Euclid Beach 1Whenever you’re writing a novel, I don’t care who you are, you rely on memories. There are stories tucked in the back of your mind itching to be set free. Characters might be based on people you know and scenes set on experiences you’ve had. Since it’s summer, I thought I’d share a memory that came to mind after reading about the long closed Euclid Beach Park in the paper.  It brought back old childhood memories.

 

Euclid Beach was a magical place to little kids back in the day. Why? That is a question my son asks. What’s so great about Euclid Beach? He, who has been exposed to every kind of park from Disney to Busch Gardens to Cedar Point.  Well, in those days, there weren’t a lot of places that catered to kids except Roller Rinks. We didn’t have all the choices kids have today. We only had three channels to choose from on one television set. Hard to believe, isn’t it, kids?GoldenTicket

 

On the last day of school, we would all get that golden ticket. Yeah, I stole that from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but give me a break. I’m a teacher and it’s one of my favorite books.  The ticket was actually yellow and it listed all the rides you could go on for free.

 

At the park, you usually bought tickets for each ride. Some rides were worth more tickets, like the Flying Turns, and were excluded on the golden ticket. If you wanted to ride, you had to pay.

I think we had to go on a certain day for the ticket to be valid, something like School Days. Euclid Beach wasn’t a far drive but to a kid it seemed far away.  We usually went with friends or cousins.

 

Once we entered the park, the first ride we ran to was The Bug.  It was great because you could fit a lot of kids in the circle of seats. Whoever was on the wrong end would get smashed by the rest of us. We always did our best to smash that person with a few extra pushes, too.  The Rocket Ships were usually next.  Two fit in a seat and the ships would leave the concrete pad and swing out and around in a circle. It was a thrill! And one of my favorites.

Bug         rocket1

Afterward, we’d head down the midway past Laughing Sal and the Fun House. Never seemed like much fun to me, just the opposite. It was pretty scary. Sal would be in one of the corners of the outside of the building, supposedly laughing, but to me it was a sign to stay far away. I don’t remember going in there until I was much older.

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over the falls

Laugh in the Dark was not to be missed. Those type of rides are now referred to as a  dark ride because, well, it was in the dark. You’d travel inside a dark building in cars on a track and things would light up to scare you. I think my all time favorite dark ride was Over the Falls. You sat in a four person boat; two in front and two in back, and weren’t even strapped in. The boat went through a tunnel and scenes lit up but were not scary. When you came out of the tunnel you started chugging up the hill and then dropped straight down into a pool of water…without ever falling out. To this day, I never understood why not. I know there’s a scientific explanation but still…

 
Euclid Beach had many coasters, too. The Racing Coasters were fun because they took off at the same time and everyone wanted to come back first and win. They were the tamest of the coasters. We talked my mom into going on it one year. She was afraid of coasters and most rides. Well, we never heard the end of it. She hated it and repeated the story many times how we made her go! The kids loved the fact she went on a coaster. We thought it was great and, of course, funny.

coaster I always remember coming to the back edge of the park. The last ride was the Flying Scooters. They looked like butterflies and you moved the wing back and forth to make the scooter go up in the air. There was a trailer park community beyond that and people were not allowed to walk through. I never remember going down to the lake although the park sat right by it. We’d stopped at the trailer park and felt we came to the end of the line.

 When it was time to go home, we’d stop for ice cream cones and buy popcorn balls and taffy to take home. What a great ending to a long day.

So, to answer my son’s question, what’s so great about Euclid Beach? Hard to put into words but I think my answer would be the same every time…the memories.

 

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TwitterbirdTitles don’t come easy to me, thus the unforgettable one today. They have to be catchy and still match the story…or blog. I should be better at it because we tend to make up names for lots of things in our family.

One I’ll share today is the dreaded Chirp-athon. My husband aptly named it because starting in the spring, right through summer; the birds begin a chorus of chirps kicking off around 5 a.m.

Now if you’re sleeping, you’re golden and never know it’s happening. But if you’re awake for any reason, you will not be serenaded back to sleep, you’ll just lie there and pray it ends…soon. I can tell you first-hand it lasts over an hour, is very loud and then suddenly everything falls silent. I guess the birds are done singing their anthem, “The early bird gets the worm”, by then and fly off to begin their day. I’m left staring at the bedroom ceiling.

