Crescendo

4

July 4, 2021- The fireworks came back tonight, with a vengeance! The program, which last year almost seemed as if the PYROTECHNICS had Covid19, was full on this evening, with the widest variety of geometric figures I’ve seen in many a year. It is a wondrous thing that fractals have been mainstream high school fare, for nearly twenty-five years, That realm has thoroughly enriched the overall graphic experience- and nowhere more so than with fireworks displays.

The venue I use, an overlook just north of the Prescott Resort, was as packed as ever. There were close to 150 people, scattered around the “overflow parking area”, in a joyous, impromptu party atmosphere-with a fair amount of physical distancing still being practiced. The display organizers, three miles away at Watson Lake, did not let us down. Where there was a truncated program last year, with a muted finale, the present offering was a full 30 minutes-with two finales. It was, very much, what so many of us needed.

The person to my right happened to be a satisfied patient of the same dermatology group which will perform the corrective surgery on me, in four weeks’ time. He showed scant signs of having been a carcinoma patient. This is a confirmation that I am in good hands.

The group sitting behind me and to my left was as entertaining as the display-with raucous commentary from some and the enthusiasm of a three-year-old, seeing her first full fireworks display. With the distance from the staging area eliminating the sound, it is conceivable that people could have brought their dogs here. Speaking of which, I am very grateful to those who spend their Fourth of July night at the local Animal Shelter, comforting the dogs and putting muffling blankets over their ears. This has become a more widespread practice in Humane Societies across the country.

The day started with a brief, but crucial, act of assistance to a friend who was having a special event. It involved helping with moving furniture around, and was much appreciated. Just before that, I had another learning experience-that it is not sufficient to pay attention to cars going every which way, in gas station parking lots. There are also pedestrians, not paying attention, who think nothing of walking up to a vehicle and banging on the window, demanding that the driver get out of THEIR way. In this morning’s instance, I simply sat where I was and let him conclude it was best to go around.

I had a full day’s worth of being the beneficiary of our nation’s work-in-progress social experiment. It feels like we will make it through, if we can be mindful and appreciative of the full range of responsible thought and civic action.

Happy Independence Day, to all who call the United States home. Let the crescendo of what it means to be free in mind and spirit ring out for all to hear.

Secret Cove

2

March 16, 2021- My hiking buddy and I got up onto the rocks above one of Watson Lake’s most beautiful sections. As she is not quite up to clambering around the more difficult rock sections as yet, we turned back. Another time will suffice; Secret Cove is not going anywhere.

There are a myriad trails through the Glacial Age’s gift to Prescott: Granite Dells. The hoodoos and small granite mounds that dominate the northeast corner of this town have been a draw for residents and visitors alike, since the mid-Nineteenth Century. The dells form an arc, rising on the north side of Watson Lake and swinging west, to its fellow reservoir, Willow Lake (that sector being called Willow Dells), the area is a hodgepodge of City Park and private residences that have, for the most part, been built in a manner that respects the wilderness.

We walked mostly along a converted rail bed, known here as Peavine Trail. Its wide, flat mien allows bicyclists, equestrians and disabled people equal space, with hikers free to go off on any one of a dozen trails, mostly leading to overlooks of the lake.

Below, is an old photo of Secret Cove, from a hike I took there in November, 2011. The tranquility of the place doesn’t change, and even being shy of the cove itself, we felt a deep serenity.

There will be several visits to this hidden gem, in the near future-especially as the weather gets mild again.

Breaking The Ice

4

January 2, 2020-

20200102_131335[1]

In the course of introducing Yunhee to three of Prescott’s lakes, on the last day before her husband, my son, returns to civilian life, we came upon the phenomenon of thin ice, covering the less exposed parts of Granite Basin and Watson Lakes.  In the latter location, few of the area’s signature birds were around, having made the wise choice to visit southern Mexico for a few months.  Instead, the eyes were drawn to an ice dam, which served to slow the flow of water into the Watson Woods Riparian Area, also known as “The Swamp”.

