Tuesday, February 26, 2013

HAD OURSELVES A GREAT ROCK SCRAMBLE THIS MORNING:))

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ON OUR MORNING HIKE, KELLY LOOKS OVER OUR NEIGHBORHOOD FROM THE SAME ROCKY RIDGE THE FULL MOON SET BEHIND A FEW HOURS BEFORE

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WITH CONGRESS ARIZONA BEHIND HER, KELLY LOOKS OUT OVER ‘HOUSE ROCK’ VALLEY

Monday night’s full Moon would have slipped right past me had Kelly not noticed it’s beautiful slow rise over the Weaver Mountains.  Pheebs & I weren’t long in getting ourselves out for a walk in our little front yard Cactus garden.  A full desert Moon lights up the landscape for miles around & I particularly like how it lightens the garden pathways.  Despite my grumblings about the weather sometimes, I’m sure glad we are right where we are in sunny Arizona:))

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LEFT PHOTOS SHOWS MONDAY NIGHT’S FULL MOON RISING ABOVE THE WEAVER MOUNTAINS & LEFT PHOTO SHOWS TUESDAY MORNINGS FULL MOON SETTING BEHIND A ROCKY RIDGE OUT BACK OF OUR HOUSE

I was able to accomplish a small goal this morning that I had set for myself just about a year ago now.  From the first day we walked onto this Ghost Town Road property I had noticed a high rocky ridge in the desert a short distance behind our house.  At the highest point I noticed a Palo Verde tree growing.  Being my habit to climb up any high points around any of our boondocking sites over the years, I made a mental note to climb that ridge to the Palo Verde tree.  Would have done that shortly after arriving last November but my winter long leg problem prevented me from doing that. 

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DIDN’T KNOW WE WOULD CLIMB THAT ROCKY RIDGE THIS MORNING & I WOULD GET ALL THE WAY TO THAT TALLEST PEAK ON THE LEFT

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THE ROCKY SUMMIT TAKEN WITH A 300mm LENS FROM OUR BACK YARD & THE SAME LENS TAKES A PHOTO FROM THAT SUMMIT OF OUR HOUSE…IN THE LEFT PHOTO I WAS STANDING IN THAT GAP AT THE TOP & PHOTO AT RIGHT I WAS STANDING JUST TO THE RIGHT OF OUR WHITE BACK SCREEN DOOR

Little did I know when we left the house this morning on our morning walk that half an hour later I would be standing atop that very ridge next to the Palo Verde tree.  We had discovered a path last month leading toward the ridge at the back of a nearby Park.  For a change of pace we walked over to the Park this morning with the idea of walking up the rocky pathway for a short distance just to see where it went.

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LEFT OUR COATS BEHIND & STARTED CLIMBING 

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LOOKING DOWN ON TENDERFOOT PARK WHERE WE HAD JUST WALKED THROUGH

As so often happens with us, we just kept right on going.  It was about 8:40 when we started out with Pheebs way ahead in the lead.  Five minutes into the walk we ditched our coats.  The sun was really warming things up.  Still had no intentions of going to the top but you know how it is once you get out hiking & exploring.  Just a couple more steps, maybe around that bend we’ll pack it in & turn back.  We just kept climbing.  The path through the boulders & cactus was not easily discernable in some spots but we clambered over rocks & gravel anyway.

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Reached the top of a ridge where we could see clearly for miles all around us including the valley to our west.  The valley we had spent time Jeeping in with Aunt Jean, Peter, & Leslie.  ‘House Rock’ was barely visible at the foot of the Date Creek Mountains. 

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TAKING A BREAK IN OUR CLIMB

Kelly began building some Inukshuks. (the traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path.")  This area reminded me of a spot on California’s Ghost Mountain trail just before one makes the final climb to the Marshal South homestead. 

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Pheebs started ahead of me scouting a way up through the rocks.  She is really good at this & can easily pick out hard to spot pathways.  Climbing seems to be second nature to her & she easily picks her way through or climbs over large boulders.  I followed her lead upwards.

