Home Alarms, Medical Alerts with no landline required – UPDATE


I received an email from a reader saying that she was 76 years of age and needed a medical alert while at home but that she had no landline, just a cell phone. I had also been wondering about something similar, as I have a home alarm system and wanted to cancel my home phone. I thought I could not because of my ADT system. I did some research and made some calls and found out that yes, you can have both medical /emergency alert and home alarm even when you have no landline.

HOWEVER, in the case of the home alarm, replacing the alarm with the wireless option is not always cost-effective. I am 2.5 years into a three year contract with ADT, so I called them first.  The cost for its CellGuard wireless system, despite my already having an ADT system, is $239, and then the monthly fee increases by $10 forever. Since I have already cut my home phone back to just the basic local service, my landline is now a mere $19 a month, with a Century Link promise not to raise that for five years. I therefore would only save $9 a month, and incur an upfront cost of $239. It would take me more than two years to recoup my money doing this. I have decided to keep my landline, at least until my ADT contract expires in February.

There is at least one other wireless option, however, and while I haven’t tried it and don’t know anyone who has, it is surely less costly. SimpliSafe is a wireless system that talks to local cell towers. It is so easy to install that they send it and you do it yourself – so there’s no install fee. The hardware itself is $169-$269 depending on whether you want the version that allows you to work it remotely from your smart phone, and also have it check for fire, flood and carbon monoxide. Then the price starts at $14.99 a month. If you want to add services such as email and SMS alerts the price is $19.99 a month.  The full package, the SimpliSafe 2 with the fire and carbon monoxide warnings as well as freezing alert, is due out this fall , and will add about $5 a month to the cost.  So you’ll pay several hundred less  upfront compared with ADT, about half what you pay to ADT each month, and you will have no contract to sign. Again, I caution, I have not tried this system and have no personal testimonials I can trust either. Here are the details and some media coverage.

For medical alerts there are some nice options however. LifeAlert has what it calls a 911 mobile phone, which is basically a one-button 911 wireless device that you can carry anywhere. It works anywhere within the U.S. and its battery is supposed to last at least seven years. Additionally, LifeAlert offers an emergency system that ties into your own mobile phone. All it takes is the touch of one key and you’re on the phone with a LifeAlert responder, to report an intruder, a fall while hiking, someone following you back to your car or any other emergency. What I don’t like about Life Alert is that its site keeps pricing a deep dark secret and when you phone the 800 number splashed everywhere you get a call center rep whose sole job it is to get your address to send out a free printed brochure. I found no evidence of any Facebook page, or other social media presence. The company just seems really out of touch with today’s boomers and seniors, and for a firm that is clearly targeting a younger audience with its emergency mobility, its product marketing is dismally out of date.

Alert1, a competitor, posted this pricing comparison (see graphic below) between it and LifeAlert, and assuming accuracy, here’s a brief glance at LifeAlert pricing for its standard products. What is not made clear, however, is that not all Alert1 differentiating products and services are available when you choose the monthly and quarterly billing option it touts. Alert1 does not seem to have a wireless option.

Another wireless medical alert option, which I’ve been impressed with for a long time, is the Jitterbug cell phone.  Yes, it might be bigger than something you want to carry around with you from one room to the next, but if you need both a mobile phone and a medical alert system that is wireless this would fit the bill. The phone is well-suited for those who are elderly, hearing impaired or suffering from cataracts or other sight difficulties. The keys are very large, and the phone works well with hearing aids. But it also can be programmed as a medical responder. It’s 5 Star Urgent Response, for $14.99 a month, brings emergency help with the touch of one key. No contract is required for either the phone service or the 5 Star add-on. Jitterbug also has a 24/7 Nurse line app as well as one for medication information. Keep in mind, however, this is NOT a smart phone. If, like me, you want to be able to check your email, send a text,  get directions, use your calculator, make notes, and take a picture via your mobile device, the Jitterbug is not for you. At least not as your only mobile device.

UPDATE – Since I first posted this, I’ve learned of another medical alert product that can work without a landline phone. MyPersonalResponse.com offers a choice of two landline systems that vary by range and a cellular system. The most costly, the cellular is $29.95 a month, with no contract and free shipping. There’s an offer on its site for a free first month. You install it yourself.

