The other day we took a drive about 25 miles northeast of Fountain Hills to the Ballantine Trail in Tonto National Forest on the way to Payson, AZ. This is a trail we had not been on before but had heard good things about, and since we were needing a diversion from the news and some new scenery, we also hoped that being farther away from Fountain Hills and Scottsdale there would not be many people on the trail.
There is a 3 mile loop that the Ballantine trail continues off of, and we decided to take it counterclockwise as there was a young couple who were heading off that way and we knew we would not be hiking as fast. A few other people came by us going the other direction in the first mile, but for the rest of the hike we were alone. It is a beautiful trail, especially with the desert being so colorful this spring.
We were amazed by the number of saguaros.
The Pine Creek loop has a view of Pine Creek, which surprisingly had quite a bit of water flowing.
We continued on the Ballantine trail for about a half mile. It was steep and rocky but very scenic.
It was a great hike until near the end when Jim did a little slip and fall, putting his hand down on cactus. Days later he still has some pieces in his palm.
|Looking down on Hwy 87
Last week the director of Fearless Kitty called to ask if I would be up for some painting of cat rooms while many of them are empty of cats. I jumped at the chance for something to do and told her I was sure LuAnn would be interested in joining me. So we spent three afternoons painting and doing a few other little projects after the staff went home, keeping our social distance, of course. It felt good to do something "normal", although seeing most of the rooms without cats in them seems strange. We have a couple other rooms to paint next week after some of the remaining cats get moved around. We're hoping she finds more for us to do after that.
And finally, a few photos from our Fountain Hills walks.
|This one made us smile
Stay healthy out there everyone!