Up, Up, in the Air ~ Arizona Snow Bowl

I love the feeling of fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair ~ Evel Kneivel
20171011_150338_resized

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

The air is crisp and the aspens are turning golden, Fall is here in Northern Arizona. It’s was a perfect time to escape the last of the desert heat and head to Flagstaff for a scenic chair lift ride at the Arizona Snowbowl.

20171011_150449_resized (1)

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree ~ Emily Bronte

All along the roadside from September to October, the aspens turn blonde. After observing the dry browns and greens of the Mohave desert all summer, I enjoyed experiencing the change of the seasons tremendously.

DSCN7459

As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen ~ Winnie-the-Poo

As a birthday gift from my hubby, I chose to ride the chair lift at the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort. For a small fee ($15.00 online), you can take a scenic ride to the top of the San Francisco Peaks, jump off at 11,500 feet, and hop back on for a ride down.

DSCN7461 (2).JPG

She wasn’t given wings to see the world from a tree ~ Atticus

You know some girls they want Cartier* and some girls they want cars………….. but this girl for her birthday, just wants to reach the stars. I decided awhile back to forgo birthday gifts in lieu of adventures ~ I’d rather live life and experience the world than collect material things.

DSCN7464.JPG

Some old-fashion things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

We weren’t the only ones enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. This little girl kept doing her thing as we floated by ~ she didn’t even acknowledge our existence as we passed.

DSCN7469

Somewhere on your journey, don’t forget to turn around and enjoy the view ~ Anonymous

Enjoying the view from 11,500 feet.  Although you can jump off at the top, we didn’t. It was a chilling 35 degrees and the hubby couldn’t stop chattering.  Although the season ends in a few days, If you decide to go, wear something warm and bring a blanket ~ it is a lot colder going down than up.

Here’s a link:  https://www.snowbowl.ski/

*partial lyrics taken from “Some Girls” by the Rolling Stones

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Cathedrals of Time ~ Sunset Crater & Wupatki Nat.l Monuments, Arizona

“Ruins are the cathedrals of time” ~ Marty Rubin

Winding up our summer travels with the grandson, we set out for one last hurrah to Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument before returning him to his Mama in California.  We originally planned to RV in Sedona, but 25 miles out, our A/C failed. Naturally, with triple-digit weather, we returned home and made plans to visit Flagstaff.

DSCN6941.JPG

Advice from a volcano and a Grandma: go with the flow and have a blast!

 

Sunset Crater Volcano was decreed a National Monument in 1930 by President Hoover after a Hollywood film company planned to detonate explosives on it exterior for a movie. Thank goodness for public outcry and a concerned president for saving this beautiful, historical and interesting land.

DSCN6954.JPG

Each time a volcano erupts, life begins anew ~ NPS

Sunset Crater is located just outside of Flagstaff and is the youngest in a string of volcanoes related to the nearby San Francisco Peaks.  I’ve passed the exit for this monument many times during my I-40 travel and never thought to stop and visit.  

DSCN6978.JPG

Exploring the 1-mile Lava Flow trail

Due to severe erosion from past volcano-climbing visitors, you can no longer climb to the top of Sunset crater, but you can climb the nearby Lenox Crater and Doney Mountain cinder cones. We considered the 1-mile Lenox Crater trail, but with extreme humidity and a steep ascent, we opted to explore the 1-mile Lava Flow Trail instead.

DSCN7005.JPG

The grandson checking out a hornito, or spatter cone alongside the trail.

Spatter cones are one of the main types of volcanic type landforms and are made from lava that was ejected from a vent [worldlandforms.com]. Don’t I sound scientific, ha, ha! We just thought it was cool.

DSCN7012.JPG

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek” ~ Joseph Campbell

Oh, darn, access denied! At one time this ice cave could be visited, but it closed after a partial collapse of the lava tube. I’m discovering Sunset Crater National Monument is quite interesting and educational.

DSCN7034.JPG

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure” ~ Rumi

Keep driving the 35-mile dual park loop and you will reach Wupatki National Monument. Wupatki is abundant with ancient dwellings dating back to the 1100s, including the above Wukoki Pueblo.

DSCN7050.JPG

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens” ~ Carl Jung

Surprisingly, you are allowed to walk upon the ruins. The short door ways are more for protection and don’t depict the occupants height.  For me personally, these are the largest and most well-preserved relics that I’ve ever visited. I’m so impressed with this park!

