Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oops! I Forgot Something

I want to go back a few days & post some pictures that I forgot I took the day before we left Superstition Sun in Apache Junction. One of them I just love! I have waited forever to see a saguaro cactus in bloom. Everyone said they usually don't start blooming until the first of May. Well, I got to see one, right before we left. I was so excited.

Saguaro Cactus Beginning to Bloom:
Prickly Pear Cactus
Another thing that amazed me.....we went out for supper on Wed. evening with a couple, Benny & Tommie that we met from Georgia. Benny is having some back issues that he had to return to physical therapy for. They left to travel with other friends we made this past year, Dave & Dianne, also from Georgia. But unfortunately they didn't get to travel together very long. Benny, hope you are doing better!!! Anyway.........when we were on our way out/back from supper we were talking about cell phone towers. He asked if we hadn't noticed the ones that look like palm trees & I thought he was pulling my leg until he showed us one, two & more. I had to go back the next day down Broadway Ave. to take pictures!!! I don't want to hear Warren, PA say they are ugly ever again. Get with it Warren. Let's see some progress in our hometown!!!! A pine tree cell phone tower wouldn't stick out on top of that hill anymore than these palm tree cell towers do!!

Cell Tower Palm Trees:

This one really looks real!
Bill with his card playing buddies: Bill, Sam, Larry, ?, Francis, Max, Demsey, ? Bill's sleeping so I can't ask him the other guys names!
Now to bring you up to date.

Yesterday we took our train ride to the Grand Canyon from Williams, AZ. We had a good time. I was not feeling well all day (a terrific headache), but I made it. Part of it was sinus & I think the other part was high elevation. We had entertainment on the train both going to the canyon & on the return trip. On the way back we even got to see some wild mustangs. Our guide on our train car said you can tell they are wild because they are on the open range that belongs to the state that has no fenced in area. Part of it has fences where private individual ranchers lease the land from the state. Boy, if you want something from Walmart, you'd better make sure you take a list & don't forget anything. She also told us that they have been in a drought for the past 10 years. She is originally from Connecticut & now lives on the other side of one of the mountains that we could see from the train. She said they have 85 gals. of water delivered every 3 weeks costing them $75.00 for each delivery. They don't wash clothes every day or even every other day & they don't leave the water running when they brush their teeth!!! Water is like gold to these people!

The following are pictures from yesterday's trip:

The old steam engine
The diesel that pulls the train now
The singing cowboy
Young calves running from train
First view of Grand Canyon 2009
If you look real close you can see a train of mules coming back up the trail. They look like ants!
Another view of the canyon
2 Guys working on ledge. How would you like their job?????
Here comes the mules & some hikers
Fiddler entertainment on way home. She was a passenger who volunteer to help play the fiddle
These double tracks are original stage coach tracks. They are used today to keep the tracks visible by individuals going to ranches, etc.
These are the wild mustangs
Mustangs starting to run away
These are original telegraph poles used before phone lines were put in. We were told the reason they were so low to the ground is they had to be low enough for a cowboy to stand on a horses back to repair them!
Oh, Oh, the train is being robbed
Robber #1 - Give us your money, your gold or your valuables. I offered him a cookie with my dollar, but he said he was on a diet!
2nd Robber
The Marshall
Today we left Williams around 9:15AM, went to Flagstaff, AZ to Flagstaff RV Service, Inc. Those people are so nice. Jason & Pat in the service department certainly put their customers first. No wonder they received the 2008 Excellence in Service award! We were having trouble with the motor that puts our front jacks up & down. Well, sure enough, we needed a new motor. So after getting the diagnostic work done we contacted our insurance (thank God we took out the extended warranty) & they paid all but $109.30 out of over $600. They had a motor there so we were on our way by 5PM. Now if we were at any other place, they would have had to order the part. We spent the day at the Flagstaff Mall & just waiting around.

I drove to Holbrook, AZ to the OK Campground. We got here around 6:30pm, then went to the store to get milk, Kleenex & ice cream. You know, the essential things! Now it's time to get myself to bed so we can enjoy our day tomorrow touring the Petrified Forest & the Painted Desert areas.

