Posts Tagged ‘Sedona’

Hindsight….. again…..

March 3, 2017

skiing-with-noraLast week, I took the kids skiing in Flagstaff on Tuesday. It is a 90 minute drive from our house, which is surprising because we live in Phoenix, AZ. But when you drive up to 10,000 feet, even in Arizona, there is snow in the winter. A blustery storm had blown through the previous weekend and the mountain was p.e.r.f.e.c.t. for my three skiers. No, I didn’t ski. Being the planning maniac that I am, I brought a list of TO-DO items that I was going to have checked off while I sat in the cozy lodge sipping cocoa. Much to my dismay, there was no phone service NOR internet connectivity at the lodge. What century are we in? And I brought NOTHING else to do. My to-do-list-checking-self had a hard time for eight long hours, as you can imagine.

At one point, I folded my arms on the table, in the middle of the noisy ski chalet between the cafe and the bar, put my head on one of my children’s discarded sweatshirts and took an hour-long nap. Nap. Check!

Wednesday, I drove north again. This time to Sedona, land of the red rocks, where my husband was on a three-day work retreat and wives were invited. Unfortunately, the first day was Tuesday… ski day. Rick and I enjoyed a flavorful Mexican meal at our favorite stop Javalina Cantina. Unfortunately, my mind was still frozen from the previous day and I thoroughly squandered salsa loaded with cilantro. Cilantro is my newly discovered #2 highly allergic food. DUH. That night didn’t end comfortably.

Thursday, for the first time in my life, I visited Jerome, Arizona. Rumor has it, people drive for forever to go there. Seven of my homeschool-mom-peeps and I were spending Thursday through Sunday at a cabin in the woods in Prescott… just to get away from it all. It was sublime. Anyway, there is a “highway” from Sedona to Prescott that goes through Jerome, a very sleepy little mining town that is truly built on the side of a mountain. I’m convinced that a map of the town would look like a Chutes-N-Ladders game. Currently it is an artsy tourist metropolis with next-to-no parking. Public restroom are in the fire hall… FYI.

The “highway” reminded me of the Road to Hana in Maui…. however, palm trees were replaced with pine trees, the drop off the cliff into the ocean was replaced with sheer rock cliffs to solid rock cavern, and the one-lane bridges were replaced with very narrow jaunts through the town. I can add this adventure and then check it off my bucket list. Jerome. Check!

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Sunday 1:00 in the afternoon… pending doom hit. I got chills that were multiplying. My body’s ability to regulate temperature was losing control. I climbed under the power that the electric blanket was supplying. It was electrifying. But I never shaped up. I needed a friend to drive my van home with me in it. After days of coughing, chills, fever, sweating and “sleeping” in my green birthday chair (instead of flat on my back in my bed) I succumbed to a doctor’s visit. Prognosis: Flu and Bronchitis. She inquired if a note was necessary for work to excuse me for several days so I could rest. I declined.

Then it started. ON THE WAY HOME FROM THE DOCTOR! I hadn’t even made it to the pharmacy to pick up my meds and my very first inhaler. “Can you swing by Costco and pick up a battery for the van?” “Mom, what’s for dinner?” “Can you cut my hair?” “We’re going to the park tomorrow, right?” “There’s a birthday party on Saturday.” “Can you please change a few things on my business receipt original copy?” “Are you washing laundry?” “I got Bon Jovi tickets for Saturday night!” “There’s no milk.” Oh my stars.

Never should I have declined the note qualifying my need for rest. What in the blazes was I thinking? I could have taped it on my bedroom door…. or my forehead. (I even declined the opportunity to see John in concert…. THAT’S how much rest I need!)

Rest well, my faithful readers. And use hand sanitizer. You don’t want what I got! Trust me!

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“There is no Camping in Colombia!”

May 27, 2011

Words from my daughter’s mouth upon learning what camping is all about.  Yes, we are breaking her into the American way of life slow and easy…. camping for only three days… only two hours from home. 

