An unexpected gem: Hiking Joshua Tree National Park

After living in the desert for eight years, I was not in a hurry to visit Joshua Tree National Park, in eastern California.  More of the same?  No, hiking Joshua Tree National Park definitely offered some new Couch Potato hiking opportunities with dazzling scenery. An Oasis in the Desert Entering from the Oasis Visitor Center, Read More …

Free – yes FREE – National Parks Days in 2012

Posted by on Dec 8, 2011 in National Parks | No Comments

They say that nothing is free in life, but there are days when there is something free! The fabulous National Parks Service has published the days in 2012 when people can get into the many National Parks for free.   The dates are: January 14 to 16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend) April 21 to Read More …

Jewel of the Creek Preserve – a Real Gem!

Posted by on Nov 15, 2011 in Hiking Adventures, Kids Blog | One Comment

After our previous experience at Cave Creek Regional Park in Arizona, we headed to Jewel of the Creek Preserve in Cave Creek.  Although a small park in comparison to many, the features are worth a visit. Jewel of the Creek is off Spur Creek Road, which offers a smooth ride to reach until the last Read More …

What’s a Couch Potato hike?

If you’ve been a Couch Potato, we’ll assume that you are not – instantly – planning a 20-mile hike with major uphill components. Time to set the ground rules: When we say it is worthy of a Couch Potato, our hikes would mostly be level, with possibly one or two rises where you might wind Read More …

7 Things to Know about Choosing Hiking Boots

After a recent foray to find new hiking boots, the Couch Potato would like to share the following, so others don’t make the same mistakes she did previously! 1. Don’t be in a rush. You’re going to be wearing these boots on the trail for a while. Comfort is everything! 2. Look for boots that Read More …

A Carefree Experience!

Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 in Hiking Adventures | No Comments

A recent visit to the trails of Cave Creek and nearby Carefree, Arizona was a really upbeat experience in early October. Where we stayed To optimize our hiking time, we stayed at the Drury Inn in Phoenix to cut our drive time for the weekend.  The rate was unbeatable and the experience exceptional!  The Drury Read More …

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South Mountain Park Hiking with the Couch Potato

Posted by on Jul 24, 2011 in Hiking Adventures, Hiking Gear | No Comments

South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona has hikes for Couch Potatoes. It also has some more challenging hikes and some terrific views. As the largest City Park in the US, South Mountain is the magnet that draws everyone from bicyclists, to families, to singles people with dogs. You can count on a greeting from most Read More …

Visiting Yosemite

Posted by on Jun 18, 2011 in Hiking Adventures, National Parks | No Comments

Yosemite National Park is a great place for a Couch Potato hike, but beware of some hiking books that rate these hikes. On a recent trip, a Park Ranger called the Vernal Trail “strenuous” (just the hike to the footbridge – not even the more difficult hike to the falls itself), while a hiking book Read More …

Why are these Couch Potatoes smiling?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2011 in Hiking Adventures | No Comments

Hiking Couch Potato with his creator and autobiographer Shelley Gillespie hike at South Mountain Park Hiking – and walking – works! The Couch Potato received proof positive that hiking and walking can make a difference. A recent bone density scan showed “significant improvement” in bone density. With a family history of osteoporosis, that was good Read More …

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Posted by on Mar 12, 2011 in Hiking Adventures | No Comments

If you are in the Phoenix, Arizona area, an easy hike is at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch.  The 110-acre park has numerous paths, all flat and picturesque as they meander around seven ponds.  Depending on the season, some or all of the ponds may have water and are major bird magnets!  People have Read More …