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What have we been doing for 3 weeks?

We have been in Arizona for a full 3 weeks as of today, but haven’t taken part in a lot of our regular activities. Sylvia has been kayaking, and I have been drafted onto a Softball team, but we have not been hiking yet, and have only been out on the Pickleball courts a few times, as we just haven’t had time.

The reason our time has been at a premium is that we decided to do a kitchen renovation in our place. We got tired of having a refrigerator that opened directly into our bathroom. That, and the fact I had to take the doors off of the unit to move it out of it’s enclosure were definite minuses.

This is a look at our original layout. Since we built the addition, our living area is in the Arizona room, and our dining table is where the carpet is shown in this rendition. Our thought was that we could move the fridge from it’s spot facing the toilet to the push-out where the little table is shown and then put a cabinet in that location. Our friends, Dana and Debbie just happened to be renovating their own kitchen this summer, and just before we went back to Canada in the Spring, I made arrangements for them to deliver a 36 inch upper and lower cabinet delivered to our place in case we got serious about doing the renovation.

Within hours of arriving here I had pulled off the fridge doors, moved the brute and placed the lower and upper cabinet in place just to see how things looked.

With the cabinet in place and visions of new countertop, there was no going back.

We decided almost immediately that this was going to work for us, and dove in with both feet, which has cut into our playtime quite a bit. It has resulted in the local building supply stores being quite familiar with us though.

We soon had both cabinets permanently mounted and a temporary counter installed. I then started to remove the window behind the fridge and run an electrical line for the new fridge location. Someone in the resort wanted the window and the blind which worked out well for us. With all the windows we have in the front of our place, we really aren’t going to miss this one. The blind on it was always down anyway.

That sliding door had to be completely removed to move our appliances in and out a bit later in the project.
Now Sylvia needs some new outdoor Art for this wall.
When I textured and painted this wall, I finished the wall next to the archway above our sink as well.

The next project was to remove the 18 inch compact dishwasher and move the end of the cabinet a few inches to accept a regular sized 24 inch unit.

As the existing cabinets had so many extra trim parts and panels, I just had to remove a couple of useless panels and add a new end piece a couple of inches further out to make enough room. I really didn’t have to move the wall all that much considering the new unit is 6 inches wider than the old one. This meant the fridge could be closer to the cabinets than we thought leaving us more room for yet another cabinet on the other side, thanks to Deb and Dana’s extra pieces. That’s next week’s project.

This was part of the panels I removed to make room for the new dishwasher. Whoever built it really, really liked using a staple gun.

While we were changing out the Dishwasher we decided to replace the rest of the 13 year old appliances, and picked up an LG appliance package from a local store. These were delivered on Friday afternoon, and the Microwave was installed that afternoon, the Stove was working on Saturday afternoon and after a few more trips to the local hardware stores, the dishwasher and ice maker are now plumbed and operational, with all leaky connections retightened once (or twice).

Other than a couple of trim pieces and the new pantry cabinet, the kitchen is fully ready for use. Now we need to get a quote on getting the cabinets painted so everything matches, and another quote on new countertops to finish everything off.

In the meantime, I think we will start playing all the sports and activities we came down here to enjoy.

Until next time.

Ahhh.
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Dusting off the Blog

We are in Calgary visiting family, and Jocelyn suggested we get tickets to Pumpkins After Dark.

The following pics are ALL composed of carved Pumpkins and lighting to create artwork that I couldn’t have imagined possible.

We hope you like these. We sure did.

Getting Geared up to go Home

In another 10 days or so we will be departing our winter home and heading back to BC.

It has been a good year for us, and while we try and pack in all the rest of the activities and visiting we want to do this next week, we have a lot of fond memories to look back on from the 2021-22 season. The season was not as busy with certain or our regular activities as we didn’t do as much hiking as we normally have, but we have added kayaking into our list of activities and along with the regulars like Pickleball, Softball and general merriment we were very busy.

We didn’t manage to get any hiking in last week, as we were busy with an in-house Pickleball Tournament here in our resort, and Rod managed to walk away with a Gold Medal, all thanks to being connected to the best partner the organizers could find.

The format for the tournament was a blind draw of partners, and Bev was just a little buzz-saw on the courts and we dominated our group. We didn’t lose a game during the whole tournament, but as we were also helping organize and referee a lot of games we were pretty busy from 7:00AM to 6:15 PM for 3 days. Neither Sylvia or I did well in the Men’s and Ladies events we were entered in, but we are not going to blame our partners for that.

