Today, and yesterday and the day before, we walked the canal. How banal is walking the canal. Ooh, did I really say that? But, it’s all true. We don’t always hike and need to find some place to walk around where we are. Usually, we walk around Mesa where we’re living for a while. If we just want a quick walk, we’ll walk around the resort itself. It’s about 3 miles around the outside and we can get at least 3 miles of our usual 4. Usually by that time, I’m bored with walking around the resort, am conveniently close to where we started at our RV and I decide that it’s time to start dinner. Gary is all too ready to agree.
However, most of the time we find ourselves a 4-mile walk outside the resort. Luckily, we’ve got a canal, called the Eastern Canal, which goes both north and south out of the resort. Whoo-eee, two different directions. And, the story gets even better: we can walk on either side of the canal. We can go north for a while on the east side of the canal and then return to the resort on the west side. Whoop-de-doo. But, I’m making fun here and, in truth, it is what it is. At least we have a place to walk and we often (read: usually) walk the canal for a while and then go into the neighborhoods for the rest of the walk.
However for variety, we often combine errands with our daily walk and find a place to walk around where we have to do our errands. Several days ago, we had a stop at Best Buy where we walked Roosevelt Canal and then entered the neighborhoods around there.
Today we had to pick up some parts at Freightliner so we found a park and a ‘new’ canal to walk along. The park was huge, it had a large Bark Park, a disk golf course, a playground where I got to try out a new ‘toy’
a picnic area and a large archery course. Here we met Dan practicing up for the coming Usury Park tournament. He took time to explain it all to us. Look at that bow! He must be a professional. Well, no, but he’s actually one of the top senior amateurs in the US, coming off a win in his class at the Senior Olympics. We were quite impressed and I took this picture when he shot his second arrow. With a magnifying glass, not only could I see his second arrow in flight, but I could also see his first arrow in the center of the tiny white dot in the center of his target. He’s not all bow and no quiver. He’s the real deal.
But, on with the walk where we meet more interesting people. This was not our usual banal canal walk. But, of course, we had a new locale, great for our morale.
We didn’t meet this next group but were able to appreciate them from our side of the canal.
We walked by the Chandler airport, what we thought was a small local airport. Wrong. It began as a crop dusters airport
but is now actually one of the nation’s 50 busiest airports with more than 160,000 operations per year and over 443 flights per day. We certainly noticed it with planes buzzing overhead as we were walking beside it. But we also noticed about 25 of these located along the inside of airport fence. We have no idea what these could be. And, what are those small wooden arrows? And, what are they pointing towards? These look like graves but certainly not, not in this location, not with these arrows. ’Tis a puzzlement’ as the King of Siam would say.
Then we met these young gentlemen from China who are in pilot training here in the US at the Chandler airport. They’ve been hired by various Chinese airlines and sent over here to train because China is too crowded. Is that how we in the US even out the trade imbalance?
Well, we’ve gone 2 1/2 miles and it’s time to head back to the park where our car is. In the park are some little posters explaining the canal’s history. It was started by Dr. A.J. Chandler who wanted to bring water to the area which bears his name. It is now 18 miles long and is the largest canal in Mesa though it still begins through Chandler. Dr. Chandler thought big and had a huge dredge channel its course 26’ deep. Not only does it bring water to an otherwise dry area but it also helps supply electricity.
In the park, which is considerably higher than the canal (we think it used to be a ‘land fill’) they’ve built some laddered drainage ditches to allow any overflow water in the park to flow down to the canal itself. At the end of the drainage ‘ladder’, they built a wall to divert the force of the water but note how the water is undermining the lower right hand side of this wall.
And that was our canal walk for today. Even a walk along a canal can be interesting. Who knew?