A very merry un…


Dear reader,

Sometimes in this craziness that we call life, we need to stop and enjoy whatever moment we are currently in.  You’ve been on this month long journey with me for 25 days now, and I would like to thank you for joining – and continuing – with me.  So, as a way to celebrate, I’ve decided to join Mr. Lewis Carroll and the Mad Hatter and wish you a “VERY, MERRY UNBIRTHDAY”!!


First some lovely tea…


Then some yummy cake…


Have an awesome Thursday!  😉


Wealthy Wednesday = Treasure!


I wish I could say I found some treasure over the long weekend – believe me when I say I could REALLY. USE. IT!!!  Unfortunately for me, the trail I hiked at the Lost Dutchman State Park did not net me any gold.  😦

treasure loop


The Lost Dutchman State Park is located at the base of the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, Arizona.  You might recognize the middle picture from old Western movies – the Superstitions were featured in a LOT of them back in the 1940s and 50s! Treasure Loop trail is a 2.4 mile hike, and described as a moderate trail.  The elevation changed 500 feet from the base of the trail to the top, and while neither my son nor I had problems with the change in elevation, my 73 year old mother did.  She got about half way, then decided to head back down.  Fortunately there are several places on this trail where benches are placed for hikers to sit and either rest, or admire the views.  🙂


An interesting tidbit…the entire far east valley of the sun is actually a floodplain (which you can from the pictures after having reached the summit and coming back down).  This is the Sonoran Desert – floods are very few and far between!  However, should the time come when the rains come “tumbling down” a whole lot of people are going to be in for an unpleasant surprise!  I love the desert, but even the desert is no match for water.



Happy trails to you!  😉

Healthy Tuesday, and that means the letter S!


It’s S Day – and I went on a 5.5 mile hike over the weekend on Spillway and Signal Wash trails! Hopefully this means my motivation is back! 🙂

The thing about both of these trails is that you actually have to hike Blevins Trail to get to Spillway Trail, and then you can hike Spillway to Signal Wash trail. But to get back to your vehicle, you’ll have to hike about half a mile on Meridian Trail to get to Amigo Wash trail to get to Blevins Trail to get back to the parking lot! That’s how it goes from being a 1.7 mile hike to a 5.5 mile hike! 🙂 It’s a pretty easy hike – the map lists them all as “easy”, and my seventy-two year mother was able to do it yesterday. But remember – watch out for snakes this time of year, and take LOTS OF WATER!!!

Hope you enjoy the pictures and have a great Tuesday. 😀

amigo 2

My 73 year old mother in the blue shirt hiking with me. 🙂


eagle claw cactus 1

Ready? Set….R!


Today is brought to you by the letter R. I know that today’s post will be posted, since I’m using my desktop computer and not my laptop. Unfortunately, dear reader, I have discovered that my laptop is having issues. ~sigh~

ANYWAY…let’s talk rattlers since it’s R day! No, I’m not talking about rattles that babies play with, or rattle sounds that your vehicle may make while you’re driving. I’m talking about this kind of rattle…

Arizona Black Rattlesnake, Photographer: Erika Nowak, USGS

The last count I heard for the number of people being bitten by rattlers over the Easter weekend is five. Why? The U.S. tradition of hiding Easter eggs and having others (usually children) go find them.

Arizona is home to 13 different species of rattlesnakes – the most of any state in the U.S. They can live anywhere, and often live right along side us here in the Valley of the Sun. We’re fortunate that the valley has great weather most of the time, and there are lots of places to go hiking that are close to us. BUT that also means we have to share with these guys! The most dangerous of the 13 species here in the Sonoran Desert is the Mojave Rattlesnake.


We can live with these creatures – we just have to remember to NOT put things (like eggs, fingers, hands, etc.) in places a snake might like to take a nap in. Always pay attention to where you’re walking; both in front of you and along the sides. Always walk without headphones on, and stay off the cell phone so you can hear the rattle, rattle, rattle of their tails. And…if you should see one of our rattlers, back away slowly and go a different way. Remember – snakes are more scared of humans than we are of them!

Happy hiking! 🙂

Noh, nooh, noooh…..Noso Time!

Good morning dear readers! Today is the letter N day, and to get us in the mood to be healthy, I decided to show you some lovely pictures of the Noso Trail at Usery Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona. Come along with me and let’s go on a virtual hike! 😀






And if we look to the east, we’ll see…
The Superstition Mountains!

