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New and Improved

On the brink of the New Year, my mind wanders over the past 80 or so posts and I ask the inevitable question of what am I doing and where is this blog going. I have had numerous encouragements and proposals on what to do with my little world that I have created for myself and my valued readers. As my thoughts began to build into dreams of grandeur, I want to be careful and stay away from the pretentious mindset that my words are gold and everyone is hanging on my every post. At the same time, my number of readers is graciously growing and I wish to provide them with needed content and services.

With that stated, I have updated my site and domain name. All new content can be found on AZWanderings.com. Several plans are in the works and over the next weeks and months, regular readers will begin seeing some more changes to the site and additions to the content. The new site’s layout was constructed by my brother (JSumnerdesigns.com) who worked tirelessly to get things ship shape.  A new review page has been added that will slowly and honestly chronicle some of my favorite pieces of equipment that see regular use. I have also had several requests from readers to purchase a few of the flies that I tie which I take as a huge honor. Always content to tie for myself and friends, I relish the opportunity to offer one or two patterns for sale in the near future in order to gauge interest.

In conclusion, the support and kindness of my readers is invaluable to me. The whole idea of Arizona Wanderings was nothing more than a simple family communication device that has grown and become an exciting project for me that never strays far from my thoughts. I do not consider myself an expert or an authority, but instead a simple man who wishes to enjoy the outdoors and participate in the outdoor community.

Thank you as always and see you on the new site,

Ben

Michelle and I spent a beautiful Arizona morning hiking Camelback Mountain located in center city Phoenix. Neither of us had ever hiked the mountain and after a brief inspection of the internet for information we decided to enjoy the Phoenix weather before it will become unbearable. Sandwiches were prepared and water bottles filled in preparation for our epic journey to the top. We arrived at the base of the Camelback at around 10:30 and found a premiere parking spot right near the trailhead. To be truthful, I was extremely surprised that there was no designated area or established parking lot for the multitude of cars that were parked on the street. Since it was a Saturday during springtime in Arizona, we were not the only ones huffing and puffing our way along the rocky trail. We made good time

to the top and were rewarded with a spectacular view of Phoenix and the surrounding metropolises. Michelle stated that from our vantage point one could really appreciate why Phoenix is known as the “Valley of the Sun.” The crystal clear air made visibility in every direction seemingly endless.

At the top we spent some time appreciating the warm sun and cool breeze as we ate lunch. In the process we had to defend everything we owned from the random ground squirrels that must normally eat like kings by panhandling for scraps. After several pictures, we began our decent, which can be a little tougher on the knees than scrambling to the top. On the way back down we spotted several other critters that I hastily identified when we returned home as chuckwallas. We arrived back at the truck with our legs pumping around 12:45. Overall our day on the mountain was extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Anyone who truly wishes to experience the beauty  and size of Phoenix should waste no time and scramble to the top of Camelback Mountain.