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Wednesday, March 22, 2017



 Take a hike with a tail-wagging pack of adoptable dogs from the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control Mesa shelter as they strut their stuff on an easy desert trail.  The final Wag & Walk Dog Adoption hike of the season will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa. It's a great opportunity to interact with the dogs outside of the kennel environment where they're more relaxed and able to show their true (mostly silly) personalities. You can even "test drive" the dogs to see how well they walk on leash. Shelter volunteers will be on hand to provide information on each dog's breed, exercise needs and history at the shelter. There will also be information on how you can become a volunteer. You don't have to be looking for a new fur baby to join the hike. Your participation gives the dogs a chance to practice their social skills and pander for belly rubs and treats.  Leashed, well-behaved owned dogs are welcome to participate.
DATE: Saturday, April 1, 2017
TIME:  9 A.M.
PLACE: Usery Mountain Regional Park, Mesa
LENGTH: 1-mile
RATING: easy, barrier-free
From U.S. 60 in Mesa, take exit 192 and go north on Ellsworth Road (turns into Usery Pass Road) to the park entrance. Follow the main park road to the Merkle Trailhead at Area 6. Look for the yellow "Wag & Walk" sign. There's a $6 daily fee per vehicle.

Monday, March 20, 2017



Tsu'vo Trail
Please don’t call this place a “ruin”.  Homolovi State Park is a Hopi ancestral village on the high plains of northeastern Arizona that teems with both animated and spiritual life.   Air-breathing, water-slurping terrestrial entities share space with invisible, but very present human souls who occupied the area from prehistoric times to 1400 AD.
March is the perfect time to visit the park. Balmy temperatures and festivities associated with Archeology & Heritage Awareness Month add bonus points to a day trip that’s enjoyable any time of year.  The park is situated at the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau where the ruddy, sun-backed terrain smacks of NASA images of the surface of Mars.  
Homolovi I
The lifeline of this unforgiving yet striking landscape is the chocolatey flow of the Little Colorado River which feeds a fringe of greenery on the site’s western edge.  Five easy hiking trails explore pueblos, dozens of ancillary structures, scattered artifacts and petroglyphs. Standing among the sketchy footprints of plazas and ceremonial structures, it’s impossible not to feel a connection with the ancient communities and their descendants. Of the four major 14-century pueblos within the park, two are open for exploration. Homolovi I is situated near the river where former inhabitants grew beans, corn and cotton on the fertile floodplain.
Homolovi II
The Homolovi II site has a half-mile, barrier-free trail that explores the park’s largest pueblo that had between 1200-2000 rooms. This hillside site provides beautiful views of treeless plains, the Hopi Buttes and Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks. To get the most out of this educational trek, stop by the visitor center and ask about guided tours, demonstrations and star parties.
Tsu'vo Trail

LENGTH: 4 miles total (5 trails)
Tsu’vo: 0.6
Dine: 1.5
Nusungvo: 1.2
Homolovi 1: 0.25
Homolovi 2: 0.5
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 4850’ – 4950’
HOURS: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
FEE: $7 per vehicle, $2 walk-in/bike-in
Pottery fragment at Homolovi I
From Interstate 40 in Winslow, take exit 257 and continue 1.3 miles to the park entrance.