White Tank Mountain Arizona . . .
The Arizona Desert
We had a couple of friends we wanted to visit and in searching for a place to stay, we happened upon a wonderful desert park in the foothills west of Phoenix, White Tank Mountain Regional Park. The park was maintained immaculately, the graveled sites were ‘Zen-raked’ and roomy, and the desert scenery magnificent. We stayed here for almost two weeks, catching up with our friends and enjoying some R&R, a vacation from our vacation. The park extends over 30,000 acres and has many trails for hikers, horses and mountain bikers. There’s even a ‘racetrack’ used by bikers and / or horses. We took advantage of the trails, Colin hiked the Ford Canyon trail up into the mountains where a ‘tour guide’ adopted him, and Cheryl and Colin hiked the Waterfall Canyon trail after a day of rain but found only a dry waterfall by the time we arrived. There was a pool, however, used by the Native Americans for many years as a water source, and many petroglyphs to see. Colin enjoyed searching out birdlife in the early morning, surprised to see that woodpeckers are at home on Cactus (doesn’t it hurt their feet?) There’s a McNaught family story from the Joshua Tree NP, a Cholla Cactus attacking son Jon, who was 6 at the time; Jon remembers it too. Now in 2016, Colin was so concerned about getting a good photo that he let one of the baby cactus attack his foot; we’re sure this was his reward for being amused at Jon’s predicament, years ago. During our two week stay, we were entertained by the many unusual shapes of the cacti and took way too many photos. The inspirational desert surroundings brought back Colin’s childhood when, like many, he read comics and books about ‘Cowboys and Indians’.
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From CherylDee: It had been years and years since I had last seen Bill McMullen. We used to catch up with each other from time to time, while traveling to different cities for medical conventions. In 1975, ‘BillyBoy’ was head of cardiac ultrasound when I was a nuclear medicine tech at West Hills Hospital, CA (San Fernando Valley). BillyBoy and I were friends and even played Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for the children’s wards. BillyBoy will be remembered forever by me and my family when in 1979 he moved into my parents home to help with my dying father. And then, without being in touch for years, in December 1991 he appeared at the Chicago Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), to tell me of my mother’s passing. He is a special kind of friend, and at my brother Michael and Maggie’s wedding, Bill again proved his good heart when, without prompting, he picked up Maggie’s father, who had trouble walking, to carry him to the ceremony – a sandy beach 250 steps away from the Chart House party location. Selfless, and filled with humor, it was finally great to go to Bill’s home, meet Kris, after so many years of their marriage, and to see what a remarkable pair these two are. Bill has some heavy duty medical issues, but his smiling face and twinkling eyes continue to sparkle. I love you BillyBoy and Kris. You are forever in my heart.
Arizona Beautification Projects
From Cheryl: I was impressed with freeway artwork in and around Phoenix. I was told by a friend that 1% of the revenue goes to the beautification of the city. I just wanted to show you what can happen in a town when art becomes part of structure.
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White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Arizona