RENEGADE RAMBLE. Day 9: 7.6 Miles

Total Mileage Thus Far: 72.9 Miles

I am seeking $20 donations for each mile but will accept any amount: We only need another $3000 to meet our goal of $25,000 by the end of July!

Brown’s Ranch Trailhead. Hackamore Trail. Rustler Trail. Upper Ranch Trail. Powerline Road #2. Again on Hackamore Trail. Cone Mountain Trail. Upper Ranch Trail. Cone Mountain Trail. Return to Trailhead on Hackamore Trail.

I am planning a rather long hike tomorrow, so I did a couple of short loops this morning. I was lucky enough to speak with over a dozen people, several of whom were the victims of the DDCI misinformation campaign. I am happy to report that respectful discourse is still valuable and fruitful in our society at a local level. Each of the three people I talked to were open to new information, and one even asked for extra flyers to pass around in his sphere.

On Hackamore Trail the gentle percussive tune of a family of birds taking flight among the chirping choir was interrupted by the drone of a drilling rig on Powerline Road #2 with a truck from Hark Drilling, Inc. Not sure what their business is, but I’ve included a photo of their rig and a video of the front loader also crawling along the same trail.

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor and nature

Hackamore Trail provides lovely vistas of Cone Mountain and Brown’s Mountain. The majesty of desert mountains at sunrise cannot be overstated. In a society too often [in my opinion] diseased with bravado and selfishness, the peaks of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve offer a measure of awe that I count as a daily blessing. May I continue to be so humbled.

Mr. McGregor {and my mother} may be offended, but today I offer an ode to the leporidae family. The desert cottontail and [less frequently] the black tailed jackrabbit have joined me on my hikes. One might think it relatively simple to snap a photo of the common rabbit – not so in my experience; today, however I managed to catch a cottontail bounding through the desert grass. Even if you share the views of Mr. McGregor {and my mother} of rabbits in your garden, I hope you will appreciate this little cottontail.

A few days ago, I visited with Kate Tobias of BuzzBerry Coffee. Food. Spirits. She sold me a delicious locally made energy treat and agreed to help Protect Our Preserve in our efforts. If you haven’t taken the time to stop by their friendly and delicious location on the south side McDonald near Granite Reef, please don’t wait another day. The decadent drinks, camaraderie and great food make this place a local treasure. Also, in case you missed the KJZZ Here and Now story recently, here’s a snippet: “Lanning runs Local First Arizona, a nonprofit focused on local businesses. In 2012, a report by research firm Civic Economics found local retailers returned an average of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared with 14 percent for chain retailers. It found local restaurants return an average of 79 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared with 30 percent for chain restaurants.”

If you’d like to hike a leg with me, or if you have suggestions about how might raise money and awareness, please contact me.