Dead Horse Point, Arches, and Canyonlands: Moab, UT Really Rocks

Early Thursday morning, June 24 we leave our hotel in the Park City area and begin our journey to Moab. It is a long trip but filled with great scenery. We take US 6 to US 191 for close to four hours driving along the Price River through Price Canyon and some small towns that look to be charming. It is truly “priceless” and the highway serves as a cutoff from I 70 to SLC so it is well traveled and busy. This is our first time in the Moab area and our plans include visting Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. It will be a busy three days with multiple hikes planned. The temperatures have declined from previous days where Moab experienced highs in the low 100’s and now expected highs in the 80’s.

We arrive mid-morning and check into the fairly new Hoodoo Moab Curio by Hilton. We had booked these rooms at the employee rate a year ago so we were quite fortunate to stay at this beautiful hotel. After getting situated we walk over to the Jailhouse Cafe for some breakfast on the patio and before heading out for our first adventure, we get coffee from Moab Coffee Roasters. Both places are very homey and great stops in a charming downtown area close to our hotel.

Dead Horse Point Hiking Trails

Our first stop is Dead Horse Point. I won’t tell the legend of Dead Horse Point but it worthy of reading on why it is named Dead Horse Point. We had planned on a ranger led full moon hike that evening only to discover that it has been canceled due to cloudy conditions. Dead Horse has separate trails for mountain bikers and hikers and is often a destination stop for those who mountain bike. The park is high desert on a plateau with scenic views of the Colorado River and reminds me of the Grand Canyon. We park at the Visitors’ Center and begin an 8+ mile loop hike with multiple side trails to multiple overlooks. The vast majority of our hike is alone without any others to be seen. We gain some 2500 feet elevation over the entire hike so it was a workout in the heat of the day but it was very special with some amazing views. The Big Horn Overlook side hike is not to be missed. All the overlooks are incredible with Dead Horse Point being the busiest due to the park road leading to the viewpoint.

Dead Horse Point is located on the way to Canyonlands National Park so before returning to Moab for the evening we drive to the Visitors’ Center and get our tourist patches and a map for planning our upcoming hikes. We head to the Hoodoo Curio for some soaking in the jacuzzi before heading over to Moab Brewery. I have enjoyed some of Moab Brewery’s craft beers but must admit I was disappointed since the restaurant/brewery appears to be tired and in need of some upgrades. Of course the Dead Horse Ale is a must after being at the state park. We retire for the evening due to wanting to get to Arches before sunrise.

Next stop is an early morning trip to Arches National Park. Our plan is to see as much as we can before the crowds become overwhelming. At sunrise we have completed several hikes to some of the various arches close to the entrance area. The parking areas fill up rapidly. Our first hikes include double arch, the north and south window. We were fairly fortunate to not be around a whole bunch of tourists. We drive over the Delicate Arch area and immediately know that we will not be hiking to the arch as the line of people stretches for a very long way. Instead we go the viewpoint area and hike up to see the arch from a distance. This area is crowded but there were places to park. It is only around 7:30 yet the sheer numbers of visitors is overwhelming.

We head to the Devil’s Garden area to see the many arches in the area. We had planned to hike the Primitive Trail Loop but reading reviews on how “dangerous” it was we were hesitant. At the Devil’s Garden Trailhead, we join the throngs of people and hike our way to multiple arches with the most popular being Landscape Arch. Our journey evolved and our hesitation was about to change as our sense of adventure returned.

The further we go, we get further from the throngs. We end up at Double O arch and discover that we had already hiked across what was said to be a very dangerous and narrow “fin” without even knowing it.

We talked to some hikers who had been on the Primitive Trail and they convinced us that it was just fine and we should go ahead and finish the loop. Granted it was very warm and we had limited water by our normal standards but we went for it with no regrets.

It was great to be alone and completely away from tourists. We view some spectacular back country without any distractions. The solitude is magical. Our hike ends up totaling seven miles and around 800 feet of elevation gains. It was a rugged hike but if you get there, it is the one hike you might want to do so don’t be scared off by reading the reviews on the Primitive Trail Loop. This old man finished like a champion and never felt in any danger. Of course we do have great hiking shoes that provide excellent traction and support.

The loop finishes back on the main trail and we rejoin the multitudes and return to the trailhead. We stop by the Visitors’ Center to get our patches on our return Moab. We spend the afternoon and evening browsing and strolling through a variety of shops, restaurants and bars, before retiring for the evening. Our lunch was at the Spoke on Center and I recommend going due to good burgers and good selection of craft beer. We were able to continue our social distancing on the patio with good service.

Saturday morning we head to Island in the Sky at Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands is massive with three different areas with Island in the Sky being the easiest to access. The Maze area is extremely remote requiring four wheel drive and has no access from Moab. The Needles area is accessible about 60 miles south of Moab and that will have to be another time.

We travel over 30 miles NW of Moab to enter Canyonlands. The backup from the line of vehicles is over a mile long and I suppose I should expected there could be a wait. Our day is planned with multiple hikes and we start with Murphy’s Point. Murphy’s is a great way to start our day of hikes and the is 3.5 mile round trip hike leads us to some great views of the Green River and Candlestick Tower. Our elevation gains are 600+ feet. Very few on this trail and it is not difficult but the rewards are fabulous. We visit with several hikers at the overlook and manage to get our picture taken.

Murphy Point

The next stop is Grand View Point for a two mile hike that has many visitors due to the road leading to the area. Even though this area is “crowded” the hike is a must for the stunning views of the canyon walls. On this hike our elevation gains are 575 feet due to some areas we climbed to add to the hike.

No time to rest and we head over to Upheaval Dome first and second overlooks. Another couple miles and several hundred feet of elevation with interesting views. We jump back in the car and drive over to Whale Rock where we get out and hike up a sandstone dome that looks like a whale for more panoramic views of Island in the Sky. Another mile and 130 feet elevation in the book.

There is little rest for the weary and on to White Rim Overlook. This hike is about two miles with 160 feet of elevation gains and just a couple other people on the trail. We are rewarded with great views of the Colorado River and canyons. This hike is must for the views of the river and canyons plus few people on a Saturday.

Our time is running short and we have saved the well known Mesa Arch hike for our last one of the day. The arch attracts huge crowds in the morning for sunrise and we are fortunate that in late afternoon there are few tourists around. We do the loop trail counterclockwise that is about .7 miles with a small elevation gain of around 70 feet.

Mesa Arch

We return to Moab for our last evening before heading to SLC Sunday morning. Having hiked about 10.5 miles today, I’m tired. We still manage to get out and walk another couple miles in Moab before returning to the Curio and just relaxing at the pool area bar for a couple drinks and some food. Not only that, I watch the Suns beat the Clippers in an ugly playoff game where neither team shot well.

