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!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Winding down ...

Sigh ..... We only have about 10 more days here and I'm already missing it. This has been the most beautiful place we've stayed and the view out our front windows/door is fantastic.  I just look and look, trying to fill up my soul with mountains. There was snow in the mountains over the weekend and today there's heavy clouds hanging around the tops of the highest peaks but down here in the valley it's sunny and nice.  Wendell is out getting his truck washed.  He wants to wax it before we head back home.  That'll keep him busy for a while for sure!

Here's what we've been doing lately ...

We went over to Tombstone recently.  The main reason "I" wanted to go was to see a quilt show that was at the community art gallery.  It was a beautiful day and we talked the entire length of Allen Street.  Very touristy!  There were lots of people there for a week day!  And there was some cowboys there, too.

You see the strangest things sometimes ...  We never figured out what this guy was supposed to be but he did have a hat out for change ... He didn't play or sing but he was a pretty frenetic dancer!
Well, this is just one of the 90+ quilts that were on display at the Tombstone Art Gallery.  I spent about 45 minutes in there; Wendell even looked around for a while.

We did go through Sonoita again recently; this is one of their "welcome" signs ...

 ... and here's the real thing; saw this longhorn just east of Sonoita on the Lower Elgin Road. There was a big herd -- more longhorns together in one place than we ever saw in TX!

I think I mentioned before that this is a fairly new city; established in the late 1950's.  They're pretty good at controlling the esthetics of urban growth.  For instance, the two pictures above are how they camouflage cell towers.  Also, signage regulations are pretty restrictive; most signs are very low. You won't see the big golden arches in SV.  (Sometimes that makes it hard for us to find things and we do a lot of missing a place and having to turn around to go back! lol!) And most of the power lines are buried. 
We drove out to Garden Canyon, on the Ft. Huachuca grounds, and we were both blown away.  It was the best canyon drive we've taken!  We are going to go back some day this week, we loved it so much!  The highlight was the hikes to see the petroglyphs ... The lowlight was the signs warning of bears!

This is just a few of the glyphs we saw in Garden Canyon ... they say there are over 70 different figures in all. You could figure out what most of them were, but the one that looks like a comb? Any ideas people?  I think during that entire drive we only encountered two other vehicles.  And the weather was great, sunny and cool.

Well, I see in my photo file I have lots more to share, so I'll write again later this week .  I hope you're enjoying a good Monday -- I am.  God bless you, and take care of yourself and those you love. Here's what we saw yesterday when we were out in the dessert ..... awesome!  All these clouds but no rain!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Record high temps here ...

We've enjoyed a couple days with record high temperatures; yesterday it got up to 81 here in SV and day before about the same.  It's so clear that when you're out in the sun it feels hotter than that. Always cools down at night and makes for nice sleeping! 

Yesterday we drove to Patagonia to hike at the Sonoita-Patagonia Nature Conservancy Preserve, but when we got there found that it had been flooded in the fall and was choked with debris, so we just looked around the visitor center and did our "hiking" downtown !  We had a light picnic lunch in the park, which runs down the center of this small town, then checked out almost all of the shops on the main drag. The thrift store at the local UM church was having a sale so I had to check that out, too. We enjoyed some dessert at the cafĂ© (I had espresso chip ice cream and W. had rhubarb pie and coffee).  Yum! There was a gallery with a lot of really nice locally produced items from paintings to jewelry to flutes! It was the best gallery I've been in in this area so far. Better even than Bisbee! Today I'm doing laundry and we're staying in. Wendell bought a swimsuit and was in the pool late yesterday and he's going out again today. High should be about 72.

Since I've checked in last, here's some of the things we've been doing ...

We've been to the farmer's market every Thursday we've been here; I especially enjoy watching this lady sack oranges each week. They bring a pickup load  & she sits in the back and bags them to sell; $5 for a nice large bag! Delicious (and they give samples - smart!)!
We went to the Brown Canyon Ranch. You can walk though the ranch house. There's also a pond, barn, water tank, windmill, picnic tables and trails into the foothills here.

At the Brown Canyon Ranch Wendell got to have an up close and personal meet with a deer. They're used to people; not like Indiana deer!
We drove up Ramsey Canyon and visited another Nature Conservancy site. Ramsey Canyon Preserve is my favorite trail so far! You begin at 5500 feet at the visitor center and at the end of the trail the elevation is 6200 feet. Because of my bad knee we only made it about 2/3 of the way up ... I'd like to go back and try again.

Lots of big sycamores along the Ramsey Canyon trail, which parallels a fast moving stream coming down out of the mountain.
At one time as many as 100 settlers lived along the creek. Here's an old cabin still standing in Ramsey Canyon. It was named for an old guy who charged a toll to use the "road". Mining was their way of life.

