Lynx Lake, Prescott AZ
One of our most recent tours, took us to Lynx Lake in Prescott, AZ. The beauty of the lake was so stunning that I had to share! Here are some quick facts about Lynx Lake:
-Located in the Lynx Lake Recreation Area at 5,600 elevation
-Has a campground situated along the lake's west shoreline.
-Has Ponderosa pine ecosystem mixed with alligator juniper, oak species and a variety of native grasses.
-Day time and overnight temperatures are very pleasant and from late June through Mid-September you can expect late afternoon thunderstorms.
-You may see deer, osprey, great blue heron, bald eagle, mountain lion, bobcat, fox, skunk, rabbit, and different species of snakes, lizards, and birds
-Half of the trail is paved so your entire family can take a leisurely stroll around the lake.
Overall, I was so happy with my visit to Lynx Lake. I highly recommend visiting Lynx Lake the next time you are in Prescott, AZ.
Meet Ellen Rosenberg
I had the privilege of meeting with Ellen Rosenberg; a former Physician turned outdoor enthusiast who is now employed with REI. We meet at Starbucks, a fitting place for a lady who is always on the go either hiking, backpacking or riding horses. She generously gave me two hours of her time while discussing her adventures and why it’s so important for people to be active outdoors.
What sports are you involved in?
Endurance horseback riding, hiking and backpacking. From a sports standpoint I’ve had to limit myself to that. I needed to narrow my focus. I’m in my 60’s- arthritis is an issue. If I fall off my horse, the injuries become an issue. I’ve picked these three that I’m crazy passionate about. I do enjoy swimming, but I don’t swim as much since I’ve got long hair.
What is the longest hike you’ve been on?
I've backpacked rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. We day hiked about 14.5 miles to reach the north rim, and back to our campsite. When I’m preparing to do Grand Canyon trips I go in at either Gateway or Tom’s Thumb trailheads. I hike up one side, across and down the other side and get someone to pick me up. I had a total knee replacement 5 1/2 years ago and before that everything hurt. A lot of these things I couldn’t do. If I did, I suffered through. After I had my knee fixed it was a whole new world.
What is the most challenging part of backpacking?
You have to be able to look beyond anything uncomfortable or put it in a different place in your head. Because it’s hard work to carry a 35 lb load – your feet hurt, it’s hot, you’re sweaty and you smell. For me the rush is when I get home from a backpacking trip, I feel like superwoman. I feel like a badass and I can tackle anything. It’s a lot of mind over matter. It’s not a race. I’m a slow hiker. It takes me 7.5- 8 hours to hike out of the Grand Canyon. So you need to stop and enjoy where you are.
How did you get started in horseback riding?
I learned to ride as a young kid. I was taught to ride at summer camp by the same master that taught my mother to ride. We learned dressage which is a very precise way of riding. Once I was retired from medicine a nurse friend, invited me to ride horses. We started riding together regularly. When she got pregnant, she couldn’t ride. She asked me to keep her horse conditioned for endurance and I was hooked.
She couldn’t wait to start riding her horse again after she had her baby. I said oh my gosh she’s going to take her horse back. So I went out and bought a horse. I had ridden my entire life, but this was the first time I had owned a horse.
What do you love most about being in the outdoors?
The lack of engineered noise. Depending on the weather, the sun on my face or not. Feeling the breeze. The smells of nature- the sounds of nature- it’s very restoring. It lets your mind wander and you can think about things or think about nothing. Just don’t step on the snake in front of you.
What have these sports taught you about yourself?
That I am strong and that I can do anything I set my mind to. I was lucky. I was raised this way. The thing I love about backpacking is what little you need. We are such a consumer society- I can carry a backpack that weights 35 lbs and be absolutely comfortable. I can be safe, dry and warm – you do not need all this stuff.
When I graduated College, I packed up my external frame pack and I spent a week by myself into the Canadian Rockies; I called this my self-reliance trip. It taught me I could truly rely on myself. I didn’t need to be someone’s daughter, girlfriend, or best friend, - no descriptions to define me. I needed to be me with me.
How did you start working at REI?
When my daughter was applying to College, I thought I’m not going to have my buddy anymore. I was in there every other week to buy something. Endurance rides involve car camping so a lot of the gear crosses over. I was in there a lot- and I looked around one day and I thought this would be a great place to work. So I applied. The first time I didn’t hear from them and then the second time I applied, the Manager saw that I camped with my horses and wanted to hear more about it. I’ve been with them 7 years.
What do you like most about working at REI?
It’s a great place. The people are great and they take care of their employees. I was working between 10-15 hours per week and I really needed to have my knee replaced. I thought I was going to have to quit because I needed three months off. They said, okay- fill this paperwork out and we’ll put you on leave of absence. After the three months, they asked me how many hours I wanted. They invest so much in their employees.
What are your thoughts on the Forces of Nature?
I think the Forces of Nature Campaign is awesome. This should have happened 40 years ago. It is late regarding women’s’ rights. In the 60’s President Kennedy started a program -The President’s Council for Physical Fitness. We had a set amount of time for gym and recess and we had 1 hour for lunch. Boys and girls were treated the same. We got free play and organized play. Forces of Nature should have had a natural outcropping from this fitness program and the women’s movement in the 60’s and 70’s.
I think we need to start with kids. We as a society don’t value kids imaginative time in the outdoors. If they are outside, they are playing organized sports. Free play, imaginative, letting the kids discover the world by themselves is missing and I think it contributes to behavior problems as well as a fear of the great outdoors.
When I retired, it took me a year to realize what I missing. You do need to stop and smell the roses. I was a frustrated outdoors person trapped in a hospital with no windows.
Advice to women who have limiting beliefs?
There are power in numbers so get some good girlfriends who you trust and try something. You have your buddies with you and you can laugh or cry about it. You have other people to share it with. Having the extra people around you makes you feel safer. If you can find an experienced person pick their brain. My friend Ellen who I met at REI said she decided I was the person to take her on her first backpacking trip. So later I asked her why did you pick me to take you backpacking? She says “because I trusted you”. To prepare, we hiked it twice before we spent the night. I wanted to know where every molecule of water was. So she found someone she trusted- and I hadn’t backpacked since I was in College. Take baby steps and break it up into small chunks- walk a mile and then set up camp. This is backpacking.
I think women need to be brave. We are the people that have babies. We can do anything so we need to be brave and just try stuff. Sometimes you’ll find something that you really like. Like I did- I didn’t know Endurance riding existed. My imagination for endurance riding was like riding across the desert. But I’ve met a lot of people through this sport. I’ve seen some spectacular places that are closed to the public and that are so far off the beaten path most people don’t even know they are there.