Training to Trek in the Burbs
Like you, I am busy. Despite every technical gadget designed to free up time, I seem to have none. Put that with my propensity to procrastinate and I ahe to figure out good ways to get my training in despite my schedule, my procrastination and the heat. So I have been using a fitbit to start challenging myself and competing one day to the next with the number of steps I take each day. So far so good. I in three days I have beat my previous day.It does stuff like count steps and measure sleep efficiency. Not sure about the accuracy there but I can say tht it seems to get the distance correctly logged. I went a total of about 4.5 miles yesterday on my actual walk. That combined with my just around town or house steps added up to over 12,000! Not bad. Really like that I can see the total as I go throughout the day on my iPhone. (Droid for you that shun the iPhone and choose and over-sized phablet instead. :)). I have a rout that is quite interesting really. It is funny how I found out it was interesting too. I just quit telling myself how boring it was to walk around the neighborhood instead of out at Red Rock or up at Charleston. Once I did that, all sorts of things came to light. Like this:
Once I escape the walls of my Sterling Ridge Sub-division, there is open road and open space.
That is one long stretch of road and as I walk down it I am made happy by the warm sun. I look over to the desert hills and think about the wild Indians from old western movies and the coyotes. How the Old Spanish Trail came through through there as a trade route. I envision a train of mule driven wagons with freight loaded high like my father in law used to drive in Eastern Washington. Part way down the road as I look to my right I see that little hill I first climbed the day I got my trekking poles and Everest hiking boots in 2011.Once you turn the corner as you skirt suburbia and hold on to what was considered good about the desert by many, you come upon a house that you really do have to be careful about. There is a hike Joe and I take to what I call BLOOD FIST CANYON because I fell and cut my hand on it.
This is one of those places built so far out in the desert that nobody would bather them. People that just wanted to be left alone so in the cheap outlying desert 20 miles out o that small desert gambling oasis of Las Vegas, they build their compound. Nobody would build out near them and they could be safe. Whether for nefarious reasons or not. I like to think they are old bandits. Maybe even some people who descended from Poncho and Lefty….or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. There is a big sign that tells you if you can read that sign, they can reach you with a bullet. And you feel a gun drawn down on you while you read it.
Interestingly, in a clas of old and new, a brand new charter school is being built…within range…of the compound!
Once I levae that southern most part of the walk, I am struck by the fact Las Vegas grew so big and so fast that they ran out of names for the little Home Owner Associations that make up each sub-division.
There is one last hint on my walk that this used to be quite rural. And not so long ago. My house was built in 2009. This is a master planned community called Mountain’s Edge, “The New South West!” There are no palm trees allowed here. Only native vegetation so it does not even look like most of Vegas to start with. In case you didn’t know, all those Palms take loads of water. No Bueno here in the desert. But here in the middle of teh edge of suburbia is a little horse ranch where you can take lessons!
You can see the encroaching housing. I am sure soon the complaints of the smell of horses and what they do will become the subject of some effort to close them down, just like the Pig Farm in the north of town. My view is coexist. They were there first. Should not have bought that house you got cheap and expected it to be worth more suddenly that you own it. But I digress. After passing the horses and reminiscing about Ellensburg with the farm ranch smells it emits, I turn on to Riley Street.
This conjures a bit of sad memory. I always take a moment to think of my Cousin and her husband…Steve and Linda Riley. Their death was the most horrible family tragedy and we all bare the scars in some way or another. But as I feel that twinge of pain, I immediately see the park and imagine Linda there with her grand-kids. The last time I saw her she was here for a visit and we had a big family breakfast at my old house. I have lost but two cousins so far and the last time I saw each of them was at that house. Great visits and great people. They would have both loved the park and how full of life it gets after the sun goes down.
After weaving through the neighborhood, I dip down into the wash. We have a lot of flash floods here in Vegas. So these water diversion areas are made nice for the vast majority of time that we have no rain and can enjoy a walk. But if it rains, get out of there!
After that I am about home with may about 3.4 of a mile to go after I pop out of the wash. There is so much to see in your neighborhood and a lot of history to think about. The best part is on the entire walk I can look over to Red Rock and see the place that is my favorite in all of Nevada.