The weather is perfect, clear and heading to a high of 68. Great day for a walk. A quick Internet search reveals that there's a nice, long, wheelchair accessible trail in Papago Park by the zoo.
Either via hard packed dirt or paved with asphault, you can tackle this approximately 3 mile trail that winds in a loop up to the base of those giant rocks in Papago Park. A ramada at the top of the trail...maybe a 500 foot elevation gain, if that...provides a shady rest stop complete with water fountain.
As we pack up Tim's backpack...one of the useful features of a power chair is that it's handy as a "pack mule"...with water and other necessities, Tim points out a nearby group of people with several dogs, one of which is much larger than the others.
"Is that a wolf," he asks.
No, I assure him, you wouldn't see anybody walking a wolf on a leash here. Probably a huskie or mamalmute.
Setting off, it's a leisurely pace as Letty works her magic on the camera and Tim and I wait for her to catch up now and again.
At the ramada, we relax and recharge our batteries.
It's easy to think we're out in the wilderness here but a glance to the west, with the skyscrapers of Phoenix on the horizon, reminds us we're still in town.
Going over the top of the loop, it's another quarter mile before the trail then goes through a golf course. We thing the scenery is better the other way, so we double back to return the way we came.
As we're waiting at the top, Tim sees the group of people with the dogs coming up upon us.
"I wonder what kind of dog that is," he says.
"I'll ask...excuse me, what kind of dog is that?" I ask the biker-looking dude with the large dog.
"It's a wolf," he replies.
I guess I was mistaken...
Turns out this is Willow the wolf, who is a movie animal and is being walked by her trainer. He tells us that she is scheduled to be in a couple of movies and TV shows coming up such as a sequel to "Dances with Wolves" and a new "Teen Wolf" series.
It's a beautiful, mellow animal and is huge...almost Great Dane size.
We walk down with the group, the wolf, and the other dogs while Letty snaps away.
Afterward, we go to a nearby light rail station and try out Phoenix's first light rail system to go have drinks in downtown Phoenix (see it in our Cocktail Hour - Scottsdale Cocktails).
The one line is long, going all the way from Gilbert in the southeast to the northern part of Phoenix's downtown area. It's smooth, easily wheelchair accessible, cheap, and comfortable. What we do notice lacking, however, is parking lots at the stations. There are very few. It seems like it might get more riders if commuters had a place to park when using it.
Afternoon time is break time back at the hotel while we rest up, nap, and shower for dinner.
We have reservations at what is supposed to be one of the area's best Mexican restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale but when we show up, we find that they did not hold a wheelchair accessible table for us.
Walking out on that, we go a couple of blocks away to Dos Gringos, more of an outdoor bar than a restaurant, and get carded as we walk in.
It's a bowl game night...the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is being contested nearby in Tempe...and the bouncer says everybody, no matter how old, is carded today.
Dos Gringos has a fun atmosphere, average drinks, and ok food that our server never quite got right. Still, it was fun and being at an outdoor party on our final night was fun.
In the morning, it's another stop at The Good Egg for breakfast, gassing up on cheap gas at Costco, then a six hour drive home.
Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
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