We head back to SLC returning the way we came and head off to the Homewood Suites Salt Lake City Airport. We grab a shared ride and head to Kiitos Brewing for another taste of Utah craft beer. Kiitos’s Blonde Ale is fantastic and we enjoy our time before walking a couple miles downtown for some pizza at Pie Hole Pizza an eclectic place that is an undefinable hole-in-the-wall with some great tasting pizza. Fun place and good eats. We walk around and notice that there are few homeless people as we read signs that basically state that it illegal to ask for money or give money to those who ask. Overall the city seemed very clean and we would like to come back and explore. Another Lyft back to Homewood.

Our return is uneventful as we manage to get on the plane even though it is packed. Flying standby is always an adventure and the SLC airport is not the easiest place to get around. The security line went out the main door at 5:30 am and it is a long walk to the terminal. Homewood provided van service and got us to the airport.

I continue to find that I really like Utah for it beautiful outdoor areas. Of all our adventures, I would say that Arches was my least favorite due to the number of people and feeling overcrowded with tourists. There was no way that I was going to hike to Delicate Arch with hundreds of people and then stand in line to get a picture. We knew that the attendance at Arches was going to be extreme and planned accordingly but now that I have seen it, I’m ok with not returning. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind returning to the Canyonlands and visiting the Needles part of the park. Moab is a great little adventure community with excellent parks, a great public indoor pool, and a town with good food. I just might have to return.

Our week in Utah starting with the Park City area included over 40 miles of hikes with elevation gains coming close to 10k feet. My knees and hips are sore and my left lower calf area developed some pain. I’m thinking that I need a vacation from vacationing. Until next time, adventure on.

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Bourbon, Brews, and Mountain Tops in the High West of Park City

For our summer trip, Carolyn booked us for a multi-day trip into Utah to some new areas that we had never been. We fly out of Phoenix on Father’s Day, yes my girls were a bit irritated and we were able to celebrate the Friday prior to leaving. It just so happened that in looking at available rooms many months ago, our week was chosen without noting what the day was.

We arrive in Salt Lake City Sunday morning, pick up a car and head to Park City. We check into the Doubletree (Hilton property) and what a great experience. The young man that checked us in was full of information and a great customer service representative. Park City was hoppin’ downtown with the streets closed for a summer street market event.

Our first stop is the High West Distillery located about 30 minutes NE of Park City where we have Father’s Day lunch and whiskey themed cocktails that were really good. The Distillery is located off of I 80 and is in a beautiful secluded location. They were not offering any tours due to Covid restrictions but the setup was still amazing. I had been to a High West tasting event in Phoenix in the spring of 2019 with my son in law James and we spent quite a long time with David Perkins who started High West in Park City and has since sold the business but at the time was doing promotional work for High West. He was very charismatic and fun to be around and since I have enjoyed their many varieties of whiskey, it was always a desire to visit the new distillery. Carolyn and I enjoyed the experience and would return.

After eating we decided to do a small hike on the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail that runs through the area along Silver Creek. The trail is mainly used by mountain bikers and runs for 28 miles. We return to Park City and take the bus downtownfor some walking around and end up at Butcher’s Chophouse and Bar. We were able to sit outside an enjoy a beautiful evening with a fantastic Kolsch style beer from Melvin Brewing in Wyoming–Killer Bees, a blonde ale brewed with honey. It is fantastic and I can honestly say that it is one of the best I have ever had. Light with just a touch of honey for a great summer sipper.The next morning after breakfast we grab our first brew of the day at the Silver King Coffee, Co. It is excellent and is just a small spot with a drive through and a walkup window. Loaded up with caffeine, we drive from Park City to Brighton Resort and begin our hike to Sunset Peak. The sun is shining and it is a beautiful warm day to hike to the summit of 10,670 gaining a total of 1900+ feet in the 6+ mile hike. The hike for the most part is fairly smooth and not real jarring on the joints. The trek towards Sunset Peak is exposed with lots of sunshine on top of you. The views are stunning of the Wasatch Mountain Range and you can see the Uinta Mountain range to the Northeast. At the very beginning, we hike along the ski slopes and turn to hike past several lakes. We added mileage by hiking off our main trail to see the water at some of the lakes. As we continued our climb there were a few areas of snow. No animals and few humans on the trail. The trail took us past several lakes and streams that were quite peaceful and beautiful. On our journey to the top, we met several friendly hikers that pointed out various peaks in the distance. I love the fact that you be away from people and experience some fantastic areas with limited human contact. It was a strenuous journey for this old guy and after 3.5 hours of hiking, I was ready to head back to Park City and a craft beer from Utah.

Coming down from Sunset Peak

We walk from the Doubletree to Squatters Roadhouse Grill for a round of draft craft including the Juicy IPA and the Chasing Tail, summer ale. We ate dinner out on the patio and the place was packed. To drink beer in Utah, you have to got to understand the rules. No draft beer can be more than 5% but they can sell any % beer in cans or bottles. It is just a bit odd so oftentimes the selections are limited. Squatters refers to Wasatch Brewing Company as a “Sister” brewery. They know how to have some fun with their beer names and play on the Utah themed drinks.

After dinner and a beer we jump on the bus and head downtown for another round of High West at the High West Saloon. This place is quite trendy and hard to get in for dinner but we managed to be sat on the bar side for some signature cocktails. This place was quite a treat for us.

Tuesday morning has arrived and after breakfast and more coffee at Silver King, we check out of the Doubletree and head back into the mountains for more hiking and more adventure. It is sunny and hot by Park City standards when we begin our trek to the 10420 Peak. Parking is at the Bloods Lake Trailhead. There are plenty of cars and plenty of hikers on the first part of our journey that takes us to Bloods Lake after 1.5 miles. This is a beautiful mountain lake with many people that hike to this area. After our time at the lake we get back on our trek to 10420 Peak. Carolyn and I decided on 10420 instead of the close by Clayton Peak that is about 200 feet higher but more of a rocky climb over a longer stretch. The trail is over rocks and it is a bit of a scramble but nothing that I would consider hard or real dangerous. At the top, the views are fantastic. One can look in all directions to get great views of area lakes and other peaks. We were joined at the summit by a couple from Ogden Utah who were avid hikers. Most hikers are very friendly and fun to talk with. We were able to get some pictures together and took their picture as well.

On our return trip, we stopped by Lackawaxen Lake that added some distance to our hiking day. Very few folks encountered on our trip from Bloods Lake so few people and very enjoyable. On the return, we went back to the trailhead on a different trail and once again we were glad we did since the number of people encountered on that return section was less than five. No animals, few humans, and time alone walking in the forest. We hike for a total of 6 miles with 1250+ elevation gains. The return section was very exposed to the sun so it was hot but doable.

