Ignore All Warnings

Ignore all the warning signs. Ignore the suggestions. Don’t read any signs. Go about your day oblivious to your surroundings only concerned with your own personal immediate happiness.IMG_0694

I’m starting to not care anymore. I’m starting to hope you suffer the consequences.

No, not a healthy mindset is it? But it’s true. For every eye roll I have received, for every “oh I know”, for every mock laugh I have heard when giving out honest words of encouragement and safety, I now hold a special place in my evil little heart.

I wear boots while working in a barn for a reason. We post signs about rattlesnakes for a reason. IMG_0322We suggest you stay on the trails for a reason. We tell you to drink water for a reason.

But you insist upon shuffling your way through the desert with tiny flip flops, open toed sandals, even high heels.IMG_0549 You proudly tell me your plans to hike at one in the afternoon to a destination you haven’t even arrived at and it’s already 90 degrees. You carry a bottle of Diet Coke and tell me you know all about staying hydrated.

You have no idea there is not a gas station for miles if you continue on the road you are on or that reckless driving on that same road helped three cars go off the cliff last weekend. So yeah, go ahead and check  Google maps on your phone.

Continue being dismissive to friendly locals who just might know a thing or two. The ones that suggested closer, shorter trails. Only partially listen to the those who have the desert ability to rescue you when you get lost.IMG_2092

Don’t take a second out of your oh so busy and important life to hear that if you take two more steps forward you will get impaled by the cactus you aren’t paying any attention to.IMG_1739.JPG

Don’t smile or be considerate as you travel. Don’t say thank you or please. Openly make fun of the things and people around you. Oh, and be sure to throw your plastic tooth pick right on the ground. No need to locate a trash can…IMG_6425.JPG

I love the desert I live in.

I will continue to protect it and offer words of wisdom from an honest and pure heart only looking to keep you safe.

…roll your eyes…you’re on your own…

You’re going the Wrong Way!

“You’re going the wrong way!”

In 1987 this line had us in tears. Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

30 years later…

February 16, 2017 2:30 this morning troopers stopped a wrong way driver on the 60 near Mill avenue after 11 terrifying miles . We have had five incidents of wrong way drivers just in the last week. DPS received 1600 reports of wrong way drivers in 2016.

Out here in Arizona we have also had more than our share of people passing out behind the wheel. December 12, 2016 NFL “star” Michael Floyd was found passed out at a light. Extreme DUI with twice the legal limit, unconscious at a street light.

Professional golfer Steven Bowditch being the most recent “famous” person to have been found passed out behind the wheel at a light. He was out here for this year’s always amazingly fun Waste Management Open. Thanks for coming.IMG_0280.JPG

We live in a time where travel, even free travel, is available twenty-four hours a day. Uber, Lift, Light rail, Taxis, Buses are all out there so you do not have to drive anywhere after a night of too much. But for whatever reason, any help to get home safely continually gets ignored, most appallingly by those who have the means to never have this type of thing happen.

In a world that is beyond consumed with the idea of secret and not so secret forces terrorizing the innocent, my reality is I am much more likely to get hurt or killed by a fellow citizen pretending to drive.

Ask any motorcyclist in Arizona. Last year I personally saw three separate incidents with motorcyclist laying their bikes down.

Then there’s the shootings. Oh yes, we have road rage but in Arizona we also get to have a serial shooter taking aim while we drive to and from work for about a month solid in 2015. From August 27-September 10 we had 11 incidents on the freeways.

Do I even need to bring up cell phones?

Once you close that door and turn on that engine you are a loaded weapon.

We have watched in horror as trucks are now being used to plow through groups of innocent people.

OR…

How about we stop a freeway and cause accidents so we can film a car or truck doing donuts? No, not for a movie…to post online as entertainment.

The reality is, ALL of what I have written about, all the horror on the roads recently, has been done by both men and women. Pick a color. PEOPLE are doing this. People are not doing much of anything safe on the roads at all anymore.

It’s not ok. There is no argument. It’s called Wrong Way Driving!  WRONG!

It sucks… but now quoting “you’re going the wrong way!” just isn’t funny to me anymore.

Excessive Heat Warning

As I encourage the masses to come and see the beauty that is the desert there is a small voice inside telling me you better make sure to prepare them properly. So I’m going to tell you like a friend, like someone who actually cares about you getting to enjoy the desert safely.