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PHEEBS HEADS OFF SCOUTING FOR A PATH TO THE SUMMIT…WE WOULD END UP GOING THROUGH THAT GAP BETWEEN THE LARGE ROUND BOULDER & THE BALANCING ROCK AT PHOTOS TOP LEFT

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PHEEBS PICKS HER WAY THROUGH THE BOULDERS

This is the type of rock scrambling I like so much.  I would class it as moderately difficult.  No equipment needed except for a good pair of treaded hiking shoes & a good sense of balance.  No thousand foot drop-offs to scare the be-jeebers out of a fella but just enough of a drop amongst the rocks to give one a wee twinge of excitement & make one pay close attention to where one places their hands & feet.  A fall could result in a slightly dented head or some mighty sore buns for sure.

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AT ONE POINT I GOT AHEAD OF PHEEBS FOR BIT

Pheebs of course made the top before I did but I wasn’t far behind.  I was soon standing in a gap in the rocks beside the Palo Verde tree at the summit.  I’ve been looking at that gap in the rock from our back yard for months & months now, wondering if my sore leg would ever let me get up there.  It did.  Great views all around as I took a few photos.  My one regret is that I did not have my better quality Nikon D90 DSLR with me.  Just my little Canon point & shoot.  Like I said, when we left the house I had no intentions of climbing up to the top the ridge so left my D90 at home.

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AT THE SUMMIT STANDING IN THE GAP BESIDE THE PALO VERDE TREE

However, I had my trusty Nikon D40 with me equipped with a 75-300mm lens so was able to crack off a few photos of the surrounding desert & the town of Congress Arizona below.

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CONGRESS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN THE FOREGROUND

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CONGRESS DOLLAR STORE & GAS STATION WITH THE CONGRESS MERCANTILE DEPOT IN PHOTO AT RIGHT

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LOOKS LIKE A FEW FOLKS ARE BURNING SOME BRUSH THIS MORNING & THERE GOES NEIGHBOR LOU WITH HIS LITTLE DOGGY PAL, PEBBLES

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IN FOREGROUND IS THE CATTLE WATERING HOLE WHERE AUNT JEAN, KELLY, PHEEBS, & I WALKED TO LAST WEEK & SEEN THE COW BONES… BELOW IS THE DESERT ROAD WE WALK MOST MORNINGS

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THIS IS ALSO THE DESERT HAWK’S VANTAGE POINT FROM WHERE HE WATCHES US ON THE ROAD BELOW EACH MORNING

Pheebs & I carefully made our way down through the boulders again to where Kelly was hard at work just finishing off a couple Inukshuks.  Reminded me of Hickiwan Trails RV Park near Why Arizona in our early years hiking along a ridge line east of camp & Kelly building InukshuksDSC_8460

CAN YOU SEE KELLY DOWN THERE AT WORK ON HER INUKSHUK?  SHE IS IN THE CENTER OF THE PHOTO

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As I’ve said many times, going up a hill is the easy part.  Coming down is the tough part & it’s always difficult for Kelly.  Today was no exception with the hard to find trail having many loose rocks, stones, & brambles.  But, we did make it back down okay without a scratch.

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AND, SOMETIMES BACKWARDS IS BETTER

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PHEEBS LOOKS BACK TO SEE HOW MOM IS DOING

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All & all it was a great morning hike & rock scramble.  How nice to be doing something different & seeing the landscape from a different perspective.  And amazingly enough, my troubled leg did not bother me one little bit.  I was able to scoot, scramble, & bounce my up & down that rocky ridge just the way I used to not long ago.  Pretty darn nice feeling I can tell you.  Our house was only a block away & we were home by 10.  Just a mighty nice way to start another day……..:))