Our stay at the Doubletree was great. Staff was fantastic and even though an older property, the place was as clean as they come. Well taken care of and would love to return. Since my rates were not available, we had booked our next two nights at the Sunset Lodge by Hilton Grand Vacations. After checking in, we take the shuttle van to Red Rock Brewing Co and enjoy our dinner and drinks. For our return to the lodge, we walk about 4 miles back to get even more exercise.

Our final day in Park City includes a run to Kimball Junction and Park City Coffee Roaster for our morning cup of Joe. We later jump on the bus to downtown Park City for our final brew stop and dinner at Wasatch Brewery. We have meatloaf and mashed potatoes to go along with a pitcher of strawberry blonde. Wasatch is known for their Polygamy Porter but we went with lighter beer. Good stuff and a great time. Our time in Park City has ended and next stop will be Moab, UT.

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Grand Canyon 2021: Falling Feels Like Flying ‘Til You Hit The Ground

In a typical year, Carolyn organizes a trip to the Grand Canyon and our 2020 trip was canceled due to Covid Restrictions for staying on the North Rim. This year, Jordyn and Carolyn booked a cabin on the North Rim over the Memorial Day weekend and the plan was for all of us to hike Rim to Rim, south to north overnight arriving Saturday morning. The plan went on without me doing the hike due to multiple issues including not being as prepared as I might normally be.

Carolyn and Jordyn drove separately and left on the Bright Angel Trail around 10 pm Friday night. I slept and was scheduled to drive to the North Rim Saturday morning with our oldest daughter Caitlin and Jordyn’s husband James. By the time I got out of bed, Carolyn texted me letting me know they had arrived at the North Rim in under nine hours.

We loaded up the car and the rest of us headed on our long road trip to the North Rim traveling I 17 to Flagstaff, US 89 towards Page, US 89A to Jacob Lake, and AZ 67 to the lodge. The six hour drive is always one that keeps you on edge especially with heavy traffic on US 89 towards Lake Powell.

Caitlin, James, and I stop at Jacob Lake store for some cookies. The store is known for its home made and baked cookies. Caitlin and I also sneak in a butterscotch malt. It was a good one. We see no bison on the road to the rim and upon arrival we meet up with Carolyn and Jordyn to get checked into our rustic cabin on the west side of the lodge located close to the Rim. It seems fairly crowded and the girls shower up so we can enjoy the sunset and some walks along the Rim.

Jordyn and Carolyn are tired after hiking all night but they manage to eat dinner with us at the lodge. In talking with our older waiter, Covid has impacted them getting staff to work so like everywhere else, they are short staffed and no where near capacity for dining.

On Sunday we drive out east of the lodge for some beautiful views of the Canyon plus we hiked Point Imperial, some of the Saddle Mountain Trail and some quick hikes out to various lookout points along the way. For the day, our hikes total around 8 miles. Along our Point Imperial hike on the return part, yours’ truly (me), trips over a rock and I land flat on my face knocking myself silly. I am dazed and confused, bloodied, and embarrassed. My family rushes to my rescue making sure that I am not seriously injured requiring assistance. Chris Stapleton sings that “falling feels like flying ’till you hit the ground.” I can say it was a surreal experience, straight down with my chest and head smacking the ground. Thankfully, I have a hard head and survive with multiple abrasions and a nasty cut on the bridge of my nose. I can’t even explain what happened but I’m not about to hide the fact that I fell hard on a hike. I sure don’t like admitting those failures but it happened. We get back to the trailhead for our picnic and a couple of Huss Brewing craft beers to help ease the pain. I just had too.

We return to the lodge and Carolyn and I walk to the NPS fire station and the EMT checks me out and want a pleasant young man. His opinion was I probably did not need stitches and to keep the skin flap taped down. (As I write this blog, my face has acquired a nice scar on the bridge but such is life.)

Jordyn and James rest up at the cabin since they will be hiking from the North to the South Rim overnight. Carolyn, Caitlin, and I enjoy dinner and some walks along the rim by the lodge and sometime around 10, I drop off James and Jordyn for their midnight trek across the Canyon.

On Memorial Day, Jordyn and James have texted us that they have arrived on the South Rim just in time to enjoy breakfast at the El Tovar. The rest of us pack up and head to Jacob Lake for breakfast at the cafe.

Our trip back to Phoenix was uneventful and traffic was not near as bad as we had anticipated on I-17 heading from Flagstaff. Another year and another Grand Canyon trip in the books. For Carolyn and I, this trip was extra special having both of our daughters with us. That is a rarity on our adventures but we have been blessed to have them for a trip into Zion in April and this Grand Canyon mini adventure. I missed my time inside the walls of the Canyon but I do hope that I still have some gas in the tank to revisit the spirituality and specialness of hiking through the grandest of canyons. If you have never been to the North Rim, it is extra special for views and way less crowded. It is truly a special place.

Next stop, Park City and Moab.

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Burros, Breweries, Butts, and Bites: Getting Our Kicks on Route 66

During April and May, Carolyn had Wed thru Friday for her days off and mid week travel is a simpler way to get out and go. Wednesday, May 12, we decided to head to NW Arizona and the Kingman area for some new to us adventures. We placed Oatman on our itinerary and headed up through Wickenburg on Route 93 for a direct trip to Kingman and then over to Oatman.

Somewhere along the way, while passing through Wickenburg, we miss direct and end up on Route 60 headed to Salome, so a quick change on our route and we get on Route 72 to Parker, up to Lake Havasu, and on to Oatman. Best misdirect I’ve had in awhile. Added a couple of hours to our trip but we saw areas we had never seen before. I quickly got over my irritation and anger with myself and enjoyed a much less traveled route with scenic views of the Colorado River.


We arrive in Oatman from the south on Historic Route 66 into the old mining town now a tourist stop for checking out the wild burros that roam the streets. What a fun stop on the road. We had brought carrots as a feed of choice for the burros and they sure took after us.
We stop in the famous Oatman Hotel, that has dollar bills covering every available space on the inside of restaurant/bar. We were told that there is in excess of $300k papering the walls. It sure is something see. The hotel usually hosts a tour of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard’s honeymoon suite where it is said they honeymooned in 1939. Mr. Gable liked coming to Oatman to play cards and have drinks with the local miners. Who would have known? We continue our journey to Kingman traversing a narrow winding Route 66 section heading northeast to Kingman.


