Saturday, March 26, 2022

Since then

 Time is passing, we're enjoying our home and exploring the surrounding area.   Some places are familiar to us, we like returning to "old friends" and some places are new to us.

One day we had lunch at Gordita's Food Truck in Aguila, bought a big bag of unbelievably sweet oranges from the vendor across the street (and a smaller bag of her cinnamon cookies) and then went exploring.    We had MonaLiza and Steve with us and had a loose agenda.     They hadn't seen the old House Rock site in the desert near Congress, so that was our first stop.  

I didn't take any pictures of it this time, you've seen it before.     After we poked around in the rocks  awhile we piled back into the Jeep and for our next stop.

We took rt. 89 up into the Weaver Mountains, past the Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial and into Yarnell, looking for the Shrine of St. Joseph of the Mountains.     We found it a couple miles off the highway, built into the huge granite boulders.    It is a quiet, peaceful, natural site built around 1939 featuring ascending stations of the cross accompanied by silent white statues at various points as you climb through the boulders.   It is a non-denominational site, kept alive by donations only.     Miraculously, it escaped the terrible 2013 Yarnell Hill fire which claimed the lives of 19 young firefighters.

We went from the sublime to the ridiculous at our last stop.   We were hungry, as often happens with the four of us and Steve heard of a pizza joint in funky little Yarnell.    After finding the door (it faces the back, not the street) and going in to inquire about seating, we quickly stepped back outside and found a sunny spot on their deck.  It was quite chilly and and we were all happy to find seats in the sunshine but the "waitress" (the bartender with a side arm clearly displayed at her waist) quickly informed  us that the sun would go behind the large tree next to us within a few minutes and we would freeze.    Hmmmm.   Freeze outside or sit inside the tiny bar area next to a very drunk one-eyed patron.....hmmmm.

Decision made, we each ordered a beer while we waited for the sun to disappear and our take-out  pizzas to arrive.   Dinner that night was served in the Lowes dining room.....

Another day (much warmer this time) we did a little new and a little familiar to us.   We went to lunch at Scorpion Bay Marina (in Lake Pleasant State Park) and then drove home "the back way", past Castle Hot Springs Resort.      We had all stayed at Lake Pleasant SP campground in the past, but this was the first time any of us had been to the restaurant and marina.   It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day - perfect to dine beside the water.     Since we had not made reservations, we had a short wait for a table outside but we strolled around the boats and talked about renting one in the future.

Dave and I rode the little funicular down to the main docks and the restaurant.   It was a slow but unique ride.

plenty of space between tables


The food was surprisingly good and the portions were HUGE.   We laughed at the amount of food on the table when our order came.    Then, MonaLiza caught the waitress and ordered an apple chimi for the table for desert!  

Did we eat it?   Yes we did.   All that was left were a few puffs of whipped cream.   Burp  

The rough ride home was a long one.   We had the road to ourselves, except for the burros peering through the bushes at us at various spots along the way.

Again, no pictures.   You've seen this ride before.

On St. Patrick's Day Steve provided his own version of green beer and then we enjoyed Corned Beef and Cabbage topped off by a messy but good Whiskey Cake.   

The Alchemist

we carefully conceiled our green tongues....

In between all this socializing and eating and laughing, some things did get accomplished around here.  We ordered and picked up a rug for the livingroom.   Wall to wall installation would be problematic due to the tile floor so we measured the area we wanted to cover and had a piece bound to fit.   Perfect.

Our little neighbor boys (the twins, Pearce and Jones) have been delivering eggs to us regularly.   They have prolific chickens.     The eggs are beautiful and oh so tasty Dave says.   While I appreciate their beauty, I'm not really an egg person.  

Word has it that Dave will be able to enjoy Deviled Eggs on Monday,  made from a dozen of these beauties acquired by friends last night....Mmmmm

A few weeks ago, Moon Valley Nursery arrived with our beautiful little Pygmy Date Palm and planted it in front of my dining room window.  It is just what I wanted, but the poor guys had to use a jack hammer to dig the hole for it.    Have I mentioned that we're sitting on an rock outcropping?   Well, we are.

Ta Da!

If it survives the summer we'll get another one when we get home in the fall.   Finger's crossed.

Last Tuesday we decided to make the trip back to Aguila (for more of those oranges) and then take a detour out to Alamo Lake, about 60 miles away.    Lewis was feeling particularly perky that day so we loaded him up, packed a lunch for us all (yes, he likes to picnic with us) and set off.    Oranges and cookies purchased (we thought) we set off into the desert looking for a waterside lunch spot.    It was a long but really nice drive to the Lake.

