Monday, November 23, 2015

Wrinkles Be Gone, Lost Dog, and Things that Go Bump in the Night



It was another good week at McDowell Mountain Park. We did get the cold front that came through, bringing a day of clouds and rain, and a few days of cooler temperatures. I just happened to have an appointment for an eye exam on the cloudy day, which made it not so bad having dilated eyes.


Jim had an appointment with the family practice nurse the following morning, and since we were in Scottsdale we brought our two giant bags of dirty laundry along.  Before the laundromat we stopped for a bite to eat at Paradise Bakery in Fashion Square Mall. There is a huge Microsoft Store there and we wanted to look at the Surface selection and ask some questions. While walking through the mall we were approached by a man who handed us samples of some kind of lotion. I wasn’t in the mood for a sales pitch so I politely declined and kept walking. Jim took his sample and the next thing I know he is no longer walking with me. He’s been accosted by the salesman who is putting something on his face!


Knowing Jim, it was quite a surprise to see him get sucked in like this. I looked in some of the toney shops thinking he would be along any minute, but he could not get away.


After taking a few candid shots with my phone I finally got close enough to get Jim’s attention and tell him we needed to go. He said the salesman was Italian, with a heavy accent, and had such a way about him that he was putting wrinkle cream on his face before he even knew what was happening. It was pretty funny, and had the cream not cost $499 he may have been talked into buying it! I must admit, the area around his left eye where the cream was applied looked so much better than his right eye, so it was probably a good thing it wasn’t me who got cornered. And surprisingly it lasted most of the day. I really wonder how much of this stuff he sells.

We’ve still been biking quite a bit, but like to throw in a hike every few days or so. Last week it was the Lost Dog Wash Trail in Scottsdale’s McDowell-Sonoran Preserve. We made a five plus mile loop to an overlook of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s former winter home.

It was a lot of up and down on very rocky trails. We saw one mountain biker but we wouldn’t want to bike there due to all the rocks.


Typical Sonoran Desert scenery, which we like.



A smoke signal?


We have never taken the Taliesin tour but after seeing it from above we thought we might just have to check it out.



Then when I looked it up on the internet I realized the house we were looking at wasn’t Taliesin! This is what we should have been looking for, but somehow we missed it. I borrowed this photo from the web.


Below is the sprawl of Scottsdale. You can see the Phoenix pollution in the distance. There is just a brown haze over the entire valley.


This must be a high dollar area, as many of the homes back onto the preserve. So where is Taliesin?? Guess we’ll need to go back and hike this trail again to find out.


When parked we store our bikes on a rack on the back of the Lazy Daze and cover them with a BBQ grill cover. The other day after a ride we put the bikes back on the rack and covered them but failed to secure the bungee cords hanging off the cover. During the night the wind picked up, and I heard something banging the back of the Lazy Daze. Jim said he bet it was just the bungee cords getting blown around, and not to worry about it. I couldn’t go back to sleep listening to that noise, so I got up, took the headlamp, and went out to secure the cords.

I did a sweep of our site with the light to be sure there were no critters around and spotted something on the roof of the car. At first I thought there was a towel hanging on the antenna, but when I looked again I realized it was a great horned owl sitting up there! I felt bad that I had shined the light on it, so I just went around to the back of the rig and hooked up the cords. When I went back in it had already silently flown off. The next morning I looked out at the car and saw this. It ran all down the tire and left a big blob on the ground. I guess he paid me back for blinding him with the flashlight!


Once again I forgot the camera when I volunteered at Fearless Kitty Rescue on Thursday, but I intend to remember it this week. I did manage to take a few pictures of Sophie and Elvis. In this one they are doing what they do best.


After sleeping, they spend most of their time bird watching.


And occasionally the woodpeckers will even allow the hummingbirds to get a drink.




  1. $500 wrinkle cream? Guess I'll keep my 'laugh lines'. ;)

  2. It's funny, I was looking at those photos and said aloud, "That is not Taliesin!" and then I moved on down to read the same thing below. If you go, I recommend the sunset tour, as it was more atmospheric at night. (And yes,being the FLLW fan that I am, I did them both!)