Comfy Remote Workplaces with Free Wifi


Whether you’re self-employed, employed, traveling or just wanting to check email or get online without paying the tab for doing so, here are a few places you can, and in comfort. Of course there are telework centers and co-working spaces too, but at the following you can get fed, have access to clean restrooms and sit in pleasant surroundings, for at least 1.5 hours, without getting asked to vacate. Of course, not everything we do for work, even with our tablet or laptop, requires web access. If you’re like me there are times when all I need is Word and /or Excel to get hours of work completed.

McDonalds – One of the best free public wifis anywhere – fast, and reliable. Get a meal for $5 or less, or even a snack and large drink and unless you come in at rush hour where seats are at a premium you can sit here in a nice roomy booth for 2 hours undisturbed and work away. I know. I do it at least once a week.  I come in for breakfast about 10am or late lunch/early dinner 3-4pm and the place is just about empty.

BurgerKing – I’m not positive every location has free wifi, but in Phoenix they do. You have to ask for the code, though try Whopper99. That’s what works locally. Again, no one is going to throw you out if you hang out and don’t make a pest of yourself or take up a booth when it’s crowded with folks waiting for seating.

Denny’s – Check the location for wifi before you go. In Phoenix some have it and some don’t. But there are also great deals for seniors. Every Denny’s offers 20 percent off your entire meal every day after 4pm if you show your AARP card. And the local franchise has a 55+ card. You get it stamped each time you eat and every sixth entree is free. Again, if it’s not crowded,no one will give you dirty looks for hanging out until you’ve been there about 90 minutes. Make sure you tip well, and I always start out by saying, “I plan on dawdling over my coffee to get some work done. I hope you don’t mind. If you start to get busy I’ll leave.” Everyone is very nice about it.

Village Inn – Sign up on their website and they’ll start emailing you specials. Again, if you’re considerate and go when they’re not busy you can work here with their free wifi for up to 90 minutes.

The local library – generally all it takes is a library card and you can work here as long as you like via their free wifi. Of course, you can’t use your cell phone but you have the added advantage of having plug ins to keep your phone and laptop charged while you work. And many have private business rooms you can use, though some might require a pre-registration by phone or web. Most don’t ask for payment. And while they’ll say otherwise, who’s going to know if you sneak a drink from your bottle of water or eat your granola bar while you’re in there with the door closed? Just don’t make a mess.

The local airport – most major airports have free wifi, though some have a day charge. Check before you go. There’s plenty of seating, though you might be hard-pressed to find a good workspace with desk area. But there’s always a restroom, someplace to eat, no restriction on bringing in your own food or drink, or using your smartphone. And they’re open 24/7 365 days. Not only that, if you really need a break to stretch your legs you have plenty of space to get up and take a walk and then come back to work refreshed. Travelers are fun to watch if you’re into people watching, too.


The local hospita
l – While I wouldn’t venture into the emergency room to try and hang out there are plenty of waiting spaces at the local hospital and virtually no one is going to ask what you’re doing there. Some have wifi, some don’t. Do check before you go.  But if you’re there for awhile, they’re sure to assume you’re waiting out a friend or family member’s surgery or emergency care. You might also spend some time in the cafeteria, generally one of the cheapest places in town to get a well-balanced, nutritionally-sound meal. The biggest caution is that this is a facility for sick people. Germs abound.

Barnes & Noble – great wifi, great coffee, and very pleasant surroundings. You can sit at one of the cafe tables, or find an easy chair among the books – and no one is going to say a thing about your carrying your food and drink in the store. Best of all, if you need to do some research via book or magazine, everything on the shelf is there for you to use at no charge, without any commitment to buy it. Just don’t spill on the merchandise.

Starbucks or other coffee houses – I’ve hung out at Starbucks for a couple of hours with just a cup of coffee and not been hassled, even when it got crowded. They’re just far too busy to notice, and it’s what they’re all about. HOWEVER, unless you get one of the easy chairs that get grabbed up quickly, you’re generally sitting at a table with a chair that is simply not designed to encourage long stays. That said, I’ve done it  – and then was grateful for the comfy cushioning of my car’s seat. Of course, I have quite a bit of my own cushioning too.

Diabetes Foot Care ~ Keep Those Tootsies Healthy!


This is a repost from a great blog by my new friend Pat, who blogs as Grow Old With Grace.  She lives in Arizona, just south of Tucson. Hopefully we’ll get to meet someday. 

