Life Verse:

"...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS in John 10:10

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trip Journal - Phoenix Arizona - Spring 2009 - Page 4

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 05:53MST

Reading from Psalm 68 this morning.

The earth shook; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

You, O God, sent a plentiful rain,

Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance, When it was weary.

-- Psalms 68:8-9 (NKJV)

O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.

-- Psalms 68:35 (NKJV)

I remember reading this Psalm when I was in Arizona the first time – Summer of 2007 – after seeing the Grand Canyon. I don’t believe I can improve on what the Psalmist says, “GOD, YOU are indeed more awesome than YOUR holy places.” Thank YOU for choosing me – for calling me – for living in me and for doing such wonders in my life. Thank YOU for showing me just a small glimpse of YOUR majesty and care in YOUR Creation.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 21:12MST

After a full day of Graphics & Design class I was ready to get outdoors! I planned better today and was ready to go. Thunderbird Conservation Park in Glendale, AZ was within a 30 minute drive of Honeywell Automation College.

The park is situated in the middle of the suburbs, but the foothills and surrounding Sonoran desert-scape set it apart. Several trails ring the foothills, cross the summits of some, and meander across the desert bottom land. There are quite a few ramadas and other amenities in the park. Thunderbird is touted as a conservation park and there are several different types of fauna observed here. I was able to view many different passerines as well as the usual desert lizards. Coyotes, jackrabbits, ground squirrels, and other similar mammals probably venture into the park at night, but I did not observe any today. Set in the midst of the suburbs, you might expect the park to see lots of traffic, and you would be correct. There were quite a few other hikers and trail runners. About four mountain bikers shared the trail with us all this afternoon. The trails are also open to equestrian riders, though none were present during my hike.

Thunderbird Park is the classic igneous rock common among the mountains in Phoenix. (I am not a geologist, so understand I may not be classifying the rock correctly. But the rocks “look” like they come from volcanic origin.)

I started from the parking lot to the south and east of the amphitheater and hiked clockwise Thunderbird Trail H-3 and H-1 for a total of 3.8 miles. My pace was quicker than normal because (you guessed it) the park gates were scheduled to close at sunset. (I hate it when they do that – what time is sunset? More importantly is that time open to interpretation?) I gave it a trail difficulty rating of moderate due to the elevation gain, and rocky condition in some portions of the trail. The area was impressive – another example of GOD’s magnificent work. The trails were well maintained though rocky in spots. Signage was particularly good (thank you Glendale!) for this part of the country. Thunderbird Park gave me a good physical workout but it was hard to focus on the spiritual due to the volume of human traffic on the trail. Nevertheless, it was a great hike (rated it 4/5 on my scale) and very much appreciated. Glendale should be justifiably proud of their conservation park.

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