Monday, March 7, 2011

Last of the Trip

This post is primarily to share a few fotos and videos. It is the second half of our trip to AZ... along with some comments. I only have one more week of Paternity Leave, so Grandma M and Grandpa B, get ready!

In the town of Cave Creek at El Encanto Restaurant. We visited Cave Creek and Carefree one day to eat and walk around a bit. Carefree is the town where stars like Bob Hope and Orson Wells used to go to escape from it all.

E, checking out the turtles in the restaurant.

E and K waiting for our lunch. The table was right against this window over looking the pond and animals.

E, in her Cow Girl outfit, checking out the ducks.

B, E, and K on a hike the next day- after slacking on our day to Care Free.

Just chatting away while hiking with Mom and Dad.

E and K taking a dip after hike and nap.

E and B swimming about in the huge pool at the resort. Water temp, 85 degrees, air temp, 65 degree. It was nice to have the large pool to ourselves, very different that the pools in Steamboat which always seem to be busy.

One of E's favorites before bed. I guess that the walls were thin because K could hear me in the other room using the spectacular voices I've created to really bring this book alive. Thanks Grandpa J and Grandma H for getting it for her at Christmas time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Early Trip

The weather was really nice. Not as warm as we'd have liked, but sunny most of the time. The fact that there was no snow anywhere in sight, we could hike in shorts, and there were cacti and reptiles all over made for a real gettaway trip. It was also good to bring E to the pool several times. Temperature was consistently 65 degrees and slightly breezy. Made getting out of the pool (85 degrees) slightly unpleasant, but we made the best of it (seemed to bother us much more than E).

We went for 4 hikes while on the trip. They were all a short trip from where we were staying. It was so great to just get outside and move around a bit in an environment that is so different from ours. I have a love/hate relationship with the desert. I love the harshness and ruggedness of it and reading or remembering stories I have heard of experienced of the desert landscape, but I also hate the savageness of it (kind of also love it). I think part of the reason why I hate it is because it is an environment that I am intimidated by. In modern times, I could find days of comfort there, but could never live/survive there like so many others have done. It is a scary thought.

My first real experience in the desert was a San Juan River trip I took 11 years ago. This trip, the people on it, and the 3 books (Everett Ruess- A Vagabond For Beauty, Monkey Wrench Gang, and Desert Solitare) given to me by a couple of good friends who are passionate about the desert, brought back so many good memories. Since then, I also chaperoned a trip to Crow Canyon and Mesa Verde a few years back. Two other places that are just unimaginable to me. The Cliff dwellings of the Ancient Pueblans are truly remarkable, let alone the fact that these peoples were able to live and thrive in this environment is mind boggling. I really hope that E decides to and is accepted to go on the school trip to Crow Canyon- I also would love my Parents and Sister to go too (actually, anyone who reads this would be better off having gone and done and seen these things).

Back to 2011 now and another reason I hate the desert- the fact that so many people make homes in it and have no business being there- it is against all logic that so many people live in an area (greater Phoenix) that can't provide for them. I know, I am a part of this picture going there for a vacation, but it makes me mad that the savageness has been removed- temporarily. On every hike, I was thinking about all of the subdivisions and how I bet when E is our age, all of them will be abandoned, broken down, modern day ghost towns because they don't belong there.

I like to imagine these areas as they were back when the handful of rough, tough caballeros and ancient peoples moved freely because they understood and could withstand their surroundings... I know, I am not man enough to survive it, but I am aware that some were.

Now back to our trip. Here are some fotos of things we enjoyed while we were there.

E, ready to go out and hit the trail.

Two serious women, taking to the trail.

Classic pose while trying not to sleep.

After waking from her nap, someone no longer liked the confinement, so she got to ride in her Dad's arms.

Next days hike, E in Sherpani.

Trip across the street to the resort's horse stables.

Don't feed the horses any hay, so, we gave them a lolly-pop.

After being on this trip, we've realized how happy we are that we live where we do. After having to drive everywhere to do or get anything, it is nice to go home to a place where we can walk to hiking, skiing, biking (I know that one doesn't actually walk to biking, but we can bike to biking without getting in a car), food, river, bar, library, schools, etc.

Car Ride to AZ

Just got finished with the week of Blues Break. We decided to take advantage of the timeshare that my parents got a LONG time ago and haven't yet used. Traveled to Peoria, AZ for 5 nights away from the 4.5 feet of snow in our backyard. We booked this trip for just K, E, and I, but also booked a trip in April with my P's to where they actually bought the timeshare in MO. We are hoping that when my Parents see how easy it is to book places, they decide to keep the t.s. because it has a lot of perks, and I think K can be their booking agent if they are scared.

We were a bit nervous about the drive (5.5 hours to Moab, UT) and then another 9ish to Peoria because E has never been in a car for that long- but she was a champ. She kept herself busy most of the time, cried for about 10 minutes before falling asleep for each nap, and then woke up and was ready to play again. K, also, did a great job managing her and deserves half the credit. I realized while driving that there are a lot of things I'd like to see and do with E in the nearish future- Explore Moab area, go to Arches and Canyon Lands, and maybe SkyDive.

Happy girl hanging in the car next to Mom.

K and E doing their best impression of Steve. I am amazed that I was able to snap this foto and capture both my girls. Good thing the roads in Utah are empty and have many straight stretches.

Roadside diaper change for E and pee break for Mom and Dad.

E playing with K while speeding down the road.