Burro parking space?

After lunch I gave the driver his choice....return home the way we came or cut across the desert on - you guessed it - a more direct but dirt road.     He chose dirt so off we went.

While the road was in  LaPaz County it was wide and nicely graded complete with street signs!   We could travel along at normal speeds.     As soon as we entered Yavapai County, however,  it turned into a narrow, sandy track for the rest of the way home.    We all enjoyed the scenery and made numerous stops for exploration.    Another nice day on the books.

hmmm, what's this?

you hold it, I'll chew it

just look at the size of this guy!

Last night we entertained.    Joodie and Mark were in town.  We were looking forward to their last visit as they made their way north to their new home.    Steve and MonaLiza brought them over and we all sat outside for happy hour and then dinner.    We talked and laughed and watched birds and ate.    Did you know that Smoked Prime Rib tastes especially good by candlelight?     It made me forget to take a single picture.    We all had our phones out, trying to identify a bug that was sashaying around the table, peering into our glasses of wine, but evidently didn't use them for taking photos.   Ah well.    We think it may have been a cactus fly but our three phones couldn't agree exactly.  

Lest you think all we do is eat, I've included this picture of what is happening at this very minute, as I sit here speaking to you.   He's not always working, sometimes Lewis convinces him to sit still.....

zzzzzz x 2


Sunday, March 6, 2022

Busy week

 It seems like we just moved into the house and now I'm finalizing reservataions for our spring/summer trip west and north  Dave has pretty much finished getting Beluga ready for the trip.    He's washed and waxed her, changed all necessary oil and filters, and installed all new batteries.  

Last Tuesday we picked up the Lowes and took a little road trip to the Robson Mining World near Aguila.

I thought it was an actual abandoned mining town but, while enjoyable, turned out to be more of a re creation.    A few of the buildings were original, some had burned down and the rest were recreations of buildings of that era that served to hold the original owner's collection of "stuff", old stuff, in a loosely organized manner.

It was a long way off the paved road, set amidst the mountains.

The current caretaker took our money and led us on a general tour of the place.   It was a lovely warm day and we enjoyed poking around and checking out the vast rock/boulder collections.   Nothing was labeled, the caretaker knew what some things were, and we guessed at the use of some other things......

antique metal dairy calf weaner (complete with two pronged spikes) - ouch....

the Opera House.....

Afterward, we drove into "downtown" Aguila for lunch - at a food truck - in a defunct gas station parking lot.     It was beyond good.

We had delicious al pastor gorditas and a really really good pineapple/mango drink.    After lunch we walked across the street to the tiny vegetable farmer's market/swap meet and bought oranges and some good Mexican cinnamon cookies whose name I can't remember.   Gotta have desert, right?    No pictures of them, they disappeared too fast.

We joined Steve and MonaLiza for dinner at Nichols West later that evening.   Their good friends were flying in from the Bay area (California) and Steve wanted us to meet them.    We had a great dinner (blue cheese crusted Filet Mignon for me and Bouillabaise for Dave) with really nice company.  We all hit it off, as Steve knew we would and before dinner was over Rod invited Dave and Steve to go flying with him the next morning!     Dave's grin started that night and stayed plastered to his face for days afterward!  

Bright and early Wednesday morning Dave met the boys at Wickenburg airport and got to ride right seat beside Rod in his fabulous Cessna 400.   Steve kindly sat in the back seat and took aerial photos of his house as they flew over.    It has been some years since Dave had the opportunity to fly a plane, and he was beyond thrilled when Rod turned to him and said "your plane"......

a real beauty

three happy amigos!

I "watched" the flight on the Flightradar app on my phone!   Fun!

Dave got home in time to help me get lunch ready for our visitors.   His cousin, Kathi, and her husband Jeff came for lunch and to see the house.   They live in Fountain Hills, about 75 miles from here.   Dave and Kathi practically grew up together at Silver Lake when they were young, but haven't seen much of each other in adulthood.    We talked and ate and enjoyed the company until early afternoon.   No pictures!   I'm just not good at photographing people I guess.  

Thursday morning we drove into Sun City to see the Optometrist for my recheck appointment.      I forgot to tell you that I developed shingles a couple of  weeks ago!    The small outbreak was on my face, near the corner of my eye so that is why an Optometrist was involved.    Yes, I had both Shringrix shots in 2019 and I suppose that is why I had a light case with no pain.   I caught it fast, I'm familiar with the look of cold sores and when I saw something like that developing on my face I got to the Wickenburg clinic right away.      The lesions did not spread and they have dried up and seem to be gone, so keep your finger's crossed!    

It's been a busy but fun week....