Mare Czinar, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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Toni Barker of Phoenix does not like snow. A native of Guyana in South America, Barker arrived in Arizona by way of Kansas in 2013. “I’m accustomed to sunshine all year, so moving to Arizona was the perfect choice,” Barker says. “My company at that time was expanding in Arizona, so I applied and got the job. I packed up my car, rented an apartment online and drove over 15 hours to a state where...

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When you stand on the 4,890-foot high point of the Desert Mountain Trails System, you’re witnessing a miracle of sorts. “Look to the right and you’ll see 3 million people. Look to the left and you’ll see 3 million acres,” says Troy Gillenwater, Desert Mountain community resident and one of the founders of the private North Scottsdale trails. “It’s a buffer zone between civilization and wilderness,” adds co-founder Bob Borsch. As subdivisions and golf courses...

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For Tim Hankins of Scottsdale, chasing aggressive hiking goals is a life priority. His plans for 2020 include hiking the entire 317-mile Maricopa Trail, along with some other impressive milestones. “I’m currently working on summiting the highest point in each state [he’s completed 42] and finishing a half-marathon in each state [he’s done 14],” Hankins says. “The Maricopa Trail occupies my local free time and keeps me in shape.” The main loop portion of the...

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Larry Ayala regards the moment five years ago when he slipped and shattered his ankle while hiking in the Superstition Wilderness as a stroke of luck. Laid up at home recovering and killing time on the Internet, he spotted a photo of an Australian cattle dog/German shepherd mix sitting on a ragged sofa in a California backyard. The post stated that if nobody wanted to adopt the young male canine, he’d be sent to a...

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Just Taylor doesn’t like to be told “You can’t.” After enduring two failed knee replacement surgeries and more than two years of mobility challenges and pain, the Phoenix hiker had to make a difficult decision. “My options were to fuse my leg straight, or do another revision and forever give up my active lifestyle, or elect amputation. I elected to amputate.” Last July, Taylor’s left leg was removed from above the knee. The process was...

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Aspiring biologist and hiking enthusiast Emilia Posada of Buckeye has a creative way of expressing herself while tackling Arizona trails. The 9-year-old was inspired to embrace her personality after reading the book Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle. “I like the part about playing in sand and dirt and wearing hiking boots with dresses,” Posada says. “The book teaches you that it’s OK to be yourself.” With a little help from her...

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