Upon arrival, we check in at the Hilton Hampton Inn & Suites, (Diamond Team Member that’s me) clean up and head in to Historic Downtown Kingman. Let me just say that this pass through type of town has a lot going for it by reinventing and reestablishing a cool downtown area. With Covid still hanging around, masks are sort of in play but There are two breweries in the downtown and one has a restaurant associated with it in a separate location but just a couple blocks a part. Being hungry, we head to the restaurant part of Rickety Cricket Brewing. The town has allowed the local places to put outdoor seating on curbed areas and we immediately feel right at home. The service is good, the beers and food are great. Excellent happy hour as well. With an early morning start ahead, we retire early.


Today’s hike will be a long hot one to the Arizona Hot Springs from the trailhead located just south of Lake Mead right off of Route 93. We arrive at the trailhead around 8:00 after an hour drive from Kingman. There are a few cars at the trailhead but not many and instead of doing the loop, (we were told that the ladder to approach the hot springs from the Colorado River is gone) we take the Arizona Hot Springs Upper Route both ways. The temps are near 100 with no shade and it is a tough hike in the heat. We gain over 1000 feet in elevation over the 5.5 mile round trip. There are many different side trails that can distract you from staying on the main trail but we managed without too much difficulty to get there. It really is a beautiful day in the desert and the National Park Service closes the trails at the trailhead starting May 15 and lasting through September 30 due to the heat and dangers from the heat. We had visited the hot springs about seven years ago on a “canoe” kayak trip from Willow Springs up the Colorado River and it is a short hike from the river. That trip was one we won’t forget since our “boat’ was not conducive for paddling against the current.

Upon arrival, we take our shoes off and get in the water and it is beyond hot. Each pool gets cooler as you work your way down to one that might be okey to sit in. We we get to an acceptable temperature pool, we encounter a naked man from Michigan. Very friendly older man who just liked to be without his clothes. He told us of other hot springs and his adventures in the wild. Other folks came through with kids and I’m not certain they enjoyed the views of an old guy without clothes. We also met a family that had hiked in from Iowa and they headed out to try and beat some of the heat. Our friend from Michigan eventually packs up and decides to get out before the temps hit their highest points and Carolyn and I hang out for about 45 minutes soaking our aches and pains. I love the hot springs for soaking one’s troubles away and it probably would have been really nice in cooler temps. We pack up and start to head back through the various pools to the trail and we encounter two more naked guys. These guys were much younger (40’s) and they just shed their clothes and off they go. Carolyn had the full monty experience without having to pay for the show. (I thought it was funny.)


We get our hiking stuff together, shoes on, and back on the trail where we come across two females hiking in with their unleashed dogs. We say our normal hellos and the next thing I know the one mixed breed dog comes from behind me and jumps up and bites my right hand with a vicious clamp down of its jaws. I’m in a shocked state but remain in control and the lady is immediately apologetic. I have two small holes in my hand and it is hurt from the pressure applied by the dog’s jaw onto my hand. She assures me that her dog is up-to-date on the shots and I get her name and number in case it becomes necessary for treatment. On our trip out, we pass all those who left long before us and the Iowan parents are not doing so well due to the full sun exposure and heat. Their daughters have gone way ahead of them and we catch up to them at the trailhead and told them they might be waiting awhile.

Breweries (Again)

I decide to report the dog bite incident to NPS law enforcement since dogs are supposed to be leashed on all National Park Trails and in case I had any complications from the bites. Back to Kingman we go for some fun times. On our way into Kingman, we go to a nano brewery Black Bridge Brewery a small intimate place that has a good crowd on this Thursday afternoon. We do a variety of sample size brews and kudos to the limited edition beer brewed with peppers. It has an interesting tasting hotness to it and it is an exceptional “chili pepper” beer. The owner/brewer gave me a rundown of how he keeps changing that speciality beer and it works well. We head to a Marriott property Springhill Suites for tonight’s stay since I had a free night I needed to use. Neither one of our hotels had a breakfast going to due to “Covid” so our stays were very basic. The Springhill was newer and our room was really nice. We clean up to head back into downtown Kingman for a stop at Rickety Cricket’s actual brewery and taproom known as the Dirty Dough Co. that is only open Thursday through Saturday from 4 to 8. We take a cab there since it was about half price of an Uber or Lyft.

What a treat. The Dirty Dough becomes jammed packed with locals and what an atmosphere. The service is fantastic, the beer is incredible, and the pizza is amazing. They also have a happy hour and let’s just say the pizza names might give you a hint on why they call themselves the “Dirty” Dough. Carolyn and I met the owner/brewer and he was so interesting and had retired from being a DPS officer in the Kingman area. He told us the history of his ventures and he was quite passionate about his work. He brews some 30 different brews and they are really good. Carolyn raves about the Hibiscus Wit-ness. The beer names are interesting and I go sample size on a few of them. Karaoke starts up and one of the local crooners grabs the mike and puts on quite a show for all of us.

Since we didn’t get enough walking in today we decide to hike back the 3+ miles to the hotel. Beautiful evening for a walk.

Friday morning, we eat breakfast at a Kingman original diner, Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner. Fun place loaded with Elvis era decorations. Continuing on this theme, we decide to take Historic Route 66 to Seligman on the backroads off of the freeway and we are not disappointed. Very few cars and adds a great nostalgic feel to our journey. Very pretty and a nice isolated stretch from Kingman to Peach Springs to Seligman. We eat lunch at the very famous Delgadillo’s Snow Cap. Another great stop on Route 66 for lunch and an old school milkshake. From Seligman we head to Prescott on our journey back to Phoenix and we decided to check out a new to us brewery in Prescott, the Lazy G Brewhouse.

The Lazy G is located close to the downtown area and when we arrive, it is packed. Once again the service is excellent and the beer is very good. Prescott has a new player in town and they got it down. It happens to be happy hour and I am partial to blondes so I get the Sunshine Blonde and it doesn’t disappoint. Our server told us a bit of the story how the brewmaster came from the San Francisco and San Diego areas and I do not remember who he worked with but it made for a great story. From Lazy G to Hot P (Phoenix) the trip was uneventful.

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Our 2021 US Open Tour Stop In Torrey Pines

Carolyn’s mother had a birthday in April and to celebrate, Carolyn planned a midweek getaway to the Torrey Pines area to end the month. Our flight to San Diego had us in town by 7:30 and up the coast we drive.tempImage8bvb6e

First stop is a breakfast stop at Farmer & The Seahorse. What a cool venue located around offices with outdoor seating and a farm to table menu. The service was phenomenal and not many guests during the 10 o’clock hour. tempImage6fofiVCarolyn and I split the Harvest Bowl and it was filling and delicious. We were glad we found this spot. After breakfast/brunch we have decided to try a new to us hiking area that features a slot canyon.

