My brother in law Ron Schoen of Indianapolis passed away unexpectedly Monday afternoon in New Orleans. He was there with a group from his church doing a build for Habitat for Humanity. I don’t think I’ve known a more giving person. Ron was happiest when he was helping some one else. It was a life long habit of his. He spent countless hours caring for his invalid mother. He was a pillar of support for his wife Nancy, my sister. He was always there to help out their kids with cars, houses, and emotional and financial needs. He was a lifetime member of Downey Avenue Christian Church were he served in many capacities, giving unselfishly uncountable hours of his time. When he retired, he did not take advantage of the extra time to play golf, go fishing, or any of the things many people find to do. Ron was thrilled to have the time to travel to New Orleans and help people in need. I remember how happy he was recently when he purchased a van to be able to haul people and tools to help people in New Orleans. He will be missed; he did his part to make this world a better place.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Catalina State Park. We went on a short hike, but because of the necessity to ford a running wash, Ron was out-voted 3 to 1 on hiking on to the Romero Ruins. We still got a nice hike in and enjoyed spotting a number of birds. Check our the TRIP JOURNAL for more.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
This is a male Northern Cardinal that I took yesterday afternoon here at Catalina State Park. Ironically the female Northern Cardinal that I already had in my CRITTERS section was taken two years ago here at this very park. Birding works out well for the three of us. Buster loves getting out of the coach and exploring, and Jeanette and I both enjoy the challenge of spotting and identifying birds. We started trying out a new method; after spotting a bird I try and get in a good position to get a photo, Jeanette using the birding app in my iTouch, plays the bird’s call which seems to really hold his attention while I get closer for a better photo.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Picacho Peak State Park. Today we move on to Catalina State Park. It's a short distance, so should be an easy day.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Yesterday was our BIG move to Picacho Peak State Park . I say big, because there was so much involved. After setting for almost four months at Buckskin Mountain, it was hard to try and remember where everything went, the hoses, wires, and cables, for sewer, fresh water, electricity, and satellite. To say nothing of finding places for bicycles, chairs, tables and so forth. Then there were stops for a wash job, groceries, gas, and propane. And then there were 260 miles to drive! By the time we got here late yesterday, added water, (no one would want to take Buckskin Water with them), and got into a site, I was exhausted. But, as you can see from the photos, the scenery here is inspiring, and I’m sure I’ll be rejuvenated in a day or two.
Monday, March 15, 2010
We are now down to our last day at Buckskin Mountain State Park. Jeanette will be working at the Registration Station this morning, I’ll be disconnecting the coach to take it up to the work area and give it a good wash job. The afternoon will be spent with the final packing and resting, and then in the morning we will hook on the car and take off. Our first stop will be Picacho Peak State Park north of Tucson on Tuesday night. The plan is to spend the next couple of weeks visiting some of the other Arizona State Parks using a free state parks pass we received at the volunteer appreciation pizza lunch last Friday. We hope to also spend time at Patagonia Lake State Park, Catalina State Park, and Dead Horse Lake State Park before heading North to Oregon.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Above are the before and after photos of a water-bar that I put in yesterday on the Interruption Point Trail. I’m down to the last few days, so have to pick what projects are most important to finish for this season. It’s been a real privilege for me to have this opportunity to take over the responsibilities of a legendary fellow by the name of Chuck. There is no way I could fill his boots, they were some mighty big ones, but I hope I have been able to contribute to the longevity of the excellent system of trails here at Buckskin Mount State Park.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Yesterday I lead the last Nature Hike on the trails here at Buckskin Mountain State Park. I have the same excuse as the day before. Again, I was so involved in leading the event that I failed to remember to use my camera. I pointed out a couple of dozen different plants, cactus, and trees. Numerous wild flowers are now blooming, and are a joy to see. More than half of our group of 11 hikers were from Canada and practically interested in what grows “down here”. In all I’ve taken almost ninety hikers on ten hikes this last two and a half months. It been a real pleasure to daily spend time on the trails, and I’m going to miss sharing some of the things I love about the out doors with so many interested people every week. I’m feeling a little nostalgic about it all, it feels like it’s one of the best “summers” I’ve ever had.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Yesterday was the last of the Bird Walks for the season here at Buckskin Mountain State Park. We had 14 enthusiastic attendees and we identified 22 separate species of birds. I was so busy leading the walk, pointing out, and identifying birds that I overlooked taking any photos, but we did have some great sightings. Without a doubt the most colorful bird was the male Vermilion Flycatcher in his bright red coloring. The most astonishing sight was an Osprey that flew directly overhead with a huge fish gripped tightly in its talons. Our first sighting for the day, and amazingly enough our last was a Say’s Phoebe. As to most numerous, it was probably a tie between House Finches and Black Birds, both Brewer’s and Red Wings. The shyest birds were the Western Bluebirds that tucked deep into the Mesquite trees out of the wind. And the hardest name for the group to learn to pronounce would be, Phainopepla.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Trip Journal for more details of the hike.