"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mesa, AZ Happy Halloween!

We returned to Mesa, AZ again this fall but to Valley Del Oro this time. Cal Am has a special, we pay for one month and get to stay up to four (Sept-Jan 1) for the same price. The resorts are very nice with more than enough to do while we get our "honey do" list done.  We had hit the road pretty hard this summer without staying in one place for very long and were thankful for the down time for a while. Arriving in October, it is pretty empty right now and the temps pretty warm which is fine for a little while. We have met some interesting people already that are also here for the special and been playing some cards, pickleball and pool.

We have been here four weeks and already getting the itch to hit the road but still have plenty of things we have to accomplish before heading back to Colorado to ski.

The bumper is all better.

Premier is repainting the sun damage from the sun. We have gotten some medical and dental stuff done. Now that the weather has cooled down, we get to ride our bikes again. Hurray! Maybe, we can start hiking soon.

Valle Del Oro has the ballroom all decorated for the Halloween party tonight.

This is not a bad way to spend a little time. Just not too long.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Prescott, AZ or is it "Preskitt" as the locals say

We had wanted to visit Prescott for quite some time. Last fall, we had cancelled our reservations for Point of the Rocks Campground and decided to give it another try. A hiking path connected Watson Lake hiking trails and the campground. The Granite Dells around Watson Lake and Willow Lake are enchanting whether we were hiking biking or kayaking.
Prescott Peavine and Iron King trails were rails to trails that get plenty of use by the locals. We rode out from the campground to these trails without a problem other that the huge sticker patch we ended up in on our first ride. Fortunately, the no tubes in our tires did their job pretty well.

The 5.2-mile Peavine Trail begins just south of Watson Lake at the gravel parking lot by the lush Watson Woods Riparian Preserve.


All along this route, water leaches from cracks in the rock walls and hearty flowers—red and yellow—pop from the crevasses.
There was plenty of water fowl and turtles as we rounded the preserve.

The trail follows the former Santa Fe, Prescott & Phoenix Railway corridor that fed into Prescott, once the territorial capital of Arizona and famous for its copper mining. Wooden decking and railroad ties lie scattered along the trail. At Mile 3 and the "Point of Rocks," is the railroad's ghost . Here the trail passes through a cut made for trains in a tall, sheer rock cluster. A trailside historical marker shows the identical view, some 100 years prior. In the photo a hulking engine chugs through the same pass. It's a humbling reminder of how, in some places, time does stand still.

A visit to the historical old town section was up next. After walking around the town, we stopped in The Palace Saloon which is basically a museum. While waiting for our snack, we took some time to check out the place. Not much had changed from the old pictures on the walls.

This looks just like Watson Lake but is Willow Lake across the road from us. 

Prescott Pow Wow and Gourd Dance were happening in the park. We passed on the Fry Bread this time.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Flagstaff, AZ and Red Mountain

We had been hit quite a bit of rain and we like hiking in the cloud. Red Mountain hike sounded like a good place to check out 30 miles north of Flagstaff which was new for us. The leaves on the mountains we passed were changing since fall is in the air.
 Red Mountain is a volcanic cinder cone that rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. It is unusual in having the shape of a "U," and in lacking the symmetrical shape of most cinder cones. A large natural amphitheater cuts into the cone's northeast flank. Erosional pillars called "hoodoos" in the amphitheater, and many dark mineral crystals erode out of its walls made for an interesting hike that wasn't long but interesting.

This hike took us to one of the most interesting reminders of the Flagstaff area's volcanic past.

We started off in a pinion/juniper forest. The first 2/3's of the hike followed an old primitive road, the last part of the hike follows a wash lined with volcanic cinder sand. Just before entering the cinder cone the forest type changes form juniper/pinion to ponderosa pine forest. We kept getting peeks of what was next to come.

Near the end of the trail we climbed a 6 foot ladder between two  volcanic formations and found ourselves within a landscape of rock spires and sheer cliff walls.

The hike was easy and flowers in bloom after all of the recent rain. The rocks almost looked medieval.

It was fun checking out the nooks and crannies. 


Mike noticed this tarantula walking along the road. We waited until he passed so we wouldn't smash him and his bluish legs.

The drive back to Flagstaff was quite pleasant with the changing leaves. Fall is definitely in the air.