Located in Solana Beach in the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is Annie’s Canyon Trailhead and trail. I had picked this hike out due to it’s easy access, newness to us, great views, and the bonus feature of a slot canyon in Southern California.

On this Wednesday morning there are some hikers out, some with masks, some like me–maskless in the great outdoors. Our hike takes us about 2.5 miles from start to finish and a total of 240 feet elevation gains. Carolyn and I ventured into the short sandstone slot canyon and it was pretty neat. Not a very long slot but not many can say they did a slot canyon in the San Diego area.

After our hike, we stop at the Viewpoint Brewing Company for a quick brew sitting outdoors overlooking a lagoon. Very beautiful place for a craft beer and our second time being at Viewpoint. They have a seasonal beer the Apricot Belgian Blonde that is incredible.

We check in to the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. Being a Diamond Member has its privileges plus being a team member of Hilton just adds to our ability to travel. Our rooms are great but we aren’t sticking around and quickly get back to our car for a drive up the coast through Carlsbad and on to Oceanside. The skies are clear, the beaches pristine, and the drive is a good one. Driving on the Pacific Coast Highway through Del Mar, Carlsbad, and Oceanside allows for some great sight seeing and our first stop is at a brewery in Oceanside that we haven’t been to. The Breakwater Brewing Company is located on PCH in downtown Oceanside. Breakwater has a great atmosphere with an outdoor patio and a decent midafternoon crowd. We share a pretzel to hold us over until dinner and enjoy a Kali Krush, a unique, hoppy American pale ale with California sage brush added. Something completely different and very tasty. I step out of my comfort zone and decide to try their 6-time San Diego International Beer Festival gold winning Rasbiscus Mead, a ruby red colored honey wine brewed with a raspberry puree and hibiscus flowers. I’ve never been a mead person but wow, this was fabulous. Sure glad that I stepped out of my tasting comfort zone. In talking with the employees, the recall of Governor Newsom is a hot topic as well as trying to stay in business and overcoming the CA challenges.

Back to the hotel and head off to eat some oysters at the Seasurf Fish Company. During happy hour, the oysters are a buck a piece and delicious. The fish tacos and calamari were not as good but the oysters. The restaurant was busy for happy hour and yes masks required etc. Back to the hotel and a sunset walk along the golf course area that was already prepping for the US Open in June. This will be the second time the US Open has been at the Torrey Pines course and it sure is a scenic stop for just about anything.

After breakfast at the hotel we drive to the Torrey Pines State Park. Carolyn and I had visited here in November and it is a beautiful place with some interesting history. Our hikes at the park take in some great ocean views with eroded cliffs and plenty of hikers. We end up hiking close to six miles and I believe that Carolyn and I have now been on every trail in Torrey Pines State Park.

We return to the hotel for a short rest and to get around for our next happy hour adventure at one of our favorite Southern California stops, the Brigantine. By prepare, that means that Carolyn is going to run the six miles from our hotel while Carol and I drive to the location. Our timing is off and Carolyn beats us to Brigantine and secures us a spot outdoors that overlooks the Del Mar Racetrack and the lagoon.The place is always hopping and especially since CA had relaxed some of their COVID requirements for restaurants. This place never disappoints. Our server was fantastic and excited about being open again. Carolyn gets some clam chowder and it is great. The fish tacos are indescribable and the calamari is awesome. Great atmosphere with great food and great service.

To end our evening we take a sunset walk along the Torrey Pines State Park Beach. Another beautiful day and evening in the books. We head back into San Diego Friday morning and I have convinced Carolyn and Carol to allow me to visit the original Price Club warehouse. What a great experience for me a loyal 40 plus year Costco (Price Club) member. It is still in the original condition of being an old warehouse. With that my trip is complete and we all make our flight back on a 100% full plane. Carol and I are literally the last two on the plane since two passengers failed to show up. We had already prepared to just hang out in the airport and wait for the next flight but sometimes it just works out.

Next stop on our travel adventures involves a hot hike to an Arizona Hot Springs. Stay tuned.

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Pleasant Days In The Desert

Carolyn and I have been exploring the Maricopa County Park System with several trips to Lake Pleasant. On our first trip out to Lake Pleasant we discovered that the North Entrance is closed during the week and not knowing what to do, we came in the main entrance and decided to hike the Pipeline Trail, Yavapai Point Trail. From the south side we began at the Pipeline Trailhead and hiked down the canyon to the lake where there is a floating bridge that crosses a cove so you can continue hiking on the northern portion of the trail. That didn’t work out so well since the floating bridge is no where to be found. We returned to the trailhead and went back to the entrance point for some hiking recommendations.

The young man was very helpful and sent us to an access point for the Beardsley Trail. We trekked north on the western side of the lake on a sunny and warm day through the dessert. Our hike took us to the Wild Burro Trail and we continued north to the Pipeline Canyon Trailhead. The Wild Burro Trail runs close to the lake and that was the only place we encountered any other hikers. It was around 4.5 mile one way. The Lake Pleasant area is known to have wild burros roaming around hence the Wild Burro Trail. We see no wild burros on our journey to the trailhead. As we prepare for the journey back to the car, Carolyn says to me, “We are probably more likely to see a rattlesnake than a burro on the Wild Burro Trail.” Sure enough we get our first rattlesnake sighting this hiking season on the Wild Burro Trail. Seeing a rattlesnake while hiking always gets me a bit anxious. I know we try to be on the outlook every hike and this one was meandering across the trail where it went behind some rocks.
We get back on the long desert section of the Beardsley Trail and Carolyn ends up spotting some wild burros. That was an added bonus and we got to see about six out in the desert.
Our hike ended up at 9.1 miles which did not include the 1+ mile that we had hiked on the Pipeline Trail earlier that morning.

Craft beer time has come and being on NW part of the Valley, we head to Throne Brewing Company on 67th Ave in Glendale. Throne was formerly Dubina and Carolyn and I had stopped by their brewing facility last fall that was opened during Pandemic time in April,. The location in Glendale is a popular spot on the Westside and my favorite of their brews is the Blood Orange IPA.

On Cinco de Mayo, we return to Lake Pleasant and find the north entrance closed again. This time we park off the side of Castle Hot Springs Road and enter the park by hiking. We start on the Cottonwood Trail located by the closed entrance and access the Yavapai Point Trail and hike to Yavapai Point. Once again it is very warm and sunny with nobody on the trails. This time we notice many burros and some young ones are with their mamas. Those little ones are very cute. With our old school phones, we couldn’t get many decent photos but we were thrilled to see them.

