Posts Tagged With: swimming


I guess you can say Murphys is a tourist destination. It is an attractive place to visit. The first thing I loved about Murphys when I moved here in 1978 was the creek running through town.

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I used to swim in the creek with the other “kids”. Now the park is filled to the brim  all summer long with activities, including this venue of Music In The Park. Local caterers prepare dinner you can buy or bring your own along with your ice chest. Or buy wine, beer, tea, coffee and sodas.  My neighbor asked me to come with her, but I had much to do and arrived very late.

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I met some old friends in the park, but didn’t feel up to dancing so I relaxed and listened to the music. The other side of the creek has room for people along the bank. Not everyone likes the full, crowded areas of the park. Nice to have a choice.

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Dogs have to be on a leash and often get invited by their owner’s to swim. This one took a long, cool drink before heading back to its master.

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My friend, Jan’s,  great-granddaughter was hoping to catch the ball in a game the kids were playing.

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She caught it and took careful aim at the next person. Ava had been in and out of the water for half the day. We didn’t take her home until she turned blue.

I remember those days on the shores of Lake Michigan when I was a kid. Coming in with lips of blue, chilled to the bone, but happy as a clam.

Murphys really is a special place. A lovely way to cool off on a hot day.

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Yesterday, my daughter and I picked up my sister and took her out to lunch. She is showing pink spots on her scalp where her hair is falling out. She is feeling some loss of energy and tires more easily.  She is in her third week of radiation. Four more days to go.DSC01545 (Copy)

She nor I are very practiced at chopsticks, so I told her this was a test. She’d better be able to pick up the ginger or we wouldn’t let her eat the rest of her meal. She passed the test.

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It was a beautiful day, and she managed to walk quite a bit around the mall. I was impressed and pleased. She has been through a lot and has a walker, but she strives not to use it. I told her I won’t hold your arm and treat you like an old lady. She said, “But, I am an old lady.”  I told her I’d walk close enough so that she could grab me if she felt unsteady.

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We went for gellato after our Japanese lunch, and got into story telling on our parents who aren’t here to defend themselves. “Remember at Uncle George’s wedding, when dad got soused and blitz danced everyone around the house?” I brought her a manuscript I had typed up after my visit to the Upper Peninsula and collaborated with Dawn and my oldest brother about the many places we had lived. Too many. Dawn attended 13 different schools while growing up.

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When we returned to my daughter’s house, Theo was arranging his food bank stuff. The boys are doing a community service project which is required of them for their upcoming test to reach Black Belt in Karate. Theo prepared a brochure, and canvassed one section of his street for donations. He practiced his spiel on his mom who would come to the door like an angry witch or a grumpy old man, until they giggled too much to continue. Now when he asks for a donation he has to concentrate on being serious. I guess it worked. He still has more territory to cover.

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Owen chose to pick up garbage along a section of creek where the city hosts a day camp. His first sweep netted two full garbage bags of junk. He has the opposite bank to clean before he is done with his project.

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The spirit of volunteering,  community service and physical fitness is an important thing to teach children, my oldest daughter believes. She and Austin volunteered at the Iron World Championships in Las Vegas. He worked the bike booth and handed out water, Gatorade, gelatin cups, and so on. The Triathlon is a swimming event, a run and a bicycle ride.

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Then Austin participated in the IronKids event, which is a 4K run. Pretty nifty.

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Before leaving Nogales yesterday morning, we stopped at a truck stop for a lube and oil change on the motor home. Jim measured the pit before pulling in to make sure the Bronco on the back could be pulled over the pit. The width of the Bronco was fine.

But, as we tried to pull out, the Bronco’s oil pan would not pass one piece of equipment in the pit and had to be removed anyway. It was a good try, anyway.

I’d heard everyone talk of Patagonia Lake as a beautiful State Park. It was a cold, windy gray day. The mesquite trees don’t have their leaves yet and the scenery looks like the aftermath of a forest fire. Beautiful was not the adjective I’d have chosen for this area. It has a reputation as a birding paradise and there were plenty of crows hanging around.

