Author Archives: Jeff Webb

Jeff Webb

About Jeff Webb

Jeffrey Webb is a recent graduate from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. He studied Computer Information Systems and International Business. In addition to his work at AZ Big Media, Jeffrey is the co-creator and owner of Date U, an online dating website for university students. Since graduation, he has continued his work in web development and design.

Easter Events

Easter Events Throughout The Valley

Hippity, hoppity; Easter’s on its way. So if you haven’t already thought about what you’re doing for the holiday, you’re in luck because we have listed a few Easter events happening throughout the Valley.

Here are a few Easter events in the Valley:

Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors’ Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Easter Pageant: The Easter Pageant, held at the Mesa Arizona Temple, is one of the largest in the world. The pageant has been an annual tradition, and the cast has grown to more than 400 hundred people. There are performances in English and Spanish, each lasting about 65 minutes. The Easter Pageant is open to people of all religions, ages and cultures. Admission is free, and no ticket is required. For more info, visit easterpageant.org.

Easter Egg Hunt at Schnepff Farms: The Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 11 a.m. where the children will be divided into age groups. The admission cost is $25 per child and will include the egg hunt, unlimited train rides, carousel rides, hay rides, a petting zoo, photos with the Easter Bunny and lunch. Admission for adults is free. Arrive early if you plan on paying in cash. For more info, visit schnepffarms.com.

Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee’s Annual Easter Parade and Spring Fling: The parade will begin at 48th St. and Warner in Ahwatukee at 10:00 a.m. The Spring Fling Carnival begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until 4 p.m. There will be rides, kids’ activities and entertainment for the whole family. One-hundred percent of all the proceeds from the parade and Spring Fling will go to support local programs and charities. For more information, visit ahwatukeekiwanis.org.

Easter Egg Hunt at Enchanted Island Amusement Park: The egg-hunt is free for children ages 1 – 10. All eggs are filled with prizes, and there are 20 grand prize eggs. Arrive early as children must register and receive an age-appropriate stamp. The Easter Bunny will be available all day for pictures and hugs.  For more information, visit enchantedisland.com/specialevents.php.

Easter Cookie Decorating Workshop at el Pedregal at the Boulders: The Bakery Café at el Pedregal will be celebrating Easter by holding an Easter Cookie Decorating workshop on April 2, at 2 p.m. Families can come to decorate both sugar cookies and chocolate bunnies. Guests can also indulge in a variety of other deserts, including carrot cake, cream puffs, coconut cake, macaroons and other Easter candies. Cookie decoration kits cost $5.50 each. Visit theboulders.com for more info.

Family Easter Celebration in Chandler: The Easter Bunny will also be visiting the Snedigar Sports Complex Saturday, April 7 to take pictures with children ages nine and under. In addition, there will be Easter Egg hunts, vendors, interactive amusements and an Easter Basket Give-A-Way. Event lasts from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is free. For more information, visit chandleraz.gov.

Easter at Lake Pleasant regional Park: Come celebrate Easter at the Road Runner Campground Play Area. The park will be filled with more than 2,000 candy-filled eggs. There will be also special prize eggs, which can be redeemed for prizes.  The egg hunt is open to kids ages 12 and under. Admission is free with the cost of a vehicle ($6.00). For more information, visit maricopa.gov.

Republican Presidential Debate at Mesa Arts Center

The Republican Presidential Debate Viewing Party

On Wednesday, February 22, the Republican party held their primary debate here in Arizona. I ventured out into deep Mesa to cover the debate, but since I couldn’t actually get into the building, I decided to walk around outside the Mesa Arts Center, where a large, outdoor viewing party was being held. There were plenty of journalists there reporting on the debate, so instead of writing a conventional news story, I decided to record a running diary of my time at the event. Pics are at the end of the post.

5:02 pm – Paul supporters out in full force today.

5:12 pm – Political events have the best people watching.

5:16 pm – About 50 percent of the crowd is vocal Ron Paul supporters. So far I have only seen a small number of people #SpreadingSantorum or showing support for the other two candidates.

