowledgeable about thanks to his recent “collateral duty.” It’s about a team of mountain wildfire fighters called the Granite Mountain Hotshots, 19 of whom were killed in 2013 while fighting a wildfire that threatened a community.

Not 20 minutes later we came upon the site of the “Granite Mountain Hotshots State Memorial.” I kid you not: we didn’t even know where the event had taken place, nor had we sought out the locale or even known there existed such a memorial! It is a roadside trailhead, leading 3+ miles up the mountain to the site where the 19 men died. Along the way are 19 markers with bios of each individual who died while defending Prescott, the hometown of many of them. The trailhead is manned by a state park ranger 8 hours a day. Other hotshot teams from all over the country come to hike the route and pay their respects, but anyone can make the trek. 

As some of us were in flip flops and all of us were ready to get home, we settled for this picture. We’ll be sure to see the movie next month, and hope you will too. 

Powell’s Trip, And Ours

Horseshoe Bend

When taking a trip to the Grand Canyon, I recommend the route we took, entirely inadvertently. We approached it from the north, and as I mentioned in Antelope Canyon, we discovered several sites between Zion NP and the Grand Canyon when a local woman gave us some guidance. Two others she ensured we pay attention to were the Glen Canyon Dam, where we visited a small museum and first learned about how Lake Powell came to be, and Horseshoe Bend, where the Colorado makes a crazy hairpin turn.

The dam creates Lake Powell, a huge reservoir (where incidentally I concluded a 3 week hiking/river rafting trip at the end of my high school senior year) that is essentially a stopped-up portion of the Colorado River. In 1869 John Wesley Powell, a one armed Civil War vet, led an expedition to chart the last remaining part of America that no one (no white person anyway) had ever explored. It was the last “white space” (no pun intended) of the country to be filled in on the map. It was a crazy adventure, traveling the river’s course and portaging wooden boats through its entirety for months, and it wasn’t pretty…well worth Googling.

Well now we can say it IS pretty; gorge-ous even. 

Our first sight of the GC from Desert View at sunset.

And, as Roger reminds me, people are part of the vistas.

A photographer at sunset.
Family and more.
Assessing the view.
Taking a couple’s picture.

Crowds on the rim.
James’s sunset shot.
Heading back to the hotel.


The variety of territory one can cover in a few days through our country is astounding. It was a blur, but it was grand!