Archive for the ‘Monday Morning Milers’ Tag

Hiking with Old Buddies   1 comment

The SCVN Friday Nature Hike was Aspen Trail, Marshall Gulch Trail loop,
which would provide an opportunity to see the beautiful fall colors on Mt. Lemmon.
The Aspen Trail has a grove of aspens, which I blogged in a previous posting

Aspen Trail-8-72After hiking through the aspen grove, I began to get out in front of the nature hikers.
With less fall color on the remaining part of the Aspen Trail I decided to pick-up my pace.
I knew from past experience there would be plenty of fall color on the Marshall Gulch Trail.

Aspen Trail-21-72I was aware that my buddies, Jim Thompson and Tom Markey, were hiking the trail;
hence, I might be able to catch up with them. 

Aspen Trail-23-72I first began hiking with Jim and Tom nine years ago. They were part of the Monday Morning Milers (MMM),
the first hiking group with which I started hiking.

Aspen Trail-24-72Most of the MMM were lifetime hikers in southeast Arizona, many of whom were in their 80’s.

Aspen Trail-25-72Jim recently celebrated his 90th birthday.

Aspen Trail-26-72While Tom is a youngster like me, he’s 79.

Aspen Trail-27-72Images by kenne

It seems, as one becomes older,
That the past has another pattern,
And ceases to be a mere sequence —
Or even development: the latter a partial fallacy
Encouraged by superficial notions of evolution,
Which becomes, in the popular mind,
A means of disowning the past.
The moments of happiness — not the sense of well-being,
Fruition, fulfillment, security or affection,
Or even a very good dinner, but the sudden illumination —
We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness.

— from “Four Quartets” by T. S. Eliot

Morning Shadows In Pima Canyon   2 comments

Pima Canyon  (1 of 1) blogLooking Down Through Pima Canyon, Sonoran Desert (February 9, 2015) — Image by kenne

The warm

morning sun

leaves us

as we hike into

the canyon shadows.

— kenne

 

The Desert Spiny Lizard’s Cousin   3 comments

Mountain Spiny Lizard at Roger’s Rock In Madera Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains — Images by kenne
(Click on any of the images for larger view in a slideshow format.)

For those of us who live near the Santa Catalina Mountains, Madera Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains is about an hour and twenty minutes drive. There are a lot of reasons to love the canyon, rated the third best birding destination in the United States. Yesterday, the Monday Morning Milers hiked one of the canyon’s many trails to Roger’s Rock where I have captured many vista photographs in the past and did the same yesterday. One of the things that made this hike different from past hikes was seeing the mountain spiny lizard captured in this posting. The colors of this guy were very prominent, sunning in the 6,500 feet elevation cool mountain air. I have learned that every hike, even on the same trail, has something new and impressive to see. 

— kenne

You’ve got to get out
and pray to the sky
to appreciate the sunshine;
otherwise you’re
just a lizard
standing there
with the sun shining on you.

— Ken Kesey

Capturing The Moment — Happy 90th, Don Fletcher   3 comments

Don's Birthday (1 of 1)-2 blogHAPPY BIRTHDAY to Fellow Monday Morning Miler, #90 — Image by Joy

After the hike on Mt. Lemmon this past Monday, some of us gathered for a picnic celebration for a very special person on th occasion of his 90th birthday. Don Fletcher is our hiking “poster child”, since we all would like to still be hiking on our 90th.

Hiking, staying active in general, is a good way to maintain dignity as mature humans, even though store clerks may have replaced “sir” with “sweetie” some time ago.

 

DON’T CALL ME SWEETIE!

Just because I may 

Look old and weak

Don’t call me sweetie —

No “elderspeak” for me.

You may think

You’re being kind,

But it’s not

A good moment

When dignity

Is left behind.

— kenne

Leopold Point Boulder With Yellow Lichen   Leave a comment

Yellow Lichen (1 of 1) blogLeopold Point Boulder With Yellow Lichen In The Santa Catalina Mountains (July 14, 2014) — Image by kenne

“If A Tree Falls In The Forest . . .”   Leave a comment

“If A Tree Falls In The Forest . . .” Hiking The Mt. Bigelow Trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains. — Images by kenne
(Click on any of the tiled images to see larger view in a slideshow.)

Poppies Along The Phoneline Trail In Sabino Canyon   3 comments

Phoneline Hike-0553-2 PoppiesMexican Poppies Along The Phoneline Trail In Sabino Canyon — Image by kenne

Phoneline Hike-0528 blogMexican Poppy and Desert Lupine Wildflowers Along The Phoneline Trail — Image by kenne

Most Sonoran desert wildflowers are annuals, which are short-lived even when there’s timely rain. Sabino Canyon has had no rain since December 20th.  Oddly enough, limited rain and a short lifespan helps ensure survival in the desert. With the lack of rain and warmer than normal temperatures the annuals have been quickly sprouting and blowing before the dryness and heat kills the plant. 

kenne

“To see a world
in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wildflower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour.”

— William Blake

Hiking The de Anza Trail Between Tubac and Tumacacori, Arizona   9 comments

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deAnza Trail 2014-9529 blogHiking the de Anza Trail between Tubac and Tumacacori, Arizona, 20 miles north of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico — Images by kenne.