The boys set up the tents in the backyard to make sure all the poles and flies were accounted for.  Nora was very impressed with the tents… until she started asking questions about them.  “Where is la house you set them up?”  Well, we set them up outside.  Eyes huge…”On la grass?”  Yes.  “What about monstruos?” (monsters)  I explain that there is no such thing as a monster. “Austin ask me there is monstruos.” (She uses “ask” for tell, say, ask, speak.)  I glare at Austin for terrifying his little sister.  I might have to scare the living daylights out of him on this trip.

Nora was not too sure about this whole adventure, so she followed me to the garage when I went to gather camping gear.  I pulled out the cooking apparatus and she was glad we would eat like civilized people on dishes with utensils.  When she saw the sleeping bags she asked, “Where is la bed for la bag?” Well, the bag IS your bed. “WHAT? You lay on la ground?” Yes, (well, mommy has an air mattress, but YOU lie on the ground.)

Then I pulled out the bag of muddy, sandy and dirty water shoes.  Our entire family, minus Nora, have a similar shoe size within 2 sizes, so our water shoes are first come-first serve.  I mentioned that we need to buy some water shoes for Nora.  Of course this brought on more questions.  “Why no wear my pink shoes?” (flip flops) Because they fall off and float down the river.  “Why shoes water not float down river?” They stay on your feet and protect your feet.  “From fish that bite, yes?”  No.  There are no fish that bite (at least I don’t think there are….) 

We got in the car to go out and Nora was ALL over getting water shoes…. “Now we go Walmart for Nora’s shoes water?”  No, we will get them tomorrow.  “Tomorrow is far away?”  No.  One more sleep.  “I want go to bed ocho not seven.”  (This is an ongoing statement as she thinks she should get to stay up until eight.)  Sigh.

We leave on Monday for Beaver Creek Campground…. I’m sure I’ll have some tales to tell come Wednesday night!  Hopefully they won’t include me not sleeping a wink because the little girl in my tent is eternally waiting up for monstruos!  AUSTIN!

Extreme Camp Host… Chuck

May 25, 2010

Yesterday I blogged about the glorious side of our camping experience in Northern Arizona…. well, I purposely left out the Chuck information because I knew his story would require an entire blog entry.  I’m kicking myself that we did not think to gather photo evidence of Chuck’s shenanigans for this unbiased report.

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How many campers can you count??

Chuck’s Info: Married; in the vicinity of 70 years old; Army-shaved-regulation hair cut; blue eyes behind wire-rimmed glasses; no smile; stern; fit; slight build; wears various National Camping Association issued tan shirts, shorts and hats which he changes intermittently throughout the day; Camp Host at Wet Beaver Creek; lives in a motor home; watches Who Wants to Be a Millionaire every day; drives a white golf cart counter-clockwise around the campground with various cleaning supplies standing neatly in the back; keeps an impeccably clean campground; is DILIGENT at enforcing the rules of the National Camping Association….. Extremely Diligent!

We were not in the 13-site campground more than three minutes when we encountered Chuck and already had one infraction against us.  We talked to another camper.  That is not acceptable, as we found out.  (???)  We did arrive under unusual circumstances…. one wife, one husband, both married to other people who would be arriving later, two boys and a 35-year-old male friend….. with a truck and trailer full of enough camping paraphernalia to survive at least 27 days without human contact.  We were in the midst of choosing two campsites when Chuck descended on us… seems we inadvertently drove past his site without stopping to introduce ourselves.  We mentioned, mistakenly, that the kind camper lady across the road had informed us that she was leaving by 4:00 and we could have her adjacent campsite.  Heaven forbid!  That was a BIG no-no.  No talking to other campers!  Might cause a revolt????

We were then told that we could not occupy two sites without two vehicles…. what? Then the story changed…. was he trying to intimidate us??? Chuck informed us that we needed to indeed have all of our camping gear for both sites in our possession in order to claim and pay for two sites.  We explained that we did… minus the second vehicle.  (See the HUGE trailer FULL of camping gear?)  We were then read rule number 353.7 from the Nat’l Camping Association handbook page 27 that there were only to be eight people maximum at each campsite and there were no exceptions.  We kindly explained that we would have five unique individuals at campsite #11 and seven unique individuals at campsite #10.  He assumed we were trying to pull one over on him.  We look so devious!  Good grief!  How did he treat hippy looking, pot-smoking, tattooed, keg toting, loud music blaring reprobates?

