Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Couple More...

There are a couple more photos from our hike around the red rocks of Sedona that I really needed to post. . .

Nate and I show what we're made of from the top of the hill.

Water was scarce, and we didn't bring any on this hot, dry day. I barely made it to this fetid hole.

Not really. It was a nice day, and we even got some rain before we were through. We have plenty of cold water in our packs, and snacks. It was great fun, an I can't wait to go there again. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Arizona Trip, part III - Hiking Near Sedona

Nate and Kim took us up to Sedona to do a little hiking and site seeing. First we stopped at the ranger station, where Mom got cozy with Smokey.

We did a loop around several really cool red rock formations.

Starting out fresh

Beautiful scenery.

Nate and I made a quick trip up the big rock in the background. 

The view from the top. Very cute girls.

The back side of the rock with caves and holes.

Cathedral Rock formation.

This was a groups of rocks we walked past in the afternoon (after paying $20 for frozen yogurt : p) on our way to Oak Creek. The water was very nice, but we didn't have our swim suits so we stayed dry.

Sedona is an interesting place, with trendy shops and food places (that charge too much for yogurt - did I mention that?) But over all the trip was VERY fun. After getting home and cleaning up, we went to an Italian place and had the best garlic bread, meatballs, and pizza I've probably ever had. It was a great day.

Arizona Trip - part II

One of the great things we did was visit the butterfly museum in Phoenix. Henry, Molly, Lucy, and Grant had a great time chasing, looking at, and learning about butterflies.

The room where they keep the live butterflies is like a jungle and very wet, due to the misters. But the butterflies would land on people, and they were eating nectar out of the flowers and out of bowls of fruit that were placed around the room.  It was pretty fun for the grand kids - and us.

Arizona Trip - part I

On our way to Arizona to help with Olive's blessing, and to play around with our fun kids and grand kids there, we stopped at the George S. Patton Memorial Museum. It sits way out in the middle of desert along Hwy 10. I always thought Patton was an interesting character, and the museum is situated on the military training base he established there in 1942 to prepare GI's for war in the deserts of Africa. Melody's Dad was stationed on the 18,000 sq. mile base before leaving for Europe. She has letters of his written from there where he complains about the 100+ degree heat. (He didn't get much relief when he left - he went straight to fight in the Battle of the Bulge in sub-zero winter weather.)

Anyway, we spent an hour and a half there talking to the director and seeing the sites.

A cool jeep, almost as cool as mine.

An amphibious craft.

A Sherman tank from the beginning of the war.

A tank from the more recent wars.

 A couple of the tanks had a port hole cover removed and was able to get some pictures of the insides.

It was well worth the $5 entrance fee. I'd do it again.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bodega Dunes 2014

We were able to get away for a few days last week and camp over at our favorite spot north of Bodega Bay. The first day ended up having periods of heavy mist turning to light rain, especially in the evening. but the second and third days were very nice and quite warm. Mom likes the campsites closest to the bathrooms/showers (which were free that day) so we usually pick one of the sites like this one or those on either side. The great new EasyUp shelter gave us protection from both the rain and the sun.

The tent was big and comfortable, as were the sleeping arrangements. But then, I always sleep well when camping. And the Jeep (hey, how did that get in the picture?!?) was perfect for hauling all the stuff we took.

This photo was taken the second day, but actually, it was nice like this early on the first day as well. I got in two good days of boogie boarding, and could have made it on the third day, but didn't want to push it since we were packing up to leave. This view is from Bodega Head, which is out past the  Spud Point Crab Shack. The BEST clam chowder ANYWHERE! Bar none. We shared a pint of that and a fresh shrimp sandwich on a toasted roll. Manalive!

Warm water, warm weather, good food, good sleep, good traveling. What's not to love?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

State Fair 2014

We don't too many pictures (that we haven't already Instagramed), but we did have a real good time at the fair. I think it was a good day for Melody in spite of the heat - mostly because before we even started to the fair we stopped at Hobby Lobby. It was enough to keep her going throughout the day.

I always like seeing the artwork, especially the big mechanical jobs that some guy does. The one this year was very good. But I really liked this very cool sculpture of a rock splashing into a pond, only it's wood.
I was impressed.

As for food (the main reason for going to the fair), the day included a Jumbo Corn Dog, walnuts, three Hawaiian Shaved Ices (sour blue raspberry, sour green apple and root beer), we shared a very nice cinnamon roll, and later on a big bratwurst on  roll with onions and peppers. Mel had a HUGE turkey and avocado grinder, and before we left we wrapped things up with a chocolate dipped cone and a Very Berry Gelato. What a Day!

What I've Been Up To

This year's 4th Level Girls Hike was to the top of Castle Peak (9,100'). Castle Peak is just north of Boreal Ski Resort. It was a beautiful day, and a fairly difficult hike for the girls. In fact, only 3 actually made it to the very top. Rich and Peter and I went up with them. Here are a few scenes from the trip.

The view from a distance

Getting closer. We took the trail through the green just to the right of the ridge.

On the way up there was a cool pinnacle that needed holding up

Near the top. We ended up above the rocks.

The view from the top looking north, and the view looking south (Boreal in the distance).

As always, we ate really, really well while camping. Rich brought mini
cinnamon muffins and I brought bacon. Do you see where this is going?
(By the way, that's not what it looks like in Uncle Richie's mug, it's dark chocolate cocoa.)

Yes, that's a bacon-cinnamon muffin sandwich. Almost as good as a bacon crusted maple bar. Yum!