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Sunday, January 14, 2001

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Sabino Canyon

I still have a cold, or something. Even after taking sudafed my nose still runs and runs. I don't feel bad other than that. Well, other than still not sleeping well either. I'm trying melatonin now but it doesn't seem to be working any better than it did when I tried it a few years ago.

I had read an article on the internet that no more than .1 to .3 mg work to help sleep. More than that can cause problems, including insomnia. I finally found some that were .3 mg but nothing so far. Last night I finally took another sleeping pill and feel so much better today. I am so afraid of becoming dependent on them that I don't like taking them all the time.

It was so nice today that I went for a walk in Sabino Canyon. This means that I put myself and my bike on the bus at 10:00. At 10:20 I got off at Craycroft and Grant. Since this is Sunday there wasn't going to be another bus for 50 minutes so I rode my bike over to Tanque Verde and Sabino Canyon Road where the start point for the volkswalk is.

I then rode my bike six miles to Sabino Canyon, getting there about noon. There is quite a bit of up and down, with more up than down, so my legs were tired before I even started walking. I haven't biked much since well before Christmas and I could tell. It was great riding toward the Catalinas. They were a purple blue against the deep, vivid blue of the sky. I always feel like I could fall into the sky when it looks like that.

There were quite a few people there but it was still enjoyable walking up the road. The cottonwoods by the creek have lost their leaves and just looked like gray clouds but the rest of the the vegetation looked much the same. There weren't many flowers but it's not time for that yet. The flowers should come in a month or two and hopefully they will be good this year thanks to the rains we got last fall.

Even though it was 32 degrees last night and only in the 60s today I was down to my tshirt before long. I took it slow and easy and rested several times on the way up so it took me two hours to get to the top, or rather, the 8th shuttle stop which was as far as we could go. They are working on the last stretch and had hoped to be done by now but the rains we've had lately have slowed them down.

The guy at the visitor center said none of the bridges had water going over them, but the next to the last one did and I soaked my shoes and socks but they warmed up quickly so I was fine. Coming back I decided to take my shoes off but my socks were still damp so it didn't make much sense. The water is cold since there is snow on Mt Lemmon thanks to the storm that moved through last week.

This is such a nice walk even though there are always people on it and you have to get out of the way of the trams which come by fairly regularly. The bridges and much of the other infrastructure were done in the depression by the CCC workers. The stonework is excellent and so much nicer than the work that is done now. It looks in good shape but I don't know if they have to repair it often or not.

I had a good workout by the time I walked back and then biked back to the bus stop. It was a great walk but I didn't get home till nearly five which makes a long day for a three hour walk, but I enjoyed the biking and, even, the bus ride. I always like the getting somewhere as much as being somewhere.

While nursing my cold this week I also finished two books. One was "It's my Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP" by Peter Robinson. He gives an interesting historical tour of the Republican party and where it's members come from. Political parties are messy and it's hard to find anything that everyone in a party agrees on.

An interesting statistic is that at any given time only 3 or 4 percent turn their backs on the party they were raised in. Since I was a libertarian for many years, registered as a republican only because I disliked Clinton so much and am now registered independent, where does that leave me? I do vote more republican than anything and my parents are republican but about the only time I recall either of them talking about politics while I was growing up was when my mother said that if they lived in the states she would walk in the civil rights walks.

Robinson wrote an interesting book that is thought provoking, not just about republicans but about how we all decide how to vote. To go along with this I also read "Blood of the Liberals" by George Packer. He goes back to the beginning of the 20th century to find out about his maternal grandfather who was a progressive democrat from Birmingham, Alabama that ended up against the new deal and FDR. He starts out a Jeffersonian liberal who believed in the freedom of individuals but would not stand up against the Jim Crow laws enacted in Alabama the first part of the century.

Packer then writes about the history of his father, the child of Jews from Russia who grew up always out of place and choose rational thought, liberalism and a repudiation of his jewish faith. His liberalism also had a trial by fire when he was in the administration at Stanford during the worst of the protests by the students against the administration when his faith in rational thought was repudiated by the new liberals, the student protesters.

The author takes us through how he tried to understand his liberal beliefs through the Peace Corp, the Socialist Party, and finally, even, evangelical groups but in the end he wonders if we will ever really protect the people in society who cannot protect themselves. This is an excellent book and shows the viciousness in the early part of the century that his grandfather fought against to the current day liberals who split into those who have given up ever making a change to so many of those in power who are more interested in protecting their turf than actually making changes.

Yes, even as a fairly conservative person, I do feel that there are people who need to be helped. A lot of the help is already available if the laws protecting people were applied. Most people who are helpless because the state does not apply laws protecting people against brutality equally. Some will always need to be taken care of but we have to be so careful so that we don't destroy people with our "help" by making them dependent on us instead of taking caring of themselves.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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