Do you have diabetes or “pre-diabetes?”  Are you aware of how vulnerable your feet are to wounds, punctures, neuropathy, and other dangers?  HB (HoneyBunny) is diabetic and has neuropathy.  A double whammy.  He is not good at scheduling regular visits to the podiatrist to get his feet checked and nails clipped.

However, we did go today…both of us.  My visit was a followup after getting an ingrown toenail clipped last week.  My toe “thumb” (did you ever hear that term?) is doing just peachy, thanks.  HB got clipped and will have a couple of new prescriptions to take for his neuropathy and diabetic shoes.

This is welcome news to me, as well as HB.  I swear, he has more shoes than Imelda Marcos and not many of them fit him well.  Yet, he insists on struggling to get them on and wearing them because he likes the brand or the style.  He hasn’t come to terms with comfy and Happy Feet like some of us have.  It is my hope that these shoes will help with balance and give him those “happy feet” and save his tootsies!

Here is some helpful information from the National Diabetes Educational Program (NDEP):

Staying Safe – You Don’t Have to be Dirty Harry


While I do own a nice Glock 19, and carry it when I travel, you don’t have to have a gun with you at all times to feel safe, even when alone. In Arizona the gun laws are very lenient, and I’ll talk more about those choices at a later time, but for those times when you don’t want to carry a bulky sidearm there are many other options. I have four things with me at all times when I hike alone. The first is a lipstick-size stun gun, that hangs on my keychain. The second is pepper spray, about the same size. I also have a very loud whistle that I hang around my neck. The fourth is an app that I downloaded to my Blackberry that emits a horrible screech if  I need it to. While the latter two aren’t exactly going to “put down” any attacker they will startle them enough that I might be able to run away – or they’ll attract others in the area, on whom I might be able to call for help. I’ve also had self-defense training. Again, another topic for another time.

I don’t recall where I bought the stun gun but I found one almost identical at the Home Security Superstore.  It delivers 350,000 volts which, if delivered for 3-5 seconds will give you 5-10 minutes to get away while your attacker recovers. Best of all, it doesn’t cause anyone permanent damage, if you’re queezy about hurting another human being no matter what evil intentions he or she had towards you. The mini stun gun is rechargeable, comes with the charger and has an LED flashlight too. It’s under $30 and weighs less than two ounces. You get a 90 day money-back guarantee and a three-year warranty. I’ve never had to use mine, but knowing I have it gives me peace of mind.

The same online marketplace has a pepper spray three-pack that looks to be better than what I own. I just might send away for this – only $14.95. The three parts include the canister and one sprayer for the car visor and another for your key chain.  Not only does pepper spray effect your assailant for 20-30 minutes, but it emits a UV dye so law enforcement can later identify him or her. It has a 36-month shelf life.  The money-back guarantee and warranty are the same as the stun gun – 90 days, and three years, respectively.

I do want to make it clear that I have NOT ordered from the Home Security Superstore and can’t vouch for its products or its service.  This does give you an idea of the kind of low-priced self-defense products available, however, and the cost doesn’t present any high-priced risks.

Other online stores offering similar products include YourGreatestProtection.com.

GM Recalls 475,000 Cars Chevy Cruzes


If you are driving a 2011 or 2012 Chevy Cruze, head to your newest GM dealer. You’re driving a unsafe vehicle and they’ve recalled it.

24/7 Wall St.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today issued a recall of more than 475,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans to correct a problem that could lead to fires in the car’s engine compartment. The recall covers cars sold in model years 2011 and 2012 to customers in the US, Canada, and Israel. An additional 10,000 customers in Australia may also be affected.

Last January Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) recalled 450,000 minivans and SUVs in January and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) recalled more than 680,000 cars and light trucks in March.

GM said that no injuries or crashes have been reported which are related to the issue. The company will begin sending out recall notices in mid-July.

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Sisters On the Fly: Female Road Warriors


Traveling with the group known as Sisters on the Fly is definitely on my retirement Wish List. These female road warriors, ages 20-something to 80-something, travel all over the U.S. by truck, travel trailer and camper caravan. They fly fish (hence the name), they ride horseback, they take part in cattle drives. They even attend Cowgirl College. Every once in awhile they let the menfolk join them, but not often. Most of the travels are in the Western U.S.