5:21 pm – There is a large number of protesters here to support the DREAM Act, a legislative proposal that would provide amnesty for illegal immigrants. For the rest of this piece, I will refer to these protestors as “the DREAM Actors.”

5:25 pm – The city of Mesa hired a band to perform on stage before the debate starts. They’re trying really hard, but no one is listening.

5:40 pm –The DREAM Actors are now marching, while chanting “Sí se puede” and “We’re not afraid.” I have a feeling that immigration is going to be a hot topic at tonight’s debate.

5:45 pm – I just came across some demonstrators imploring the candidates to, “Please free Syria.” Sorry bros, maybe if you guys had more oil …

5:41 pm – There are also a small number of people here to support the #Occupy movement. I wonder if they know that Warner Brothers (a major corporation, man!) gets a cut from every single Guy Fawkes mask they buy.

5:50 pm – Governor Jan Brewer is now on stage getting the folks fired up! #ScorpionsForBreakfast

5:51 pm – “Tonight we will get clear and concise answers from the candidates…” HAHAHA! Good one, J.Brew!

5:53 pm – Arizona Republican Party Chairman Tom Morrissey comes up on stage to ask us if we love our country, and then to lead us through the Pledge of Allegiance.  But before we begin, he reminds us that there is no pause between the words “one nation” and “under God.” Thanks for the tip, Tom!

5:55 pm – The MC for the outside crowd instructs us to cheer wildly whenever they point the camera at us. “Get up, cheer, jump around, send gang signs… I mean, no, HAHA, don’t do that!” Are you sure you don’t want to see my gang sings, CNN outside party MC? I want to represent my crew. #westside

6:00 pm – “This is CNN.” LET’S DO THIS.

6:01 pm – THIS DEBATE COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!! At least that’s what CNN says could happen.  CNN gives all the candidates a pro-wrestling style intro. Ron Paul’s is by far the lamest.

6:01 pm – During the introductions, Newt gets some polite applause; Romney and Santorum get a few cheers from the crowd outside. Paul has the loudest supporters.

6:04 pm – In the first answer of the debate, Rick Santorum says that he would cut Medicaid and food stamps, but not military spending. But hey, don’t criticize him. Rick is a good Christian man, and I’m pretty sure he’s just following what it says to do in the Gospel.

6:11 pm – Right now, Santorum is getting hammered on his voting record. It must be hard to get elected president after spending many years in Congress. Even the smallest and most routine votes can come back to haunt you.

6:12 pm – People outside keep applauding the comments like the candidates can hear them.  Inside the Mesa Arts Center, Newt Gingrich has just informed the crowd that today is the 280th birthday of President George Washington. #historian #knowledgeBombs

6:14 pm – Gingrich’s big stumping point for this debate seems to be energy and gas prices; he has already mentioned it a few times. Also, there is a large man in a chicken suit standing right behind me. I don’t know what he wants.

6:16 pm – The chicken man is standing so close I can feel his breath on the back of my neck. #veryuncomfortable

6:17 pm – Ron Paul continues to get the loudest cheers. He tells the audience that we need to stop all foreign aid because it is a waste of money and it helps our enemies. But what about programs like the Peace Corps, or emergency food/medical services? That might make a good follow-up question, John King.

6:21 pm– Romney is bragging about deporting illegal immigrants while he was Governor of Massachusetts. The DREAM Actors protesting outside do not like this. Also, I have to wonder why the moderators allow the crowd inside the Mesa Arts Center to cheer/applaud during the debate. This has happened at every single Republican debate. It makes the candidates to pander to the crowd and it wastes time.

6:37 pm – Wow, a good follow-up question about the managed bankruptcies and the auto industry by John King. See I knew you had it in you! Still, I’m pretty disappointed with the types of questions I’ve been hearing throughout the Republican Primary. <rant> It seems like the reporters/journalists are covering the campaign like it’s a horse race; they’re not concerned with the actual issues. The news media is only searching for buzz-worthy, marketable, thirty-second soundbites; they let the presidential candidates spout of the same talking points, over and over again, unchallenged. No one ever asks the candidates about how that will actually make their plans happen, or speculates about the possible ramifications if the Republicans succeed </rant>.

