Clear As Mud


March 4, 2017, Camp Verde- One of the features of Arizona life, that escapes many visitors, is the seasonal vitality of our rivers.  After taking part in a Red Cross service activity, I headed to Clear Creek Day Use Area, which offers access to the West Clear Creek, as it heads southeast, towards its eventual confluence with the Verde River.  As you will see, the creek’s name, this time of year, is a misnomer.


There was a party of above 18 people, including two small children, preparing to raft West Clear, as I arrived for a short hike along its west bank.  All were well-suited up for the experience, and I wished them safe passage.  Below, are several things that awaited them.


Of course, there was plenty of open water, behind this particular tree; but you get the picture.


One of the attractions here, in calmer weather, is the jump-off point.


Some people just figure, in the dryness of September and October, that it’s no big deal to leave a memento of industrialism.  More’s the pity.


Once back on drier terrain, I made note of the footbridge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, way back in 1940.


There was still some energy left in me, so, despite it being the period of the Baha’i Fast, I took in a short segment of Copper Canyon Trail.  The last time, I walked the north segment, which leads to I-17.  This time, I headed southward and up a small mesa.  It is not an especially spectacular trail, but it’s nature and I practically had the place to myself.  An old cowboy, passing by, made note of my Red Cross t-shirt and remarked as how such charities are in debt, before going his way.  While that may have been true, at one point, I’m not so sure that our donors put up with such, anymore.


Anyway, here are a few scenes, which a couple of herds of cattle and I shared, along the trail.  There wasn’t much water in Copper Creek, but it was clear.


It wasn’t long, before I headed up the two switchbacks which led to the mesa top.  There are, actually, about five such mesas, rising up out of Copper Canyon.  The scene in the near distance, is Clear Creek Village, just south of Camp Verde.


It is possible for the discerning eye to see traffic, headed northbound, on I-17.


Despite the winter’s continued scenes of bareness, the promise of Spring is evident, in these wild dandelions.


So, there goes a very full day, spent with our beautiful eastern neighbour, the Verde Valley.

Hearts, Black History and Chief Executives


February 1, 2017, Prescott-

The Mini-Month is now upon us, with groundhogs galore waiting to be yanked out of the ground, tomorrow.  I know there will be many enlightening programs and articles about African-Americans, this month, but I think people should be fully honoured for their place in America’s story, and the stories of the world, EVERY month, and regardless of ethnicity.  Still, I’m glad the stories are getting out there.  Too many people still think Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, Irish-Americans, and even women, collectively, are making up, or exaggerating, the past,  because “things aren’t so bad for ________________ NOW!” We  have to know our history, and know it well, for the very reason that too many people see things on the surface, and have short memories.

The Italian martyr, Valentino, has become a symbol of unconditional love and thus a day devoted to love- and romance- has taken the English form of his name.  St. Valentine’s Day falls on a work day, Tuesday, this year.  I will be giving the same unconditional love to my students that I offer, every day.

The following weekend will be Presidents’ Day, ostensibly to honour two of our greatest Chief Executives:  Washington and Lincoln, and, by extension, those of our presidents who have not harmed our nation.  Who they are, remains a matter of intense debate.  I have my opinion, but will not get into that, here.

Aram will leave for South Korea, in about a week.  I will be at San Diego International Airport, to see him off.  Then, each of us will get on with our respective duties, and other aspects of our lives.  For him, there will be some familiar aspects, as he was born, and spent his first three years of life, in Jeju, and shore duty will be more of a routine, than sea duty.  For me, the regimen will continue at school, the American Legion honours World War II’s Four Chaplains, my work for the Baha’i Faith goes on, and new outdoor adventures will present themselves- Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains, the Verde Valley’s Limekiln Trail and, a slightly-delayed visit to Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park, in Yarnell.

It looks to be a fascinating 28 days.