If you don’t mind roughing it, and you love the open road, this group just might be for you. Of course, you’ll need either a camper or a truck and travel trailer. Check out their site – there’s often one or two gently-used and well-decorated trailers for sale. Besides enjoying the great outdoors, you could make some lifelong friends. And, there’s safety in numbers. How many of us don’t venture to places we’re dying to see because we can’t find anyone to go with us, and we’re nervous for our own safety?

By the way, Sisters On the Fly was actually started by two sisters – Becky and Maurrie, from Montana.

All you wanderlust-filled women out there, do check out this great group!

Wednesday’s live events


This is an issue of immense importance to U.S. seniors and boomers, of course. Comments welcome, as you hear more. I’ll share what I learn as well. Let’s keep each other well informed.

This Just In

The Supreme Court may soon rule on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law.  Once a ruling is issued, CNN.com Live will be there for all the reaction and fallout.

Today’s programming highlights…

9:30 am ET — IPO process hearing — The Facebook IPO fallout has made some wonder whether initial public offerings are worth it for ordinary investors.  A Senate banking subcommittee looks at the issue.

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RetirementJobs.com: Firms that Seek 50+ Folks


courtesy, RetirementJobs.com

While there are several recruitment websites devoted to, or including some search specifics on, jobs for seniors, not all do a great job at this. RetirementJobs.com, however, has actually reviewed and certified employers who clearly welcome boomers and senior job candidates with open arms. Additionally, through collaboration with CareerBuilder, RetirementJobs sorts CareerBuilder ads into senior friendly and unfriendly (or unverifiable as friendly) , bringing to its pages a feed of the former.

On any given day,RecruitmentJobs has at least 20,000 job openings from 5000 employers in its database. Of these 5000 only 100 are certified. That doesn’t mean they’re not senior-friendly. It may simply mean that they didn’t take the time to apply. After all, most of these advertisers came to the site specifically to lure its market of 50+ candidates, so one must assume they’re not ruling them out as prospective employees. One million site members deliver 150,000 unique visitors each month.

“Most of those firms who apply for certification are approved,”  Retirement Jobs CEO Tim Driver told me by phone. “The process is pretty self-selecting – those who wouldn’t be approved tend not to apply. Those who aren’t approved usually come up short when we do external reviews in the actual marketplace. We make it part of the agreement with the certified employers if things come up they investigate the problem and rectify it if appropriate. That has happened numerous times. People terminated have been reinstated and managers have been let go.”

While job seekers who use the site at no charge can search jobs by location, industry and keyword, and post their resumes, a paid Premium job seeker could conduct a search that indicated which employers are certified. She or he could conduct a certified-only search, have her resume critiqued and register for instructional job search Webinars.

While some functions and features such as mobile apps and telecommute alerts are still on the drawing board, RecruitmentJobs.com is a handy, easy to navigate,  mobile- optimized job site for seniors.

AZ AARP to Launch Medicare Talks by Inexperienced Non-Experts


I was appalled to learn yesterday that the Outreach program of the metro-Phoenix office of AARP plans to send poorly-trained volunteers out into various Arizona communities to conduct “informative” presentations on Medicare to interested local residents. My broker and I offer informational sessions on Medicare, and after hearing about this AARP-affiliated opportunity to present on behalf of  AARP I gladly signed up for yesterday’s training. I assumed that I and the other would-be presenters would be provided with CMS (Center for Medicare Services)-approved pre-written scripts. I assumed that those invited to the training workshop would have brought to the table at least some expertise in the subject matter.

With the exception of myself and another life insurance agent, the few attendees had little or no knowledge of Medicare products, however. Nor was there to be any script. A few minutes into the 2-4 hour training ( depending on our questions,)  I learned that after a quick peruse of Medicare.gov’s “Medicare and You” and some materials the AARP manager had gathered, presenters were to write their own scripts or extemporize. Oh my.

“There is no CMS-approved script?” I asked. “No, we don’t need approval,” I was told. Perhaps YOU don’t, but I and the other agent did if we were to keep our insurance license. We left the meeting.

I am appalled that folks with 2-4 hours of training on Medicare are going to be given what the public will perceive as the full credentials of AARP expertise and trustworthiness, to go out into the community and provide what might well be yet more inaccurate information about a system that is already confusing, and has incredibly serious ramifications for our senior citizens. I have spent several dozen hours learning the ins and outs of Medicare, and still haven’t stopped learning. CMS regulates every presentation I and any other agent or broker provides to the public, as well it should.  Each Medicare plan provider requires training and certification – and all of this training repeats each year. It’s THAT important.

