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Saturday, February 10, 2001

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A Mountain Walk

I did the A Mountain Walk today. It's put on each year by the American Cancer Society. This is the second time I've done it and I enjoyed it both times. The hardest part was getting there since I had planned on taking the bus but when I sat down last night to figure out the times I found that there was no way to get there by bus. The last time I rode my bike but I took the easy way out today and took a taxi.

It was cold at 7:30 in the morning as we were all milling around trying to get organized. They had bagels and coffee, which was great, but then I had to use the bathroom at the last minute along with a couple dozen other women. It always seems total chaos but we managed to get our group picture and then people started out.

We started from Pima Community College West which is right by the Tucson Mountains and at the edge of Tucson. We first went through an older part of Tucson. This is an old hispanic district but is now getting crowded out by very nice, upscale, expensive homes that crowd the foothills right up to the Tucson Mountain County Park which covers most of the Tucson Mountains.

After the easy part we started up A Mountain. I was walking with a lady from work who had her two kids in a stroller. She started working very hard at this point. A few of us helped her at times, but she did most of the pushing. A Mountain is just across the Santa Cruz River from downtown and has a huge, white A painted on it. I understand pledges from the university repaint the A each year. This is also where we have our fireworks display on the 4th of July. In a dry year the mountain tends to catch on fire so many people come to see the fires as much as the fireworks.

The walk is just under three miles, which is what I walk in the morning to work, but with the uphill and babies in a stroller it took us a little longer. I'll feel the ache in my calves tomorrow. At the top there was food and free massages as well as music and general fun. They close the road to traffic so the only way to get there today is walk but there was quite a crowd, all of us with red tshirts. We're cool!

You could take a bus back but I decided to take a hiking path down to the Santa Cruz and see if I could find the archaeological dig. I couldn't even find the trail. It's been a couple years since I came up with the hiking club, and I've never been down it, and I could not find it. I finally walked back around on the road, now pretty much empty of walkers and took some good pictures of Tucson.

After walking up and down I'd had a good workout so I took the bus up Oracle and walked another couple miles trying to find a new electronic organizer. My old one quit working a few days ago and I have been lost. My old one was a Sharp with a tiny keyboard which I liked because I could type on it. This time I took a deep breath and got a Palm and the new, full size keyboard you can use with them. It was more than I wanted to pay but is so cool. I can type on it anywhere as well as I can on a computer keyboard so it will be great while traveling. There goes my income tax refund!

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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