6:42 pm – We’re still on the topic of the auto bailouts. Ron Paul is insisting that politicians shouldn’t meddle in corporate bankruptcies, because they can’t figure that kind of stuff out. Are politicians stupid? Does that mean we should start electing smarter people?

6:50 pm – All the Republican challengers seem to agree that President Obama has launched a vicious attack on religious freedoms in America (via contraception). Is Obama the next Maximilien Robespierre? #reignofterror

7:03 pm – Santorum and Romney keep blaming each other for causing Obamacare. Santorum says that Obamacare was based on Romney’s state healthcare plan in Massachusetts, while Mitt claims that Obama’s bill never would have passed through Congress if Santorum hadn’t indorsed Senator Arlen Spector (who voted for the bill after he was re-elected). Which Republican presidential candidate do you think deserves the credit for overhauling the American healthcare system?

7:04 pm – The crowd outside lustily boos Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio when he is introduced during the debate. They must have had a bad experience at tent city or something.

7:13 pm – Newt Gingrich loves Ronald Reagan. He loves Ronald Reagan more than you ever could. He wants you to know that.

7:14 pm – During commercial breaks, the CNN crew keeps asking us to cheer when they put us up on the big screen. Why do they need our cheers so badly? Are they terribly insecure, to the point where they need constant reassurance that they are doing a good job?

7:20 pm –The DREAM Actors and Ron Paul supporters have crowded around the CNN cameras. Their signs are partially obscuring the big screen, which is angering other people in the crowd.

7:26 pm – We are now on the topic of Iran and nuclear weapons. If you listen, you can hear the drums of war beginning to beat. This is getting the Ron Paul supporters and traditional Republicans fired up, but for very different reasons.

7:31 pm – You can tell people are into the debate when they loudly muttering their own personal commentary. It isn’t the least bit annoying. #sarcasm

7:47 pm – During the last commercial break, two men start chanting Romney’s name. No one else joins in and they quickly stop.

7:52 pm – Gingrich and Romney refuse to answer John King’s final question. They instead use the time for a closing argument about why they should be president. When John King tries to protest, Romney slaps him back down #WHO’SYOURDADDY

7:55 pm – It’s over. Time to get out of here.

Final Take: During the debate, new frontrunner Rick Santorum boxed himself in by pointing out that he voted for large bills and packages that he didn’t believe in, such as Title X, which is not popular among the Republican electorate. He portrays himself as a principled Washington outsider, but by admitting and trying to defend the fact that he played the political game, Santorum lost a lot of his credibility. Honesty gets you nowhere in these debates. I expect Mitt Romney will get a boost over the next several days.

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Facebook Timeline

What Facebook Timeline Means For Job Seekers

An Intro to Facebook Timeline

It might be time to brush up on your Kierkegaard, because Facebook is about to become very existential. The new profile, called Facebook Timeline, is not concerned with what you are doing. It wants to know who you are. See the dramatic video below for a brief overview, or take a look at this article for a more detailed description of the changes.

 

 

As you can see, the most important parts of the profile will be static information, like where you went to school, where you work, what your interests are, and who you have been in a relationship with. The profile tells the world your history, or at least the history of your time on Facebook. These changes will have a big impact on the way people use Facebook, especially in a world where social networking is becoming a large part of the hiring process. So what do job seekers and employers need to know about this new Facebook Timeline?

Practical tips for job seekers:

Facebook Timeline essentially makes your profile an online resume.

So like a resume, try to emphasize your professional accomplishments and good qualities. Don’t just write where you worked, write about what you did while you worked there. Make sure your employment history is up to date.

Familiarize yourself with Facebook’s privacy settings.

