My parents recently took a Road Scholar trip from Flagstaff to Canyon de Chelly that they thoroughly enjoyed. One of the highlights that they raved about was the chance to go on interpretive walks with Lois and Steve Hirsch. Well, it turns out that Steve and Lois lead interpretive hikes around Flagstaff on behalf of the Forest Service. When Jay’s parents came to town, Cindi and I had the opportunity to go on one of these hikes, along Pumphouse Wash, just south of town.
One unexpected delight was learning more about the Riordan brothers (whose home I give tours of). It turns out that the pumphouse wash area is one of the areas that they logged and there are still signs of the logging business if you know where to look. The tree trunk shown above offered a lot of data. The fact that it is cut at waist height instead of close to the ground indicates that it was felled with a cross cut saw and was almost definitely cut before the mid 1920′s.
As you can tell, the hike was well attended. Steve and Lois took turns sharing knowledge about plants, animals, local trails, history, and culture. Everyone we spoke to in the group was local and some of them were even native Flagstaffians. Group members added knowledge to the discussion. At one point a group member spotted a Zone Tailed Hawk and explained that it was a unique hawk that mimics the turkey vulture to trick its prey. I was really glad I had brought along my binoculars (thanks Mom!).
Overall it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning and I hope I have the opportunity to go again.