The last thing the confused public needs is bad information about Medicare and missed deadlines. Medicare beneficiaries who don’t meet their deadlines due to poor information and misguidance risk health problems and in the case of a couple parts of the program, increased fees each month for the rest of their lives. This is serious business, folks. People with 2-4 hours of training have no business writing their own unsupervised scripts or speaking off the cuff to people who must get the correct information, pricing and deadlines to make the right choices on time, and thus keep themselves healthy and within their fixed budgets.

I want to make clear that I have enormous respect for AARP and am a long-time member. But this program – NOT a national-AARP-sanctioned program – is not one of its finer moments. While the Arizona founder of the program clearly has the best intentions, his decision to put this in the hands of the less-than-well-informed gives me grave concern.

HOWEVER…. You’ve Earned a Say, what a positive experience!

When I left that meeting abruptly I ran to one I had thought I’d be missing – the Palos Verdes Senior Living -based AARP “You’ve Earned a Say” interactive presentation on Social Security and Medicare. I was late and missed the first 30 minutes. I hope to get to another soon, and hear it from start to finish. The two speakers – Ginny Craeger and Ritch Steven – were nationally-sanctioned AARP Lead Volunteer speakers, well-trained, and while not  experts they came bearing a power point of well-researched material. They were informative and well-versed in leading a discussion and keeping it on track. The audience was vocal, and very concerned about the future of both programs.

The obstacles for the future of Social Security and Medicare were much the same, according to the AARP speakers – fewer people being born, going to work and paying into Social Security than in past decades. Additionally, more people are collecting and will collect and will live longer than in past decades.

Some of the facts we learned:

  • Social Security is a pay-as-you-go plan. By law any excess money it holds above and beyond what it issues to beneficiaries must be invested in safe, secure, liquid, high-quality investment vehicles.  That has been the case from day one.  The product invested in has been U.S. treasury bonds. The government has never missed a payment and always lived up to its obligation.
  • Medicare plans C and D became the auspices of private insurance carriers when it was determined that the cost to the government of running these programs was $14 million beyond what it cost to run plans A and B.
  • Our FICA payroll deductions only account for 37 percent of the cost of Medicare. General taxes pay another 42 percent of the bill, and Medicare premiums only pick up 12 percent of the tab.  In 2024 Medicare will run out of money to pay all its health care obligations. This pertains to Part A, the hospital care obligation, as Part B is somewhat alleviated by the beneficiaries’ commitment to pay a pre-determined portion of the cost, no matter the increase in its doctor bill and other covered costs.
  • Half of Medicare beneficiaries spend at least 17 percent of their income on health care, while the average U.S. adult spends only 12 percent.
  • Since 1991 national health care spending in the U.S. has exceeded inflation by an annual average of 2.4 percent, while healthcare costs have increased a compounded 6 percent annually.
  • The Affordable Care Act, if enacted exactly as written, is purported to add 10 years to the life of the Medicare program as it now exists. However, the Act has already been altered from its original.
  • By 2030 the number of people on Medicare will be double that of beneficiaries in 2000.
The most startling fact to come out of the entire presentation:
” Seventy-five percent of most people’s health care costs are spent in the last six months of their lives,” AARP presenter Ritch Steven told us.
(Steven, incidentally, had previously given a highly-informative presentation on senior living options at the same venue. Here’s my coverage of that presentation. )

The small audience, made up of folks that ranged from 80ish to 30ish, responded to several questions.

When asked “How confident are you that Social Security will be there for you:”

8 were very confident

10 were somewhat confident

8 were not confident

– 4 didn’t know or didn’t respond

When asked “What is the biggest challenge facing Social Security:”

4 thought that fewer workers was the primary obstacle

14 blamed the increase in senior numbers to be the biggest problem

4 thought the issue was that the government didn’t have enough funds

4 blamed other issues such as politics, and the federal government’s having dipped into Social Security monies to pay for other programs.

The audience was asked for suggestions to save the program – “What do you hope happens to Social Security,” ideas included: 

  • Increase the age to qualify
  • Raise or remove the cap for employees and entrepreneurs paying into it
  • The wealthy should opt out of receiving Social Security benefits
  • The COLA should be reviewed annually
  • All of us must suffer, including those already on Social Security

With regard to Medicare the audience was asked, “How important is Medicare to your health?”

