Red Mountain, in the Blue Hills

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October 13, 2020, Dewey, AZ-

There are two Red Mountains, within a day’s driving distance of Prescott. One of these lies just south of this little ranching and farming community, southeast of Prescott. The Blue Hills, in which this Red Mountain may be found, are a rugged subrange of foothills to the larger Bradshaw Mountain chain, which stretches from Prescott’s southern edge to Black Canyon City and Crown King, at the southern tip of Yavapai County.

I’ve hiked a fair amount in the Bradshaws, over the past nine years. The hike today was my first visit to the Blue Hills region. I got there a little past 11:30, finding only two other visitors in the parking area. They were on their way out, so I had the trail to myself. Off it was, to Red Mountain of the Blue Hills.

The trail was introduced recently by the estimable Phoenix hiking trails writer, Mare Czinar. I found the trail exactly as she described it-beginning on a stony Forest Service road, then entering a forest of Gambel’s Oak and Alligator Juniper. After about 1.5 miles, the trail loses the forest, entering into a sparsely-vegetated area of scattered lone juniper trees and prickly pear cacti.

Switchbacks and mildly steep inclines take up the final mile or so, landing one very close to the summit of Red Mountain, with a Forest Service gate, that begins a trail to Lynx Lake, some five miles westward. I will check out Prospectors Trail, from the Salida Gulch area, later this Fall. For now, here are some of the views I encountered.

This message has wider implications for all of us.

Blue Hills Trail System joint-use guide
Red Mountain, from the Trailhead
Sandstone Outcropping, near Trailhead
Sandstone and Juniper mix
The trail passes alongside Green Gulch, for about .9 mile. Green Gulch, Red Mountain, Blue Hills-wonder where indigo and violet come in.
Year ago, there were miners panning for gold, in Green Gulch and in Salida Gulch, further southwest. This foundation is what’s left of one such mining claim.
Smidgens of Fall colours could be glimpsed, here and there.
This gate took m eout of BLM land and onto Prescott National Forest.
This is close to the end of the thick forest and start of high desert scrub.
The climb out of Green Gulch, and up onto the ridges of Red Mountain, begins here.
This large sandstone outcropping lies slightly to the east of the final ridge of Red Mountain.
Here is the reddish sandstone that gives the peak its name.
Once through this gate, one goes down into Salida Gulch, and on to Lynx Lake and Highlands Nature Center- five miles, one way.
This is one of several heart-shaped rocks, which always affirm my journey.

Oh, The Whiteness!

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December 24, 2016, Prescott- I drove down to Phoenix, early this morning, for a day at Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference. It’s so -named because of being located in the Grand Canyon State, every year, around Christmas.  As many of you know, we Baha’is do not observe Christmas, per se, so this event gives a festive air for those,especially Persian refugees, who have no Christmas traditions of their own.  Nonetheless, we do wish Christians a Merry Christmas, and greatly appreciate the joy of this season.

A memorable presentation, this morning, dealt with the common patterns which are found throughout the Universe, and within living things.  Swirls, circles, triangles, hearts and star shapes are among the more common patterns.  It’s ever-fascinating to observe both these patterns and those which remind us of common daily features (Horsehead Nebula, for example), in many parts of our world, and in the Universe-at- large.

After a couple of other sessions, in the afternoon, and an evening of thoughtful musical presentations, about the need for finding common ground, while standing firm in our values, I realized that it would be essential for me to head back up here, as the snow, while not preventing my drive home, would be a nuisance for my neighbours in the complex, who are not physically able to shovel out.

I made it back up, in about 2 1/2 hours.  There were no road delays, but when I got to my street, I found it hadn’t been plowed yet. It took some pushing from three kind men, a bit of maneuvering back and forth and a helpful policeman, standing watch for any oncoming traffic, but I got my car parked in a temporary spot on the street.  My emergency permit lasts until 10 A.M., tomorrow, so I will need to get up early and shovel like crazy.

Here’s what we face, on our first white Christmas in years.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Merry Christmas, everyone!

 

Transitioning

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December 22, 2016, Prescott- 

My new supervisor came to call, this afternoon.  She informed us of some fundamental changes, aimed at further empowering our students.  I will have a freer hand, in both teaching our most vulnerable student, individually, and in working with the most advanced student, more on his own terms.

This is the thing about incremental change.  It is most effective when there is common ground, and ways are found to meet the needs of all.  That means there must be lack of greed, and a recognition that there is a place for the highest and the lowest, alike. One can’t denigrate the other.

I want to see this for the nation as a whole, and then the planet as an entity.  It broke my heart to see suffering in declining cities like Zanesville and Allentown, just as much as it did to view  the despair of people in Ferguson, MO, during my travels of the past summer. I care as much for those living on the edge in Appalachia and the Ozarks, as for my friends in Navajo, Hopi, Ute Mountain, Standing Rock and Pine Ridge.  Extend this to the west and center of Asia,to Rakhine, to the heart of Africa, the favelas and barrios of Latin America, to the camps and ghettos of Europe, and you get the picture.

Each of us can make the transition stronger.  We just have to be consistent, and united.