Archive for the ‘Madera Canyon’ Tag

May The Spirit Of The Hiking Stick Be With You Always.   6 comments

Palisades Trail August 2013Monday Morning Milers Celebrate Don Fletcher’s (center) 89th Birthday — Images by kenne

In the spring of 2011 I began hiking with a group that called themselves the Monday Morning Milers (MMM). I first learned about the MMM from neighbor, Louise Glaysher, who invited me to hike with the group. After my first hike with MMM, I wrote in a blog posting April 13, 2011: “One of the things we love about living in Tucson is if you tire of the desert, within less than an hour you can be in the tree-line mountains. Madera Canyon, located about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Tucson, Arizona, makes a large dent in the northwest face of the Santa Rita Mountains.” 

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Images by kenne

The mountains surrounding Tucson provide many hiking trails for people who love the outdoors. Most in the MMM have been hiking together for many years and know well most trails in southern Arizona — they love hiking so much that some of the guys, now in their eighties, also hike on Friday’s. The elder of the MMM is Don Fletcher, who had his 89th birthday this past Sunday, so after this Monday’s hike on the Palisades Trail in the Santa Catalina mountains we had a surprise potluck luncheon at Middle Bear picnic area. Keeping this a surprise was not easy, since Don and some of the other guys often have lunch at Viv’s Cafe at the base of Catalina highway after hiking in the Catalinas. 

Don and the other octogenarians in the MMM set an admirable example to anyone who loves the outdoors and hiking. To see Don and the other octogenarians hiking, albeit at their pace, most with walking sticks not the more modern hiking poles, sets an example I hope to be doing in my 80’s. I’m already looking forward to posting on this blog our celebrating his 90th after a Monday morning hike.

Although only 15 of the MMM were able to make Monday’s birthday celebration, birthday wishes were passed on from those not able to attend.


Palisades Trail August 2013

May the spirit of the hiking stick be with you always, Don.

Capturing The Moment — Madera Canyon   2 comments

Madera Canyon  13162 blogMadera Canyon on the northwestern face of the Santa Rita Mountains in the Coronado National Forest — Image by kenne

Treat the earth well,

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

Indian Proverb


Capturing The Moment — Hedgehog Cactus Flowers In Madera Canyon   3 comments

“The Triad” — Hedgehog Cactus Blooms, Image by kenne

On a recent hike on the Dutch John Trail in Madera Canyon (Santa Rita Mountains) we spotted few flowers. This beautiful triad of hedgehog cactus blossoms was an exception. Nessaled in the fallen leaves of the surrounding trees at the 4,500 foot level, I was able to capture an image different from the dirt and rock desert floor.


Contemplating Earth’s Beauty   2 comments

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson

A View of Tucson From The Mouth of Pima Canyon, January 7, 2012. (Notice air pollution south of Tucson near the Santa Rita Mountains.) — Image by kenne

When we decided to move from Houston to Tucson, there were many factors considered, not the least of which were beautiful blue skies, clean air and nature at its finest. When considering Tucson, we also were looking at Santa Fé for the same reasons. It just so happens that both cities are in the top 25 cleanest for long-term particle pollution – Santa Fe #2 and Tucson #6.

Tucson is in Pima County in southern Arizona with a county population of over one million and to their credit much has been done to maintain a balance between economic growth, while responsibly managing the pollution factors. One of Arizona’s biggest industries is copper mining, (along with cotton, cattle, climate and citrus — the 5 C’s) making it an important part of the economy. However, “the historic conduct of the copper mining industry in the state has turned this sector into a pariah,” alienating much of the public. Today, this alienation is very clear in the public’s reaction to the proposed Rosemont Copper Project, which would create an open-pit mine roughly 30 miles south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains.

Although there are many natural causes of air pollution, most are the result of human activities, which have been scientifically documented over the years. In her 1962 book, Silent SpringRachel Carson wrote, “Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world. ” The power to alter nature can have both good and bad results. In seeking approval, Rosemont is addressing the problems (bad results) of past mining companies.   If approved, only time will tell if Rosemont will create water problems, air pollution and a massage tailings pile mess like the one the mining industry has created west of Green Valley.

It can be done right by demonstrating our mastery over ourselves, not over nature. With that in mind, you might agree with Hugh Holub statement in the “. . . instead of trying to run Rosemont out of Pima County, I suggest local leaders ought to do everything possible to help Rosemont create a 21st century responsible mining project, and then use the precedents achieved with Rosemont to shove them down the throats of the other mining companies in the county that continue to operate like this was the 19th century.”  Sounds reasonable, but why do I keep hearing over and over in my ears, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” How many times are we going to be foolish?


In the end, can jobs make up for ruined beauty?

View of Green Valley and The Tailings Pile To The West From Madera Canyon in The Santa Rita Mountains — Image by kenne

Capturing The Moment — A Hiking We Will Go!   1 comment


Madera Canyon — Images by kenne

Madera Canyon — Spring, 2011   1 comment

Madera Canyon — Images by kenne

One of the things we love about living in Tucson is if you tire of the desert, within less than an hour you can be in the tree-line mountains. Madera Canyon, located about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Tucson, Arizona, makes a large dent in the northwest face of the Santa Rita Mountains. Its higher elevation grants relief to desert dwellers during the hot months and allows access to snow during the winter. A world-renowned site for bird watching, Madera Canyon is a major resting place for migrating species, while the extensive trail system of the Santa Rita Mountains is easily accessed from the Canyon’s campground and picnic areas.

I will share more in a later posting.



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