After the tournament and and without a day off we managed to get a group dinner on our deck, a play, a Kayak trip and a hike into our agenda for this week. We usually manage to see 4 or 5 plays every year while we are here, as the local Theatre Company in Gilbert puts on a great show. This week’s fare was a 2 person musical called Daddy Long Legs, and the voices of the 2 actors were terrific.

Thursday was Kayak day and we had a 5 mile paddle around Canyon Lake. The following link will take you to half of our adventure (guess who forgot to turn on the Activity Tracker before we started….) and some of the pictures.

Then on Friday we went looking for Desert Flowers now that Spring is here. The flowers were a bit sparse compared to previous years, but rather pretty nonetheless.

And that’s this past 2 weeks. Next week we have friends visiting for a couple of days, another hike and Kayak day planned and whatever merriment and season ending parties we can fit in to our schedule.

Bulldog Canyon

So, we are back on a trail today that we have done a few times, but with a bit of a twist. Today our group consisted of 5 hikers, and not the 30+ that we have had on this trek in the past.

At times, when our group has not been too big and noisy and scared them off, we have seen Wild Horses in Bulldog Canyon, but not today. It seems the Tonto Forest Service has installed a few fences to keep the horses out of this area, and closer to the Salt River. I do know that there have been a lot of sightings along the river, so it appears the fences are working.

After an 86 degree day yesterday, it cooled off considerably, and the high was 68 today, with some rain in the forecast. The rain was good enough to hold off until we drove back into our driveway this afternoon.

It got cloudier as the Afternoon approached.

The hike was just over 5 miles, with about 1300 feet of elevation gain in two long climbs to get to a couple of Saddles. It was very windy at the saddles, and we had to hold onto our hats.

The desert flowers are starting to bust open, although the predictions are that the display will be skimpier than usual due to dry conditions.

Fairy Duster
Pinstamen
Poppies!

And we saw lots of others, including many LYF, LWF, LPuF and LPiF varieties. (Little Yellow etc Flowers).

And that was the end of another great day on the trails.

Intrepid photographers looking for the best flower pics.

On the Water, Finally.

No hiking today, but we finally got out onto Canyon Lake using our Christmas presents to each other.

That’s Sylvia on the right, somehow leading the way.

It was a very warm day, and just made for kayaking. We put in a few miles, and I am sure we will feel it in the morning, but had a great time testing out our inflatable watercraft.

It was not very breezy, and we managed to explore a few inlets, saw a couple of Bald Eagles, and a handful of Big Horn Sheep. I was not willing to break out my new phone on the water, so no pics.

A great day!

And to the best of our knowledge there is no video evidence showing Rod stumbling out of his Kayak at the end of the day, falling in the water and triggering his self-inflating life jacket. Too bad, as it entertained all the folks sitting on the beach. At least we don’t have to wonder if the Lifejackets are going to work….

Fish Creek Hike

Highway 88 in Arizona is also called the Apache Trail. From just outside of Apache Junction it winds through the mountains and parallels (in a rather twisty and convoluted way) the Salt River as it runs from Roosevelt Lake to Phoenix.

In the past several years various sections of it have been subjected to fires and then floods during Monsoon season. This has caused severe deterioration of the roadway in the steep gravel section along Fish Creek, and in 2019 the road was closed due to a landslide. And as it was a rather primitive one lane road section to begin with, it may never be rebuilt.

That doesn’t stop us from walking the road and climbing the boulders to see the sights though.

A bit of snow on the higher ridges.
What little clouds there were didn’t last.
Pretty steep canyon with rather minimal guardrails. Unless you think a bit of sand piled up will help.
Cool in the morning, as we started at high elevation.
Fish Creek and the Trail below.
Road Maintenance is now nonexistent.
The Saguaro have far outlived the Ironwood tree.
The biggest lanslide.
There was a way around, but there is no plan to remove the rocks.
From the Bottom.

The trek was 6 miles long, and about 900 feet of elevation. It was downhill all the way in, and uphill all the way back. At the end of the day another stop in Tortilla Flat for Gelato topped off the day. That’s getting to be a habit…

That is a waterfall up there. Yes, you have to look close.