Tag Archives: Flagstaff

Photo Journal: Mt. Elden




Mt. Elden is more difficult than climbing Mt. Humphreys in that it is steeper. It’s only six miles round trip. Each mile as you get closer to the top feels longer. It took us four and a half hours total, including a lunch break at the top. The ranger allowed us to climb the tower.


Flagstaff Extreme

Sunday, May 13 found me hanging and swinging from ropes, dangling, walking on ropes, swinging on swing ropes, ziplining, and pulling myself through tunnels. My husband found the strength to go through all four courses. I attempted the third course after completing the first two, but it was the ladders that made me fail. Maybe I should have rested longer between courses?

At one point, my fingers became petrified. I couldn’t close them around the guide cable and clung to the logs until my fingers worked again, then forced my fingers to pull me forward to the next platform. By far, I thought that route was the hardest. I never felt so much fear.

It was the best birthday present. My husband says we’re going to try to do this every year. I told him for Christmas we should do the half-day Grand Canyon Caverns. You are crawling around off-trail in the caverns for four hours. He says since I quit the course early that he gets a “get-out-of-jail-free” card if claustraphobia gets the best of him at the Caverns.

Enjoy the video we made on Sunday, May 13.

Touring Arizona Coffee Houses: Havens For Writers – “KickStand Kafe”

On a whim, my husband and I chose not to hike that day in early January, but to get into the car and drive…somewhere. He suggested a road trip. I suggested a coffee shop and combine business with pleasure. Real life community doesn’t just happen online, but in coffee shops, too. In this case, another review for my column, “Touring Arizona Coffee Houses: Havens for Writers.” In the past I have reviewed Cupper’s Coffee House and Wild Iris Cafe. To read more about these columns, click here.

Kickstand Kafe opened in 2009 and is located near downtown Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s off of Humphreys Street close to the T-intersection where one gets a choice to turn right or left towards Snowbowl. It’s larger than it looks and parking is a little challenging. In our case, the curb had several inches of snow. We couldn’t tell if it was painted red or white. Kickstand Kafe was worth the parking troubles.

When you walk inside Kickstand, immediately I could tell this place would be somewhere I would take my laptop. Emily, the assistant manager, was very welcoming.

“KickStand has always been about being a local coffee shop in the community and we strive to support other local businesses which is why our food items are predominantly handmade by local cooks.” Emily explained.

The food and pastries were eloquently displayed, and the cookies looked as if they had come from Grandma’s oven. Tony and I ordered lunch, lattes and dessert to get the full feel of the place.

He ordered a green chili burrito and I ordered free-range javalina burrito (carnitas and papas). Both of us ordered coffee drinks–caramel nonfat latte and a white chocolate mocha.

Emily says, “Our most popular food item is probably our bacon burrito. With hash browns, cheddar cheese, eggs, and bacon, it’s very tasty! Our most popular drink is probably our Sling Shot, which is a caramel and vanilla latte.”

Let’s not forget dessert. Tony couldn’t resist a cinnamon roll (warmed in the microwave) and the dark chocolate chip cookie was my choice. Emily took the trouble to warm the cookie in the microwave. On a bitterly cold day, this comfort food warmed us. But more than that, Emily’s friendly attitude made the place as welcome as my livingroom.

Some pluses with this café is the drive-through for those of us who have to have our caffeine on the run and the coffee card where every so many punches you get a free one. Kickstand Kafe also has a child’s area. That’s unique as most coffee houses do not have that option. In one of the pictures I posted, look behind my husband, Tony and you’ll see the tiny table. The wi-fi is secured. I didn’t ask for a password as I was able to get on an unsecure network nearby.

The center tables are generous and there are many areas to sit from narrow tables against and facing the windows to side tables and couches and chairs. If I lived in Flagstaff, I would probably favorite this place and Emily would frequently find me here. I think what won me over was the free-range javalina meat they used in the burrito I ordered. Being a hunter, that’s a plus for me.

Kickstand Kafe also gets involved with many charities. Emily tells me in our interview, “KickStand tries to be very involved with the community and charitable organizations by donating time and goods. Some of our organizations with which we have been involved include the Bare Aspen Ranch Wine Tasting to benefit Special Olympics, the Shadows Foundation, and Wine and Dine in the Pines to benefit Northern Arizona University athletics.”

All in all it’s a great place to write and the food is delicious. There are outlets and it’s quiet. The prices are reasonable. I give this coffee shop a thumbs-up for excellent service, atmosphere, and lattes.  If you were leading an (IN) RL 2012 gathering, Kickstand Kafe would be ideal.

Will You Pray With Me? Dear Lord, Small businesses are important to the local economy of any town and coffee shops are ideal for real life community. I pray that you help this business grow as Emily asked so that her business may continue to grow in her community. And thank you, Lord, that there are such generous businesses as Kickstand Kafe who, in spite of tough economic times, continues to give back to the community. In Jesus Name, Amen.


In Climbing Mt. Humphreys…

A promising day of blue skies held a hint of rain. Some friends accompanied us to Snowbowl. We began a long trek up Mt. Humphrey’s. Our goal was to reach the summit, or at least the saddle. We had a time limit which pushed us faster than normal up this steep incline. On the way, we met someone who inspired us even as the strength in our legs nearly gave out.

This woman had lost her companions. They were jogging up the mountain ahead of us. It was too fast for the woman to follow. We discovered that she had asthma. The woman came up from Phoenix and she was not used to hiking at this elevation. She held two ski poles to assist her on the terrain. The woman was in good physical shape and stopped a lot on the trail. I usually like to call these stops, “admiring the view,” rather than admit that my chest is heaving and my legs hurt.

Mt. Humphrey’s is about 12,300 or so feet and the highest point in Arizona. We had ten minutes left and we were more than halfway up. We pushed our legs until we crested the saddle. We didn’t have time for the extra hour to the summit, but the saddle gave us an awe-inspiring view. It even began to sleet as we stood on the saddle far above the earth. On the way down, we came across that woman still working her way to the summit. I don’t know if she ever got the top, but I continue to remember her now weeks later. Her perseverance was amazing!

Perseverance is necessary for any Christian. If we continue to say we can’t do something, we never will try. Failure is not the road block, but fear; it keeps us from living. We question why American missionaries go across the sea to countries hostile to our beliefs, even as those hostile countries are putting to death other believers, and yet their perseverance and strong faith lead them to better things in their lives. Often, I have heard people say that God gives us what we need, because we don’t know what we want. No one growing up says, they want to go to the Middle East and get beheaded by an extreme Muslim. We don’t want to lose our home due to foreclosure or want to move to another town for a new job, but God knows better what we desire and He asks us to persevere in the faith and trust Him. That woman wanted to prove something. She never allowed her asthma to make her a victim. That woman continued to climb even as the air became thin.

I want that perseverance. I want the faith of a missionary facing formidable odds. I want to live following Christ’s plan because oddly enough I am happier when I am following Him, even when circumstances are miserable. It’s these treks up difficult terrain in thin air that drive my determination to do things I would have never thought possible. However, to get to this point, I lost weight, worked on gaining muscle and endurance; in the same way, for faith to remain strong it depends solely on what we feed our soul. Do we read our Bibles? Or do those Bibles collect dust on our bookshelves? Are they opened only on Sunday? Do we pick and choose what we want to believe of the Bible?

We were near those clouds!