We took a walk to look the park over.  The lake has a designated swimming area cordoned off. Every campsite  and a generous group picnic area is roofed over from the sizzling Arizona summer sun.  Water is scarce here. I began to get a feel for what this lake must mean to people who live in the surrounding areas.

The campgrounds weren’t full but there were a number of rigs and two tent campers, but not a boat on the lake. We spotted a single fisherman casting his line.

In shallow spots, cat tails grew in abundance and rock lined the opposite shore.

We came to a steep wooden walk-over bridge. Delightful. It was meant to allow sailboats under it.

From the top of the bridge, you can see the lake has a lot of character. On the opposite bank is a point with a telescope mount to view the area mountains or boaters below.

Huge layered boulders provide a great place to catch some sun or dive into the water below, although a sign says “No Diving”.

I circled around and discovered this nice marina with rental paddle-boats, kayaks, canoes and fishing boats. Not available just then because the visitors center is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays during the “off” season.

Then I saw this sign and got a new respect for the “beauty” of  Patagonia Lake. No jet-skis, personal watercraft or water exhausted boats, jet-boats at anytime on this lake nor ski boats on weekends or holidays. Oh, what a treat to enjoy a weekend away on this lake without the motors and noise intruding.  Beauty isn’t always beheld by the eyes alone. This lake is a lovely jewel in the desert.

Then I met Eileen and Bob, both avid birders and volunteers at this park every year. Another couple work here as volunteers for six months staying in their 5th wheel and then spend the other six months on their boat. Eileen told me there was a bass tournament with 70 boats in the water over the weekend. They  assist with these events.  Eileen and Bob  take people on bird walks every Wednesday, too late for us. They told me where to go to see birds and showed me a picture of an elegant trogon. They had seen the elegant trogon nearly every day on their own walks.

I looked up the trogon and found wonderful information on-line including the sound they make at this site:
So, today we walk and hope to see Arizona’s most famous and sought after bird.

I took 25 pictures if you’d like to see more:

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Several months ago, I picked up the book Blue Highways, by William Least Heat-Moon. He calls himself a half-breed. Part Indian, his father called himself Heat Moon, and his oldest son Little Heat Moon, thus, born last, William became Least Heat Moon. Least Heat Moon set out in a home-made camper van and traveled on “small roads”, across the U.S. from Missouri headed east to the coast then back through the Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Utah, Nevada;  north to Oregon; east across the top part of the U.S., through the Great Lakes, up to Maine and then back to Missouri. An epic journey of trails and travails in fascinating prose. What made it special to me is the many places he passed through that I have passed through these last three years, with Jim, at the helm of a motor home. Least Heat Moon  reminded me of other RVers, (particularly our friend Randy Vining,) who take the path less traveled, and adopt philosophies of a simplified life. Emerson, Thoreau, poets, Walt Whitman, and other historic figures like Muir, who relate to nature and the simpler things in life. People shed their possessions and find harmony, peace and joy. On the road, we meet people who profess to want that, few find it. Be inspired by this book.  Here is a link to Least Heat Moon:

Jim ordered 68 books from the Book Barn in Connecticut, at $1.00 each. He finds an author he likes, and they ship him the used books. He is set to put in another order, and I’ve ordered two more “journey” books by Least Heat Moon and a Walk In The Woods by Bill  Dryson. What a treat, what a deal.

Yesterday was a quiet day of letter writing, swimming  and reading. The weather remained cool, but dry with a weak sun. Enough sun for Jim to get out and put new battery cables on the Bronco while I swam. At the pool, I met three kids from Tennessee with their grandfather. None of them knew how to swim. I had fun with the youngest, seven-year old, teaching him the basic rules of learning to blow bubbles, getting used to having his face in the water, and holding onto the edge and kicking. All benefit of watching my own grandkids take swimming lessons a few summers back. The boy was pleased with himself. I was taught the old, regrettable way, as a kid, when my dad pushed me off a stump and said, “swim.”

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