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MANA House

October 8, 2013

Arizona – Monday, September 30

I got everything packed up (clean laundry and all!) first thing this morning, and it was already getting warm out, so I decided to take Tula for another walk around the neighborhood to get a few miles in before continuing on my way. I had 11 miles to walk before leaving Arizona, and Tula and I walked a little over 2 1/2 miles before leaving Leif and Karena’s neighborhood (thanks again!!). I’m so used to seeing Halloween decorations in autumn surroundings that it looks funny to me to see them in the desert! And I found some more blooming cacti.

I headed for downtown Phoenix to make my last Arizona donation to the MANA House, which is a shelter for transitioning veterans – MANA stands for Marines, Army, Navy, Airforce. I first heard of them while listening to the news last week – they had a clip on the news about some Home Depot volunteers re-painting and fixing up the second floor of the local YWCA for female veterans. So I called to talk to someone there to see what kind of donation would be best – financial, food or household goods, which were all on their wish list. They told me they were in pretty good shape food-wise, and a financial donation would be best. So that’s what I did!

I couldn’t find my Arizona map, so I had to find a Triple A office to replace it since the New Mexico map was part of the same one. I had to drive across town for that (and then later found the map in my purse – maps are never in my purse!!). At that point I decided to head to Scottsdale for some more walking. I found the Arizona Canal trail and Tula walked about a mile with me, and then because of the heat, she stayed in the car with the A/C while I walked another 3 1/2 miles. I walked another mile in downtown Scottsdale, and by then it was getting to be evening, and cooling off a little, and Tula and I walked another couple miles through the Old Town area, which was fun to wander through. The old town is full of wooden storefronts, wooden sidewalks, old hitching posts, and lots of art galleries and souvenir shops – a fun place to window shop! By this time I had walked 10 of the 11 miles that I needed, and it was getting dark, so I decided to save the last mile for the morning, since I wouldn’t actually make it into New Mexico tonight. I headed northeast to Pinetop, and I could tell by the winding road that I was probably missing some pretty scenery. But sometimes that can’t be helped! I listened to the news for a good part of the way, and all the talk was about the impending government shutdown. And if that happened, the national parks would be closed, and although that night not be as major as other programs that would be affected, I still didn’t want to see that happen!

Aside from my final mile of Arizona walking which I’ll do in the morning, I was all done in Arizona, with all miles walked (almost!) and 7 donations given – Circle of Page food pantry, Cancer Outreach, Wood Bank, Hunters for the Hungry, Sedona food pantry, socks for Team Hope to pass out, and MANA House. Tomorrow I’m off for New Mexico!

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