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Our favorite Chirp-athon is when one bird decides to sit right outside our bedroom window. It sets up a mic stand and surround-sound speakers. We don’t know if it’s a special guest star or one-time appearance because it doesn’t happen too often, thank goodness. It’s like having our alarm clock set for 5 a.m. No sleeping through that.

I guess if we didn’t see the humor in it, it could drive us crazy, and families need that…both humor and a little crazy sometimes.

They also need buzz words, or fun sayings, in their lives…a phrase or word that can bring smiles to their faces or make them recall a certain memory. Something only the family knows the meaning of and the outside world has no clue.

So after coming up with these catchy words and sayings for years, I have the dreaded title block as I have come to call it. It’s like writer’s block only different. I keep telling myself it will come to me, keep writing, but it doesn’t. When I finally do get a brainstorm, I go to Amazon to check if there are any similar titles. If I see ten books with the same heading, I don’t want to use it anymore.

So what am I to do? Wrack my brain, read a thesaurus, Google words or pray for divine intervention? I don’t know what the answer is. Frustrating as it is, I know I’ll keep trying but there’s just a little piece of me that wants to throw up my hands and say, “Oh, this is for the birds.”

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!
— Dr. Seuss

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cute-bull

Seize the day! Take the bull by the horns. Figures of speech, also known as similes, are often used to encourage or make a point. They sound better than someone telling you to try again or don’t give up which is still good advice. I much prefer “Follow your Dreams”.

I recently read that an author should have a tagline after their name. I’ve been toying with Nancy Pennick, Follow Your Dreams for awhile and don’t know if that works or not. It’s supposed to help the reader remember your name and recognize your brand. Who thought I’d have to learn marketing when I started writing.

After a career in teaching, I never thought I’d begin a second as a writer. My dream was to live the quiet, peaceful life and catch up on the things I always wanted to do when I worked, like traveling and organizing the closets.

One of the things on my to-do list was to head out west so I began researching where I’d like to go. The Grand Canyon was a definite must and I was open to other locations. Since we have a timeshare, I decided to take advantage of staying at their resorts.

Our trip was aptly named “Out West” and we began our journey in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There were five of us on this leg of the trip. We started off in downtown Santa Fe, parking next to a broken meter. The meter police happened to be strolling by when we realized it wasn’t working and he said we were fine. Imagine our surprise when we returned to find a ticket on the windshield. Welcome to Santa Fe!

We had covered a lot of ground on that sightseeing vacation 05 028adventure, ending at the Loretto Chapel with its magnificent spiral staircase that looks like it has no visible means of support. That town, rich in art and history, left us with a feeling of truly being out west from the pale red stucco buildings to the southwest art dotting the landscape.

While in New Mexico we visited Sandia Peak in Albuquerque and took the tramway to the top of the mountain.vacation 05 062
It grew dark on the way back down and gave us another perspective of the mountain. A quick day trip the other way took us to Taos and ended that part of our journey.

We hopped in the car for a short six hour drive to Sedona, Arizona. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The road taking us into town was wrapped around a mountain, filled with twists and turns. We screamed like we were on an amusement ride as we descended, later laughing about how it really wasn’t all that bad. My favorite part of being in Sedona was that some of the rock formations had names. Coffee pot was my favorite and as you see in the picture, it really does look like one. Then there were characters from the Peanuts gang, Lucy and Snoopy. She’s up top and he’s lying on his back on his doghouse.

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It was finally on to the Grand Canyon, which I’ve already covered in another post, and won’t bore you again with details. The final leg of the journey was Las Vegas where we were joined by other members of the family. It was an overwhelming place but once we got used to it, we loved it. We called the Paris Hotel home for a few short days getting to travel to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Anything’s possible in Vegas!

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After we returned home and back to normal, I sorted through endless pictures, proud I fulfilled one of my dream trips. Those photos would always remind me I did it.

Just recently a Home Goods Store opened in my city. My sister and I strolled through the aisles and we came across a wicker head of a bull, horns and all. Really, we did. I had to stop and admire it. I told my sister if someone bought that they literally could take the bull by the horns. We had a good laugh and moved on.

But think about it. Isn’t that a good reminder in life? If you really want to do something like change careers, learn to dance, travel out west, go back to school or write a book, you should do it. No one’s stopping you. Take the bull by the horns…or as I like to say, follow your dreams.