The more control you have over your information, the better. Timeline will make it much easier to view a person’s entire Facebook history. Employers don’t need to see pictures of your 21st birthday or politically incorrect wall posts from your freshman year of college. Update your privacy settings so only close friends can see this type of information.

Go back through your history to find flattering posts and pictures to share publicly.

This information will help you present a consistent and positive story about yourself.

Pick a good cover photo.

The new profile has a spot for both a profile pic and large cover photo at the top of the page. This picture will represent you, so choose something that looks nice or shows off your creativity.

The new profile places more emphasis on your Likes.

So avoid liking things that might be considered distasteful or controversial.

Be aware of how you use third-party apps; some may publish a log of your activities.

For example, an app could show which music/movies you’re steaming or what articles you have read.

 

What employers need to know:

Don’t place too much emphasis on Facebook profiles during the hiring process.

There will be a wealth of information available on Facebook Timeline profiles, but not all of it will be accurate, verifiable or complete. You don’t want to make hiring decisions based on unreliable information.

Be aware of possible legal issues.

Companies that look up protected information like race, religion, or age run the risk of violating anti-discrimination and hiring laws. It might make sense to hire an outside firm for background searches; a third party can provide your company with information useful to the hiring process, but protect you from the data that you’re not supposed to see.

 

 

Social Networking apps for your phone

Social Networking Apps For Your Phone

Mobile phone social networking apps are great. I can tune out the boring parts of my day (like school, work, driving, etc.) by just playing around on Facebook. The best part is that it makes me look like I’m busy sending important messages, so no one ever bothers me.

Unfortunately, going on the same sites over and over again can get a little dull. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been wondering what happens when Facebook mobile and Twitter are no longer enough to keep you entertained.

Luckily, I found five more social networking apps you can use when you want to look busy and/or avoid talking to people at work:

Broadtexter.com

Do you enjoying receiving ads over text-message? If so, then you’re really going to like this site. Broadtexter allows users to send mass numbers of text messages/pictures in just a few clicks.

“Broadcasters” can create mobile clubs, which fans of the broadcaster can then join. Fans will then be able to receive alerts (ads), share photos and even chat with the broadcaster. Using Broadtexter could be a great way for musicians or meretricious club promoters to engage with their fans.

MocoSpace.com

Ever wonder what happened to your hometown acquaintances that used MySpace and never graduated from high school? Well, most of them are probably on MocoSpace.com.

MocoSpace is like the terrible love-child of a cheap dating website and Facebook games.

Members can message, instant-chat and play games with other random people on the site. If you are so inclined, you can download the MocoSpace app for your smartphone — allowing you to play poorly designed games on-the-go.

There are several steps one must follow in order to create an authentic profile on MocoSpace:

Guys: In your profile picture, you should be shirtless or showing off your abs. It helps to have lots of tattoos. All pictures should be self-portraits taken on your camera phone — preferably in the bathroom. Make sure the background on your profile page is extremely cluttered and gaudy. Overproduced, autotuned rap music should also be playing on your profile. All your “friends” on MocoSpace must be female.Social Networking Mobile Apps

Girls: Just like guys, your profile picture should be a cell phone pic taken in the bathroom. Pictures should be taken from an overhead angle. For extra points, add flashy hearts or glowing lipstick kisses to your profile picture; or, include an image of the child you had out of wedlock. For your profile page, follow the same rules as the guys – just make sure you include lots of pink.

Everyone: The use of proper grammar is a major faux pas on MocoSpace. BUT IF U TYPE LIKE DIS BB U WILL HAVE FRIENDS ON MOMOSPACE 4EVR!!! <3 I SHOULD HAVE SAID 5EVR B/C DATS LONGER DAN 4EVR!! ; )

MobiLuck.com

MobiLuck is a location-based social networking site. MobiLuck members use their phones to sign-into places, search for activities and message friends that are nearby. It’s the alternative for people who don’t want to use Foursquare, Facebook Places, Google Places, or Microsoft’s “We’re In” app.

