Monday, April 30, 2012

More Beautiful Sedona

One hike I have never tried before is the one up to the saddle of Cathedral Rock. It's a pretty steep trail, but I was doing okay until -

You are supposed to climb up the steep crack on the left. I figured I'd done enough. I may have been able to get up, but would have had to come down.

The rock was very sandy and slippery, and I ended up sliding down on my butt quite a bit.

The flowers are really starting to bloom here.

If you don't want to climb up Cathedral Rock, the Templeton trail goes along the base, where you get an unusual view of the back side.

Another day, the group went to see the famous front view of Cathedral Rock.

Looks like Phil and his harem, huh?

Another day we went on my favorite Sedona hike, the Teacup trail. Even the view from the trailhead is gorgeous.

Along the way I found a century plant about to bloom in a month or so.

And we had to stop by Bell Rock, one of Sedona's famous vortexes.

Supposedly, that is why so many of the trees are twisted like this. (wink, wink)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Moving on to Sedona

It was time to leave the hot behind, and move up to cooler weather! Sedona is one of my favorite places, and there is great parking outside of town where the balloons frequently land. Sedona is famous for its vortexes - centers of energy.

I'm here with the WINs, at the start of their spring/summer circuit through Utah and Colorado. I'll be with them off and on.

There are many wonderful trails in the area. This is the Chimney Rock loop, which of course goes around Chimney Rock. The wildflowers are just starting to bloom.

The lizards are out too - this one was huge!

This was a surprise - The Amitabha Stupa and Buddha is supposed to be Sedona's newest vortex. Chimney Rock is in the background.

After the hike, we went into town. I had seen the Chapel of the Holy Cross before, but never gone inside.

So we climbed up a big hill, and it was definitely worth it.

Outside the Chapel, you can get a view of how the simple folk live in Sedona! This house comes complete with an observatory and a 4-car garage.

In addition to balloons, our parking area has some cute not-so-wild life.

They are smart enough to hide behind the "No Hunting" sign.

And some real wildlife! Although this one was pretty scary, I think it is a nonpoisonous Glossy snake.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lunch with the McNasty Brothers

Thanks to the post by Jim and Sandi, Barbara, Ron, Phil and I decided to go to the lunch show at the Mining Camp Restaurant in Apache Junction. It looked good from outside - lots of rusty stuff and located at the base of the Superstition Mountains.

We were greeted at the door by a friend of the McNasty Brothers who told us jokes while we waited in line.

The wall inside was covered with old pictures and newspaper articles. Ron had to read them all.

We were fairly warned...

While waiting for the show, we admired their lighting.

And after some more jokes, the show began. The McNasty Brothers did a "Hello Arizona" show with wonderful vocals and outstanding instrumentation. I really like the tub.

Everytime I hear "Orange Blossom Special," I have to tape it. (Click on the arrow to play it.)

After the show, we wandered through the gift shop. I bet my son would have liked this wine bottle holder.

Then we toured the back yard, where there was even more old buildings and rusty stuff!

And maybe a little false advertising?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Desert in Bloom

There were a couple things I wanted to do before leaving Apache Junction. One was going on a hike at the Superstition Mountains. Phil, sister Barbara, and "brother-in-law" Ron headed out last Sunday on a fairly cool day.

I was especially interested in what was blooming. The prickly pear cactus had lots of buds and quite a few blooms.

A close-up.

And another. Don't know what this is -

Or this. But they sure are pretty.

We even saw a few poppies!


But the highlight of the cactus blooms was the saguaro! A few are starting to bloom now.

And the bugs just love them! This photo was shot at 200mm with my Nikon DSLR (300mm in 35mm equivalent). And it was cropped a lot. And it's still pretty sharp!

Here's the reason - Ever since I got the Nikon D3100, I have wanted to get an all-purpose lens, the 18-200. I've been putting off the purchase, hoping for a better price, but Gaelyn got one and she made me bite the bullet! I love it! All of the pictures in this post (except this one, of course) were taken with this lens.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wow - It's Getting Hot Here!

And the place is clearing out! A couple weeks ago, the RV parking area here at the Q Casino in Yuma was packed. Phil ordered new carpet, and it finally came in yesterday, so we should be out of here Monday.

But in the meantime, we are only 2 miles from the pharmacies and dentists in Algodones, Mexico.

And very near a nice pet cemetery -

Where I buried Molly 2 years ago.

New this year is a cute little painted rock. I don't know where it came from, but I noticed that a lot of the graves had one. What a nice thing to do!

I was close enough to San Diego that I ran over a couple weeks ago to see grandkids, Mara and Jonathan. They love to pose for pictures.

While I was there, it snowed in the mountains between Yuma and San Diego. (Did I mention this was a couple weeks ago!)

Happy Easter!