This weekend we had record breaking heat. This is not new for us desert folk. The news reporters seem to take quite a bit of joy announcing repeatedly the triple digit numbers expected. But a fact I am reminded of as I listen to the news is again we lost a hiker due to dehydration. Rescue teams went in search putting even more lives at risk.

Ok so let’s be reasonable, if I plopped you in the middle of the arctic without a jacket you would freeze right? If I plop you in the middle of the desert without water you will die. It’s not a maybe.

No water = death.

Be prepared for where you are going and KNOW your body and your limits.

I wrote earlier about the fact I am born and raised desert and I don’t go hiking in the summer after about 5am. Yesterday it was 100 degrees at 10 am!!!! It only got hotter. (June 6th 2016) Out here high heat doesn’t hit until later in the afternoon.

And I’m going to be honest the desert isn’t even that pretty in the middle of a hot afternoon. The sky is pale blue and everything is radiating heat. Its nap time. Its shut the curtains and block out the sun time.

The mountain range we live next to is magnetic and draws people to it. The energy is strong and almost overwhelming to those who are sensitive to it. With the added attraction of the possibility of finding gold we have people coming from everywhere to hike. But unfortunately not everyone makes it back home.

I found this crazy interesting book called “Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon” by Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers that I have been reading. Arizona has some spectacular natural beauty that draws millions of visitors every year especially to the Canyon but too many seem to come incredibly unprepared and surprised by the weather. I definitely recommend it especially if you want to hike the Grand Canyon or even visit it.

There’s really nothing “soft” out there hiking a desert trail. No couch for you to stop at. If parking and then walking for another 20 minutes before you really get started sounds like too much for you already then guess what? IT IS! Know why? Because your brain didn’t even factor in the 100 degrees part!image

Bring WATER. Not soda. WATER. As much as you can carry.

Don’t expect rescue teams to come for you either…at least not right away. They aren’t sitting out there in the desert in towers like life guards with binoculars watching to see you flop over from heat exhaustion. If you get yourself in a bad spot you could be miles away from any real help. And honestly the hotter it is the less people out there so who are you going to yell “help!” to when your phone doesn’t get a signal? How are you going to describe where you are?..image

A hat and bright clothing are also good ideas along with sunscreen.  If you ever need to be found, wearing brown, gray or camo is not going to help. Think outfit seen from space.

You might also rethink trying to get a tan while hiking. You are better off doing that by a pool… and air conditioning and a drink with ice cubes. Then at least when your body gets hot you can jump in the water. Also some of the lotions for tanning can attract bees. We did recently lose a hiker due to over 1000 bee stings. I don’t think lotion played a part but you don’t want to do anything to attract them.

Having less clothing on is not going to help in regulating your body temperature either and probably just speed up the process of getting you fried to a crisp.

And for goodness sakes wear real shoes! Not flip flops of any brand. Have I not shown you enough pictures of cacti already? Wobble an ankle wearing flip flops and that’s not a fun hike back.image

We have in AZ what’s called the stupid motorist law. If you drive around a barrier into a flooded road and have to be rescued guess what? You are in trouble. I don’t think there is a law for dumb hiking but maybe we should look into it? Bad shoes, no water, too late in the day, tried to find gold digging with a spoon? Dumb hiker law

 

IT’S HOT IN THE DESERT!

 

Not sure what I mean still? Ever open your oven when it’s been cooking for a while and you get that blast of heat at your face and eyes and you wonder for a second if you still have eyelashes? I have stepped outside before and felt that here.

The desert is an extreme climate. Please do your homework before attempting any of the larger hiking trails. If you are planning a trip to see the fabulous Saguaros then start walking or hiking where you live now and build up your stamina. None of the trails I have ever been on are perfectly flat or paved so don’t say you practiced walking at the mall.

Check weather reports before making plans. Always let others know where you are going hiking and for about how long you think you will be. That way when you don’t come back after too many hours we know we might have to go search. I say don’t go alone.image

The Superstition Mountain Range along with Arizona’s other amazing natural attractions have seen enough tragic loss of life. Come visit the desert safely.

Check out HikeArizona.com for great info regarding the trails.