BrightKite.com

The alternative for people who don’t want to use Foursquare, Facebook Places, Google Places,  Microsoft’s “We’re In” app, or MobiLuck.com. BrightKite also has “group chat.”

meetMoi.com

Online dating can be difficult. You have to sift through hundreds of profiles to find someone who you like. You then have to send an awkward first message, and hope the person writes you back. If you happen to get a response, you must continue to banter online for a few days/weeks before you can even get a first date. That’s a lot of work. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just walk over to a person, strike up a conversation, and then ask him/her out?

Mobile matchmaker, meetMoi, (almost) lets you do this. After signing up for the site, you update your location using your mobile phone. Users then get alerts when other meetMoi members are in their general proximity. If you like who you see, you can chat, send a wink, or even meet up in person!  

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Relevant Questions

How did you communicate/express yourself before mobile phone social networking apps? Is writing a handwritten letter as terrible as I imagine?

How many social networks do I have to join before I am “fulfilled” as a person? Will signing up for meetMoi help erase the emptiness that I feel inside?

Were you unable to get a job when you graduated college? Do you regret the fact that you got a liberal arts degree and are now unemployed and in debt? Does looking at the people on MocoSpace.com make you feel better about yourself?

DO U WANT 2C MOAR POSTS ABT DIS TOPICK?!? 

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Chase Field Wi-Fi

Chase Field Wi-Fi System Impresses

Chase Field Wi-Fi

On August 11, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced the optimization of the Chase Field Wi-Fi network. The move came as a pleasant surprise to Phoenix-area baseball fans and technophiles, who were not even aware that a new Wi-Fi system had been installed in the stadium.

The organization hopes the new, improved network will enhance the Chase Field experience for fans hopelessly addicted to their mobile internet devices.

Wi-Fi at Chase Field

Development

The organization partnered with broadband provider AT&T to create the system, which they began working on in January 2011. The Wi-Fi network went up on Opening Day and was fully operational the day of the All-Star Game in July. According to team representatives, the network preformed great during the jam-packed event.

Design

The system is technically made up of two different parts. The first is a Distributed Antenna System (or DAS) which provides 3G connectivity. The other part is the Wi-Fi network, which boasts download speeds of up to 14 megabits per second.

The ballpark has 283 different access points, meaning there almost no wireless dead zones on Chase Field.

The Wi-Fi access points and DAS antennas blend in perfectly with the building’s design, so they won’t be noticed by the average fan.

Mobile Apps

Wi-Fi at Chase Field

The Diamondbacks hope fans will take advantage of a variety of baseball-enhancement mobile apps.

The “At-Bat” app allows users to order food and concessions from their seats, so fans will never miss another Justin Upton home run or Kelly Johnson strikeout while waiting in line.

Other apps provide recaps, box scores and videos from around Major League Baseball. D-backs fans will even be able to view replays of close calls that are not allowed to be shown on the video board.

Team officials are betting that a mobile device friendly environment will lure fans off the couch and back into the stands.

 

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Relevant Questions: 

Which movie(s) should I watch on my iPad at the next Diamondbacks game?

Is it cool if I use BitTorrent while I’m at Chase Field?

How can we use Wi-Fi to give the D-Backs a home field advantage during their playoff push?

Are the Diamondbacks and “underground” team?  If so, does that mean Arizona fans are cooler than mainstream Red Sox/Yankees fans?

Should the Wi-Fi password for Chase Field be “sixthlowestpayrollinbaseball”? 

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Google Plus vs. Facebook

Tech Blog: Google Plus vs. Facebook

Google Plus vs. Facebook

You may have recently heard something about Google Plus, the new social networking site. Thousands of hip, social networkers have fled Facebook for Google’s potentially greener pastures.

Should you be one of them? Read this and decide if Google Plus is really better than Facebook.

The History – So Far

On June 28, 2011, Google released their new, much-hyped social network Google Plus (plus.google).  G+ was an instant hit in the early adopter community; literally every single tech blogger in the world signed up for a G+ account and then wrote an article about it.