So, until next time....................The Traveling Cardinal's

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Traveling Cardinal's are Truly Traveling Again!

Okay, this is my first time using Windows Live Writer to do my blog off line & then publish it here. Some good features, some bad. In order to see the pictures a little better you can click on it to open it larger. Hope you enjoy.

Since I don't have Internet Access at the Campground at Grand Canyon Caverns (near Peach Springs, AZ), I'm going to write this as I go & then post it when we are out of the "Boonies". Really, it is a quiet campground. Especially after having 5 months of close neighbors! It was really windy when we pulled in here on Sat. afternoon. We left Camping World, Mesa, AZ around 7:30 AM on Saturday morning with our new tires on & water heater repaired. Yes, Camilla & Roger, we did need a new Anode Rod & they got it out without any problem. Of course, their prices was a lot higher than yours! But we really do appreciate your trying and all the other things you helped us with! Oh yes, Roger, we tried our bikes in the back of the truck & it didn't work! So Bill took his apart & put it in the back & I hung mine up on the ladder. Then while we were at Camping World, I bought a coaster bike that folds. It's in the back seat of the truck. When we get someplace for a longer period of time & unhook, we will try putting them both in the back of the truck. They are just too heavy to lift up on that ladder rack.

We got set up at the park & then I went up to pay. The lady at the motel down by the road told us to just pick out a spot & then go to the Curio Shop to pay. Well, after we got all set up (you know you don't put up & tear down a 40' 5th wheel within seconds!!!) & I went up to pay, only sites 1-20 had the water turned on! She forgot to tell me that! I really didn't want to come back & tell Bill we had to move. So, the guys at the park were really nice & run a really long hose so we could fill our fresh water tank enough for the night, take a shower, etc. Then on Sunday they were going to turn on the water to the rest of the park. Low night temperatures had made the delay in turning the rest of the park on. Also, not many in the park (maybe 4). A couple more came in yesterday.

Sunday Bill & I got up really early & started our trek to the Grand Canyon West Rim. We enjoyed our trip down old Historic Route 66 (that is the route we are staying on). It is a beautiful 2 lane highway ride. It is amazing what is left along the roadway! We read many Burma Shave signs (remember them??? Watch your answer, you'll give away your age!) We found several that were missing the last sign or two. You know what that means.......those antique collector's just couldn't leave the signs for the rest of the world to enjoy! Shame on them! Along the way we found some interesting old stores & buildings. Of course you could tell the age by the state they were in. We also saw many rusty (and some not so rusty!) old classic cars & trucks. Since the speed limit was 65, it was a little hard to take some pictures, so I stopped on the way back & took a couple. The sun was at the wrong angle then. We didn't have time to take many on the way as we had a 2-1/2 hr. drive to get to the bus that would take us to the West Rim.

Pictures Along Historic Route 66
43 Historic Route 66 Marker 04-26-09
Caught one of the Burma Shave signs
62 Burma Shave Sign 04-28-09

Newer gas station finished in 2008, bought diesel here
3 Rt 66 New Gas Station in Kingman, AZ 04-26-09

Outpost Saloon along Rt. 66
42 Took picture on way home 04-26-09

On the last leg of the trip we had to stop & check out the cattle that were along the road. There were many signs that said "Cattle Crossing", but on the way back home we saw lots of them along the shoulder of the road. Long horns too. I decided not to stop & get out & take pictures. I was driving so we fore-went the picture taking of the steers.

4 Watch for Cattle Crossings 04-26-09

See the baby calf laying to the left?

