Defining Moments

Defining moments…that split second in our lives when our path pivots, and we slowly begin to process that our lives have just changed forever…

I realize it seems ironic for someone with a public blog to say they are a “private person,” but I don’t typically share deeply personal matters here.  However, after corresponding via this blog over the past couple of years, my followers have also become my friends.  You are my community…my “tribe.”

So it is with deep heart wrenching sadness that I must tell you that my baby brother Stephen died suddenly this week.  He was only 53 years young.  He leaves behind a loving wife and two beautiful daughters, my only nieces.

Although I have a million words that need to come out, they are far too personal to share on a public medium.  Therefore, after driving two 12-hour days, 1,364 miles to get back to Texas, I am going to put the blog on hiatus while I do whatever I can to help my Mom cope with burying her youngest son, and help my 13 year old niece come to grips with the fact that her doting father is gone way too soon.

On behalf of my family, thank you all for your loving support and positive thoughts…

“And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you”
~Leon Russell

SK at PlayaStephen Kent Anthony
August 31, 1961 – April 28, 2015

Safe journey, F.P.  I love you.  Hold the door for me when I get there — C.P.


San Diego Scenes, Pt 5 of 5 — “The Beach, The Burgers…and the Beer!”

I have long said that San Diego has “absence of weather.” It is so damned near perfect here that I can’t even feel the air on my skin most times. When my friend Margie relocated from Manhattan to San Diego, I got annoyed with her always posting daily updates on Facebook to remind us all that the weather was “Sunny, 78 degrees, winds light and variable.” Continue reading

San Diego Scenes, Pt 4 of 5 — “The Parks…and the Beer!”

Long before arriving in San Diego, the emails were flying back and forth, discussing “What’s on your list while you are here?”   Some of us had longer lists than others, while some had less time to hit the highlights.  The intent was to stagger the activities so the hikes were left for the remaining hikers, while the bike rides were reserved for the arrival of the bikers. Continue reading

San Diego Scenes, Pt 2 of 5 — “The Biking…and the Beer!”

Jim and Gayle were two weeks ahead of me in San Diego. I was sitting out a hailstorm in McDowell Mountain Regional Park when Jim sent the report that “Sprouts has 88 cent blackberries, beer flows from the tap, and the streets are paved with gold here.”   It was all I could do to keep from scrapping my Topo Map course and high-tailing it to San Diego two weeks earlier than planned.

But the one story they told that intrigued me more than anything was riding their bikes to a brewery! Continue reading

San Diego Scenes, Pt 1 of 5 — “The Markets…and the Beer!”

I am woefully behind on my blog, as usual. I am just now telling of an arrival in San Diego, while the rest of my friends and fellow bloggers have long moved on. So the next five posts will be short on prose, as I attempt to capture the essence of my two weeks in San Diego in subtitles…

First up…The Markets. And Beer! Continue reading

Saying My Sonoran Desert Farewells…

It’s my last day in the Sonoran desert. I want one last beautiful scenic hike before I go, so I ask my favorite volunteer at the Visitor Center, the man who swore me in as a “Desert Ranger,” about his favorite hike. “You want scenic? Without a doubt…the Bull Pasture.” Continue reading

An Arch Trail or a Narc Trail?

Much of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has been closed since 2003 due to illegal cross-border activity. Back in 2002, one of their own, Ranger Kris Eggle, was gunned down in an attempt to apprehend members of a drug cartel. They renamed the Visitor Center in his honor, and later closed down much of the park in fear that they could not protect the visitors. Continue reading

Not-So-Junior Ranger

From Tucson I have the intention to head toward Alpine, CA to rendezvous with my fellow tribe-mates Debbie and Kim, when I get word from Contessa that they will be crossing the border on their way back from Mazatlan, headed home to Canada in a few days. After a few frenetic email exchanges, we finally figure out that a long talked about meet-up in the desert might just be doable Continue reading