Even though the new social network was invitation only, the number of registered users exploded. See the graph below:

 

Google Plus had 10 million users after just two weeks; after four weeks, over 25 million users had signed up.

The tech community was giddy over the fact that it had grown faster than any other social network in history. (Never mind the fact the Google was already a billion-dollar company with tremendous brand value and worldwide recognition).

In spite of this exciting news, the question on everyone’s mind was whether or not G+ would be able to take on the social networking behemoth that is Facebook.

Clash of the Titans

With its 750 million users, Facebook still dwarfs Google Plus. Google is attempting to attract new members by introducing a variety of features that seem to address Facebook’s limitations:

Circles

On Facebook you have friends and that’s it. Unless you fiddle with complicated settings, you won’t be able to control which friends see what. (Meaning that if you post those pictures from spring break, Grandpa will see them and be disappointed in you.)

Google + is different. You organize your contacts based on circles, or categories, including family, friends and work. Before you post anything, you must decide which circle(s) are allowed to see it. This means more privacy and more control.

Just like Twitter, you don’t have to know a person in order to add them to one of your circles.

Video Chat

G+ has a feature called Hangouts, which allow you to video/instant chat with up to 10 people at a time. In response to this, Facebook implemented their own version of video chat. However, Facebook Chat only supports two-way video calling.

Google Plus vs. Facebook

Sparks

G+ users can find out more about their own interests by using the Sparks function. Sparks is like a front-end Google search that continuously updates links about topic they are interested in, like sports or movies.

The closest feature on Facebook is the ability to “like” an organization; this will make their updates appear in your news feed.

Facebook’s Advantages

Facebook’s biggest advantage is the sheer number of people who use the service. If you’re looking for someone, chances are they’re on Facebook.

Facebook also has business and organization profiles, which allow users to interact with companies that they like.

Additionally, integrated games are a big draw for the site; over 50% of users play Facebook games. Google Plus does not have any games or organization pages.

Extemporaneous Musings/Conclusion

Maybe it really doesn’t matter if Google Plus is better than Facebook. Maybe features like Circles and Hangouts aren’t actually the things attracting people to Google. Perhaps the real appeal of G+ is the fact that it offers a fresh start, a tabula rasa.

On Google Plus, we have a change to erase all our social networking mistakes of the past. Gone are the embarrassing pictures and the awkward wall posts. No longer do we have to sift through endless updates about Farmville, listen to our great aunts complain about Obama, or not actually know who half our “friends” are.

We have a chance to build G+ into whatever we want it to be — a utopia of intellectual discourse, civil debates, and funny videos of cats.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and people are just signing up for Google Plus because it’s trendy.

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Other Questions:

If everyone starts using plus.google, will it no longer be relevant in the trendsetting, tech hipster community?

When did Facebook stop seeming cool? Was it when your mom poked you?

Would Facebook be cool again if the real Mark Zuckerberg started acting like the Mark Zuckerbeg from “The Social Network”? 

Would it be funny and ironic if I joined Myspace?

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Canyoneering at Christopher Creek

Canyoneering at Christopher Creek

Outsiders picture Arizona as nothing but a hot, dry desert, completely devoid of water, life, and relief from the oppressive, omnipresent sun. Being early August, most people around Phoenix would be inclined to agree with this statement.

But if you stop for a minute, and take a look – by which I mean actually go out and explore Arizona – you might be surprised what you find. There are stunning mountains, valleys, rivers, and if you look in the right place, these green things called plants. They’re pretty cool. Last fall, I stumbled upon my own Arizona oasis tucked away in the hills near Payson. It’s called Christopher Creek.

Christopher Creek actually isn’t all that hidden or secret. It’s actually an extremely popular destination for families all around central Arizona. It offers the sun-scorched residents of Phoenix a chance to splash around in crystal-clear pools while enjoying the cooler air of the Mogollon Rim.