6 See the baby laying down in the grass 04-26-09

The Grand Canyon West Rim was nice. I don't know what I was expecting with the Sky Walk (glass cantilever horseshoe out over the canyon), but up close it didn't look as big as the pictures of it looked. We still didn't walk out on it. It cost another $29.95 plus tax & fees to walk out there. I don't like heights, so it was easy for me to say NO! I had enough trouble taking pictures. Because all of the West Rim is on the Hualapai Reservation (pronounced "wall-short I-pie"), there are NO railings anywhere along the edge of the canyon. Those kids running around scared the pants off me! I could never take my kids or grand kids to a place like that. I'd have a heart attack for sure! I couldn't even watch Bill get within 3 feet of the edge! My palms get sweaty just thinking & typing about it!!!! We took many pictures though. We ended our trip at the Hualapai Ranch & had a delicious baked chicken dinner. Were we ever full. Good thing we had a long ride back to the Park & Ride where the truck was, I slept most all of the way. Bill & I were the ONLY American's on the bus. We did good on the way up, since all of the group wasn't there, & they said we could ride the bus instead of a van, we got on & sat in the middle, but on the way back, we were the minority & sat in the next to the last seat, even though we were the first ones at the bus when the driver said to be there!

Pictures from the Grand Canyon West Rim:

Eagle Point (Can you see the shape of the eagle in flight?)

10 Eagle Point - rock shaped like flying eagle 04-26-09

To the left of Eagle Point

11 to the left of Eagle Point 04-26-09

First view of Skywalk

12 First view of Skywalk 04-26-09

One of Hualapai Tribe greeters

13 One of greeters of Hualapai Tribe - Look no railing 04-26-09

Sky Walk - I liked the pictures & it's the only close up I got - you might know I couldn't get the guy in the front out & I didn't like the saying on his shirt------so I superimposed the word "smile" on it!!!!

15 Sky Walk 04-26-09

View from Guano Point (Guano meaning Bat Droppings) & NO we didn't hike to the top. If you look part way down from the peak in the forefront, you will see what is left of a metal tram. This was used to take the bat droppings out of the caves below & they were used for fertilizer.

36 No we didn't hike up there 04-26-09

View of Colorado River from Guano Point - Aren't Zoom lenses nice???? I didn't even have to get close to the edge!

39 Another view of Colorado River 04-26-09

Hualapai Ranch - I didn't take any pictures inside the Old West Town part

40 Hualapai Ranch, we ate at Dance Hall Restaurant - Very Good 04-26-09

One of the greatest things at the RV park is they offer horseback riding. Now some of you know that was one of the things on my "to do" list for this winter. I wanted to ride in the desert, but found that here there is less cactus to watch out for! Besides, the cedar trees smell so much better & the landscape isn't so steep! So Monday morning we slept in for awhile & then while Bill was taking his shower I went for my trail ride. Another gal, Debbie, from British Columbia was getting ready to go. I asked if I had time to go with them. He said since she was a beginner & hadn't ridden since she was 10, I said well I guess I was a beginner too since I hadn't ridden for about 40 years! So he said that was fine as long as she wanted to wait. She said that was fine with her. We had a great time. Her husband mountain biked along behind or around us & took many pictures. I really appreciated that, since Bill was in the shower he couldn't oblige. I wasn't nervous at all, I really enjoyed it. We paid $20 for a 1/2 hr. ride & since the guide, Jim, had forgotten his watch, we rode for about 45 min. That was a real treat. Where we just came from they charged anywhere from $50 & up for 1/2 hr. I had originally planned on an hour ride for $30, but since we were "beginners" he only took us for 1/2 hr. I'd love to go again. Maybe next year! My horse's name was Buster, just like our dog we had so it was easy to remember his name. We got along real well. The guide told us they were working horses used to rounding up cattle at the ranch across the road, so they don't just stand around in a stable all day or out to pasture. Two of the mares here had just had colts. One the end of March & one in April. They were so cute.

Peg getting her instructions

2 Peg on horse named Buster, with guide, Jim 04-27-09

Debbie & Peggy ready to go

5 Debbie from BC on Sally & Peg 04-27-09

Debbie, Peggy & Jim, the guide

6 Debbie, Peg, Jim 04-27-09

That was fun! Jim, Peggy & Debbie

9 What a fun ride 04-27-09

Peggy giving Buster his treat & a big thank you

12 Peggy giving Buster a treat & a big thank you 04-27-09

Buster saying You're Welcome

13 Buster giving Peggy a huggy kiss 04-27-09

Mare with colt born at end of March

14 Mare & her colt born the end of March 04-27-09

Mare with colt born in April - All legs aren't they?