Yavapai Point overlooks Lake Pleasant and has some nice elevation gain (400 feet) getting to the top. On the return, we crossover to the Pipeline Trail and hike to the cove where the floating bridge would normally be. No bridge. On our way back to our car, we come across a burro that takes exception to us and lets us know by a long winded bray. It was something to hear as the burro continued braying for quite some time. Our hike today in the desert roundtrip to and from the car was 7.77 miles with a total elevation gain of 760 feet. After our hike, we enjoyed a picnic lunch by the lake. 

It wouldn’t be complete without a brewery stop, so we head to Front Pourch Brewery located in North Phoenix just south of Happy Valley Road and east of 19th Ave. My favorite from Front Pourch is the Toasty Blonde Ale and It’s Chime Time Blonde Ale that is brewed with cherries and key limes. Quite tasty and quite refreshing is how I would describe this perfect summer brew. Front Pourch has been involved in community work and last October, for a couple of weeks they donated $1 from every pint sold to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. From their website: “Our commitment to a better world goes beyond establishing a fantastic brewery. We are grateful for the work of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.”

Lake Pleasant is very popular for boaters and partiers on the weekends. For us, we found that during the week is a great time to visit with no crowds and a much calmer atmosphere and it has some great desert hikes. No rattlesnakes this time but beware they are out there. Added bonus for us was seeing more burros and encountering zero humans on the trails with a great picnic at the end with nobody around. And of course another brewery to add to taste along the way.

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Vacation Race Road Trip to Zion

Carolyn and Jordyn signed up for the half marathon trail run hosted by Vacation Races and being held near Zion National Park and we had been planning this trip for some time. Carolyn had put in some decent training in preparation only to catch Covid for the first couple weeks of March. Her training took a major hit but she got back out to running as quickly as possible and had regained some of what she had lost.
Our oldest daughter, Caitlin, agreed to join us for a family reunion trip. Caitlin was closing on her condo so she had to fly to St. George Saturday morning where she would join us for the rest of the trip.
It was a beautiful Friday for traveling and we went through Flagstaff towards Page, across Northern Arizona to Fredonia and headed to Hurricane, UT. Very scenic drive passing by the Vermillion Cliffs to Jacob Lake and coming off the plateau to the area around Zion. We stopped south of Hurricane in Apple Valley and Jordyn and Carolyn picked up their race packets and info for Saturday morning. From there we headed on to St. George for the night.
St. George is a growing town and the restaurants were packed with long wait times and we ended up eating at a pizza place so we could get to bed for an early start Saturday morning back to Apple Valley. St. George is becoming a very cool town.
Race day got us off to a very early start and the morning temperatures were in the 30’s. There were 500 total participants in the half marathon with about 320 being female. Off they went and I read in the car staying warm. I returned to the finish line and watched and waited for my girls to cross. I watched six male finishers and Jordyn appears crossing the line as the first female. Let’s just say I was stunned. Her time of 1:58:31 on a difficult trail was astounding. The run was closer to 13.5 miles so the time was more impressive. Carolyn finished about 20 minutes later and was first in her age group. Knowing how Covid had impacted her training, her accomplishment was amazing. It was a great morning to be me.

Jordyn Finished #1
From the race we went to Hurricane for coffee at River Rock Roasting Company. What a great local coffee shop. I will return. From there we head to the St. George Regional Airport to gather up Caitlin and head to Springdale, located at the entrance of Zion. I love Springdale. The town is small, beautiful, well kept, and handles tourism like a champ.
Our stay is at the Curio and it is beautiful located along the Virgin River. Our day is spent hanging out at the pools, relaxing and enjoying the amenities and the beauty of the area.
No trip to Springdale is complete with out a stop at the Zion Brewery located at the entrance to the National Park. It just might be the most scenic brewery in America. The beer is brewed off site but definitely worth a stop.

Sunday we head into the Park on the shuttle bus since Jordyn had secured us tickets because you can’t get on without having a preordered ticket and they are sometimes hard to come by. Our hikes include all of the Emerald Pool stops and down to the lodge. Still many Covid restrictions in place including mask required on the Shuttle. Some worthy coffee shops to check out in Springdale include Deep Creek Coffee Company and Feel Love Coffee that recently opened in Springdale after finding success in St. George. Some fun and busy spots for dining are Oscar’s Cafe and Zion Pizza and Noodle Co. Both places pack them in and the Pizza and Noodle place is a repurposed very old Morman Church, in case you were wondering.

Back to the Curio knowing that we are headed back to Arizona, Monday. On Monday we travel through Zion to the eastern entrance and it is a beautiful drive. We stop for a hike that is new to us located just inside the park entrance. Our hike is along the East Rim Trail and there are few hikers encountered. Our hike is an out and back for a total of 5+ miles. The Overlook area is very scenic. I enjoyed the solitude of the hike which is often hard to come by on the trails located near the western entrance to the park.

After our hike it is on to Kanab for stops at Sunny Creek Coffee and Big Al’s Burgers. Sunny Creek has fantastic coffee and espresso drinks located in a trailer. Always busy and run by some local ladies. With coffee in hand, Big Al’s bison burgers are a must have. This place is legendary and seems to always be busy. It makes our drive home much easier. 

This road trip was about the race, family, and enjoying some down time in Springdale. Our first major road trip of 2021 was a great adventure with all my girls. What a wonderful time in Southern Utah.

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Rockin’ a Road Trip to the Verde Valley: Craft Beer and Hikes

Getting back to normalcy in April for Carolyn and I meant returning to all of our outdoor activities. Carolyn was back to running longer distances and both of us hiking the great outdoors without worry of Covid aftereffects. Easter Weekend had us in Payson with Carolyn’s mother and we decided to follow Arizona Governor Ducey’s advice on visiting a state park. For some background information the Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego had closed all city parks for picnics and gatherings due to fears of another Covid outbreak. Governor Ducey didn’t much care for that so he promoted in a video that state parks were open and mentioned two as possible places to visit. One was the Tonto Natural Bridge in Payson area and the other mentioned was Rockin’ River Ranch in the Camp Verde area.

We decided to travel to the Rockin’ River Ranch. This state park had never been open and has gone through a long process of making it into a state park. I made the assumption that Governor Ducey knew something that I didn’t and that maybe the state was doing a “soft” opening as a gift to the residents. We travel the 60+ miles only to discover that it still was closed and somebody had given the Governor some bad information. I’m guessing we weren’t the only ones to travel to a closed ranch state park based on his recommendation.

Rockin’ River Ranch is located close to the Copper Canyon Trailhead and we decided to head there for a hike. We took Carol on part of the loop trail to the waterfall area. Carolyn and I had hiked this area last year and it is a nice area with little traffic. The waterfall is spring fed and a very peaceful area to visit. Our total hike was about 2.7 miles with little difficulty. I highly recommend doing the close to four mile loop trail that is moderate with some elevation gains.

