Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Prescott Time

Constellation Trail, Prescott

Greetings to whoever is left out there reading this. It's been a while but there hasn't been much going on other than trying to avoid getting COVID. We'll probably be okay as long as we stay away from the White House!

We did get to spend almost two weeks in Prescott, AZ recently, taking care of Hans and Lisa's cat Rosie while they took a trip to Oregon. We miss having a cat around the house but not sure we are ready for another just yet. 

Rosie loves food, and was always in the kitchen if we were, hoping it was time for her next meal. She is one of the most vocal cats we have been around, constantly meowing at us, which was very cute. And her fur is silky soft.

How can you resist that face?

She likes to go outside in her huge fenced yard under supervision and was very good about coming in when we were ready.

So besides hanging out with Rosie, we hiked, biked and walked the neighborhood. We managed to find several trails we hadn't done there. Just a mile or so from the house is the Williams Valley trail, where we did a pleasant loop hike.

Another day we started at the Cayuse trailhead in the Granite Basin Recreation Area and did a loop of about 5 miles on various trails. 

Thanks to our friend Sandy we found another nice network of trails off Iron Springs Rd, where we put together another loop.

And our last hike was on the Constellation trails in the Granite Dells, the site of an Air Force training plane crash in 1959. This is a very scenic area with 3.5 miles of trails winding through and over huge boulders. It was fun doing some rock scrambling for a change.

Debris from the crash

It was getting hot by the time we finished so we drove another 20 miles up to the top of Mingus Mountain and had our lunch there.

We saw this very optimistic display on our way.

Although we've biked on the Peavine/Iron King rail trails a few times before, we always enjoy that ride and wanted to check out the progress on some new subdivisions being built near the end of the trail. And we love the views of Watson Lake.

Perfect spot for lunch

On a neighborhood walk we discovered one of the best political signs we've seen in this divisive election year.

Speaking of voting, we mailed in our ballots yesterday, which gave us a good feeling of doing something positive in this negative world we live in.

A few days before we were scheduled to leave Prescott the hot water heater quit working. Jim talked with Hans and they both agreed it was most likely the thermocouple but Jim wasn't confident enough to attempt to replace it, so Hans and Lisa left a day early and we heated up water on the stove for dishes and bathing for a couple days, like during our tent camping days many years ago. Despite that little glitch, we enjoyed our stay and Rosie's company!

While going through photos I found a couple from over the summer, this one being one of several threats of monsoon rain that never made it to us. All we got was higher humidity and a few drops.

Haze from the California wildfires gave us some interesting sunrises.

And finally, after doing a few bike rides in Prescott I got inspired to start riding more again, so this morning I went out to McDowell Mtn for an early ride. Although the desert is dry and brown this year it was great to get back on the trails in what is still one of my favorite places.

Till next time, hope you are enjoying autumn! 

Friday, August 14, 2020

A Week with Cats

We couldn't pass up the chance to spend another week in Sedona, this time house and catsitting. Although it got into the mid-90s the temperatures were at least 10-15 degrees cooler than Fountain Hills, which is especially nice in the mornings and evenings, where we could actually sit outside comfortably and go for a walk or hike a little later than the 5:30-6:00 that has become the norm for us this summer.

                                                              View out the living room window.

These were our charges, Spyder Girl and Meatloaf, whom we affectionately called Meathead after we got to know him.                                                                            


                                                                          Spyder Girl

They are both very sweet cats but they are indoor/outdoor cats, with Spyder spending much of the day hanging around the yard and neighborhood. She is very good about wanting to come in before dark.

Meatloaf on the other hand spends the heat of the day inside but stays out prowling all night. We were a bit nervous about this as we have never let our cats out unattended, but this is what they are used to so we obliged. Wouldn't you know, he got bit or stung by something one day, which required a vet visit, and then a couple days later he stayed gone for two full days and nights, causing us concern as we did not want something bad to happen on our watch. He finally returned and we imprisoned him in the house our last two days there just to make sure he was home safe when his owner returned. It was an interesting week!

 The swelling made him look like a chipmunk

Besides a few walks around the lovely neighborhood, we also did several hikes. When we were there in May I hiked the Templeton trail but Jim didn't so we went back and did that one again from the other direction, starting at the Little Horse trailhead, taking the Bell Rock Pathway to the HT trail, which intersects the Templeton.

                                                                The HT trail goes under Hwy 179

                                   We saw one biker and only a few other hikers on the Templeton

We had not done the Hangover trail before, known as a double diamond mountain bike trail, but we got a late start so it was pretty warm by the time we got to the Huckaby trailhead off Schnebly Hill Rd. From there it's a 1.7 mile hike on Munds Wagon trail before it intersects the Hangover, so once we actually got to the Hangover we didn't quite make it another mile before we were getting too hot. Still a nice hike but I would like to go back and do the entire 8 mile loop one day, where you get to the challenging parts. 

There is no shortage of beautiful views on any trail in the Sedona area.

    We spotted a few Pink Jeeps on Schnebly Hill Road paralleling the Munds Wagon trail

One day we took a 65 mile drive to Prescott to visit former RVing friends Hans and Lisa, whom you probably remember from Metamorphosis Road. We may do some house/catsitting for them one of these days and they wanted to show us some things around the house and yard. We had a nice masked visit, and I realized that was only the second time we had been in someone else's place since March. What an odd world we're living in.

They recommended the Woodchute trail near Jerome and although we had hiked in that area once when we were in Prescott, it was on a different trail. So on our last day in Sedona, when it was getting into the upper 90s, we drove up to 7,000' Mingus Mtn. It was in the mid 80s by the time we finished but there was a little shade and a nice breeze. Again we wimped out and only made it about 2.5 miles (when it started getting steep!) before turning back, so we didn't get to the best viewpoint, but we had great views most of the way. 

                                                        I have a thing for alligator junipers

                                                                       Road to Jerome

                                                        San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff

      Our only wildlife sighting. He was kind enough to stop long enough for me to get a photo.

So we are back home enduring record-breaking heat, watching as the coronavirus numbers have been going down very gradually over the past month. It would be nice to think there is light at the end of this tunnel, but that is wishful thinking at this point. Between the virus and the insanity in the political world sometimes it all feels like a bad dream. If only it was...