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trophy  My dad loved to make up names for people. Not in a mean way but in a fun way. He saw the humor in a lot of things others did not. I think he kept himself amused that way. He had names for some of the guys I dated. He would refer to them as “String Hair”, “Mop Head” and the like. I guess that helped tell them apart.

Dad and I would banter back and forth about a lot of things. We could go on and on about names. When I started taking Spanish in Jr. High, he asked if I knew what my name would be in that language. Of course, I knew it was Nanita. The teacher always called us by Spanish names.

Dad loved to call me Nanita from then on. I always kidded him that if I had a girl, I would name her “Gilbertina” after him.   That would be quite a name, especially back in the 60’s, maybe not so much now!  Dad also loved play on words and his favorite was “Celery stalks at midnight”, laughing as he said it.  Get it? He would always make sure you did.

When I was in high school, Dad and I were bantering back and forth as usual and I came up with a new name for him, “Googus”. It stuck for quite awhile and was later shortened to Goog.  Goog took it all in stride and wore the name proudly.  My cousin and boyfriend at the time also called him Goog. It became a special name. When my sister came home from college, she learned about the name and also called him that.

To me, it was a special name for a special guy. I guess he needed a special name. After a few years, we went back to calling him dad, daddy, uncle and the like. It just happened naturally. He never asked to be called dad or to stop calling him Goog. I think…I hope he knew it was special and derived out of love for him by many young people in his life. There will be a lot of dads in this world, but there will never be another Goog.

Love, Nanita

This is dedicated to Gilbert William Borsch, a great man and father, who we lost too soon. That short time was filled with unconditional love. Happy Father’s Day

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baseball guyI just read an article in the sports page that has me fuming. It stated that scouts for baseball teams don’t usually like players with red hair. Really? I hoped it was a joke because the Cleveland Indians first draft choice is a player still in high school that has…wait for it, red hair. The punch line never came and I started to think this could be true. I decided to Google the topic and several stories came up on espn.go.com.

1b.Kindergarten 92-93

 

I should not really be surprised because when my son was little he had reddish-brown hair and people commented on it. It was never bright red or orange, judge for yourself.

When he was in high school he told me in younger years, kids called him “Red” to tease him. I was surprised because my husband and I never knew it happened and he never confided in us.   Now, as an adult, it looks brown. Red highlights are still there.

 

It made me start to think how many other children were bullied or teased because they had red hair. It’s also associated with a fairer skin and freckles, so stereotypes abound. Not much I could do about it but was determined to have at least one character in every book I wrote have a shade of red hair.

There are many tones of red—auburn, dark red, copper, strawberry blonde, light ginger. Some even dye their hair to get that color. Why the fascination? Anything rare or different is unique. Many are striving for that in their daily lives. A quick hair color change may do the trick and let’s face it, it’s a striking color.

According to multiple sources, about 2% of the population has natural red hair, the rarest color in the world. Some areas tend to have more redheads, mainly Northern and Western Europe. People with red hair are thought to be British or Irish descent.

To get scientific, it takes two recessive genes to make a red-headed child. Each parent must carry the gene and then there’s still just a one-in-four chance of that happening. Hair can be lighter at birth, and darken with age.

Fiery tempers, carrot top and the red-headed stepchild, even calling someone a Ginger have been unflattering comments about this hair color. When we see someone with that color hair, we take a second look and that’s okay. But to judge or think someone is different, that is not.

Back to the baseball story…the writer commented that scouts, for some reason, are not crazy about red hair. That is unless the player is really good at baseball. This prospect is really good at baseball. He has the possibility of turning into a phenom one day. When he does, I hope it finally puts to rest the conversation that started during this baseball draft. Does red hair have anything to do with his talent? I don’t see why the two go hand in hand but have to shake my head over this strange development.

I, for one, will be cheering harder for the kid, no matter his decision. He has until July to sign with the team. He may not. He may choose college over the major leagues. Until then, I’m sure he’s going to be asked about his hair multiple times because after all, isn’t that what baseball is all about?

 

 

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Who ever thought teachers would become the first line of defense? I turned and asked my husband that question as we watched the disturbing news of Sandy Hook Elementary. Teachers and children shot and killed. That never crossed my mind when I dreamed of being a teacher.

I hate to use the cliche “Back in the good old days”, but it comes to mind when I think about my first two decades of teaching. The uppermost things on my mind were to write good lesson plans, attend teachers’ meetings and engage children in the learning process to the best of my ability. The doors were open and everyone was welcomed.