A downside to the creek’s popularity is that the entrance is littered with plastic bottles, beer cans and an assortment of other trash. But a long, rambling complaint about the pollution and degradation of Arizona’s wilderness is a sad story for another day. I’m sure what you, the reader, really want to hear about is what kind of exciting, fun things you can do at Christopher Creek.

During my trip to Christopher Creek (or C2, as how I will refer to it for the rest of this post), I was lucky enough to go with my friend Brent, who just so happens to be an expert canyoneerer[1]. Canyoneering the act of traversing through canyons – often by whatever means necessary. This includes everything from hiking, scrambling, climbing, jumping and most famously rappelling. (During my various adventures with Brent, I have rappelled down cliffs as high as 300 ft.[2]). Accompanying us on our trip was my proud, Chicano amigo Rene[3], and my other friend Star, a first time canyoneererer.

C2 is an amazing place for canyoneering. The water is clear and cold; so even on a pretty warm day you have to wear a wetsuit. Over hundreds, or possibly thousands, of years, the flowing water of the creek has etched into the rock, creating all kinds of cool formations and markings that I could tell you about if I knew anything about geology.

All sorts of green trees, shrubs and cacti grow from the edge of the creek up the canyon walls. Once you pass the point of the first technical rappel, its unlikely that you’ll see another person from outside your group. Being down there makes you feel cut-off and isolated, but in an incredibly exciting and uplifting way. It’s like you’re an explorer venturing off in to uncharted territory, or an astronaut who’s just discovered a new world. It’s a feeling that all outdoorsmen[4] strive to experience.

Christopher Creek is one of my favorite canyoneering spots in Arizona. It has so many climbs, jumps, slides and swims that you feel like you are in a water park. Only, you know, without all the urine.

Everyone was having a great time, especially Star, who was being converted to avid canyoneerererer.

After a few hours of swimming and hiking we were nearing the end of the creek. At the last waterfall, our guide Brent announced that we had the option of jumping, rather than rappelling down. The fall would be about 30 feet.  Being the cavalier, young thrill-seeker that I am, I shouted, “Lets do it!”

Without consulting the other members our group, Brent picked up the rope and the rest of the gear and chucked over the edge.  Now, we had no other option but to jump.

Brent was the first one over the edge; grizzled and experienced, he showed no hesitation in leaping into the water below. So as not to appear less manly, I quickly followed suit. Next up was Star, but she didn’t seem to have the same enthusiasm for falling from high places like Brent and I did. It was a team effort trying to get her to jump.

Standing behind her, Rene attempted to reassure Star and calm her fears, while Brent and I teased her from the water below. Finally, after what seemed like half and hour, Star was able to summon the courage and go for it. She backed up, and then started sprinting towards the edge of the cliff.

Canyoneering at Christopher Creek

Unfortunately, Star seemed to use up most of her courage during the run. At the very last second, she tried to stop. But it was too late; momentum and gravity had won. What resulted was either a terrifying fall, or the worst looking dive I have ever seen. Star tripped, rolled down a steep incline, and then fell 30 feet into the water below – landing on what appeared to be her face. Terrified, Brent and I rushed back in to get her; I thought she was knocked out.

Luckily, Star turned out to be okay. Everyone was tremendously relieved that she wasn’t hurt. Well, to be honest, I thought the whole thing was hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing for about 10 straight minutes[5]. Still, Brent said it was the closest anyone has come to dying on one of his trips.

I have great memories from Christopher Creek.

 



Footnotes

[1] Yes, I know that’s a lot of er’s

[2] It’s actually not as hard or as dangerous as it sounds.  You just need to make sure you tie your knots correctly.  Also, don’t let go of the rope.

[3] I’ve actually never heard him use the word “Chicano”.  But I like the way it sounds so I’m going to use it.

[4] And outdoorswomen! This isn’t a sexist blog!

[5] But only after I knew she wasn’t hurt.  I’m not a monster.  So don’t judge me; if you had seen it you’d be cracking up too.