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Ted Johnson, Courier Columnist

928-445-3333 Extension: 1106

Ted Johnson is the hiking columnist for The Daily Courier.

Recent Stories

My sister-in-law refers to hiking staffs as “magic sticks.” Such creative terms can be misleading, especially if we expect these “sticks” to magically support our weight.

By Ted Johnson, Courier Columnist August 21, 2019

Let’s break this down, word by word. Pine, coniferous trees. But this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Hiking here since the ‘70s, I consistently come across the most interesting plants, like duckweed. Quite unexpected, even weird. That leads me to the next word.

By Ted Johnson, Courier Columnist August 7, 2019

Alas, biking in to work in Spring Valley from Cordes Jct. along a portion of Big Bug Creek, the flow of water has finally dried up. This is so typical in Arizona. The stream beds are mostly intermittent.

Last summer I said, “I’d rather hike in a refrigerator than an oven.” Then I focused on higher elevation summits. This year, now that summer has arrived (sort of), I will do what all desert rats do, hike smarter not hotter.

With money tight, my choice of activities to do with my son came down to choosing either the batting cage or the trailhead. We were on our way to a birthday dinner but had a few minutes to enjoy a little time outdoors.

As I have aged and continue to hike solo, I have become a little anxious about crossing paths with a bear somewhere off the beaten path. My concerns may be unfounded but I feel like I am due.

What’s your story? We all have one, actually many. This summer is the perfect time to share your story at your favorite library because the theme for the State’s summer reading program is a Universe of Stories.

Progressively increasing pain in your legs is one thing but on a four-day solo backpacking trip through West Clear Creek, any little pain can assume a high degree of significance. This 40 mile cross-country trek in central Arizona involves floating a dozen ponds, negotiating cliffs and bushwhacking.

As I listened to the Park Ranger speak about the early explorers who came here in the 19th century, he cited a conversation they had. One asked, “Is that stream good for fishing?” The other answered, “No, it’s a dirty devil.”

Juan Bautista de Anza hiked from Tubac, AZ to San Francisco, CA in 1775. That’s quite a hike, especially back then. He followed stream courses such as the Santa Cruz and Gila Rivers, when possible.

By Ted Johnson, Courier Columnist April 17, 2019

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