That changed after the Columbine shootings in 1999. Suddenly we were all looking over our shoulders. Discussions were held on how and when to lock the outside doors and who to let in the building. The signal Code Blue was established and teachers knew that meant an intruder was in the building. Children were taught to get down and hide behind their desks. Was there really a good way to solve this problem?

When I first walked into my school building, it was the height of  “Open Classrooms” in the late 70’s. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, it was a new style of teaching. Children would move from teacher to teacher in an open, large area and learn at their own rate.

A new wing was built with no walls at my school for that very purpose. Four classrooms were on each side. In a few years, teachers found the noise level too loud and the concept not working so half walls were built to separate the rooms. I eventually ended up in that wing teaching third and then second grade.

As the years went on, a partition was added onto those walls and finally the shared sinks were taken out and the classrooms became totally contained. We still had no doors but everyone was pleased with the results. The shootings were the catalyst to get doors with locks on every classroom. We had now gone from totally open to locked in.

The recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma is another example of the selflessness of teachers. They used their own bodies to protect their students without giving a second thought. I never came close to a tornado threat like that but we did practice drills.

I remember standing in the kitchen preparation room—because it had no windows—with two other classes. Seventy-five students and three teachers all crammed into a relatively small space. I smiled calmly at the children, shushing them when they became a little rambunctious and reminding them not to touch anything, cringing inside as I eyed all the pots and pans on the shelves above us. In my mind, all I could think about is how would we all survive in there? I mapped out a plan and hoped I never had to use it. The best I could come up with is for all the children to get down and I would somehow cover them up. My heart was with all those teachers the day I heard of the tornado in OK. They didn’t think twice, I’m sure.

Another school year is coming to a close. Teachers are closing up their classrooms and getting ready for summer break. Do they deserve that break? Some think not. Some say they are paid too much for the hours they work and all the vacations they receive. I don’t want to ramble on what teachers pay for out-of-pocket or how many other things they do besides teach. But let me ask you, how can you teach on days when a storm rolls in and a dark cloud hangs over the school and you look into the wide eyes of the children in front of you? You tell them everything will be okay because you’ll take care of them and they believe you. Or what would you do when the lights go out? Sirens wail and no one knows why? Do people really think teachers just keep teaching, ignoring weather, strange sounds, crying or any other disturbance in their day? No, they stop and deal with it. Sometimes they get it right, other times they don’t. They’re only human like the rest of us.

Now retired, I’m still a champion for my colleagues. This weekend I read a headline in our city’s newspaper saying, Drop high-stakes tests and let teachers teach. I like that idea. That’s what we signed up for, to teach. We knew going in it wasn’t going to be easy. A person does not walk into a classroom, teach for six or seven hours, pack up and go home. So much more goes on than that. Light bulb moments, wide smiles after success, wondrous eyes during exploration, and satisfied faces can fill one’s day. Not all are golden moments but we’re there for it all, the long haul, no matter where the day takes us.

So today, take a minute to pause and reflect on all the things teachers do and maybe thank…no make that salute…a teacher.

Teacher

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Since I have no real experience or great knowledge about these magnificent animals, I wonder why I keep putting horses in my stories. I’m definitely not an expert on the subject. I grew up watching them on TV so I always felt they were part of my life. I’m not talking about the My Little Pony era.  I go back a little farther than that for my childhood. I’m talking real, live horses like Trigger, Roy Roger’s horse, and the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver, of the “Hi, Ho, Silver” fame. And let’s not forget Zorro riding his white horse in the opening credits of his show and pulling the animal up and onto its back legs as he gives a wave. Those were real horses and men depended on them.

Roy Rogers and Trigger                             lr_silv8

One more show on my list also deserves a shout out…Bonanza.4horses

It was on for over a decade. Pa Cartwright and his three boys would ride up on their horses during the show’s introduction, stop and smile for the camera. The horses took them everywhere–into town, out on the range and chasing bad guys. My favorite Cartwright was Little Joe and I loved his horse, too. Cochise was a beautiful paint horse that had wonderful patterns of white on it. I wanted one just like it.

