There are three places I have found that I truly enjoy and visit whenever I can…one of these is Monument Valley AZ/UT (as it crosses into both states)…another is the city of Jerome, AZ…and last is the Scottsdale Bike Path Lake at Chaparral and Hayden in North Scottsdale, AZ.
I haven’t been to Monument Valley since 2000. It’s been probably that long since I’ve been in Jerome. But when in Phoenix, at some point a visit to the Bike Path Lake is essential.
I used to call it simply The Bike Path, but that’s like saying I like to go to Nevada instead of Las Vegas. While the actual Bike Path is many miles and transverses Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale, I am primarily concerned with the Northeast corner of Hayden and Chaparral. There is a Lake (actually a large pond I suppose)…there are ducks and geese…and herons and all sorts of fowl. At times the geese become agitated about something and become fussy, talking to themselves and outsiders in that noisy honking goose sort of way.
Perhaps it’s because I grew up with this…ponds and a lake full of such animals in quite literally my own backyard. Or for whatever reason—as for whatever reason or reasons I feel that attachment to the other two…so do I feel that here.
I first drove past this place in 1992, and soon afterwards I was bicycling on the concrete stripe that surrounds the lake…then later, rollerblading over it. Sometimes—as today—I just come here to visit and admire…to absorb.
It is slightly chilly here today…there is a brisk breeze. But it is magnificently sunny…there are no clouds. Days like today are why we live here in Southern and Central Arizona, compared to what the rest of the country is experiencing.
Up the street there is some sort of outdoor dog show, and some of those dogs and their owners have found their way here. Many others walk the stretch… some bicycle, some rollerblade. And with a City permit fishing is also possible here…to this end many would-be and once-were anglers have set up tackleboxes and fishing poles. Most of the fishing activity occurs during the early and later evening hours…some are still hoping for “the one that got away” even as the park’s 10pm closing looms near.
There are benches and picnic tables…and small rudimentary barbecue grills. Of course there are trees.
There are pictures of the Bike Path Lake found here in the Photo Module to the right.
It is a place that asks only that you enjoy this visit. It does not demand or require…it is here. It exists. Like a beautiful sunset it will go on being and existing with or without you…but all the better should you be present and a part of its existence to fully experience it.