24 of the 26 that replied said it was very important, while one called it somewhat important and one simply didn’t know. Only 3 were very confident the program would be there for them, while 16 were somewhat confident, 5 were not confident, and 3 didn’t know.

When asked, “What is the biggest challenge facing the Medicare program?”

11 said rising health care costs was the number one problem

8 thought that having too few funds was the biggest obstacle

2 thought that fewer workers paying into it was its biggest hurdle, and

5 thought that the increase in seniors using the system caused the most trouble.

Several folks spoke about their hopes  and suggestions for keeping the Medicare program healthy:

“I would be willing to pay more for it because the coverage is well worth it,” said one current female beneficiary in the audience.”

“Get control of the fraud,” said another woman.  In response, Steven told us that the Affordable Care Act is designed to help with that, by putting obstacles in the way of the current practice of paying out Medicare claims to providers within 14 days or receipt, and later on down the road perhaps noticing that some claims seemed worth a closer look. Proposed changes would allow Medicare administrators to take the time to investigate where needed before paying claims.

We also learned that that Affordable Care Act would require every congress member and her or his staff to accept state-run insurance rather than any federal option. The thought was that these folks needed “skin in the game.”

When asked what message we would like to send to Congress and whichever candidate remains or becomes president two responses were heard:

“Cut programs to companies that don’t appreciate us,” said one.

“Get private insurance out,” said another. To the latter a clearly-appalled audience member replied, “No, I still want to be able to choose my own health care coverage.”

It is my hope that the woman who suggested that private insurance be removed from the Medicare system – and anyone who agrees with her – reads the first part of what I’ve written here. When it comes to oversight, instruction, help with understanding and application to the various Medicare programs, you would be far better off leaning on the well-trained, licensed, highly-regulated and arduously-supervised insurance agents whose right to earn their living is dependent on their ethics and their obligation to provide you with honest, objective and complete information on the Medicare program. We are the folks who are forbidden, under pain of having our licenses revoked, from doing as Arizona AARP is setting out to do – go unsupervised and ill-trained into any town, any city and any area of the state and provide what could be poorly-understood and highly inaccurate information on a health care program many of you believe you MUST have to lead a healthy life.

Should anyone wish further accurate, detailed information on the Medicare program, I am happy to help. I am not a Social Security expert. That I must leave to others. But whether you turn to me, or Medicare.gov, or another, turn to those whose jobs or long-time commitment it has been to keep abreast of the Medicare program. If your organization would like an informative, no-obligation Medicare presentation, you can reach me at SeniorWellth@gmail.com. I am NOT offering a sales presentation. I am offering good, solid information that will help you make the right Medicare decision at the right time.  I am happy to provide that one-on-one as well. While this nationally-backed event was informative, the upcoming Arizona AARP program seems destined to be less than reliable.

Sierra Ancha wilderness the view east


Tempe, AZ  artist  / blogger Ellen Pierce offers some great views of beautiful Arizona. This particular trail is part of the Sierra Anche Wilderness in the Tonto National Forest. It’s a tough 5 mile trail that reaches into the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Its lowest point is about is 4000 feet and the trail climbs nearly another strenuous 3000 feet. It’s not for the meek or untrained hiker for sure.  The nearest town is Young, AZ, population 561. This tiny Gila-County village, surrounded by mountains, is 130 miles northeast of Phoenix and 60 miles southeast of Payson. To get there from Phoenix you’d take 10E to 60, and then along the Apache Trail by way of Globe. This is a slow and winding but beautifully scenic trip.

Directions (courtesy of Outdoor.com):  From Young to Billy Lawrence Trailhead:
Drive south on State Highway 288, turn east onto Forest Road 410 (Reynolds Creek) and travel 2.5 miles to the junction of FR 410 and Forest Road 235 (Cienga Springs Road). Follow this road for 0.5 mile, then east 2.5 miles to the Billy Lawrence Trailhead. A high clearance vehicle is recommended for this road.From Young to Lucky Strike Trailhead: Travel south on State Highway 288, take Forest Road 203 (Cherry Creek Road) 26.6 miles to the trailhead.

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Sierra Ancha wilderness the view east

Along the Lucky Strike trail we get great vistas and dramatic landscape to treat our eyes

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