Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I don't normally use Thanksgiving as the day to think about all we have to be thankful for. I already know that our life is good compared to many and I appreciate it every day. But this year with the pandemic and politics I woke up thinking about how grateful I am that we have managed to stay relatively healthy and are still able to get out and walk, hike and bike, although sometimes with a few more aches and pains. Just hope we can make it to the vaccine and get back to happy hours at the local brewery and gatherings with friends where we can hug and don't have to sit so far apart, go to dentist, doctor and beauty salon visits without worrying about getting COVID for the next two weeks, etc. We've made it this far so I'm hopeful! 

And now, some photos from new-to-us trails just on the edge of Fountain Hills at Adero Canyon. The trailhead has been closed for a couple years due to construction of a new subdivision and just opened a few weeks ago. There is a brand new trail along a ridge and several others that have been there a while so we've gone out there a few times to check them all out since they all have great views Now if we could just get some rain to green up the desert a bit.

From the viewpoint after a 500+ foot steep, rocky climb in a little over a half mile. Not sure I will get Jim back on the Western Loop trail again any time soon.

This afternoon we have our weekly cat caregiver shift, so we'll be heading out soon to visit with these guys and more. Then it's our traditional vegan pizza and pumpkin pie for dinner later.


Jim's buddy, Bellamy

Sinatra, another one of Jim's buddies

Sweet Amy won't be there as she got adopted recently

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Horton Creek Trail and Other Stuff

Our temperatures finally moderated a couple weeks ago and we've been getting out a little later in the mornings, which makes Jim happy. Recently we decided to take a drive up to Payson, AZ for a hike on the Horton Creek trail. I read that there was a bit of fall color along the creek and thought that would be a nice change from the desert. We didn't arrive until almost noon but it was only in the low 70s at 6,000' elevation, which felt especially pleasant given the shade from the forest.

This is a trail we didn't do when we camped on the Mogollon Rim so we didn't know exactly what to expect, but it turned out to be a lovely, fairly easy, gradual climb, with views or access to Horton Creek all along the way, a series of one little cascade or waterfall after another. We turned around three miles in but the trail continues on over another steeper mile to a spring.  Jim decided he was feeling good and enjoying himself so he didn't want to ruin the day by going farther and being miserable on the way back. That turned out to be a great idea because we came back a good part of the way on a smaller fishermen trail right along the creek, which got a bit dicey at times and involved some scrambling.

We've also been back out at McDowell doing some mountain biking, visited with camp host friends, and went out again Friday afternoon for a short visit with Alex and Ellen, who arrived that day for a two month stay, then enjoyed a beer with Andre and Rose, who were there for a few nights on their way home to CA after a month long RV trip. 

Andre set up the self time on his camera to get a shot of all of us. Thanks!

Pointing out the beautiful sunset while I was admiring the clouds behind them.

It was such a pleasant evening we missed being out there in the Lazy Daze but it's still nice to live so close to the park.

And here are a few more photos just because.

End of a saguaro arm

One of many mini-trump rallies just down the street from our apartment. Tuesday can't get here soon enough!

The best Halloween display ever

Please get out and vote if you haven't yet. And to ease the stress of the election and increasing COVID cases, there are always kittens. 😻

Four of a litter of nine. Most have been adopted over the past week. They were a crazy bunch!

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!