It got me to thinking about the emotional and psychological ice dams, which slow and sometimes stop our interactions.  I have learned that these are purely defense mechanisms- chill vibes, acting like one is busy, and sheer emotional absence.  When one is offended by something, trying to figure out life or is just plain overwhelmed, offering an icy reception to those around self is a sometimes rationalized pattern of behaviour. How well it serves the purpose has to be balanced with what happens next,  or down the road.  Consider that an overabundance of ice can move, glacier-like, towards the shores of a nearby community.  Likewise, so can a glacial pattern of behaviour serve to overwhelm one’s social circle and create a different sort of isolation than that which a person is trying to arrange.

I am fortunate in my Tribe, both  birth family and wider circle.  A few go through bouts of isolation, and they let me know when I’m welcome again.  Most, like anyone else, are following their life plans.  I am doing the same, and have spent the past few days ruminating, and getting messages, as to how this year will best play out.  More on that, in the next post, but essentially I see that those closest to me here, who are like younger siblings, do not need to have me hovering close by-and that they seem to prefer my following my own life plan.  To alter that, on their behalf, short of an emergency, would mean they would, in turn, be altering their life plan for my benefit.

There is more than one kind of ice dam.

The Road to 65, Mile 343: Brief Return

8

November 6, 2015, Prescott- Aram spent two days here, and we got all of his possessions packed and loaded for his return to San Diego.  He is standing on his own, in a full-fledged way. I could not be prouder of the powerful, clear-headed, forthright man he has become.  There are times when I wish I could stand as tall, figuratively, but I know it has come hard for him.

We ended his time here with an hour or so hiking in the Granite Dells, north of Watson Lake.  This is an exquisite side trail to Prescott Circle, and one of which I could never tire.

Here are a few scenes.

Granite Dells, north of Watson Lake

The above is the first sight of the Dells, along the Flume Trail, a vigourous hike, which takes the high road to Watson Dam.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

                   The sad part is, there is no flow to Granite Creek here, and it’s algae ridden.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

                                      I was able to make the trail, without a walking stick.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We spotted a leak in the feeder pipe, attached to the dam.  At least the structure itself is not leaking.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The next order of business was to head for the overlook.  The Dells and Watson are a divine match.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

                                       I took a rest, among the boulders away from the trail, a bit.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

                          A lone butte, across the road from the trailhead, keeps watch on the Dells.

Our adventure ended around 3:30, then Aram headed back towards his place of maturity.  I tucked into a fine meal at the Legion, and enjoyed a drum circle with friends, later this evening.  It’s been a fantastic day.

The Road to 65, Mile 330: Prescott Circle Trail, Segment 8

10

October 24, 2015, Prescott- I spent a few hours walking the shortest segment of PC, from Willow Lake to Peavine Trail Head, alongside the north and west shores of Watson Lake.  This older and smaller of the twin reservoirs is bounded by  Granite Dells, to the north, Glassford Hill, to the east, and Granite Creek, to the south and west.

The first part of the segment follows Willow Lake Road, away from Willow Dells, to Highway 89, which I crossed, just north of a roundabout, when the near constant flow of traffic was abated, courtesy of traffic signals, some distance away, in either direction.  Highway 89 is a four-laner, and has crosswalks, so no overpass is needed.

I then came to Watson Lake Park, one of my favourites here.  The Dells make it an especially otherworldly place.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The trail took me away from the Dells, for a bit, along the west shore, where waterfowl were abundant.  Two Greater Sandhill Cranes were among the crowd.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

As you can see above, at first, the female was being rather coy.The riparian trail then went off into the marshy terrain near Granite Creek, which is rather paltry at present.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Upon coming to the rather mundane Peavine Trail Head, I resolved to return there and resume my hike, with segment 7.  Ambling back to Watson Lake, I spotted a lone kayaker.

The surreality of the Dells never gets old, so here we are again.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Next up:  The Peavine Trail Head to Highway 69. (First half of Segment 7).