Every good hike deserves a good beer and we head over to the Verde Brewing Company located in a warehouse area off of I 17. We have been here multiple times but they had been closed for almost a year during the Covid shutdowns and had recently reopened. Verde Brewing doesn’t get much for style points on location and ambiance but their beer and food are winners. The Gold Buckle Blonde Ale is one of my all-time favorite craft beers. It contains Verde Valley honey and is phenomenal. Their Wildflower IPA is also exceptional brewed with wildflower honey. I don’t always rave about specific beers but these two are Allstars. We shared the “elote” style nachos and some chili and they are fantastic. If you are ever in the area, this place is great. Just do it.

After our noon stop at the brewery we drive to Cottonwood and the Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Our first state park attempt failed so we were determined to visit another. In all my years, I had never been to this state park. It is located close to Old Town Cottonwood along the Verde River. Very nice and we hiked around the lagoons for a peaceful walk. The park has multiple trails and Carolyn and I are determined to return and just maybe hike the 15 mile one way trail that goes to Red Rock State Park near Sedona. I might make the 15 miles but to certain how I would get back. I suppose I will have to figure that one out.

While in the area, we decided to visit a new to us brewery, Smelter Town Brewery, located in the old mining town of Clarkdale. Clarkdale has a cool vibe and they are restoring and repurposing some of the historical buildings. The Verde Canyon Railroad is located here and brings in many visitors. The brewery opened in the Fall of 2020 (Covid time) in a 100 year old restored building that also has a hotel. The ambiance of this place is something else. It is a beautiful building and we order samplers to taste their different beers. It is good to see that a small town can work together to get projects off the ground and completed. Clarkdale just might be on to something and the Smelter Town Brewery could be a cornerstone for other projects. Another spot you need to see.

Sampling The Smelter Town Brewery

Our trip back to Payson is nice and easy with little traffic on a late Saturday afternoon.

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Back On My Feet Again

Gonna break these chains around me
Gonna learn to fly again
May be hard, may be hard, but I’ll do it
When I’m back on my feet again

Gonna feel the sweet light of heaven
Shining down its light on me
One sweet day, one sweet day I will feel it
When I’m back on my feet again
by Dianna Eve Warren

After being down with COVID 19 for two plus weeks, I was ready to break the chains around me and get back on my feet again by hitting the trails that include brewery stops. Granted I started off slowly with longer walks around our Phoenix Dreamy Draw neighborhood and into the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Carolyn was back to running and working to regain her stride before her Covid setback and she definitely broke the chains much quicker than me. To commemorate my three week anniversary of testing positive we celebrated with a five mile round trip canal/street walk to North Mountain Brewing Company. If I was going to break those chains, I had to put in a brewery for a reward. North Mountain is a hidden gem off of 7th St and Dunlap. The “Golden Ale” is their signature brew and it has a great touch of honey that makes it an easy sipper.

The following day, Carolyn and I returned to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the Lost Dog Trailhead. Carolyn did a trail run and I read a book and then we headed out on the trails for a nice loop hike. Nothing real strenuous since I still wasn’t 100%. The hike was about three miles on the Lost Dog Wash to Ringtail. Very beautiful desert hike that had some slight elevation gains. Our reward for this adventure was a trip to Bone Haus Brewing located south of Shea close to the Fry’s supermarket. Another hidden gem with a great atmosphere and good brews. Our personal favorite is “Englemann’s Elixir” a prickly pear pale ale. We really like this one and on tap it is something special. Check out if you are ever in the Fountain Hills area on Shea.

I could feel myself getting stronger as the after effects of Covid were decreasing day by day. Carolyn and I decided that it would be good to see how I felt on a longer, more strenuous hike. On the last Sunday in March, we hiked in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve from the Desert Vista Trailhead located northeast of I17 and Jomax. For a Sunday afternoon, we did not encounter many other hikers. Our trail was the Hawk’s Nest to Dixie Mountain Loop. Our total hike was was over 4.5 miles and elevation gain of 850 feet. In the spring a great horned owl returns to her nest in a saguaro, gives birth and the baby owls are so cute to view. Those babies and their momma are something to see. (Carolyn did this hike with me after running on another strenuous trail loop of around four miles.)

Our brewery reward for this hike was Simple Machine Brewing Company located in the Deer Valley Air Park. This was a new brewery experience for us and once again another winner. Great open air pub with a patio and a local following. We will return when in that area. My personal favorite was the “Day Crusher” blonde Ale.

My day went so well, I figured I should get back on it and Monday we headed to White Tank Mountain Regional Park. Being Monday, there was very few encounters with humans on the trails. Our big hike for the day was a loop that took us on the South, Bajada, Mule Deer, and Goat Camp Trails. We managed 7.25 miles with elevation gains of 530 feet. Located close to Luke Air Force Base, our start was quite noisy as their jets flew over multiple times. White Tank area has been known to have snakes but the only wildlife encountered were small rodents. After this hike, I still had some energy left and we ended up hiking the Waterfall Trail. There is a waterfall, only after big rains, and this hike is worthwhile to view the many petroglyphs. I’m always fascinated by the ancient drawings and this trail has many to view. We adding two miles and another 400 feet of elevation gains to our daily total.

On the way back home, we found us another brewery to stop and visit, State 48 Brewery in Surprise. State 48 has six locations in the Phoenix area but this a first for us in Surprise. Our food was really good and our beer was ok. They happened to be out of several that day.

These hikes bring me to the end of March. I started the month of March under the weather with Covid but I continued to get better and by mid month I was back on my feet again hitting the trails and stopping at breweries along the way. Craft beer and hiking–it doesn’t get much better then that. Back in the day, we used to listen to Michael Bolton. The song for me always represented overcoming adversity with some encouraging words. In case you forgot who he was, I have attached “Back On My Feet Again” by Michael.

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Gonna Fly Now: Coming Back From Covid

There are moments in your life where something is said to you that you never forget and the words change your life forever. For example, my wife saying, “I’m pregnant!”. That was life changing and when Dr. Zonakis called and told me that my lab results for a mole showed melanoma, that was life changing. Or as recent as February 27, the physician assistant at a NextCare Urgent Care telling me that my nasal swab showed I was positive for COVID. Yep that was life changing as well.

During January and February, I officiated high school basketball in eastern and central Arizona. On the last Tuesday of February, I worked in Camp Verde and I believe I may have contacted the virus from an asymptomatic person who had stated throughout our games that he must have had eaten something bad because his stomach was causing “issues”. We worked with masks but in the locker room you let down your guard and I can’t say with certainty that is where I was exposed but that’s my guess. The following Friday, I officiated in Cottonwood and on my drive back to Payson, I called Carolyn and told her that I wasn’t feeling right, “I just felt off.”