16 Mare & colt born in April 04-27-09

Later in the morning Bill & I went down in the Grand Canyon Caverns that leaves right from the gift shop here at the park. We weren't sure how he would do, but after talking with Debbie this morning, we thought he could do it. You ride an elevator down 21 stories, walk around the cavern & then ride the elevator back up. Because it is dry & not wet, damp or cold, he did well. There was one area that was a steep climb so he & another lady took the short trip around that & sat on the bench to wait for the rest of us. He didn't miss much except for the mummified bobcat that was in the cave dating back to 1850. Because of the dry conditions & average 56 deg. temperature in the caverns, nothing deteriorates. A 3 Toed Sloth carcass was found & reconstructed. It was huge! It was very interesting, but I can't remember everything the guide told us. The most important thing was that when the selenite crystals (which are very fragile) become wet, they disinegrate or become very smooth if the moisture runs down. Because millions of years ago it was under the sea, there are a lot of areas that look like coral.

Selenite in Grand Canyon Caverns

21 Selenite, in Grand Canyon Cavern 04-27-09

Looking down a deep crevise

22 Looking down into deep crevise 04-27-09

Looks like coral under the sea, which millions of years ago, this was under water

27 Looks like coral under the sea, which this once was, millions of years ago 04-27-09

Cavern picture

29 Cavern picture 04-27-09

Near chapel where weddings can be performed. A wedding bouquet that has been in the cavern on a ledge for several years.

33 Wedding bouquet on ledge 04-27-09

Water & Food supplies placed here during Cuban crises when used as a bomb shelter. Civil Defense placed these supplies here & they still remain.

35 Water & food supplies when used as a fall out shelter during the Cuban Crises 04-27-09

Personal & medical supplies

36 Medical & personal supplies provided by Civil Defense during Cuban Crises 04-27-09

Formations look like snowballs or mushrooms

39 Snowball Palace 04-27-09

Sign tells the story

40 Mummified bobcate dated 1850, 04-27-09

Three Toed Sloth carcass was found & reconstructed. Huge!

48 3 Toed Sloth reconstructed 04-27-09 - HUGE 04-27-09

Stone formation in cavern. Beautiful

53 Beautiful stone formation in cavern 04-27-09

After the tour, we had a sandwich at the restaurant, then came home & took a nap. Around 4:30 we went up to get a piece of pie (oh ya, that's a no, no, but they were Homemade!) to bring back for later tonight. It's 8:30 PM & we still haven't eaten them!

59 Bill in restaurant looking toward gift shop 04-27-09

Well, tomorrow sometime we will be traveling to Williams, AZ. We plan to stay at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park & then take the train for the 2-1/2 hr. trip to the Grand Canyon. Spend the day & then return by train.

I was looking at the map last night (finally got a new one from Flying J last evening). Got the laminated kind, maybe it will last me longer than 8 months! Cost a little more, but it has a spiral binding & I can highlight the trip & then erase it when & if I want. You know, those are the kind for women.....the woman's right to change her mind! That is exactly what I did. I figured out some of the mileages where we wanted to go in the next few days, so decided to stay in New Mexico & back track the back roads to Canyon De Chelly in AZ. That will be less miles than traveling there from Holbrook, AZ. Still are going to stay at Holbrook, but will go to Petrified Forest & Painted Desert for a day. This way when we get done at Canyon De Chelly we can do something else if we have time. This also gives us a chance to stay at Red Rock State Park again in Gallup, NM. We stayed there in 2000 & loved it.

Well, that gives you our plans for the next few days. I think we might be tired of canyons by the time we leave Arizona this year.

Looked out my window by the PC earlier & it looked kind of like being home. Over looking the pasture & fence line with an old fashion tree house built in the tree right behind the trailer in the pasture.

61 Tree in pasture behind trailer at GC RV Park 04-27-09

Well, until further adventures unfold, next time...................The Traveling Cardinal's

PS - We are now in Williams, AZ. Arrived around 11:45AM. Will take the train to Grand Canyon tomorrow. It is VERY windy!