Sunday, September 25, 2011

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Besides keeping my family and friends in the loop, another one of my intentions for creating this blog was to share notable experiences within the great state of Arizona. This is such a unique and diverse place to live, the opportunities are endless if you enjoy pursing outdoor activities and recreation.

As far as 2011 is concerned, the Southwest Wildlife Center just might top the list for things to do here in town. We took a guided tour on Saturday morning to get up close and personal with all the native animals, unique to this state. The SW Wildlife Center has everything from bears to mountain lions, several coyotes and bobcats, and a few other interesting animals that you'll have to see for yourself. The center also rehabilitates the Mexican Grey Wolf, an endangered species with only 40 estimated to be left in the wild of Arizona. Go check it out!

Lost Dog Loop

McDowell Mountain Trail Run
North Scottsdale, Arizona
Mileage - 15.23
Time - 2:15
AEG - 1,401ft

Another strange monsoonal storm blew through the valley Saturday night, creating some interesting weather patterns and leaving the morning sunrise partially blocked by dust. Windy conditions left heavy (cloud-like) particulate matter in the air, once again, I had no choice but to run through it. The first few miles were a little rough this morning, then I was able to get into a good rhythm and it turned out to be a pretty good run.

I created a new loop in the McDowell Mountains, connecting the Lost Dog trail with the Paradise, Gateway, Westworld, and Taliesin Trails. The route wasn't all that difficult in terms of elevation, it did have enough variety to make it interesting though. The best part of the run was when I encountered a pack of javelinas that stood their ground when I startled them in a wash. I realized why they didn't run away when I saw their young. After seeing how large, and sharp their teeth are at Saturday's tour at the wildlife center, I wanted nothing to do with them.

Monday, September 5, 2011

AZT #34 - Trail Run

Arizona Trail #34 - Trail Run
Kachina Peaks Wilderness
Flagstaff, Arizona
Mileage - 13
Time - 2:00
AEG - 1500ft

Staying the night in Flagstaff gave me an opportunity to hit the trails with the "ultra" guys that live in town. Brian, Ian, and Eric treated me to an easy 13 mile segment of the Arizona Trail, that turned out to be some of the best (and most breathtaking) singletrack I have ever set foot on in the area. Simply beautiful. The nice part about this run was the soft surface of the trail, which felt good after running in racing flats the previous day. Partially overcast skies and temperatures in the 60s, along with frequent changes in the landscape made those 13 miles disappear underneath our feet in what seemed like a matter of minutes. Great catching up with you guys, always a pleasure running together.