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Deborah Wall


Ash Meadows offers looks at rare species and history

With the opening of school and the approach of holidays, most of us become too busy to escape for long from our city lives. That makes the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge a good choice for a September escape. Lying in Nevada near the California state line, it’s close enough to enjoy thoroughly in a single day, yet it’s a little farther north, a little higher, and therefore a little cooler, than our own valley. Now is an especially good time to go if you enjoy birdwatching or counting how many different kinds you can see, for the fall migratory season is upon us, and more than 275 species have been recorded there.

Local drugstores offer Christmas goodies for outdoorsmen

Well, if you did it again — waited until the last minute to buy Christmas presents for your favorite hiker or camper — you’re not in so much trouble as you may think. Some of the most practical and appreciated gifts for outdoorsmen can be purchased at a CVS, Walgreens or hardware store through Christmas Eve. Furthermore, they’re inexpensive, so you can buy several items, making it certain the recipient will truly love at least one. Buy a low-cost stocking, fill it to the brim, and it will even look like you planned ahead.

Monumental history to be found in Native American valley

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is home to some of the most stunning buttes, mesas, arches and panoramas in the world. So familiar are some of these views, through Western films and television, that even an informal mental list of things to do before “kicking the bucket” often includes seeing them in person. The fall and winter months are appropriate for the visit, all the more so because many closer attractions on federal land have been closed due to the budget gridlock. This park lies not on federal land but on the 16 million-acre Navajo Reservation, so it remains open.