Sunday, March 12, 2017

Home again, home again, jiggety jig ...

     We're back.  Got home late Wednesday afternoon and by late Thursday we were unpacked, laundry caught up, house whipped back into shape, and feeling like "it's over (sniff, sniff)."
     But, I wanted to share some pictures I took on the way home.  Biggest thing for me was finally seeing the Grand Canyon.  That's been on my bucket list for years.  And we finally got there!  Along with some other beautiful spots on the way home.  About the Grand Canyon ... here's the words that describe how I felt while there:________,________, ________, & ________!!! Hey!  There are no words!  It was truly indescribable. 
     The day we were there snow was on the ground and we started out in long pants, winter coats, hats, gloves, etc.  It was mid-morning when we arrived.  By the time we left the park in late afternoon we were in our shirt sleeves.  All the time it was clear and sunny.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day!  And the cold did not keep the people away.  One of my FB friends said, you probably had the place to yourselves from the pictures with snow on the ground.  NOT!  There were plenty of people to go around! 
     But, anyway, here's some pictures from our trip home.  (Usually we take about 4 days/3 nights to go to AZ but this year we were out 8 days/7 nights.  So we experienced more than usual.)
My first view of the Grand Canyon!

Here we are at Mather Point.

That's the Colorado River you can see WAY down there!
     The Grand Canyon was our second day out, then the third day we went through Monument Valley and 4-Corners.  I've always wanted to go to 4-Corners and stand in 4 states at one time.  Let me just say that the 4-Corners Monument was disappointing to me because there were four rows of booths -- one in each state -- of Native American tourist crap there.  It was like putting slot machines in a cathedral.  That's how I felt about it.
Obviously Monument Valley was far more beautiful before the native people started putting shacks and trailers all over the place.  That's what the little dots of color are in this picture.  And they were everywhere, almost ruining the beauty of the place.  You had to get off the highway to see the rock formations free of civilization.  Over and over we'd say to each other "Too many people."

My favorite shot of Monument Valley ... there was virtually no traffic and I stood out on the highway for a long time, getting several shots.
Here's what 4-Corners looks like when you first come into the monument part of it.  The rows of booths along each quadrant are native Americans selling trinkets.

Here's Wendell standing in all 4 states at one time! UT, CO, NM, AZ!
Here's a couple pics I took In Utah ...

Here's a balancing rock just outside Mexican Hat, UT.  It's supposed to be the namesake of the town.
The Twin Rocks Trading Post was built up against the bluffs in ----- Bluff, UT!  Very interesting place to visit.
We saw some other interesting stuff.  Here's a few more pictures ...
Can you see those black spots in the center of this picture?  That's cattle, grazing on this very sharp slope.  That terraced area is overburden of a mine!  I thought I'd seen cattle in some out of the way places out there, but this was crazy.  And it was right in the middle of Miami, AZ!  (see the traffic light?)

A beautiful saguaro cactus in the Roosevelt Lake area of AZ.

The bridge over Lake Roosevelt, taken from the dam overlook.

These two pictures are taken at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, NM.  What a place!  We just stumbled onto it; didn't plan on going.  But W. truly enjoyed it and we wish we had had more time to spend there -- they have a museum, reference library, meeting room, gift shop, shooting ranges, cabins, you name it.  All this on the old Santa Fe Trail.   
     After we left NM we decided to go east through Kansas instead of Oklahoma!  Big mistake!  Talk about the middle of no where!  Yikes!  Two days of nothingness.  (I hope no one reading this is from KS but I have to tell you, that is one big boring state!)  At least now I can say I've seen a lot of Kansas .....
     Then, of course, we finished the last two days as we usually do.  Stayed overnight in Springfield MO and went to Bass Pro the next day and spent the a.m. there, then took off for Sikeston, where we stayed overnight and had dinner at Lamberts, home of throwed rolls.  It was great.  But all good things must come to an end.

     Now, it's back to reality.  We had a great winter.  Sierra Vista was a great place to visit and there was lots to do.  We kept very busy and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  The question now is: Where to next winter?!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Last days, last looks ...

And ... time's up!  Today we're packing.  I did the last load of laundry and I've got the dishwasher running.

Last week was sort of trying.  Monday both Wendell & I had senior moments.  Not good.  Let's just say that that particular Monday was extremely Monday-ish!  Then on Tuesday night some low-life stole our entire TuffBox out of the bed of the truck.  (Of course we have $500 deductible so it's on us ...)  There was just a lot of miscellaneous stuff in there but my biggest disappointment was loosing two items I had just purchased in Tubac the week prior!  ARGH!  Wendell biggest loss was his tool box full of hand tools.  That will be greatly missed if we have some sort of mishap on the way home.  It was sort of funny filling out the police report; the officer wanted to know exactly what was in there and he was very thorough!  We came up with as much as we could off the top of our heads but of course now we're remembering stuff we failed to report.  Just not a good week.  We're putting that behind us but hoping that's not some sort of portend of things to come ... we have quite a drive ahead of us.

Thought I'd put some pictures on here of what we did the past week or so.  Then I might add some pictures of the interior of this lovely condo.  It's been a great place to stay!

These pictures were taken at Tubac ... that was a lovely day. It's a real "touristy" town but very interesting with the old Persidio, art galleries, shops and restaurants.
This was a lovely phenomenon we saw in the dessert. It wasn't quite a rainbow but all the colors of the rainbow were there in one spot.
Met my brother Don and his wife, Nancy, last week for lunch in Patagonia at The Velvet Elvis.  Really good place to eat, and here's a picture of the name sake ...

On the way home from Patagonia we went by this really neat wood corral ...
Just last Saturday we finally got over to Bisbee for their weekly farmer's market.  We sure wish we had checked it out earlier!  They have lots of tents in a great area and the music (group pictured here under a tree) was excellent.  We just may come back and stay in Bisbee next year ...

On the grounds of Ft. Huachuca they have regular "burns" where they burn the grasses and underbrush.  They did this one late last week.  We had wanted to go back through Garden Canyon but when we saw they were burning there we decided to not return.  It would have looked and smelled unpleasant ...  That's miles from us but looks like it's closer.

Well, that's all from AZ for this year.  Wish us luck on our journey home!