Saturday, April 21, 2018

Winter


For those of you who have asked what we’ve been doing since Thanksgiving, here’s a condensed version of our winter.

We spent Christmas and New Years at our lot in the Escapees Park in Benson, Arizona.  Ron sorted some material with his homemade highbanker.  He found a couple of specs of gold, but not enough to retire on.  Good thing he’s already retired.


The park had seasonal activities including a wild gift exchange and a New Year’s Eve dance.  Somebody at our table happened to catch Ron and me out on the dance floor.


We spent several days in Yuma, known for the massive amount of lettuce grown there each winter.  It’s funny to see the green fields in a desert landscape.


We walked over the border to Los Algodones in Mexico, always an interesting experience. 


We had some Mexican food (or since we were there, I guess it’s just food).


But our main purpose was to buy a stained glass window for the RV.  They have hundreds to choose from, but we settled on this one.  It has a clear area in the center so you can see who is outside and the color changes from almost clear to pretty colorful depending on the light.


Next we hit the annual RV event in Quartzsite.  I shamelessly stole this picture off of Facebook, but it's hysterical.


Then it was back home for February and March.  My flowers were pretty this year.  It still cracks me up that you can grow them in the winter.


We didn’t have as much company as we usually do, but Ron’s brother and his wife came.  We have done a lot of things with them over the years, but never took them to Goldfield.  It’s really just a tourist trap, but is kind of cute with the old buildings . . .


And the little train.


We took several hikes over the winter.  Here we were at Silly Mountain with our next door neighbor.


Ron had a few projects too.  He switched out the kitchen light that I hated . . .


For one I bought for $5 at our community yard sale.  It was a lot of work, I know, but, hey!  It was only $5!


We had an outside leaky faucet that required digging into the concrete block.  Ron had to cut blocks to fit into the hole.  I forgot to get a final picture after the caulking and painting, but, believe me, it was perfect.


He also made himself a trommel to help with his gold mining.  It’s made out of a couple of five-gallon buckets.  He found the directions on the internet.



I’m sure we did other things, but if I don’t have a picture, I don’t remember.  :-D


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Thanksgiving

Alright, I know it is way past Thanksgiving, but it’s never too late to showcase family.  This year we were thrilled to have all of Ron’s descendants (and spouses) come to Mesa.  You’re probably picturing people sacked out all over our little 2-bedroom house, but the reality is that only Ron’s son stayed with us.  The others rented a large house only about 5 miles from our house.  It worked out beautifully.

Their house had a pool and hot tub which were a big hit for all the Denverites.  However we did drag them out for a couple of hikes.  After all, we had to counteract all the good meals we ate.

The first was an out and back along Saguaro Lake and everybody participated.  Here are the two youngest with Grandpa.  All three are wearing Ron’s hats.


Here’s Ron with all four of his grandchildren – Adam, Shannon, Harper, and Elsie.


Elsie got tired (translation – bored) after going just a short distance, but Harper led us the whole way.  He even came upon a snake which made his day.


It really is a pretty hike along the lake.


Harper enjoyed looking through the monocular that I brought along.  After about ¾ mile, he turned around and led us back.


We went to Organ Stop Pizza one evening for dinner.  Both Harper


And Elsie really got into the organ music.


We did one more hike with just four of us.  It made me happy to see three generations enjoying the same thing.


As for the big day, we ordered a turkey from Safeway and had dinner at the rental house.  So other than a couple of sides, I didn’t do anything!  My sister Diana joined us and took the group picture, leaving me with no excuse for not being in it.


I was impressed when sons-in-law Tom and Sean (with some supervision from Kim) did all the cleanup.


But I had to laugh a little later when I snapped this ‘after’ picture.



Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lovely Sedona

When the weather cooled down a bit, we moved to our favorite boondocking spot between Cottonwood and Sedona.  Man, do I love Sedona!  Even driving into town is a picture.


As promised in the last post, here’s the story of the third drive we took that we’ll never do again.  I’ve always wanted to drive up Schnebly Hill Road as it climbs 2000 feet from Sedona to the top of the Mogollon Rim.  It’s, at minimum, a high clearance road, but we had tried it in our Ford Escape and didn’t feel comfortable.  Now that we have a 4-wheel-drive truck, we knew it was time to do it.

