OrangeTree Golf Club - March 15th, 2021:

I'll bet you're happy that you either live in the Scottsdale area or visit the Scottsdale area. Either way, you're in the golf mecca of the Southwest and there aren't too many days that the sun doesn't shine so this is for those folks who love the links!

OrangeTree Golf Club is a wonderful little course nestled in Northwest Scottsdale. It's just minutes away from just about everything and is a very forgiving course with wide open fairways and generous greens.

The course was in absolutely fabulous shape when I played it. As great as the course is, the best thing about OrangeTree is the staff. They couldn't have been more friendly and they even cut us a deal on our greens fees since we got a late start (we didn't even have to ask for it)! Note: on a previous golf outing at OrangeTree I forgot my wallet in the cart when I rushed off the course in a pouring rain and utter darkness. Needless to say, not the best weather for golf. That said, the next day I showed up at the pro-shop and the staff greeted me with a smile and my wallet. Nothing missing and they wouldn't even let me give them the cash inside. Something to be said for honesty served up with a simile. I just love these guys!



Would I play OrangeTree Golf Club again - you bet I will! It's a Hot little course, moderately priced, and difficult enough to be challenging but not too difficult to have a great time! Give OrangeTree Golf Club a try, I'm certain you'll love it! It's Hot!



Gateway Loop Hiking Trail  - March 8th, 2021:

I can't even begin to tell you how many hiking trails there are in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. If you love to "get your hike on"  then you're in the right place for certain!

I recently visited the Gateway Loop Hiking Trail, located in Northeast Scottsdale, in the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy off N. Thompson Peak Road. It's just minutes from the heart of Scottsdale and offers ample parking (if you get there early enough) and a diverse trail offering. You can hike for 30 minutes or several hours, just beware, as it is one of the more rocky trails I've hiked (i.e., loose rocks).

It offers trails for the beginner and the intermediate hiker. The loop is dog-friendly, kid-friendly, is approximately 4.5 miles, and ascends to a moderate elevation of just 685ft. There are restroom facilities at the trail-head and the trails are clearly marked, for the most part.

Overall, the trail is relatively flat with just a few "hilly" areas as you make your way around the loop. It's not so challenging that you can't enjoy your hike, but challenging enough that you can get a great workout. I recommend getting there early as this trail is quite popular with both the locals and those visiting our enchanted city.



I would definitely recommend the Gateway Loop Hiking Trail as it is a great way to discover and enjoy the desert landscape, while spending quality time with friends and family members. Be sure to take plenty of water and STAY HYDRATED, especially on those HOT SUMMER DAYS in the valley. Give the Gateway Loop Hiking Trail a try - It's Hot!




Pinnacle Peak Hiking Trail  - January 25th, 2021:

"Get out and hike" is the motto for residents and visitors alike to the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. To answer the call Pinnacle Peak Hiking Trail is available to all.

On my visit to the Pinnacle Peak Trail I was pleasantly surprised at the level of difficulty. This baby is a four mile trail (out & back) and it is conveniently located in N. Scottsdale. It's "officially" rated as a moderate trail, but I would rate it slightly more difficult, due the vertical ascents on this trail (there's always the possibility that I'm a wimp, so you can decide for yourself).

The course trail offers spectacular views of the Scottsdale area, with panoramic views of McDowell Mountain, which is just 2.5 miles away. If you proceed approximately one mile up the trail you can see Camelback Mountain in the distance. Be alert as this trail is quite heavily traveled especially on the weekends so it's best to get started early in the morning.

As always, be sure to take ample water on your hike as it gets hot very quickly on the trails, especially in the summer, and hydration is oh so important.



As is the case with all the local trails, Pinnacle Peak Hiking Trail offers the opportunity to really take in the beauty of the desert and its wildlife. Get out there and HIKE Pinnacle Peak Trail, it's one of my favorites and I highly recommend it!


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