DSCN7075.JPG

“A storm was coming, but that’s not what she felt. It was adventure on the wind and it shivered down her spine.” ~ Atticus

The day turned stormy and humid; but the thunder and lightning did not deter us from continuing our travels. While the hubby opted to stay in the car, the grandson and I had no qualms about getting wet or dodging the lightening ~ it was an adventure on the wind.

DSCN7083.JPG

Wupatki Pueblo

The park was named after this antiquity, the Wupatki Pueblo. Thought to have housed over 100 people, these remains are one of the larger villages dotting the parks massive landscape. The Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo are descendants of the original dwellers.

DSCN7130.JPG

“Modesty is the citadel of beauty” ~ Demades

Atop the Citadel Pueblo. The lightening was getting a little too close, so the grandson headed back to the car. If you take the time to look,  you can see an array of pueblos in the distance from the Citadel.

DSCN7123.JPG

The landscape in the park is so diverse; we walked through pine trees at Sunset Crater, then desert at Wupatki.  In the distance are San Francisco Peaks, which are on my must explore list.

DSCN7136.JPG

Regrettably, I ran out of battery prior to arriving at the Lomaki Pueblo and left my spare at home.  Lomaki has a .5-mile walking path that leads to multiple dwellings sitting above a dry box canyon. It’s desolate, but I really got a feeling of community here.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

I truly underestimated the wow-factor of Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monument.  Many times we bypass those little brown signs on the side of the freeway directing us to the lesser-known monuments or historical places of interest for the more renowned national parks. If you’re ever in the Flagstaff, AZ area, stop and check out these monuments, it is worth your time.

Urge for Going

“She’s got the urge for going, So I guess she’ll have to go…”  – Joni Mitchell

I heard this beautiful melody on the radio recently, and although inspired by wintertime, I found it quite relevant to my migratory nature and love of wandering. Here’s a link if you’d like to listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvSvTRhAJxg

Thanks to the Adventure group I joined, I discovered a wonderful new place to get “going.”  Cattail Cove State Park is located between Havasu and Parker, Arizona, and offers some nice hiking trails.

dscn5888

Whyte’s Retreat Trail

The one and half mile Whyte’s Retreat trail follows the Colorado River shoreline winding in and out of coves and ending at the BLM campsite of the same name. Gorgeous!

dscn6001

Wayne’s Way with the state park in the distance

The more strenuous Wayne’s Way and Ted’s trail lead up and down through desert hills and shallow gorges. A section of Ted’s trail runs through a wash with bluffs on both sides and includes a few dry “waterfalls” to scale.

dscn6009

Grow where you are planted

I’m always surprised what can grow in areas where climates and conditions are harsh. So wherever you are today, adapt, grow and bloom where you are planted.

Sandra

Life is Good, Isn’t it?

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have. – Anonymous

DSCN5822.JPG

New Year’s Eve at Havasu State Park, Arizona

The Hubby and I decided to close out the year doing what we do best – enjoying nature in the RV. There were no ball drops, party favors, or fireworks because this wandering lady needs little to welcome in a new year.

DSCN5841.JPG

A little rain didn’t stop these fishermen.

It brought a smile to my face seeing so many snowbirds in the campground, jacket-less and in shorts and sandals, so happy to be free of snow and colder temps. As we passed a couple from Colorado enjoying the lake view, the wife said to us, “Life is good, isn’t it?” and I agreed, it couldn’t be any better.

DSCN5863 (2).JPG

The last sunset of 2016

2016 was a good year for us – exactly one year today, we packed up our lives and set off in a U-haul trailer to begin again as retirees in Arizona. I’ve learned I don’t need much to have a happy life – a good wander now and then,  a pretty-in-pink sunset, a smile and a good laugh, and the realization how blessed I really am to be living life on my terms.

Happy New Year! May 2017 find you, smiling often and enjoying the little things…….

Sandra

Arch Rock Loop Trail @ SARA Park

“I dressed and went for a walk – determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.”-   Raymond Carver, This Morning

After spending Saturday afternoon reading Claire Miller’s, “Mile 445: Hitched in Her Hiking Boots,” I got an itch Sunday morning to don my boots and stretch my legs on the Arch Rock Loop Trail in SARA Park.

