By Rick Bass

I have had the great fortune to travel to many spectacular and historical destinations throughout the world.

Hiking the incomparable silent terrain of the interior of Haleakala Volcanic Crater in Maui, Hawaii and exploring Byzantine castles off the Mediterranean coast of Turkey have granted me rare lifetime travel experiences. I am always delighted to return home and experience the serene grandeur of the Sonoran Desert and tranquil view of Vail’s Mica Mountain and… I am reminded of God’s magnificent natural creations worldwide.

Living in the Vail area provides a unique experience of four intersecting and distinctive ecological regions. These natural areas include: the Saguaro National Park East District to the north, Rincon/Mica Mountain and Colossal Cave to the east, Cienega Watershed and Santa Rita Mountains to the south and the Tucson Mountain basin to the west.

The web site has a dedicated page to Vail Area YouTube Videos including: Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, Three Bridges Over Cienega Creek, Santa Rita’s Long Mountain, Colossal Cave Wild Tour and National Geographic’s Saguaro National Park East. For new and established residents alike, these videos can help to educate and inform about the diversity and unique ecology of our area. With cooler weather approaching, Vail area residents can readily explore our diverse ecology of the lush Sonoran Desert. You will be amazed to see why many visitors travel thousands of miles to experience our own back yard natural wonderland and the great quality of life the Vail area offers.

I recently discovered on the Vail Preservation Societies web site, ( the 9 part series entitled “Vanished Vail”. These outstanding YouTube video presentations provide invaluable historical information and tributes to the pioneers of Vail and their legacies. This is a tremendous gift to our community from the dedicated and creative talents of J.J. Lamb and Gerald Lamb.

When we take time to know about those who came before us, we gain a proactive perspective as to why preserving our past promotes effective stewardship of our future. There is a lot at stake if we don’t get it right.
Have a great month of September and be “Vail Ready.”

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Rick Bass is a USAF Veteran. He has extensive background in crisis management, suicide prevention and re-source development for the disabled. A lifelong community volunteer and a new age music composer, he enjoys the expansive beauty of the Vail area.

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