Along the Gila: Copper Basin Helps Celebrate Arizona Trail in a Day

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Azure Sullivan and Lindsey Wittenbuk, teachers in Casa Grande, sign the Kearny trail logbook, which is kept at Old Time Pizza. The two work with Kearny Mayor Debra Sommers’ daughter.

Well, it was quite a day. Weeks of planning and the work of many volunteers made the Arizona Trail in a Day a very successful event. Every section of the trail was walked, run, cycled or horse-ridden, so thousands of miles were walked by all participants to ensure that all 400 miles of trail, from Mexico to Utah, were covered.

  The people of Superior put on quite a festive event, welcoming and ferrying trekkers and having an end-of-day celebration. The welcoming party from Kearny was a bit smaller, consisting of my wife, Carol, and your truly, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We welcomed two teachers from the Casa Grande system and two large groups from Mesa, Queen Creek, and Scottsdale.

The Williams family from Scottsdale, Robert and Monique and their teenage sons, brought a fifth participant, a burro named Luna. Monique makes her living training wild burros, and her dream is to have a burro tame enough to be a good trail companion. Monique would love to do the whole Arizona Trail with Luna, and this weekend was the first test of Luna’s trail compatibility.

  And wouldn’t you know it – we were at the trailhead when a Jeep Wrangler pulled up containing Bob Jordan and Joe Norris from Kearny. It turn out that they travel the road most weekends and pick up the garbage that inconsiderate people leave on the roads and at the trailheads. Carol and I had already picked up the trash at the trailhead, so they waved and continued on their way.

Monique Williams with her burro, Luna.

  The trail season has arrived. In the Fall trekkers most often go from Utah to Mexico. In the Spring they go the other way, following the weather. The hikers this weekend were out for the special event, but many of them use the trail throughout the year. It was encouraging to hear for ourselves that Kearny is, indeed, known as the friendliest town on the Arizona Trail.

  This is also the time of year when our winter residents start arriving. I spotted my first snowbird, Phyllis Griswould, at church this Sunday. It’s good to have old friends back again.

  The big light above the mountains in the West proved to be a SpaceX rocket, brightly making its way into the atmosphere and then safely making a return landing in California. Many people posted some very good photographs on FaceBook.

  This is a good month for young people. On Saturday, Oct. 20, Norm’s IGA is sponsoring its Pumpkin Patch with all kinds of events especially for children. The next Saturday, Oct. 27, there is a Haunted House in Winkelman and the Great Pumpkin/Trunk or Treat on Alden Road in Kearny. Then there is Hallowe’en itself, with the trick or treaters going house to house on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

  I like this weather. I like living in the Copper Basin, and I like the people who live here. Let’s all be positive and make this area even greater.

Luna with the Williams family from Scottsdale.

Sam Hosler (85 Posts)


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