 

Catalina Foothills From The Agua Caliente Trail   Leave a comment

Agua Caliente-9236 art-II blogCatalina Foothills From The Agua Caliente Trail — Image by kenne

This morning’s hike was the Agua Caliente trail in canyons between the Santa Catalina mountains and the Rincon mountains in 32 windy degrees — a life not to complain about.

May the spirits of nature be with you.

kenne

“The Trail Spinner” On Mt. Lemmon   4 comments

Aspen Draw Fall Colors-8372 blogAspen Draw Fall Colors-8372-2 blog“The Trail Spinner” — Images by kenne

Kristen is hiking the Aspen Draw on Mt. Lemmon while using a hand-spinner. Little hand devices, such as this one, have been used for thousands of years to spin fiber into yarn.

— kenne

Looking Through The Trees   11 comments

Bear Wallow Leaves“Looking Through The Trees” — Image by kenne

A Mexican Garter Snake Having Breakfast   11 comments

Mecican Garter Snake AZ Striped Whiptail blog

Mexican Garter Snake AZ Striped Whiptail blog

Mexican Garter Snake AZ Striped Whiptail II blogMexican Garter Snake & Arizona Striped Whiptail Lizard — Images by kenne

This morning while hiking the Crystal Springs trail on Mount Lemmon we saw this Mexican Garter snake having just caught an Arizona Striped Whiptail lizard. The snake was in a hurry to het away from us so he could have breakfast.

Regular hikers on Mount Lemmon should take note, even after all the rain on the mountains, the springs are no more. Maybe it’s time to rename the trail. 

Also, the Control Road to the trailhead is in real bad shape from all the mountain rains — lot’s of deep ruts, making for a long 2 1/2 mile drive to the trailhead.

kenne

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.

kenne

Palisades Trail August 2013

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

Hiking To Rose Canyon Lake In The Santa Catalina Mountains   1 comment

Rose Lake July 2013

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Rose Canyon Lake in the Santa Catalina Mountains is the only lake in the mountain, located about 25 miles from Tucson, Arizona. The lake is only seven acres, but is surrounded by cabins and campgrounds in the mountain forest. Images by kenne

Capturing The Moment — “Buckets Of Rain” On Mount Lemmon   16 comments

“Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin’ out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
I got all the love, honey baby
You can stand

I been meek
And hard like an oak
I seen pretty people disappear like smoke
Friends will arrive, friends will disappear
If you want me, honey baby
I’ll be here …”

— Bob Dylan, “Buckets of Rain”

Butterfly Trail July 2013

The Monday Morning Milers hiking group had scheduled to hike upper Butterfly trail to Novio Falls, which I had done Friday with the SCVN group. I like this trail because it is both a beautiful and challenging hike. It was a sunny morning on the mountain when we arrived at the trailhead. The faster hikers had already started down the trail, so I set out to catchup with them and was making pretty good time till I started stopping to take photos. I was trying to take advantage of the sunlight we didn’t have on the Friday hike. 

Before leaving the parking lot to car-pool up Catalina Highway, some of the hikers indicated they would only be hiking to the Crystal Spring trail. But, when I reached the Crystal Springs cutoff, no one was there. Not seeing them on the trail, I assumed they had continued on to Novio Falls. As I got closer to Novio Falls (The area to the right of the big rock in the above image.) I could see clouds beginning to cover the higher elevations.

Butterfly Trail July 2013When I got to the falls no one was there, so I decided to continue to where a F-86 airplane had crashed in 1957. Once I got there, the rain began, so after taking a few photos, I started back toward the falls when I met a couple sitting under a large ponderosa pine. There didn’t have rain gear, but the tree was keeping them dry, at least for a while. (Unlike my earlier hikes in the rain, there was no lightning.) As I left them behind the rain began to come down heavier.

Butterfly Trail July 2013This is when I learned that my wind-breaker was not waterproof. I had already placed my camera in a plastic bag, but unlike my previous hikes in the rain, I decided to remove it now and then to capture some rainy images. Since the rain was still pretty heavy, I tried keeping as much of the bag over the camera after removing it in order to still keep it as dry a possible — then back in the bag.

Butterfly Trail July 2013The higher elevation in this view shows the direction in which I was headed returning to the upper Butterfly trailhead. I wasn’t sure how the images were turning out, since I wasn’t taking the time to view them, nor check how much rain was on the lens. 

Butterfly Trail July 2013As I got further down the trail from the falls, I turned around and took this image toward where I had been.

Butterfly Trail July 2013As you can see in this image, see the clouds were beginning to break up over one of the last ridges I would be hiking to the trailhead.

Butterfly Trail July 2013At this point in my return the rain began to diminish.

Butterfly Trail July 2013This image is a view not far from the trailhead. The rain was now a sprinkle as the clouds continue to break up.

Remember I mention that we carpooled up the mountain, so those in my carpool had to wait for me — at least I was hoping they would. Based on where the others had turned around on the trail, and the distance I had gone, they had to wait one hour — man, did I blow it! I was very apologetic and pleased that they had not reported my failure to return after an hour to the Forest Service. 

As we rode down the mountain they shared the various scenarios discussed while waiting, if I had not returned in more than an hour. They knew I’m a capable hiker, but . . .!

With all the rain I’ve experienced this month, while hiking on Mount Lemmon, I decided to start this blog posting with the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s song, “Buckets of Rain” and included a YouTube video for those of you interested in listening to this Dylan song — with buckets of moonbeams in your hand.

— kenne

 

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