So how could any little girl during that era not love horses? I was one of many who did, I’m sure. Then it happened. My sister and I begged to go horseback riding during a vacation at a resort where there were stables. I was probably eleven or twelve at the time. All the riders were in a pen, dismounting at the end of the journey and my horse decided to pin me with its hindquarters against the fence. If you’ve stopped laughing and are wondering what part exactly are the hindquarters, I looked it up. It’s the top part of the horse above the back leg. I don’t remember how long it took to be rescued but it felt like hours. Needless to say, I was traumatized, never to ride or go near a horse again.

So why use them in my stories? I’ll tell you a little secret. I still love them. They are beautiful and majestic and I long to ride one the correct, proper way. I can feel the wind in my hair as I proficiently gallop along in my imagination. And right before my dismount, I have the horse rear high in the air and I give a quick salute, just like Zorro, and say, “Hi, Ho, Silver!” Oh, wait, that’s the Lone Ranger…but you get the picture.

Walt Disney Treasures Zorro

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FE06OWTEAWhenever you go out for breakfast at a restaurant, the first thing they ask is if you want coffee. No one ever asks, “Tea?” Nope, it’s always coffee. What about us tea drinkers? We always have to say, “I’ll have tea, please.” Then you have to specify hot or cold, sweet or unsweetened because it’s served so many ways.

coffee

Funny, I should be a coffee drinker because I grew up surrounded by it. My mother always started up the coffee pot after family dinners so everyone could have coffee with their dessert. It was considered a sin if there wasn’t any to go along with the cake or pie that was served.

I love the smell of coffee. It’s a welcoming smell as if it’s saying come in and stay awhile. I’ll admit to drinking a caramel or mocha latte but true coffee drinkers would say that’s not the real thing. My son likes dark roasted coffees, the stronger and darker the better.

I can’t remember how or when I was introduced to tea. Maybe I had iced tea when I was younger but all I know is I prefer it over coffee. There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea on a cold morning. One of my favorites is English Breakfast and as a flavored tea, nothing can beat Peach Apricot.

My favorite tearoom closed recently and it left a large gap in my life. My sister and I had a standing reservation there. Every Friday we’d head to our cozy table to eat lunch, drink tea and solve world problems. Well, not really solve those problems but in a tearoom anything is possible!

tea cups

 

Trying to find a replacement tearoom has been difficult. There are a few but none like that one. I still go to other tearooms because I’d miss the mismatched tea cups on each table and pouring the steaming tea into one of them. A tearoom takes you away from the real world for awhile and I can’t give that up.

When I write, I like to have a cup of tea nearby. It helps the thought process. I can lean back, take my cup in hand and think.

So given my choice in the great debate of coffee or tea, I’ll always have my answer ready. I’ll have tea, please.

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Library-Books With the invention of the Kindle and Nook, there are so many ways to read a book these days. A lot of people say they like the feel of the book in their hand. I admit I was one of them.

As a young girl, I remember how it felt to pick a book out at the library, carefully taking my time. I’d place the stack on the check-out counter with a feeling of accomplishment. The librarian would slowly turn the book over, open the back cover and remove the card. She’d stamp the card and then the book with the due date. Things were pretty simple back then.

A book plays an important part in my novel, too. Without it, Katie would never be able to live her two lives. She reads right before she goes to bed, places it on her nightstand and off she goes!

When I was teaching third grade, I had a gifted student with a wide range of interests. During library period, the librarian rushed up to me with a very thick book in hand. That third grader wanted to read Moby Dick. She was all flustered and said the book was too hard for an eight year old and he’d never read it. I sat, smiling and nodding, while she made a list of reasons why he shouldn’t check it out. She finished with a flourish, “You’re the teacher. I need your approval for him to check out this book.”

I paused and said, “Let him check it out.” Little did she know, I swelled with pride that a student of that age wanted to tackle Moby Dick.

Her stunned expression said it all. “I think you should tell him he can’t check it out.”

Surprised, I didn’t want to argue. “Why?” I had to ask.

“He’ll never read it.”

Now those were fighting words. How did she know he wouldn’t read it? In my mind, if he tackled the first chapter and gave up, it was a win-win. There weren’t too many places in school where children get a choice and I felt the library was one of them. I always let the kids pick what they wanted.

You’re probably wondering who won the Battle of Moby Dick. Me, although that doesn’t happen very often in my life. But when I set my mind to something, watch out…especially if it involves kids.

