Last week we went on the toughest hike we have attempted in two years. And we made it! We hiked to Fremont Saddle where we could see Weaver's Needle.
We have hiked that trail several times over the years we have been coming to Arizona. It is full of rocks that make the hike treacherous. It is uphill, but that isn't really a problem. Coming down is more difficult. I fell when I took my eyes off the ground. No serious injury but a good cut on my shin with lots of blood and a few bruises and scrapes.
Here are some of the scenes along the way.
Near the top we had a great view of the Phoenix valley.
John sat and rested among the rocks when we took a break.
We hope to keep in shape hiking so we can continue to tackle a few challenging trails.
Almost everywhere we go, we see flowers in bloom and cactus plants covered in either blooms or buds. The southern Arizona desert is beautiful. These are three of the ones we saw on Monday this week here in our resort.
This white flower is on the Argentine gigantic cactus. They are the Easter lilies of the desert.
This prickly pear will be covered with flowers soon.
We saw these flowers a week ago when hiking.
When hiking Thursday, we saw these flowers. The blooms in this first photo look almost like crocus until you see they are on a cactus plant.
In February and March we had an unusually large amount of rain and now we are seeing the fruits of all this moisture.
Our son Eric, his wife Liz and grandson John visited us during their Spring vacation in March. We packed a lot into their visit. As soon as they arrived, we went hiking on the Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstitions. Somehow, the only photos I took were of the beautiful desert landscape.
After the hike, we had a good lunch at the Cactus Grill here in our resort.
The next day, Eric, John, Papa (John) and I went to the shooting range at Usury Mountain. Eric and grandson John shot their pistol, we all shot our pistol, and Eric, grandson John and Papa John shot Eric's shotgun. We had a good time but I sure need more practice. While we were shooting, Liz visited a friend and had lunch with her brother and sister.
The next day we were off to hike to Wind Cave in Usury Mountain Park. Again, the desert was beautiful and we had a good time.
It is always good when we can get together with our family. We are so glad we had some time together. We did miss our granddaughter Kylie but she was busy at college in Houston.
The desert is incredibly beautiful since we received so much rain so far this year--almost 4 1/2 inches. That is unusual for Arizona for this time of year. Friday we went hiking with our friend Barbara and her friend Mickey. And it is also green, greener than we have seen before.
We found pots of gold everywhere. Not the type you find at the end of the rainbow. These were poppies and daisies in yellow, gold and some orange.
We also saw a lot more green than we usually find in the Arizona desert.
There was also a field of daisies along the road before we entered the park.
We are looking forward to seeing the cactus plants bloom soon.
Last month we had a going-away gathering for a couple on our street who have sold their casita. Four other houses on the street are also for sale. We really enjoy our neighbors and are sorry to see things change. But I think that is what happens in resort communities especially with senior citizens.
We keep busy doing our weight training in the exercise room, walking for exercise, and creating in our workshop. John produced an amazing intarsia eagle in January and has been using the scroll saw to cut out Christian sayings. They are very pretty. I have been turning some bowls with mixed success. Finally, one turned out well this week. Hopefully, more will be created soon.
Our house was in a royal mess from last Wednesday through yesterday afternoon. We had the carpet taken out of the bedroom and new wood laminate installed. That means removing all of the furniture including 2 bookcases, 2 bedside tables, a painted chest, a chest of drawers and the bed. They were all moved into the rest of the house. We could hardly walk from room to room.
Now, we are back together.
Sunday we attended the annual deadenders and loopers party. Strange name, right? One street in our resort is a dead end. The next street--where we live--loops around off another street. We have been getting together every spring since we moved it. This year, a caterer smoked a full pig and, for the second time, there was a band so people could dance. We talked for several hours to neighbors we already knew and others we hadn't met yet. It was a noisy but fun evening with excellent food from both the caterer and the potluck dishes the rest of us contributed.
Bob and Jean's grandson was learning to line dance.
We sure didn't. Only one room in our Arizona winter home has carpet--a very pale beige. It has gotten very dirty in the four a half years we have spent in it and we decided to pull it out and have Northern Pine Pergo flooring installed. When the order was ready at Lowe's, we had them load the materials in the bed of our pickup. We stored it there in our driveway until today when the installers arrived.
In preparation of the work, we emptied all the books out of the bookcases and the drawers out of the dressers, as well as moving the mattress and box springs into our living room.
This is what our living room looked like when we heard the news.
We both work with wood--John making pens and doing scroll saw projects, I doing first intarsia and now turning bowls. But we had no idea that wood flooring must be stored at the same temperature it will be used for several days before installation. When we ordered the product, when we picked it up and when they called to schedule the installation, no one said a word about that.
It was only this morning when the installers drove up and John showed them the flooring that we learned about the need for temperature control.
This is what our bedroom looked like when we moved out the books.
This is what the bedroom looks like now--and will look like till Monday morning before we clean it out again. I will put sheets, comforter and pillows on the bed.
And this is what is still stored in the living room.