Sunday, April 10, 2011

Arizona Sunset – Chiricahua National Monument

We drove up to Massai Point one evening, just in time to catch this spectacular sunset….a wonderful end to a wonderful visit in Arizona!





Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chiricahua National Monument- Perspective, Perception, Balance

After leaving Tucson, we headed to Chiricahua National Monument, about 2 hours south and east of Tucson. Though we had passed the turn-off on I-10 many times, we had never stopped before….but our friend, Becky, had said how beautiful and unique it was, so we decided to see for ourselves. We were not disappointed.

We spent 3 nights at the campground which had only 25 spots total, no hook-ups, and a maximum trailer length of 26 ft. – Our camper is 25 ft, a tight fit, but Fred got it backed into place like a pro!

We took several nice hikes – and were just amazed at the beauty of these unusual rock formations. These rocks formed after volcanic ash from MANY years ago solidified forming a kind of rock called Rhyolite. As this Rhyolite weathered and fractured from freezing and thawing, it formed these unusual shapes.



Our hikes took us all around and in between  these ‘stacks’ of boulders…….


And allowed us a different perspective.


Sometimes it makes me feel quite small…..other times, cosmically large and connected……


But, always, I marvel at the intricacies of nature.


With a shifting perspective, one begins to see things differently. Can you see the face in the mountainside, like someone lying on his back? Legend has it that the face is that of the great Apache warrior, Cochise.



And we begin to see other things….an alien, a camel’s head, rocks kissing, and even a giant mud dabber nest. (That last one was our interpretation, but one tends to see in things what one is familiar with.)


And everywhere we were aware of balance………..



Rocks impossibly balanced on a tiny point……and evidence of what happens when one loses ones balance.

Nature’s perfect choreography of perception,,,,,,perspective…....and  balance…..

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Visiting Katie and Nick (and Emma and Jack) in Tucson

On our way towards home, we stopped in Tucson to visit with our niece, Katie and her husband Nick and their two darling children, Emma and Jack. We had a good visit and a wonderful dinner…… and a bit of time to practice for when we become grandparents. : )

Emma loves her books, especially when Uncle Fred does the funny voices……


And Jack cracked us up with his ‘wild party’ laughs……


Is there anything more wonderful than sweet baby laughs?!


Thanks, Katie and Nick, for the hospitality and for letting us drop in on you one week before moving day! Good luck with the move, and the new hose plans!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sunday - Hiking up to the Siphon Draw


Sunday morning we set out on a nice hike – a bit longer and a bit steeper at 4 miles round trip and 1,000 ft. elevation gain – up the Superstition Mountains to a natural drainage area called the ‘Siphon Draw’.


Along the way, we stopped to investigate an old foundation with steps down to a basement- like area that we thought might be an old miners camp/cabin.


It is always fun to speculate….Who lived there? Did they find any gold? Or did they just go bust?


This is the Siphon Draw - as we approached- looking up towards Flat Iron Mountain (the  Mt. at the top-center that looks like the bow of a ship). The shiny area in the center of this picture is the draw - a trickle of water on the wet rock.


The Siphon Draw up close.


At the Draw, we all found a seat and, after that 1,000 ft. climb, we rested and enjoyed the view!


While I enjoyed the view looking out in the distance……….


Fred had his eyes in a different direction…….up!!


So….Fred, Jason and Sarah decided to hike up a bit…….


And up they went….That’s them…..the very tiny people in the center of this photo.


And this is the view…of me…from waaay up there, looking down…….the tiny white spot in the center of this photo.


The view from their perch…….breathtaking!

One could climb on up to the top of Flat Iron……scrambling up the wash another 1 mile and 1,000 ft.…..but, for today, this was enough……….

Sunday evening, we went back to Sarah and Jason’s, fixed a pizza for dinner, and celebrated a wonderful week of visiting!  And then, with great difficulty said goodbye….

Monday morning – We hitched up the camper, and, with a lump in our throats, and a tear or two, we headed on down the road……..hanging on to good memories…..and a lot of love…… looking forward to the next time we get together.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hanging out at Lost Dutchman SP Campground

We had a lot of fun just hanging out at our campsite with Sarah and Jason (and Lucky).




We put the awning up on the Airstream and enjoyed the cool shade!


We hung out inside, playing cards…..


In the late afternoon, we sat out and watched for the quail, which made a regular path through our campsite.


And Sarah discovered the value of a ‘Tilley” hat.


Along the ‘Discovery Trail’ ……a unique sun dial….


And various animal tracks….here, the Javelina, a pig-like creature.


Saturday evening we went to the campfire program….


A singer, songwriter, humorist……who was really good!


A great day, a great time visiting, and beautiful sunset….next time we will remember to bring a flashlight, so won’t have to find our way back in the dark!       : )

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lost Dutchman SP- Hiking with Sarah and Jason–Saturday

Sarah and Jason spent Friday night with us in the camper at Lost Dutchman State Park.



On Saturday morning, we joined a group for a Ranger led hike along several trails up to Prospector’s View.


Fred and I pause at the junction of Jacob’s Crosscut Trail.


Sarah and Jason at Prospector’s View.


What a view…….!



The Ranger was an older woman who could hike us all into the ground. She had been working at this park for 25 years, and gave us quite a bit of information about the plants and birds and local lore as we hiked.



We hiked back down the mountain, and settled back at the camper….glad to have a rest and a cool drink!!