Well, dear reader, are you tired yet? LOL

It’s a M kinda day…


Ladies and Gentlemen….we have M!  🙂

Today is a day full of allergies, disappointment, and much needed soul searching.  Ever have one of those kinda days?  It’s a maybe kinda day…maybe my allergies won’t go psycho again.  Maybe I can teach the math lesson better tomorrow so my ENTIRE class gets it.  Maybe it’s time to move on…  You know, just a maybe kinda day.

I always find hiking (or turtle jogging/walking) helps me to think clearer.  There’s just something about getting outside and moving around that fires off my little grey cells.  So I shall leave you with some lovely views taken from different trails I’ve hiked at Usery Mountain Park – trails that begin with the letter M!  🙂


merkle 4

merkle 3


J day is here, dear readers, and we’re going to talk about….Javelinas!


Javelinas can be found in the southwestern area of the United States, and throughout Central and South America.  They usually measure between 3- 4.3 ft. in length, and a full-grown adult will usually weighs between 44 to 88 lbs. They’re social animals, and usually travel in herds.  Javelinas also STINK, which is the reason they have the nickname of “skunk pig”.  The stench is due to scent glands they use to mark their territory, as well as other members of their herds.  Why do they mark other members of their herd?  Because javelinas have really bad eyesight!

Speaking of territory, these critters are very territorial, and aggressive.  They aren’t able to be domesticated, and will attack humans if you get too close to their herds (especially if they have babies with them).  I’ve never seen them in the wild, but some of my friends have and they’ve been chased into their homes by these little members of the peccary family



Javelinas are omnivores, and while their food of choice consists of roots, grass, seeds, and cacti—especially prickly pear cacti, they will eat small animals.  So if you go hiking with your pet in the areas where you know there are javelina herds, make sure you keep your pet on a leash and an eye out for javelinas!

Happy trails!  🙂




I – is for Inca (Dove, that is!)


Today’s post is short and sweet – I haven’t found a trail close by that begins with the letter “I”, and there aren’t a lot of plants or animals whose name begins with the letter “I” either.  I was able to find one creature for us, so without further ado…

Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet the Inca Dove.250px-IncaDove


The Inca Dove lives in the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and Costa Rica. I couldn’t find out why the dove was named after the Inca Empire since it doesn’t live in any of the lands that the Inca Empire covered.

Inca Doves range from 6.5–9.1 inches long, and weigh between 1.1–2.0 oz. They are a slender bird, with a body covered in gray-brown feathers.  I’ve seen a few of these doves around, but we seem to have more Mourning doves where I live than these little ones.  I always love to see the many different species of wildlife we have here in the northern Sonoran desert!

Happy trails dear reader!  🙂


TODAY is letter H day!


H is for healthy, h is for hiking, and h is for Hayden Butte – which is where I hiked yesterday afternoon.  Hayden Butte (also known as “A” Mountain) is located in Tempe, Arizona.  It’s a nice hike when you’re looking for some outdoor exercise that won’t take too long.  What’s REALLY great are the views:  from Native American petroglyphs thousands of years old to being able to look out over the Valley of the Sun.  It’s not free, but at $2.00 for an hour, it’s not that bad either.

H is also for HELL – which is what wordpress has been giving me for the past TWO DAYS!!!!  I’ve got some cool pics to share with you, but wordpress is saying NO, NO, NO and my pics won’t post.  Unfortunately dear reader I am forced to simply publish this post and hope to get the pictures up tomorrow or Friday.

Please accept my apologies – apparently the internet is not my friend at the moment!  XP




It’s a G day, not a H day…

G 2014

So…I’m typing this post on my laptop at the library of Mesa Community College.  I was very proud of myself, because I had the post all planned out, even went and hiked the butte and took pictures to include in the post.  It wasn’t until I began to actually type the post when I realized…Tuesday is supposed to be a G day, not a H day!

Well, I am completely flummoxed right now, and my mind is struggling with trying to come up with anything that begins with the letter G.  It shouldn’t be this difficult – I’m a writer, and a teacher for pete’s sake!  I deal with words all day (and sometimes all night) long.  But the letter G escapes me.  The only things I can come up with are adjectives, and I haven’t done anything lately that I think would warrant the use of “grand”, “glorious”, or “gigantic”.

So, dear reader, what about you?  What comes to your mind for the letter G?  Done anything lately that was “grand”, “glorious”, or “gigantic”?  🙂




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