"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Friday, February 22, 2019

Snow on the Superstitions & Another Surprise!!

Apache Junction, AZ
Lost Dutchman State Park

What a difference a couple of days make.  The first half of our week here was cool, but sunny.  A few days later the temps dipped, the wind picked up and the snow started to fall.

 And fall.
 And fall.
 The clouds completely covered the mountains and it continued to snow through the next day.
  What to do when the weather turns bad?  Gather up our nearby RV friends for dinner!
Curt & Glenda and Guy & Sue had been in Gold Canyon already and Dale and Ruth had arrived just a couple of days before we headed out, so we all decided to go out for pizza.  Well, with the cold weather, everyone else had that idea too.  Rosita's was packed so Curt suggested we go to Los Gringos Locos.  Since it was National Margarita Day we thought that was a perfect choice. We all had a great time.  We were having so much we were asked to keep it down.  Nice to see you all before we head out.
The weather was nice on our last day, Sunday, so Steve was able to make it out for a hike.  Curt chose Massacre Falls Trail off First Water area.  Many trails go off in different directions from here.
Again, since it was a sunny day after a lot of very low snow, everyone and their uncle was out hiking or just coming out to take pictures of the snow.  It was magnificent!  Above is the Four Peaks Range covered in white. 
Our plan was to hike back to the Massacre Falls that were actually running with all the recent rain and snow.
 Glenda, Curt, Moi and Steve
This is the view around the corner from Lost Dutchman with what we dubbed, Little Weaver's Peak in the foreground.
 It was just incredibly green out here.  There was so much grass that it looked like it needed mowing.
 Thatsa bigga meata balla!

After 5 miles we still had a mile or so to go and it was getting late and we were getting hungry, so we headed back.
 Loved these pillars at the top of the ridge.

 One more view of The Four Peaks in the distance.
 Put 'em up or I'll blow your head off!  Oops, too late.

 Anyone drop a pacifier?
 It was a great 5+ mile hike and we decided to head out for dinner, then came back to our place to play cards.  Great time with you Curt and Glenda.  We'll see you later in the year we hope!
Our oldest son, Ryan, and his FiancĂ©, Diana, were in Phoenix for a couple of days for a wedding and it just happened to be while we were in Apache Junction so we drove up to Surprise to join them and Steve's Step-Mom for lunch before they had to fly out.  They will be getting married in August of this year.  Our first wedding!
Ryan, Steve, Bunny, Diana and Me. 
 Poppies, Poppies everywhere!
 It was a nice to see them again.  On our drive back to Apache Junction it was very strange to come upon this interchange to I-10 and not have another car in site.
And one more surprise...
 Our third son, Brennan asked his girlfriend, Alex to marry him while they were down in the Philippines visiting her family.
 She said YES!  They are planning to get married in 2020.  That's 2 out of 4 kids so far :-)
 Congratulations Brennan and Alex!!
We are very excited!
 We hate to say goodbye to the Superstitions.  It went way too fast.


Monday, February 18, 2019

The Magical Superstition Mountains, AZ

Apache Junction, AZ
Lost Dutchman State Park

We could only get a week here at Lost Dutchman this year.  We always look forward to coming here.  As you drive towards them, you can't help be touched by the magic and beauty of these mountains.  This place is always on our Top 10 List of favorite campgrounds.  We had high hopes of being here for part of the peak bloom.  Turns out it was not to be.  Half of the week was decent weather, the other half there was crazy wind, rain and very low snow!
We had site #126 in the no hookup section.  It turned out to be a nice spot.

 It sure was green all around!
 As the sun goes down the mountains are washed with a stunning red from the sunset.
 We love it when were here with a full moon.  It's gorgeous to watch it rise.
Since Steve was busy working I took up Curt and Glenda on their invitation to hike the Butcher Jones Trail along Saguaro Lake/Salt River.
 It started out quite cool but when the clouds would clear it would really warm up.
 The trailhead to our 5 mile hike.
Glenda was sporting a trendy pair of cactus leggings.  As a matter of fact, she received quite a few compliments from fellow hikers!  Always lookin' good Glenda!

 The reflections off the water was really pretty I the calm coves.
 You could see some hikers up towards the top of the hill.
 Glenda wearing her Cuddle Duds and posing with her Cuddle Stud!  (ha, ha, inside joke, long story)

 Some Cholla getting ready to bloom.

 It was a great hike and I appreciated them taking me along.  I needed a good hike.
Later that evening Steve and I met up at the Hub Grill and Bar to have dinner together.  It was a fun time catching up again. 
A couple days later it was sunny again after a cold windy day and once again I spent the day with Curt and Glenda.  We took another hike, this time around the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert. There are great trails that criss-cross through the preserve where you can see many types of waterfowl and bunnies.  They even have a few tent camping areas and picnic facilities.
Just outside the preserve you can visit Carl's Damaged Pet Warehouse.  Carl is a very nice gentleman that takes in unwanted "pets".  You can stop by and even feed some of the animals with food he leaves out for you.
 "Feed Me!"
There are potbellied pigs, chickens, goats and miniature cattle.  Some of the goats were Nigerian Dwarf like we used to raise on our ranch.

 Really a cute place to bring young kids.
 There were bunnies and ducks all over.

The Bacon Olive Oil was interesting.
Curt and Glenda also took me to the Queen Creek Olive Mill which I've always wanted to go to.  It's a family run business.  They grow several varieties of olives and crush them on premise.  They have a few flavored oils and three extra virgin.  They actually blend most of their oils with olives/oil from California and Chile.  Most were so-so.  Their estate olive oil was fantastic though!  I wish I was able to find out more about their oils, but they were quite busy and the one person I was able to ask didn't know much about them.  They also sell balsamic but I didn't care for them at all.  No where near the age they should be. They also sell other wonderful products and gelato that Curt and Glenda just love!  I'd like to go back and take a tour of the facility next time.