Oh yeah, busy.
First of all I’m happy to report that the condition of the fella who suffered a concussion at Monday’s softball game appears to be OK from all reports. I’ve been told that he was released from hospital that evening and other than being told not to play ball for a while is expected to recover completely. Good News.
On Wednesday we went on a hike with the club to Whitworth Canyon. Sylvia had been there before, but when it was scheduled last year I was still playing ball with two different teams, and couldn’t make it that day. The trail head is about 20 miles or so from our park, and while most of it is via the highway, the last few miles are on desert dirt roads. It rained cats and dogs here for a while on Tuesday, and before we left our hike leader Bob informed us that there might be a bit of mud on the road.
We were already warned that we required high clearance vehicles for the drive and most of us were in trucks, but one guy took one look at the road and turned around and went on another hike. I guess he didn’t want to get his shiny truck dirty. The track was extremely muddy, with very little traction in places. At one point I looked back on a straight stretch and all 4 trucks I could see behind me were pointed in different directions, with none of them looking like they wanted to travel straight down the road. There was one couple that didn’t hear or heed the warning and drove their Toyota Corolla on the hike. Surprisingly it did very well, and with all the mud on the road it turned into a high clearance vehicle before it reached the trail head due to all the mud that collected on the tires.
This is what my truck tires looked like when we got there. It’s no surprise that we had little traction, as everybody’s tires were packed full of mud. It took me quite a while the next day to wash all that mud out of the wheel wells.
Just to prove that Toyota’s really are quite capable here’s the Corolla at the trailhead. I found out later that it was a rental vehicle. I hope they get the mud cleared off of the undercarriage before they have to return it.
The wash we walked through was full of nice red rock and lots of trees. Some of the fallen trees were very large.
As we were in a dry creek-bed for most of the hike there were lots of healthy looking cactus, bushes and trees everywhere.
It was a pretty decent morning considering how much rain we’d had to deal with the previous day. Since we arrived here in November we’ve probably seen more rain than we’ve had to deal with in all our previous 4 years here. Not that we’re complaining, as at least we’re not shovelling snow.
At the end of our trek along Whitworth we decided to extend the hike a bit and explore some slots in the landscape just a bit further on. They weren’t significantly long, but they were interesting none the less. Someone challenged us to wander down into the slots, so 3 of us did just that.
Whoever said the desert was brown and boring has certainly never been to this particular portion of Arizona. There are great pictures to be taken wherever you look.
Maybe it was because we spent too much time looking at all the pretty rocks.
We made it back to the park by 1:00 and managed to get our lunch eaten and a nap and a shower in before getting ourselves ready for an evening out. Along with about 20 other people from the park we attended the play ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ at the Hale Theatre in Gilbert. We’ve been to this venue a couple of times before and have always enjoyed the show. This time was no exception as we laughed our heads off for a couple of hours. If any of you in Gold Canyon get a chance to see this play you definitely should.
On Thursday we decided to pass up on the morning Pickleball play as we had a few projects on the go. First off I recharged our water softener so I could hopefully wash the truck without leaving it covered in white spots from the salts in the regular tap water here that almost need to be chipped off after they dry. We’ve really enjoyed having softer water, and for the first couple of weeks Sylvia’s most used statement was ‘I’ve got to stop using so much dish soap’ when she washed the dishes. The truck really needed to be washed after the mud bog driving the previous day but first I had to chip off a large amount of mud that was plastered inside the wheel wells. I almost filled a 2 gallon bucket with the stuff. The soft water worked OK, but unfortunately there is no such thing as a spot free rinse. The truck was still quite white when it dried, but it was pretty easy to wipe off these spots which is a bonus. While I did all this messy stuff, Sylvia spent the morning fighting with our budgeting and financial record keeping spreadsheets. I definitely think she had the harder job.
In the afternoon we had our weekly pickleball training session with John, and like usual we learned that we have a lot to learn. Once that was over we got cleaned up and headed out for another evening’s entertainment. This time our destination was Mesa Arts Centre to see a concert by Alex Boyé. He’s an English born singer of Nigerian descent who sings both original material and popular songs in an ‘Africanized’ way. Check out his videos on YouTube here. He’s an extremely energetic entertainer, and was on stage and running around the auditorium for over 2 hours. We really enjoyed this evening as well, but after 2 nights out, I think we’ll stay home for a few evenings.
To add to our activity agenda we have a pickleball tournament here in the park on Saturday, plus I was asked to play in a softball tournament this weekend. We had 2 games today and won both of them, although we made both games pretty interesting by making quite a few mistakes in the field. By the end of the two games we’d lost one player to injury and had another couple hobbling around with sore legs. It’s a good thing I consented to play with the team, as we now have a bare minimum number of players. I hope we can get the pickleball games finished in time for us to run into Mesa and attend the games we will play in the afternoon tomorrow. It should be another busy Saturday.