First of all we hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful Christmas. We sure did. We were invited for a Traditional Turkey Dinner at Jim and Cheryl’s this year. Actually we’ve been invited for a couple of years, but never had the chance to get there due to other obligations but we were treated to a wonderful dinner where we had a chance to spend time with new and old friends. It was a great evening.
Some of you might not be aware that a Turkey Dinner for Christmas is not exactly a tradition here in the Excited States. More often than not the meal of choice is a Prime Rib dinner and Turkeys are hard to come by at Christmas time. Cheryl purchased her 22lb bird in November as they’re more plentiful for Thanksgiving and stuffed it in her little freezer until she could pull it out for Christmas.
We have spent the rest of the Season watching movies and specials that we’ve recorded to help us get in the mood for Christmas. We still have quite a few to catch up on. Oh, and we’ve spent a fair bit of time eating our way through the special goodies that Sylvia baked for us.
Christmas Day here was warm and sunny, but we seemed to spend most of it sitting in our Kitchen glued to a screen as we Skyped or Face-Timed with various members of our family right up until we got ready to head out for dinner. Everyone seems to have survived the Holiday, and our Grandkids seem to have made out like Bandits in the Presents department. There are lots of Video Games to be played, and Lego structures to be built in the next few months, or at least until they’re bored with them all.
We’ve also managed to get out on a couple of hikes with the club. Last week 27 of us took off for the White Canyon Wilderness, about an hour’s drive from our park. This is a hike down a narrow cut in the hillside that would have lots of water running through it in the Monsoon season, but was very dry this time of year. We’ve been here before but while I remember the rocks and boulders being very smooth before, they were full of sand and gravel this year as the flood waters do something a little different every year. We even had to park in a different location, as the regular parking area was full of debris this year.
Lots of shade to start the hike, but like usual, the skies were Brilliant.
There was lots of colour in the cut, and several of our fellow hikers took far better pictures of it than I did.
Many of us were trying to figure out which cartoon Bear from our Childhood this particular rock reminded us of. It wasn’t Yogi or Barney.
You can see all the gravel around Sylvia’s feet. The whole route was full of this, which made it a bit difficult to walk on in places.
And here’s the heroes in our group trying to keep the mountain from falling down.
I’d like to see them try and stop this one from falling when it decides it’s time.
After the hike, Debbie and Dana took us on an excursion to see The Boulders which are in the middle of a flat plain near Florence AZ. We’ve been there before and enjoy wandering around and climbing the rocks, but it’s a bit disheartening to see how much graffiti and garbage was spread over what should be a pristine formation. Part of the reason for this is that the county recently paved the road all the way up to the Boulders and it’s much more accessible to those who don’t particularly care about the environment.
Today there were 38 of us wandering in the desert on a new trail for the club. It is called the Maricopa Trail, and isn’t far from our home. It’s a pretty easy walk in the park compared to some of our hikes, as the trail is quite flat and smooth, but we had to share the track with a few horses (including some wild ones that I didn’t get a chance to see) and lots of Mountain Bikes.
The skies were pretty clear again today, and we had great views of the various mountains around us.
In the middle of the pictures above is Red Mountain. It’s quite noticeable from most areas around Mesa, but it lies on Native Land, and they do not allow any access to it as it is a sacred place.
There were lots of Dead Soldiers all along the trail
We think this poor fella was hit by lightning. The bottom was quite burnt, and there were huge arms laying around that had been blown off the trunk.
And right around the corner there were some healthy (and slightly odd looking) Saguaro to compare it with.
We think we’re finally ready to get back in our regular routine and play some pickleball as our shopping is just about done for the Park Model….for now at least.