Tonight Chris and I went with my parents on a “Full Moon Hike” at Lake Pleasant. It was a two mile guided hike starting at sunset. We all had a great time. The guide, Terry, was full of interesting information. The hiking was easy. The temperature was low (for July)…in the 80’s. We saw all sorts of wildlife – wild burro, rattlesnake, and scorpions.
- Some things I learned:
- Lake Pleasant has two dams. The first was finished in the 30’s and is now underwater. It was started by the Beardsley family. The structural engineer was Mr. Pleasant and he had a special/new multi-arch design. Though he passed away prematurely from stress due to the dam construction.
- Lake Pleasant has 400 wild burros. They’re originally from Africa and were brought in for mining. There are two kinds – Nubian (with a white cross) and Somalian.
- Lake Pleasant holds all the water used by Phoenix and Tucson. It’s a major part of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) for water delivery. In the summer, the lake levels are down because of water delivery. In the winter, lake levels are at their highest. Most of the water comes from the Colorado River.
- Creosote has oil on its leaves and that oil can be used as an anti-fungal and antiseptic.
- Brittle Bush was used as incense in Mexico.
- Packrats create dens that are called middens. (I had to look up the spelling…I thought Terry was saying mittens!) They like to collect the scat from different animals and decorate their midden. The scat throws off predators. We’ve got a lot of these at the ranch so it was exciting to learn that there are packrats living in them.
I’m absolutely heartbroken about the 19 firefighters who died while fighting the Yarnell fire. Our ranch is about 30 minutes from Yarnell and we love that little town. Yarnell and the kind people in it was a major reason we chose that area. The loss of life and property is truly sad. My heart goes out to everyone and I look forward to being about to help the town rebuild and support the community.
Here are some pictures from Yarnell that I’ve taken over the past year: