So the old Norwegian saying goes. Those friends fill us up in different ways as we travel through this life. Each person is unique and gives us new insight, ideas or just joy.
We have spent the past five winters in Mesa. I just wasn't ready to give up a job with that much flexibility and great pay. The trade off was that we often found ourselves leaving places and rushing through others to get back there in the required timeframe. Sometimes you just realize it is time to move on. Bike riding and hiking made those last 3 months pass quickly. In no time and we were packing up to leave.
|Our 30 mile ride to Tempe Towne Lake|
|A favorite place for mountain biking|
|Lunch after a ride.|
Pulling your home around on the back of your truck over bumpy roads can cause damage. Fortunately, Mike keeps an eye out for potential problems. We needed a place to leave our trailer while we returned to Colorado for a ski holiday that we had planned sometime ago. Leaving the trailer at the repair shop for three weeks worked out great for us, even if we have to drive back to Arizona before starting out again. It was also easier than pulling it through snow.
Vail Resorts has been buying up multiple resorts and the pass prices have been going up. Who would pay over $200 for a day of skiing? It is a good way for Vail to promote their season pass, keeping skiers in their network. Our last season pass was $1000 each. This year they offered a pass for veterans and spouses a pass for $500 each, upon verifying their honorable discharge. Mike spent four years in the Air Force so we took them up on it and booked a condo for our stay.
Monument Valley Tribal Park
We left Arizona a day early to avoid the record setting snow storm that was in the forecast. Staying in Kayenta an extra day allowed for us to explore Monument Valley which isn't really near anyplace but only 22 miles from our hotel. There isn't much available for restaurants so we made due with Subway and McDonalds since it is the off season.
|Monument Valley Tribal Park|
There is a $20 fee to enter the park. But most of the facilities were closed and no one to pay. There are several tour companies and the lady that I had spoken to said we wouldn't need a reservation. The tour guides would be in the parking lot. The prices had doubled when we asked how much at the little shed. As we walked away to "think about it" another man offered to take us on the tour at a cheaper price.
As we took a walk to decide if we wanted to take the drive, the storm rolled in. The tour sounds like a good time with stories about all of the movies that had been filmed in the area. We could have driven the 17 mile route ourselves but the dirt roads looked pretty iffy.
|A couple of miles from the Park in the opposite direction was the town of Goulding.|
Goulding has a great museum with a lot of movie memorabilia and stories about the Gouldings that founded the town. John Wayne's cabin below was used for a prop that he walked out of in a movie. The cabin was named John Wayne's because it sounded more interesting than the potato shed that it really was.
Mike found a hiking trail but it got slick pretty quickly.
Arches National Park
It had been several years since our last visit to Arches. The off season was much more pleasant without the crowds.
The snow crunching under our feet was the only sound we heard as we walked in the falling snow.
My contracts as a traveling nurse were for 13-20 weeks, giving us time to become part of each community and explore it more thoroughly. Using Arizona as a base for six months and traveling the other six, we found ourselves rushed in order to be back in Arizona within my six month return date. We want to spend more time in places rather than being tourists passing though. For the next year, our plans are to volunteer in state parks allowing us to spend at least a month in each location.
We look forward to the places and adventures ahead of us, along with new friends whether they are for the moment, season or lifetime.