Readers' Choice for Best Golf Course: Troon North
"If these kids were doing it, I figured there were a lot more doing it as well," says Hamilton.
Besides the wide array of decks ($25 for blanks), bearings, wheels, trucks, helmets and pads, Sidewalk Surfer also sells inline skates (rentals available), mopeds, snowboards, boogie boards and skim boards. For those who prefer to walk, SS has every Frisbee golf disk needed for the hard-core master.
And while equipment is fine, the proper image is equally important. SS has a wide selection of hip sunglasses, flip-flops, swimsuits, tee shirts, pants and hats. For those downtimes, check out the skating videos under the counter, along with stickers galore for marking your turf.
The park is free and no pads are required. There's never any BMXers to worry about, and the annoying little blader kids are easy to avoid because this is a 32,000-square-foot facility. The park, near Alma School and Ocotillo, is open from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.
Indeed, customers can get map-happy on numerous levels: local (county road guides), state (topographic maps for all 50) and mile-high (World Aeronautical Charts). Considering the company's Phoenix Mapping Service publishes street atlases for Phoenix and Tucson and produces custom maps for government and businesses, surely this place can help you find your measly way to San Jose.
Drivers and passengers can catch glimpses of the emerging habitat from the sweeping ramps at the interchange of highways 101 and 202. The swath of greenery fuels the imagination of "what if" we restored the Salt River to even a fraction of its glorious past.
Among the birds assembling in the area are Great Egrets, which 100 years ago were close to extinction. Now the emblem of the National Audubon Society, the return of the graceful bird is a positive sign that, given a little money, water and time left alone, nature will provide all that is needed for wildlife to return to the Salt River Valley.