I have been leading walk and hikes in Flagstaff for 18 years. My jaunts started when the Joe Montoya Community and Senior Center was known simply as the Adult Center and Sue Campbell was its director.
Sue ask me to organize a walk to advertise the facility, and when I agreed, she began publicizing the activity. The promotion was good and contained a free ice cream incentive for every participant. Not our best idea.
On the day of the event, 113 people showed up along with 16 dogs, two cats and a potbellied pig. Dog skirmishes began immediately, the cats took off for parts unknown and the hefty pig waddled eastward with an angry Pekingese in pursuit.
In what appeared to be a budding insurrection, the crowd demanded to know when the walk would be finished and the consumption of ice cream would begin. While Sue rushed out to purchase more of the frozen treat I led the milling multitude to the Francis Short Pond, which at that time was a shallow, trash filled bog. The mumbling crowd was not impressed by the lack of a lake and began clamoring for the promised ice cream.
Since that time many walking activities have occurred in our town for lots of excellent reasons, and now the Flagstaff Trails Initiative has scheduled a unique series of hikes designed by Matt Roberts that should be of interest to every trail user.
Matt is exceptionally well informed in the science of trail construction. His wife Cassandra, the Education Program Director for the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, has christened him "Rock Kicker" because he's constantly assessing trails, their drainage and boot tapping constructed rock structures to insure their viability. he even kicks loose rocks off the trail.
If you would like to be enlightened about the nitty-gritty of a properly built trail, join Matt on his next educational FTI walk and talk hike, which is Friday July 12 starting from the Little Elden Trailhead at 4 p.m. For more information, please look to the Flagstaff Trails Initiative website.
And to finish, while I'm admitted an old fogey, I'm still here and moderately willing to learn more about these modern, supposedly indispensable doohickies that put me into such a muttering confusion.
My friend Ward Davis, however, isn't intimidated by modern communication equipment and is teaching a free one-hour class on NFC tags and QR codes that will allow a user to swipe a cellphone over a tag to pop up a website, dial a phone or show a message. These tags are free or very inexpensive and allow people to easily navigate the net.
Even I can understand the placing of plaques at points of interest around Flagstaff, thus allowing visitors to see details that describe our town is a good and useful community asset.
if you're as interested in Ward's presentation as I am, his next class is Wednesday, July 17 at 5 p.m. in the Market of Dreams located on the corner of Seventh and Fourth streets. A free NFC tag will be given to each student. With Ward's help we should be able to untangle a few aspects of this new-fangled paraphernalia.