December 31, 2015, Prescott- “You need to step on solid rock!” So advised an eight-year-old girl, to her grandparents, and anyone else who was listening, as several of us began descending Lookout Mountain, a couple of days ago.
From 1982 until 2014, this day was important to me primarily as my in-laws’ wedding anniversary. Pop went to his eternity in May of last year, so now New Year’s Eve is, to me, what it is for everyone else: A turning of the page.
Here are a couple of photos of five of my favourite people. Three others could have been included, but begged off, when we gathered at my brother’s house, last Sunday. Each of us is unique, and while that has caused one among us to feel a fair amount of discomfort, it remains how things are. Being with those who love me is a great passion.
Following are some scenes of Lookout Mountain, in Phoenix’s North Mountain Preserve. Hiking remains one of my other great passions. I took in Lookout, and Shaw Butte, on Tuesday, after flying back to AZ. The two are moderate hikes, and not striking, scenery-wise, but they do allow some fine views from the top.
There were several people at each location, including the girl who remarked about solid rock. Here are some of the other views I found, on top of Lookout Mountain.
The lower right shot is of the West Peak, a boulder-strewn outcropping, where one of the men in the group climbed up and sought solitude. I kept on going down, and drove over to Shaw Butte, the other peak in the North Mountain Preserve that I had not yet visited.
Shaw is just north of North Mountain, which Aram and I hiked a few years ago. This time around, I meandered a bit, checking out a box canyon just to the west of Shaw Butte’s main trail. Going up the side of the canyon was relatively easy. The communications towers on the summit are a constant point of reference.
So, my year ends, on narrow, but still solid rock. Things will get better in 2016, as long as I make them so.