Hiking along Horton Creek Trail

Last weekend, Kathryn and I decided to take a break from our usual summer routine of doing absolutely nothing in the sweltering Phoenix heat. Instead, we made a day trip to the slightly cooler Payson area to do some hiking along Horton Creek, just under the Mogollon Rim in Tonto National Forest. Continue reading Hiking along Horton Creek Trail

Another beautiful morning in Phoenix

I managed to get out of bed this morning in time for an early hike before work. It’s one of those few beautiful weeks we see every spring in Phoenix. The sun is up early enough to start a hike at 5:30 am, but it’s not too hot outside. Today was gorgeous. There was no discernible wind, and yet the air was clear. The brown cloud that normally covers the city during the week was nowhere to be seen.

Favorite Phoenix urban hikes: The Loop at Shaw Butte

This summer was one of the hottest on record in Phoenix. When enduring the scorching heat of June, July, August, and even into early September in the Valley of the Sun, it can be easy to forget what’s here to enjoy the rest of the year. Fortunately, mid-September rolls around every year and reminds us we have eight to nine months of nearly endless outdoor possibilities in front of us. Continue reading Favorite Phoenix urban hikes: The Loop at Shaw Butte

Mission San Xavier del Bac: White Dove of the Desert, Tucson

During our recent weekend trip to Tucson, Kathryn and I took an opportunity to visit Mission San Xavier del Bac, just outside the city. As luck would have it, there was a Mass scheduled there Saturday morning. It was to celebrate the 366th birthday of Fr. Eusebio Kino, the Jesuit priest who founded the mission way back in 1692. So we made sure to schedule our visit to coincide. Continue reading Mission San Xavier del Bac: White Dove of the Desert, Tucson

Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo in Tucson

A couple years ago on one of my other blogs, I wrote about my first experience eating Sonoran hot dogs in Phoenix. I had first read about Sonoran hot dogs in an in-flight magazine on US Airways, but the article was about Tucson, not Phoenix. Since then, I’ve been looking forward to an authentic Sonoran hot dog in Tucson. The time arrived on a recent weekend trip. Continue reading Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo in Tucson

Home from New York City and then gone again to Portland, Oregon

I’m back on the road again after enjoying three nights of sleep in my own home. Actually, that’s not quite true. I spent one of those night’s at Kathryn’s place. I’m aboard a flight to Portland, Oregon. I have about an hour until landing, so I thought I should take a few moments to catch up on my blog. Continue reading Home from New York City and then gone again to Portland, Oregon

Eventful start

Our adventure has started rather eventfully. We took off from Phoenix this morning right on schedule, and now we’re safely back on the ground … in Phoenix. The aircraft had a mechanical problem shortly after takeoff, and we had to return to land, but only after circling for almost an hour to burn fuel. We’re not sure what happens next.

Drinking in Pasadena, redux

I spent last weekend in Pasadena, visiting the same buddy I saw in August. I’ve spent the time since then sobering up.

When my friend and I started planning this trip a few weeks ago, I reserved one of my club airplanes, intending to fly out there. I was looking forward to getting some good cross-country experience, and flying into the crowded Southern California airspace was a challenge I felt I was ready for. However, the week before the trip, the weather forecast started to deteriorate, and by Wednesday, I decided just to abandon plans to fly and simply drive there instead.
Continue reading Drinking in Pasadena, redux

Summer fun begins

At last, my voyage is underway. A friend had breakfast with me, and then she gave me a ride to the airport. For a while, I wasn’t sure I was going to get out of Phoenix. When I checked in at the airport, I was given a boarding pass to clear security, but with no seat assignment because the flight was oversold. I was biting my nails until a few minutes before the flight departed, when I finally got a new boarding pass. After a very rough flight, I’m now in Minneapolis, sitting in the plane waiting for our gate to be free, wondering if I’ll make my connection. I’ll let you all know how it goes.