Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part LXVI: Days of Earnestness

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November 22-26, 2017, across Arizona-

I cannot not serve others, even on holiday.  I am hard-wired to look for how best to relieve another’s pain and ennui, while finally having learned, thanks to my blessed departed wife, how to involve the other person in the solution to that suffering and ennui.

It comes to me, as to where I should go, on a given day, and who I should visit.  On Wednesday, with no prior schedule, I went out to Superior, to see my friends at Sun Flour Market.  I learned that my friend, whom I felt as if I’ve known forever, had left, to pursue other ventures.  I learned that my friend, who owns the enterprise, is facing a great personal challenge and that my unexpected visit, along with those of a few other friends, was most comforting.  No journey is ever wasted.

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, was spent with my best friend and several of her family members.  It’s always a blessing to be with this woman, and my favourite holiday was no exception.  One of the other men carved the turkey, but I got the best job- trimming all the meat off the carcass, after dinner.  That, to me, has always been the most satisfying task- guaranteeing that there is plenty of meat for many a meal to come.

Friday morning, I went down to Phoenix, and visited a long-time friend who is entering the vacation rental business.  Here is a photo of the house in question.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

If interested in a Phoenix getaway, check this one out: https://evolvevacationrental.com/387677.

After looking over the house and yard, I headed up to Cave Creek, lunch at Local Jonny’s and a couple of hours of hiking at Spur Cross Ranch Preserve.  I will have more to say, and show, about this lovely expanse, in a few posts from now, but here are a couple of scenes of Spur Cross Trail and its offshoots.

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Above is an oasis, built along Cottonwood Wash.

This is A’s stone ruin, which he built with his mom and grandma.

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Here is a Huhugam mano and metate, from the 11th Century.

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Spur Cross will see me again, soon.

Saturday morning found me up early and headed out the door by 6:30. A stop fro breakfast at Verde Cafe, Camp Verde, got me well-set for the rest of the drive to Native American Baha’i Institute, at Burntwater, on the Navajo Nation.  The occasion was the Light of Unity Art and Music Festival.  I bought a few things, and took several photos, mostly in low light.  The power was in the music and in the accompanying dance.  Here are a few scenes of the power that radiated outward.  Diversio,  The Treasure Crew and the venerable Benally family laid down that power.

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There is unstoppable power in unity.  I haven’t been up to visit the Dineh as often as I might.  My role is increasingly cast in Prescott and vicinity, but as another friend remarked, this afternoon, distance to a friend’s house is ever small.  I will support these great efforts as best I can.

Sunday, I happened over to my best friend’s sister’s house, and ordered a Christmas gift, as she is a rep for a nationally-known cosmetics firm.  This took a couple of hours, well-spent, discussing a variety of subjects, around the display table.

Now, it’s back to work and a satisfying routine.  When I wake up, I will be 67, and a whole new set of expectations come with that seemingly artificial renewal.

 

Jewel of The Creek

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November 4, 2017, Cave Creek-

I was due for another visit to SunFlour, today, but the notice was clear:  Closed for Vacation.  I wish the ladies a special, relaxing time-off.  Today is Wild West Day, in Cave Creek, and there is much that’s joyful about a visit to Local Jonny’s, especially in the evening, so off I went.

Looking for a trail, to get back in the groove, I followed Spur Cross Road, noticing a trail that hugged the road for about 1/2 mile, before veering off towards the mountains to the north of town.  I wasn’t going to take on a lengthy route, so on towards Spur Cross Ranch it was.

About 1/4 mile shy of the Ranch, I came upon Jewel of the Creek Preserve.  This 26-acre unit is owned by Desert Foothills Land Trust, which is dedicated to augmenting the conservation efforts of the State of Arizona and Maricopa County.

Dragonfly Loop turned out to be perfect, for what I wanted to accomplish.  I chose to stick with the eastern half of the Loop, and thus got some good vibes from the dry Cave Creek.  The trailhead is here, and I encountered a family of four, who were having a professional photo shoot, not far from here.

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The mountains to the west are part of Cave Creek Regional Park, which also has Go John Trail, a moderate trail that introduced me to Cave Creek, two years ago.

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The area that is drained by Cave Creek features Gray Basalt steps and short walls.

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Here, the Dragonfly has a mild ascent, before going back down to Cave Creek, crossing the dry wash.  It’s not always so, but Aug-tober saw zero rainfall.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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Swallows and other desert-nesting songbirds have left for the season.  They left a couple of last season’s domiciles behind.

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After passing by another hiker, who was reading passages from the Bible, I came upon this little cave, in the creek bed wall. No animal seemed to be using it as a den, but I didn’t examine the facility too closely.

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An abode of a different sort beckoned, just beyond the trailhead.   I believe this is the old Spur Cross Ranch House, now a caretaker’s residence.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I will be back, over the next several months, to further explore the Preserves and Regional Park, as well as to give Local Jonny’s more business.  The slaw sliders, accompanied by mellow guitar tunes, were a perfect little ending to this exemplary Fall outing.

The Road to 65, Mile 55: Challenges

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January 22, 2015, Prescott- I got a call at 5:38 AM, got out of bed, fumbled with the phone, hit the wrong button, and ended up with no work today.  It always goes the way it is supposed to go, though.  While I won’t earn money from today’s activities, I did reassure a transient friend that he has allies in this community, got him where he needed to go, and spent some time with a friend in Prescott Valley, at a restaurant on the north side of the sprawling town.  The place is called The Chalk Board.  It’s a breakfast and lunch spot and has an inventive, well-prepared menu- like Soldi, here on the hilltop.  Several of us will probably gather there on Saturday morning, for breakfast.  I want to look for the trailhead where I left off of the Black Canyon Trail, last Spring, so a hearty breakfast, en route, will be a great start.

Slow days like this are a good time to look at challenges that lie ahead.  So, between now and the end of May, I have these:

Work- The full-time job will happen, if it’s meant to, by the end of February.  Otherwise, I will show up at every charter school in Prescott and Chino Valley, give them each a copy of my sub certificate, focus on building my Essential Oils business (which I’ll do, anyway) and sock money away.

Service- I am with the Red Cross as a volunteer, regardless.  American Legion? My continuing there, past May, will depend on the political climate.  Right now, it looks iffy.  Prescott Family Shelter is on my volunteer radar screen, also, unless I get full-time work.

Recreation and Travel- Colorado, next weekend, is my most immediate focus- for a  Winter Summit.  Texas, the Gulf Coast and central Florida follow, from Feb. 6-17.  My MIL has a birthday during that time, in Leesburg.  Weekend hikes will be many, from mid-February until late May:  Continuing down the Black Canyon, McDowell Mountains’ Pemberton Trail(Scottsdale), Spur Cross Ranch (Cave Creek),Kendrick Peak (west of Flagstaff), Tucson’s Sahuaro National Park-West Unit, a few more places in Sedona and the rest of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park’s trails.  Then, there are the hikes I will no doubt take, on the spur of the moment.

Faith- Baha’i, like random acts of service, makes up the built-in cabinets and shelving of my Life House.  My growth, and that of the community, will continue in tandem with all of the above.

These may seem like trifling challenges, and they are.  Then again, I’m autistic.  Everything is a challenge.