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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On the Road to Crown King

Jeanette was meeting with her Mom's hospice doctor at 6:00 pm so we had the afternoon off and there is an old mining town seventy miles away so we threw Kobe in the truck and headed for the high country.
After we left the interstate, we had a bit of a desert drive before we got into the foothills. It really had that that western movie aura. We passed through a few old towns in the basin. (click on any picture to enlarge).
Yes, you can get a cold beer in Cleator but we were just passing through.
Climbing into the foothills, the scenery had some interesting changes. The boulders on this mountain were huge.

You can see the switchbacks going up the mountain. It was 24 mile from the freeway and the last 18 were all climbing.

Climbing out of the foothills, you can start seeing the desert back below you.
This is one of the few places that had a guardrail. I was impressed.
A lot of places were one lane, including the icy bridges.
The dually would fit through here but there was no room for any oncoming traffic.
As you got higher up, a panorama opened up behind you.
Eventually, we had to put some jackets on over our bathing suits!

Place had a great burger. This old saloon/bordello in the town of Crown King was once located in another town higher up in the mountains. It was dismantled and moved by burro and reassembled here. They had a couple of wood burning fireplaces going. They told me I could bring Kobe in, he was welcome and a few other dogs were lounging around inside but Kobe's job is to stay in the back of the truck and growl at anyone who gets too close. Crown King had no paved streets so this time of year, its all mud.

Kobe  at work.
Senator Highway (no, I'm not making this up) in Crown King.
I put together this panorama of the mountains and desert below. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

heart walk- Colin- The Phoenix Connection

 In honor of Team Colin in the Houston "Its my Heart Walk". Jeanette and I walked a 4.8 mountain trail on the Sonoran Desert Trail. Jeanette designed and made a flag to plant on a mountain.  We even had a "Houston" kind of day to connect us--cold, rainy, windy...thus, the hat and the bad hair day pic below
 View of where the flag was planted. We love you Colin!

 Flag flying in its spot.
 And off on the trek. Two hours and ten minutes. Jeanette said she could have done it faster if she had not had to wait on me. Lots of elevation changes. I was starting to think a new exercise could be wiggling my toes in the hot tub!
 Kobe  needs a dog pack so he can carry the water.
 Needed a break.
 Strong Pacific front was moving in with rain. Walking into stiff wind with 40 mile gusts added unwanted resistance.

One half a mile from the end of the trail...this one was for you, Colin!  Side note: Team Colin won an award for one of the top fund raisers. Good job to those who supported this cause!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Squaw Peak

 This trail is second in foot traffic per year only to Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon.

 Someone is still fresh. We would both hate  the sight of steps by the end of the day.

 Fat Lizard
These guys were carrying fifty pound bean bags up and down.

Great Horned Owl

 Big  nest
Big bird


 Ok, we've seen snow. Can we go get a pizza now?
 The school district buses all these kids up in the afternoon. Maybe the school has a ski team.

Montezuma's Well

This is a huge artesian limestone pool that has been used my man for at least fifteen centuries. 

Around the warm water (75F) are various old habitats including these old cliff dwellings.

The water has a natural drain which goes into this creek on the other side of a cliff. The tree rising up from the creek bed is an Arizona Sycamore. Take a look at this view of it. (you can click on any picture to enlarge it)
 Old dwelling where the pool empties through the cliff. The black rock on the ceiling is from ages of cooking fire in the structure.
 There was a huge pueblo on the cliff but it was abandoned around 1300 a.d.
Now, note the size of the Arizona Sycamore. It comes out at an angle from the cliff and turns skyward.

The cliff people had channelled  the water coming out of the pool into an irrigation system. This is natural watercress growing on the cliff.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

picnic at beaver creek

We took a day trip out of the desert and went several places. We had at picnic at a place in the Cocoino National Forest called Beaver Creek.
It had a nice amount of water flowing through it. The creek area had several groves of huge Arizona Sycamore.

Jeanette got to be my model.

Can't you see the deep symbolism there?