I don’t remember how far the student got in the book, but he did read it. In years to come when I’d run into his mom, she’d always bring up the subject of Moby Dick. She’d tell me how thrilled her son was to bring the book home and that I let him. Even she was hesitant and doubted he would read it but he proved her wrong. She said he always remembered he was allowed to get the book. Those are the memories that stay with us.

Before my first book was published my husband said I should get a Kindle. I fought it for awhile but realized he was right. My book would be available on Kindle besides print. It’s the way of the world these days and I realized we can’t freeze time. I enjoy my Kindle, found my library has an ebook website and you download your book without leaving home. It’s easy to read in the sun, too. I upgraded recently to the Kindle Fire and passed the old one on to my husband.

Still there’s something about walking in that library and checking out a book. Seeing the cover in person, flipping the pages, using a bookmark takes me back to the time when I was young and carried my stack of books home. I know some will vote for progress and say “get with the program”. Others will say give me the good, old-fashioned book. I still lean toward the book in hand. Imagine how it would have looked if my student ran home to tell his mom he was allowed to download a book. I much prefer picturing Moby Dick hoisted over his head and him shouting as he ran in the door, “Look what I’m going to read!”

 

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AZ 2012 Grand Canyon (19)

The Grand Canyon plays a large part in my book. It’s used as the backdrop for Katie’s dream world and becomes important in her real life, too. It was on my bucket list and I finally got there about six years ago. We stayed in Grand Canyon Village and were able to explore the canyon rim. Since we were there for only one night, this was the best place to start. One of the first places you come to on the rim walk in the village is Lookout Studio. This stone structure has great views of the canyon from every window plus an outdoor deck.

Its neighbor is Kolb Studio, built by Emery and Ellsworth Kolb. Perched on the canyon’s rim, it looks like it could topple into the canyon but don’t worry, it’s solidly built. This is where my character, Drew, interned during the summer of 1927. In my posted picture you can see how it looked during that time. Notice the word “toll” in front of road on the Angel Bright Trail sign. The park didn’t have rights to that path yet. It led to the bottom of the canyon and was controlled by Ralph Cameron, a powerful U.S. Senator. He charged $1 for its use. The park eventually won control of the trail in 1928. Drew took Katie for a walk on this path and she was surprised they had to pay. She longed to tell him there was no longer a fee and the park had control of this famous trail.

AZ 2012 Grand Canyon (113)

I don’t want to get too educational so I’ll fill you in a little on my second visit to the canyon. This time we stayed longer and I had more time to explore. I was determined to walk down some of Angel Bright but there had been an unusually late snowstorm a few days before we got there and the path was covered in slush and mud, mostly in the shady areas of the trail. We traveled down a small portion and finally gave up. I guess I’ll have to wait until my third trip.

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The day was bright and sunny, in the mid-sixties, and we were able to cover a lot of ground. I finally got to visit Yavapai Point and take the bus to other stops throughout the canyon. My favorite was Trailview Overlook where you could look straight down at Angel Bright and see the switchbacks zigzagging down into the canyon.

Wish you could walk this path but don’t think you’ll ever get to Arizona? Or maybe you’re like me; you don’t think your knees would hold up? Well, there is a way you can still go on this hike and never have to leave home.

I bought a box of Nature Valley granola bars awhile back and on the package it said you could walk the canyon by going to their website. I quickly opened the laptop, entered the website and a beautiful picture of the Grand Canyon appeared.(Use the link I provided if you wish.) I clicked on “Explore the Grand Canyon”; then “choose your trail” and viola! I was there. The walk begins at the bottom of the canyon and ascends to the top. If you have the finger stamina and can keep navigating the right way, you’ll make it to the top. I have to admit I never did, but am not giving up. Maybe I didn’t take enough water with me…

Google maps have now added the trail to their website. I tried hiking Angel Bright from various points because you can jump on wherever you wish, but I think I kept going around in circles! Still, it was fun to try.

So whether you get there in person or visit via the websites, I highly recommend a visit to the Grand Canyon.

President Theodore Roosevelt said it best. “Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see.”

National Parks are our country’s treasures and once you see the Grand Canyon, you’ll know why it needs to be preserved and protected. If some senator had his way, there’d be mines in its walls, dams across its waters and homes built on the rim for only a few to enjoy its majestic beauty. Some forward thinking individuals had the common sense to stop that from happening. I, for one, am eternally grateful.

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Nancy Pennick wrote the young adult series, Waiting for Dusk, and is now working on her exciting new series, 29.

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