I was not born in Arizona but, I have definitely grew up here. I moved here when I was only two years of age. We came from a very hot climate as well, Florida. However, visiting Florida to see my grandparents when I was eight, I knew that I just loved my home state Arizona. I loved the visits to the mountains and the lakes. My father loves to fish and camp, so my childhood in Arizona is nothing but fun experiences; the weather and the excitement of the scenery, wild animals and the warm people in small communities. The drive alone to the mountains and leaving the valley is an experience within itself; the cacti and wildflowers, finding yourself in the forest of Payson or Christopher Creek and the memories of all the visits to Oak Creek Canyon. That reminds me of that day fishing on Oak Creek Canyon, at Banjo Bills spot, on that beautiful creek I watched my dad pull one of the largest trout’s out of Oak Creek that was the most exciting moment of my childhood. Just watching my dad’s face light up and just thinking how the heck did this fish live so long in Oak Creek without getting caught. It was amazing!
The many trips driving through Prescott and antiquing with my parents and brother were also a treat and my mom always bringing a picnic lunch to sit on the lawn in front of the old courthouse in Prescott and the many art fairs we visited there throughout the years. The weather, always with big beautiful blue skies’ with an occasional rainstorm, that was exciting. Oh and I can’t forget the one highlight of the year, in October the best place to be in Arizona was at the Young’s Farm Pumpkin Patch. It was exciting as you drove up upon this mass amount of land just filled with orange pumpkins and then to see all the John Deer tractors pulling all the people to get to the gate. The best food at the pumpkin patch was the pumpkin ice cream I always had to get and then we sat on the hay bails and listened to country music. One year, my grandparents from Scottsdale came up to the pumpkin patch and I will never forget my grandmother, who was ill that year, happened to feel good enough to come and she danced with my brother and me. That was a hoot! Grandma loved the pumpkin patch and to see her there in good spirits was a great memory.
Picking pumpkins, eating homemade food and enjoying the games and art fair are a memory I will miss since this past year will be the last of Young’s Farm due to development. I was sad but I understood that people all over the country want to live and experience what I do everyday living in this great state. I can’t forget all the great sites in Flagstaff, going to that cool town filled with college kids and snow. Just going sledding is a blast. Stopping on the side of the road and right behind you happens to be more people getting the same idea, just get out and start throwing snow balls and sled to your hearts content or maybe until your completely wet and tired.
Lowell Observatory is a great place to also visit. To think of all the history and how this telescope is just moved by some tires. Sunset Crater was very interesting, my dad pulled up his shirt and we thought his belly button had a resemblance. We laughed so hard but let’s get serious, the space museum of that place was very educational.
Let me tell you about the most magnificent places on the earth and that is in our home state the seventh place to see while your alive and that would be the Grand Canyon, I have been there at least five times with family from Florida visiting and friends. I never get tired of the Grand Canyon, seeing the deer and the largest birds on the planet, the condors. We even have seen big horn sheep once. When my Uncle David came last September we took him on the famous Arizona trip up to Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Flagstaff and the great Grand Canyon, he had a blast; he had the best time of his life visiting us that September. He absolutely couldn’t get over the Grand Canyon and he remembers my mom going crazy whenever my brother and I got too close to the edge. We knew there was about 20 feet of ledge but my mom never knew that. We enjoyed making her crazy. We took a two-mile hike into the Grand Canyon, it was so beautiful to look up and think of all the people that discovered this great place and to think of the history of the Harvey Girls that first came to work at the Grand Canyon. I admired those women leaving there families for the west and finding themselves at the greatest wonders of the world. I was so interested in the condors that were released and they were surviving and giving birth to young. The stories of their amazing comeback alone just amaze me. I love the wildlife of Arizona. I live in Fountain Hills on a wash, and I love to walk in my backyard and watch the bunnies, birds, javelina, coyotes and bobcats is wonderful. I love the wildlife so much that I asked my mother if I could volunteer at Liberty Wildlife Bird Sanctuary in Scottsdale so I can help learn about the birds and do something that I want to do for my future.
I have been volunteering at Liberty Wildlife for the last year coming this June and I just love that the people at Liberty having given me this opportunity to help, learn and appreciate animals. I have been crossed trained in all areas at Liberty but, my favorite experience at Liberty is caring for the owls, hawks, vultures and so many I cant think of all there names. I look forward to going every Saturday and giving my time to experience what I want to do for the rest of my life.