While walking home from the Wellness Center this morning, it occurred to me that I never did thank the people who gave me moral and physical support on an adventure my daughter Maureen and I engaged in recently.
Much of my training for the Arizona Trail consisted of walking the sidewalks, from the GM dealership down Stockton Hill Road, down Airway, back up Beverly, to the Wellness Center, then home.
I'd often hear the sounds of a horn blowing and someone waving. At first I thought I'd forgotten to "close my clothes," but after the initial check, and people calling out to me, I finally realized they were just being friendly.
That helped keep me going.
So did Ran, down at the bike outfitters, when he sold me a fine mountain bike and kept it in shape for our occasional "wheeling segments" past the Mazatzals, across Babbitt Ranch and down the Catalinas. And the use of his bike pack on one of the trips turned out to be a lifesaver.
Thanks to the people at the Wellness Center who didn't laugh when they saw an old man working the treadmill day after day, then returning the occasional clip or buckle that kept falling off his pack.
The use of a truck belonging to T.R. Orr allowed us to do a 30-miler, from the Snow Bowl to Babbitt's Ranch, which Susan (my wife) used to pick us up. Transportation was always a problem, but having the truck allowed Susan to join us on a 10-mile segment, where she found that hiking actually does include an element of fatigue. She surprised me though, and pleasantly, on that walk.
Finally, I want to thank Mark Borgard for agreeing to run the many articles. Especially appreciated was the fact that he published them almost verbatim. Unfortunately, the last one didn't come out completely, through no fault of his.
Right now, I'm back walking, preparing for a multi-day hike, west from Ajo on the Camino del Diablo, a trail chock full of history. I expect I'll be viewing some visitors as they head north, but that won't be my concern. Passing the many graves (hundreds of years old), and visualizing the conquistadors, clerics, Indians and 49ers who traveled that trail will satisfy this hiker's desire to walk in their footsteps.
Thanks again to all you fellow Kingmanites who were friendly enough to blow your horns and wish us well for those four-plus years. Your greetings made my day.