Last Sunday was the annual Western Heritage Sunday at SVUMC. Here's how the altar was decorated! Love it! There was lots of special music, featuring Barry Ward from Kansas, a really good Western singer. Following this special service, lunch was served at high noon, catered by AZ BBQ from Phoenix. Delicious! We sat at a table with two other couples and had a wonderful time making new friends.
We drove out to the ghost town of Fairbank this week. It's about 15 miles NE of here. Good hiking trails here! It tickles me; they always warn you of snakes then say 'enjoy your visit'.  Several buildings are still standing but not open. We enjoyed walking around the town. This was the old general merchandise store; there's also a couple houses, outbuildings, and the school building which is now a museum/gift shop.
I especially liked this Miller High Life sign, used as a fence in an old stable in Fairbank. I'm surprised it's still there!
Well, that's not all but I don't want to bore you -- I'll close for now and add more later. God bless you all and have a great week. I had to get up early this week so I'll close with this picture of the sunrise from our balcony .....

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Keeping busy and relaxing, too ...

What a great past couple of weeks we've had! Beautiful weather. And we've kept busy, with our usual routine of going out to do something one day then spending the next day in town resting, doing chores around here, shopping, watching movies on Netflix, or taking walks to keep us active. There's a clubhouse on the grounds with a really nice workout room and W. has been over there. They have just about any type of exercise equipment a person could want. There's a nice outdoor pool but it's unheated so everyone says it's still too cool to use. (But we have had about 2 weeks of sun so who knows ...)  But the spa is heated and people are using it.

We've really enjoyed the church we're going to -- SVUMC. Great minister, friendly people, beautiful buildings. This Sunday will be their annual old-fashioned cowboy service with special entertainment followed by a barbeque dinner at High Noon. Also, the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival is going on in SV this weekend and we're going out to the auditorium on Saturday for some of that. In fact, today at the farmer's market several of the singers/poets were there performing! It was neat; we took our egg roll lunch to a picnic table and were able to listen some.

Let me find some pictures to show you where we've been and what we've seen ...

Last week we drove out to the Millville-Charleston ghost town site. We hiked a long trail, back to the foot of the peak on the left, on what they called the petroglyph trail. Yes, I did that with my cane! Interesting thing about this site was that all along the way were old pieces of metal such as tin cans, corrugated metal roofing, etc. -- all protected -- you can't collect these ghost town artifacts. We only saw one other person out there that day; a border patrol officer on foot.

This trail is on the Millville (ghost town) side of the San Pedro River. It was a mining town (Charleston was on the other side of the river, not open to the public).  Those are overburden piles and shored-up work areas. No buildings left, just foundations and the mining remnants.

One of the many glyphs we saw. I took LOTS of pictures! Some were right along the trail on large rocks and some you could see up on the side of the mountain but I couldn't climb up there to see them better.  Darn!
Also last week, we visited the Sonoita Winery south of Elgin & Sonoita.  Had a tasting and bought several bottles to take home.  It was a great experience!  The owner helped us and was so nice! we talked with her for quite a while and I learned a lot about their life.  They live over the winery (right side)  and to the side (white) is the production area. Home and business all in one! And the wine was/is delicious!

And here's the view from the front of the winery.  This is what we love about being here -- the wide open spaces.  The dark area you can see is the edge of their vineyard.  It was pretty extensive, much more than you can see in this picture, and though it looked dead, it's dormant this time of year.  Some wineries in the area (of which there are many) have babydoll sheep in their vineyards to keep the weeds down.  They're too short to reach the grapes!
Here's the gate into the Santa Cruz rodeo grounds in Sonoita. It's a neat little town!
This week we went to Ft. Huachuca, the army base here in SV, to visit the museum.  Although we'd been there before, I'm glad we went back because they changed lots of the exhibits and in this particular building, the old movie theater, they changed it completely. It now contains the history of the Army drone program. Ft. Huachuca houses U.S. Army intelligence and technology units. Also, it was interesting to go through the process of getting a temporary 30-day visitor's pass (only took 20 minutes). Now we can go back on base whenever we want to.

There's an old post cemetery on Ft. Hauchuca. Lots of interesting history here ...

We stopped at the Burger King on base and got some sandwiches. Went up to the top of reservoir hill for our lunch; this is the view of the base with the mountains in the distance.
Well, enough for now.  Just wanted you to know what we've been doing. I wish every one of you could be here for a day to just sit outdoors with me and soak up the sun! It's fabulous. I'll close with this picture, taken just after sunset. God is so good to me and I don't know why!