Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Beginning of Our Summer Travels

Yesterday we locked up our home in Gold Canyon and pulled out with the Airstream just after 9 am.

About 180 miles north we pulled into a very different parking place. There isn't a stucco-covered building in sight, just a few rvs and lots of open space. We are staying at Homolovi Ruins State Park for 3 nights. This is the 4th time we have stayed here. What a spacious, quiet campground. We have water and electric, not sewer.

The park protects the remains of several early villages of the Anasazi people from the 1200s and 1300s. The villages were located along the Little Colorado River and may have been abandoned about 1400 because of frequent flooding. The people may have moved on to Hopi Mesa to the north.

On our walk today, we visited the ruins of Homolovi I. Here is evidence of a building on the hillside.

Potsherds, broken pieces of pottery, have been moved together to show some evidence of everyday life back then.  Some of the pieces show texture that indicates pots made with coils of clay.  A few pieces have been painted.  Archaeologists can look at evidence like this and learn about local practices and trade with other communities.

We are really in the wide open spaces here. Look at the view from the road we walked between the campground and Homolovi I.

Look at our sunset here last night!

It feels good to relax and not have anything we have to accomplish right now. Preparing for travel and making arrangements for our trip to England have dominated life for weeks--maybe months. It is good to just be.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Walking and Birds

Every day we try to walk 5 miles--that means 10,000 steps. We each wear a fit bit to keep track of those steps. Most of the time we walk around our resort. The steps we take shopping at Walmart also count. Yesterday, John suggested we drive over to the Gilbert Water Ranch to walk and look at the many birds that love the many ponds there. It was a good change of scenery. We hadn't been there all winter.

We saw a lot of egrets and cormorants.

Sometimes they were in groups.  Other times, they were more solitary.

Here is a cormorant and her babies.

We spotted a large group of turtles.

I love the black-necked stilt.  They look like a bird in a tuxedo, I think.

These branches make an interesting tangle on the edge of one of the ponds.

John caught me taking pictures of the real birders taking photographs.

We really enjoyed yesterday's walk.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Getting Everything Ready to Go

It’s spring and for us snowbirds, that means it is time to head back north. The first step in that process for us is to get the truck and trailer cleaned up.

Yesterday we washed the truck after John had thoroughly cleaned the interior.

Today we washed the Airstream. Doesn’t it look good?

We didn’t stop there. We took the very dirty Weber grill to the car wash for a good cleaning. We used engine degreaser, then power wash and power rinse to get it looking pretty good, too.

We won’t be leaving for a week. But we won’t be twiddling our thumbs. We still have to pack food, clothes and electronics for the trip as well as preparing the house here for it’s long summer’s rest. Of course, the air conditioner won’t get a rest, but everything else will.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Color Everywhere

Granted, the desert is mostly tan with green accents in the cactus plants. But not at this time of year. Cactus and other plants, and also trees, are blooming all around us. Yellow is the predominant color, especially while the palo verde trees are in bloom. Many people don't like them--either because of their allergies or because the flowers quickly fall off and we track them inside. But John and I think they are beautiful.

Some of the lantana bushes have a mixture of yellow and orange to red.

And there are a lot more colors.

And here are some more.

It's getting pretty warm around here, but we will enjoy the beautiful flowers for another week or so.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

An Experiment

This summer we will be traveling in England for two months and I am not taking my laptop along. I want to blog while we are there and I am trying to blog from my iPad Pro. This is my second attempt. The first try—posted a few days ago—was fine except I couldn't update when I found errors after posting. So, on to the second try.

Cactus plants are blooming.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring in Arizona

When we see color everywhere, we know spring has arrived in southern Arizona.

We saw these flowers and cactus on our walk yesterday.


These two trees were blooming in lavender and yellow.

These are the beautiful flowers at the entrance to Canyon Vistas where we live.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hiking to the Garden

Last week we hiked from a trailhead we had never been to before.  We took the Second Water Trail to Garden Valley.  The rocks were covered with green lichen.

We saw lots of chain fruit cholla cactus.

Here is a group from the Youth Conservation Corps improving the trail.  They were pulling rocks from one location and using them to line the trail in a place that was washed out.  That is very hard work.

There were views of the surrounding hills.

We crossed the dry First Water wash.  Someone had built two cairns to show the way.  This is one of them.

Although there was no water in First Water, debris showed damage from a previous flood.

I love saguaros and there were lots to see on the hike.

This is perhaps the tallest saguaros we have ever seen.  What it lacks in beauty, it makes up for with height.

It was a good hike and we will return to the area again.