    GREAT hummingbird shot! And WOW that owl! Now I get the old idiom, "Slicker than owl sh..."

  3. I would have bought that cream just on Jim's recommendation. Only if it were let's say...$29.99.

    Guess that owl wasn't very happy with all!

  4. We have a Gila woodpecker who tries to get on our hummingbird feeder. At least once, it pulled it off the window, so I scare it way when I see it. We also have some small brown bird--a warbler?--trying to get a drink. I'm thinking of putting out a water dish.

  5. Before going to Taliesin, you might want to take a look at the reviews on YELP! I was very disappointed, and we scratched plans to consider this as a side trip next time we are in the area. A good review by a friend is probably more accurate, but I was shocked by how many bad reviews there were, particularly about the guides' attitudes and behaviours.

    Virtual hugs,


  6. $500 wrinkle cream! Yikes!

    That owl got you good for blinding him! Too funny!

  7. If the cream really worked, maybe it was worth the money! How funny that Jim got sucked in!

    How totally cool that you had an owl sitting on your car!! Lucky you:)

  8. At that price I'll keep my wrinkles.

  9. If you haven't been to the Musical Instrument Museum, you might consider checking it out. Highly recommend.

    1. We haven't been to the Musical Instrument Museum, but just so happen to be going to a concert there tomorrow night. One of these days we'll get to the museum, as it's been recommended by quite a few people.

  10. If the salesperson would have been a young Italian woman, you'd be out a couple of grand right now :).
    Box Canyon Mark

  11. My husband and I visit McDowell every year so I enjoy reading about what you do there. We've visited Taliesin twice and enjoyed it both times. We have friends who have visited the Musical Instrument Museum and they recommend it. You mention doing laundry. Since Fountain Hills has no laundromat, I'd appreciate knowing the location of the laundromat you visit.

    1. We went to Ginny's Wash House on Thomas Rd. It isn't the greatest but we go there if we have some shopping to do in the neighborhood.
      The one we like best is in Mesa, Gilbert Coin Laundry, on Gilbert Road just south of University. It's about 25 miles from McDowell but again we combine laundry with shopping. It is easy to get there and there is very little traffic. Despite the name, it is coinless, and you have to purchase a 50 cent card. Prices are reasonable and it's large and very clean.
      There is also a laundromat at Eagle View RV Park at Fort McDowell which is open to the public. It's closer but is small, expensive, and the RV park residents gave us the evil eye for taking up their machines ;-)

  12. That "not Taliesin" house looks similar to one built in the rocks near Joshua Tree National Park. I'm hoping to visit several of the Wright houses in our travels - love his style. Love how the colors on the houses near the preserve blend into the desert landscape. That cream is still cheaper than surgery :-))) I've heard bird Karma is extreme!

  13. I certainly got a chuckle out of the Mall visit. Can you imagine how much of that cream we could use??? Fun to see all the differing landscapes as you travel about.

  14. Great pictures of the sales pitch. I wonder what that cream would do your face if you used it daily? Love your birdwatcher cat pictures. Too cute. I have always wanted to visit Taliesin West. Hope you get to. Maybe your great horned will return. Get a red flashlight and you might be able to watch him. Now that would be fantastic.

    1. Jim's Italian buddy told him that after using the cream for a certain period of time (which Jim does not remember since he knew he wasn't buying), you can stop for 18 months to 2 years before having to use it again. It contained hyaluronic acid, which if you look it up there are very cheap wrinkle creams with that in it. Who knows??

  15. What a gift..seeing the owl so close. And he left a gift!
    We have not found a laundry mat in Scottsdale. Please share unless it's a drop off place. Hate doing laundry at the relatives'.

    1. Hi Lynne, good to hear from you! See my response to Jjcruisers above about laundry in Scottsdale.

  16. Love the birdwatching kitties! And the wrinkle cream story is hilarious. I must admit I would have been tempted, especially since the stuff seemed to work! :-) Very cool that you had a visit from a Great Horned Owl.