Once arriving in Payson, Carolyn and I watched some Netflix before retiring. I was still achy and running a slight fever with an intermittent cough. Carolyn suggested we drive to the closest place for an instant test on Saturday and I made an online appointment for 1:00. The night was filled with night sweats and it became more difficult to urinate. (one of my symptoms) On our journey to NextCare I was feeling very lethargic and my body temperature at urgent care was 103. After testing positive for Covid, I immediately notified my neighbor and my basketball commissioner so they could start the process of contacting those who were in contact with me over the past week not knowing for sure when I was exposed. On our way back to Payson, Carolyn picked up a variety of supplements including zinc, and Vitamins C, D, B.

Now that I am in my 60’s, I was definitely concerned on how this virus was going to impact my life. I should note that I had scheduled my first dose of the vaccine on Sunday the 28th but that just wasn’t meant to be. On Monday, Carolyn returned to Phoenix for work and I stayed under quarantine in Payson with our 15 year old dog Roxy. From Sunday to Friday, I would get out and walk an average of 3.5 miles a day. I was able to continue my daily regimen of making healthy smoothies loaded with super greens and fruits high in antioxidants. I continued to run a low grade fever 99 to 100 that was controlled with acetaminophen. I called my long time family doctor, James Schouten, to see if he had some ideas and he prescribed zithromax Z pack with a methylprednisolone pack of steroids. Not certain how effective it was and In hindsight I wish I had taken the monoclonal antibody treatment that he mentioned as an option, but it went right over my head. The first week included awful night body sweats, fever, mild body aches, the “Covid” cough, and a feeling of fatigue.

I joined Carolyn in Phoenix Friday night, and she had started to develop similar symptoms. She tested positive on Saturday. We were now in quarantine together in our condo. My second week was much worse then my first week. Not only did I continue with my previous stated symptoms, I added a tightness with pains in my chest and the cough worsened, my pulse rate was high, became unable to focus when trying to read plus the fatigue worsened. The fatigue overwhelmed my desire to do anything and my making of the daily smoothie ended because I just couldn’t do it. Even Roxy would run and hide in the closet as my cough scared her to death. Carolyn and I spent the week watching multiple movies and shows on our various entertainment apps. (That part was enjoyable) My outdoor daily walks were now down to less then 2 miles as I lacked motivation and struggled with fatigue.

Week number three for me and number two for Carolyn saw improvement for both of us and Carolyn returned to her home based work with Southwest on Friday. I still had a reoccurring cough and the fever finally abated. I was on the mend but the fatigue issues continued. By Sunday, Carolyn and I returned to some hiking with a walk of over 5.5 miles in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve which felt good to do.

Prior to catching Covid, Carolyn had been training for a half marathon in Utah slated for April 10. Thankfully her recovery was a bit quicker then mine and she returned to running even though the two weeks hindered her training she was determined to get moving. She has not returned to peak form but she is improving and she won’t do as well as she hoped but she will finish.

I continued to improve during my 4th week with more energy and the cough was almost gone. I was thankful that I had never lost my sense of taste and smell during my battle with Covid. Carolyn lost her sense of smell and taste for several days during her first week but it was short lived. My doctor thought I probably had one of the variants of Covid (UK version) due to not losing my senses of taste and smell.

Prior to having Covid, my last illness was March 19 to about March 24, 2020 when I ran a slight fever with the nightly body sweats and just being sick. Who knows what I had then since testing was minimal and I never felt the need to get medical attention. Carolyn also had the same type of symptoms during that time frame. I’m not saying we had Covid, simply pointing out that we had nothing for a year in the way of illness.

Being seven years older then Carolyn, I do believe that age plays a factor in recovery. Carolyn and I (as far as I know) have no underlying conditions that would play a role in the virus symptoms. Overall my health has been excellent and I do believe being active helped us get through it with a good recovery and I am so thankful that we never had to seek out emergency medical help but were able to just quarantine, hunker down, and get through it. During the Covid time, my oxygen levels remained good running from 93 to 97. My pulse levels remained high and are still higher then prior to having Covid.

Those who make light of the coronavirus should be ashamed. I hear and read where people state that it is no worse then the flu and some have even said it’s no worse then a cold. The commonality amongst most of them is they have never had it and their statements are reckless and inappropriate. For me, I never have had a sickness that lasted close to three weeks and left me with residual effects that have lingered on. (Still have bouts of fatigue) Maybe younger folks have less symptoms but I consider Covid dangerous and the real deal. I have friends who are still not fully recovered after several months. I also know many who have not recovered their sense of smell or taste. Both Carolyn and I know those we worked with that died from the disease. We both took it serious prior to catching it and now that we have recovered we still attempt to follow the CDC guidelines. Wearing a mask at stores doesn’t bother me just like wearing shoes and a shirt into a restaurant doesn’t bother me.

Covid had interrupted my life in many ways and I have been on furlough from my hotel job since March 13, 2020. I did referee high school basketball but Covid ended my season abruptly. After notifying Arizona Interscholastic Association, I never heard a word from them on how I might be doing and it goes to show that even if you have worked for them for 30+ years they just don’t care. My oldest daughter, Caitlin, had it last June, my son in law James in January, (Jordyn tested negative like four times even though she had the symptoms and my mother in law Carol caught the Covid while visiting relatives in Florida in January/February. So Covid was not a stranger to us.

Carrying around the burden of not knowing whether you infected somebody is real and I suffered anxiety for awhile. Nobody wants to be the one who passes it on and puts others at risk (there are so many who treat Covid like a hoax, believe themselves to be immune, and don’t have to follow any guidelines so I won’t lose sleep for them). Thankfully it appears that I didn’t pass it on. (Except for Carolyn)

I feel fortunate that during 2020, Carolyn and I were able to have many social distanced adventures out on the road. We wore our masks, avoided crowds, stayed social distanced when possible and still managed to have loads of fun. I have recently been able to return to hiking and my walking distances have slowly increased. My craft beer intake from various breweries has returned. Carolyn, Jordyn, Caitlin, and I are headed to Utah where Carolyn and Jordyn will run in the Vacation Race near Zion. Our adventures continue and they will soon return to my blogging activity. Three plus weeks of Covid is in the books and I am gonna fly now. I ain’t no Rocky but the struggle was real.

Trying hard now
It’s so hard now
Trying hard now

Gettin’ strong now
Coming on, now
Gettin’ strong now

Gonna fly now
Flyin’ high now
Gonna fly, fly, fly

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