Throughout our three days under Chuck’s care, we observed that we could set our clocks by his daily habits… 5 am bathroom hose-down…7 am routine walking tour inspection…9 am routine riding in the golf cart inspection and refilling of toilet paper… (all of this leading up to the all important….) 1 pm MANDATORY check-out time for overnighters.  This was quickly followed by a walking inspection of each vacated site and the necessary raking and emptying of ash from the fire pit.  It was all so predictable, yet comical.  He routinely stopped and counted people in each site, reported high winds and no-fire warnings, and was fastidiously aware of every move made in Wet Beaver Creek… especially if non-paying day users accidentally wandered through the campground to access the creek.  Oh boy!  That was a no-no. (page 35 in the NCA handbook)

Each of us adults made it a point to make contact with Chuck for the purpose of gathering information for this report.  We conspired to have him divulge nazi involvement or at least a military career.  Nope, seems he owned gas stations, has a pace maker, wife had a heart attack two years ago but is OK now, lives in Mesa, has been camp hosting for seven years all over the nation, was retired for ten years before camp hosting and is at Wet Beaver Creek for three more months. If you go, you can’t miss him…. or more like it, he won’t miss seeing you!

We decided that wherever Chuck is hosting we will stay.  It will be a clean and orderly campground, albeit the feeling of Big Brother did permeate the camp.

Fall is Here – Part 1

October 30, 2009

Apple Harvest

Sign of Fall: The apples have been harvested.  Somewhere.  Not at our house, but I did reap the benefits of someone harvesting apples somewhere.  They were on sale at Fry’s for 99 cents a 3 lb. bag.  How can you resist that?  I don’t know either.  I got four bags.  And since I’ve been consumed with reading Amish stories lately I had visions of apple butter, dried apple leather and apple pie and the such.  Jah!  Late last night, I dug through the crock pot cookbook and found plenty of Amish-like apple recipes.   I chose Spicy Chunky Apple Sauce… and it simmered all night long.  I looked forward to waking up just to smell the spicy goodness.  A big glop was added to my morning oatmeal (as well as a spoonful of flax seeds left over from Terry’s waffles) and it was scrumptious.  Made me feel domestic too.

I wish I had the little gizmo I’ve seen on tv that swiftly and effortlessly turns dough and apples into baked little half-moon pies.  Or am I thinking of he PB&J sandwich maker?  Anyway,  some dough is needed or crumble crust for the next step in this apple extravaganza going on here currently.

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One Fall we took the kids up to Sedona and Slide Rock State Park.  Where the park is today used to be an apple orchard complete with a huge old barn were they processed the apples.  I remember the kids being surprised that they could just pick apples from the trees and eat them… bypassing the migrant workers, packers, truck drivers, food handlers, grocers and Mom.  It was comical. 

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Anyway, enjoy the bounty of the gardens and orchards this Fall!

THE Hike

March 18, 2009

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Yesterday we hiked West Fork Trail 108 in Sedona.  It is past Slide Rock, for those who know the area.  It is a four mile hike that crosses Oak Creek seven times…. on rocks, logs, mud patches and twigs.  Twigs were my personal favorite. Well, it’s actually 14 crossings if you count in and out.  Only one kid fell in from our group.  We did witness another kid fall in twice.  It’s not deep, just FRIGID!

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It was an absolutely beautiful day!  Sunny and breezy.  Perfect for hiking.

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There was an abandoned homestead on the way to the creek and this was their chicken coop.  Keeve thought it was a barber shop.  Not sure what’s up with that?  Oh, Larisa took all of these pictures.  I carried the sandwiches.

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The beauty God mixed together in this valley is sublime.  Red rock, green trees, blue sky, white snow…. yes, you read that correctly… SNOW.

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My niece, Whitney, came with us too.  We went with two other families, the Fooks and the Browns.  All together there were 3 moms and 11 kids ranging in age from 6 to 19?  Not sure about that last one.

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What a groovy day.  :o)