With temperatures in the 40’s and winds light, conditions were perfect for the uphill climb to the arch. I had one worry, the path to the arch is what I call a goat trail – a narrow, arduous footpath fit more for a mountain goat, not a sometimes wobbly grandma.

arch-trail-2

From this trail, you descend down into the wash (not shown) and  back up the Arch Trail

Determined to see the arch, I cautiously moved each foot forward, placing each shoe in a previous hikers imprint.  As I walked, all I could think about was having to go back down. The thought of descending the trail through loose rocks and rubble caused a little concern.

1218160936

Checking out the arch

With the arch all to myself, I rested for a while appreciating nature and it’s wonders. I wasn’t interested in tackling the trail back yet, so I headed off on a side path and enjoyed the solitude of walking the desert terrain.

By the time I decided to double back, the winds kicked up making the descent quite frightening. I was so thankful for someone else’s foot prints guiding the way down and keeping me from sliding. Following one strong wind gust, I finally threw my pride to the side and shimmied down on my bottom.

After taking in what nature had to offer, all I can say is one time on the Arch Trail is enough for this grandma.

Yuma Territorial Prison

I don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight (I love cheap thrills) – Sia

Who says you need a lot of cash to have a good time? Not this Grandma.  With my Arizona State Park pass in hand, the hubby and I took a little road trip to Yuma to relive the past within the walls of the Yuma Territorial Prison.

dscn5634

An annual state park pass is a good investment for folks who enjoy camping, boating, hiking, or just day tripping to historical sites. The cost is low and the pass pays for itself quickly. All you need is a tank of gas, some change for lunch, and you’re on your way.

dscn5597

The last remaining original cell blocks  – 1875

We started in the court-yard with a friendly docent with a head full of prison knowledge.  I recommend taking advantage of a docent, they know some interesting history about the prison. There’s plenty of time to wander afterwards on your own.

dscn5612

1930s taggers

After it closed in 1909, the prison became Yuma High School, the County Hospital, and in the 1930s, squatters from the Depression made the prison home. Seems graffiti and tagging were even popular back then. Who knew?

dscn5602

Six to a cell

The original interior wall stopped at the end of the three-story bunks. Although you’d never imagine it, the prison was referred to as the country club of the Colorado because of its many modern amenities (i.e., electricity, a library, sanitation, and a prison band).

dscn5616

The Dark Cell

If you were really bad, you were sent to the Dark Cell – stripped, chained, and fed bread and water. No lights, no sanitation, and for fun the guards would drop scorpions and snakes on you through the ventilation hole in the ceiling. Oh, and the occupancy rate capped at 12.

dscn5638

Prisoner’s cemetery

Very few of those incarcerated in Yuma died violently – about 50% died of TB and 33% of natural causes. Seems prisoners weren’t worthy of a headstone; a plaque added later list the names of the deceased.

dscn5596-2

I didn’t do it!

The only thing I’m guilty of is having fun! The mirror is an original and was used to take mug shots. The striped shirt is a replica of the 1870s prison attire. Women weren’t imprisoned in Yuma until 1878, and even then it was common to use your “feminine wiles” to obtain parole or reduced sentence.

Well thank goodness in 1941 the city turned the site into a museum and saved the remaining sections of the prison. Nearby is another state historic park, the Quartermaster Depot, which we’ll visit another time. We had an interesting day and enjoyed learning about the Wild West and the history of the Yuma Territorial Prison.

Serendipity

Serendipity (n.) – luck that takes the form of finding pleasant things that are not looked for.

dscn5478-2

I was on my way out of the house a few days ago, when I happened to see this beauty nibbling my Lantana bush.  What makes this event so serendipitous is that the butterfly waited for me to run back into the house and grab my camera, waiting for its close up.

This weekend, I returned to the Hualapai Mountains to take advantage of the trail system and cooler weather.  This morning, I decided to hike down to the Silver Bell Mine. The path was not clearly marked and I  found myself off trail a few times, ready to give up.

I was debating on turning back, when  I was pleasantly “directed” to a little chipmunk sitting dead-on the path. Could this be another example of serendipity?  I continued my hike and stumbled across a small herd of elk – two cows and a bull with very large antlers. My morning was full of surprises.

I never made it to the mine, the elk blocked the path so I returned to the cabin. They’re beautiful creatures, but I’ll admire them from a distance, thank you. If they approach me, I’m out of there!

Sometimes what you’re looking for, comes when you’re not looking at all.” – unknown.