I made Ron let me out so I could take a picture of the road.  This was pretty typical, although there were a few worse sections.


Beautiful views all the way up.


And after the longest and slowest 5 miles imaginable, we made it to the top.  In the distance, you can see route 89A, which is the easy way to climb up the rim through Oak Creek Canyon.
 Needless to say, we took an easier route back down.

We also did the Chimney Rock loop, hiking among all those gorgeous red rocks. 


Chimney Rock is actually a double, but looks single from this angle.


We passed Lizard Head Rock.


But, really, doesn’t this look more like a lizard?  In fact, I see two lizards.



Looking back, in the distance we could see the Mogollon Rim that we drove up the day before. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fossil Creek

One day we decided to check out Fossil Creek Wild & Scenic River outside of Camp Verde.  It’s hard to imagine that Arizona would have wild and scenic rivers, but this is one of two!  Fossil Creek originates from artesian springs and has a constant year-round flow of nearly 30 million gallons per day.  To ensure that everyone has a place to park, a permit is required from April 1st to October 1st.  We went on October 2nd and didn’t have a problem with parking.

This was the second of three drives we took this year that we decided we were glad we did, but would not do again.  Mills Canyon, which we drove in July, was very scary, but at least it was short.  The third will be in the next blog post.  This one, Fossil Creek Road, was 14 miles of He__!  (That was ‘Heck’, of course.)  Alright, it was just washboard, but, after a couple of miles, it really became annoying and, by mile 14, we were ready to scream!

We were so thankful when we crossed the pretty river at the bottom of the canyon.


The hike to the waterfall is only 2 miles round trip, with some pretty ripples along the way.


Look how clear the water is and filled with so many fish!


The waterfall was worth the short walk, but what’s that speck at the top of the falls?


Watching the jumpers definitely added to the fun.


In order to get the trees out of the picture, wading was required.  Since I didn’t want to take off my shoes and socks, I asked a nice young person to take a picture for me.



Is it me or are there two faces in the waterfall?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

My Bad

Although we have been back in our Mesa house for quite a while, I have yet to finish blogging about the remainder of our travels.  I figure I’m about four posts behind, so here goes.

After leaving Show Low, we parked for a while in the national forest outside of Payson.  We checked out RV parks in the area with the thought that we might want to summer there sometime.  We didn’t see anywhere that tempted us to stay, although it is a very pretty area.

We rarely go to museums, but we made an exception for the Rim Country Museum in Payson.  Surprisingly, a docent takes you through the museum rather than wandering on your own, but she was very knowledgeable.  There is also a reproduction of Zane Grey’s cabin which he inhabited while writing some of his famous western novels.  The docent for that part of the tour was a rabid Zane Grey fan from England.  Very interesting.

We also took a couple of hikes.  The first was Horton Creek Trail which is a lovely walk through the woods along the creek.  It seems to be a dangerous place for kids’ shoes.


I was surprised to see what I thought was a Kaibab squirrel, which is only supposed to be in the Kaibab Forest along the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  Upon further study, I think it’s not, but it still is very pretty.


It does have big ears like the Kaibab, though.  Maybe it’s a mutant.


If you go far enough on the trail, I believe there is a nice waterfall, but after a couple of miles, I turned around at this pretty spot.  (Ron had given up a little earlier.)


We also did the Monument Peak Trail, which loops around Monument Peak.


It used to be a nice trail, but now that ATVs are using it, it is really rutted.


After Payson, we moved to another National Forest spot above the Camp Verde/Cottonwood/Sedona area.  It was still hot, so we stayed at altitude.


Here’s the view out our dinette window. 


Wandering around the area, we found a lot of grinding holes that the natives had used long ago.  Here’s Ron demonstrating.


It’s hard to imagine finding enough seeds and grinding them.



Scary story.  One evening we were driving back up hill from Camp Verde and passed a fifth wheel RV on the other side of the road that was on fire!  The driver was very smart and stopped right on the road, instead of pulling over to the side which would be the instinctive thing to do.  With the dry grass, that would have set the whole forest on fire.  Since several people had already stopped, we continued uphill.  I feel we did our part by stopping twice to put out little fires in the road about a half mile back.  Luckily, we had water in the truck.