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WE SURE HAD A THIRSTY LITTLE DOG WHEN WE GOT BACK TO THE PARK     

Many readers will remember Sandra & Gordon from THE NOT SO NIGHTLY NEWS.  They were Canadian Snowbirds until being stopped on their way south at the American border crossing & refused entry in the United States 3 years ago.  Sandra has been fighting that case ever since & finally just received some good news.  Check it out:))

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BACK HOME, KELLY CHECKS ON HER INUKSHUKS ON THE RIDGE

Russ, Donna, & Poppy from TRAVELS IN THERAPY are making their way from Oregon down into California this week as RETIRED ROD, Loyce, & Biscuit are buzzing around San Diego checking out the sites.  I don’t know who’s doing more of the buzzing, Rod or Biscuit.  And, former blogger, Wandering Willy should be safely back home in British Columbia today.  Other southern Snow Birds are beginning to stir.  Routes & dates are being planned as feathers will soon be fluffed for flight.  For us, probably sometime in early April.

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A RAY OF SUNLIGHT REFLECTING IN THE CAMERA LENS GIVES PHEEBS A PURPLE HUE

GROANER’S CORNER:((  George had invited the pastor and his wife for dinner, and it was little Joey's job to set the table. But when it came time to eat, Joey's mother said with surprise, "Why didn't you give Mrs. Brown a knife and fork dear?".
"I didn't think I needed to," Joey explained, "I heard Daddy say she always eats like a horse."

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- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.

15 comments:

John and Aileen on the road said...

Hey Al, in the picture of Kelly building the Inukshuks, did you notice the big dogs face in the rock above her? Looks pretty neat!
John

Jean and Skip said...


What a great scramble, I am so glad your leg is so much better, a few months ago you were using a cane.

Jim and Sandie said...

You and Judy both made your goals today. Glad both of you are feeling so good.

Donna K said...

Good to see you and Kelly out and about. What a view from up there next to the Palo Verde tree. And Pheebs is sure a great trail guide. Oh how Rusty would have loved that climb - he was the adventurous one. Nice job on the Inukshuks Kelly. Thanks for the shout out Al. You and Russ have similar moon shots today!!

Russ Krecklow said...

Sure nice to see you up there in those rocks, Al. We've been worried about that leg of yours, but it seems to be working o.k. for you! Thanks for sharing all the great photos. I shot a couple photos of that very same moon this morning as it was going down. Not nearly as nice as your photos of the moon, though. I always enjoy yours, they look so good!

Gaelyn said...

Glad to hear your leg is better. That looks like quite a climb. I love boulder hopping on the Weavers. Hope to see you before your trip north.

Gypsy said...

You did all that climbing and rock scrambling and got home by 10:00? I'd probably be lucky to get started at 10:00.

The moon shines in my bedroom window at night and lights up the whole room when it's in the full stage.

Tammy Fletcher said...

Everyone's moon shots are just gorgeous. Russ' was good too. I wanted to ask you do you ever see Rattlesnakes in your area? I didn't know if you worried about Pheebs getting bit?? Your climb sure gave you great pictures.

trav4adventures said...

Beautiful moon shots, Al. Hey, quick question...as you come down Highway 89 from Prescott, there is a huge feedlot with lots of corrals...do you know what that is? I've always wondered...

Cheryl Ann~Looks like an early spring, so at least for a week we'll be having temps in the high 70's and even the low 80's here in our desert.

George and Suzie Yates said...

Nice pictures from a different perspective.That great that your leg if feeling better. Its so sore for so long and you learn to live with it. When the pain goes away its hard to believe.
Keep enjoying the weather as it gets warmer.

Mark Johnson said...

So glad you got to scramble the ridge! I hope this is a sign of improvement regarding your leg pain, I know how pain takes the fun out of "playing."
I wouldn't want to do that hike on a warm day... looks pretty snaky to me :(
Box Canyon Mark

rvsueandcrew.com said...

Enjoyed your hike immensely! Words of advice because I care about you both... Please get walking sticks. In only the past month, one friend twisted her ankle and another friend fell and scratched up her leg on sharp stones. It's easy to slip on loose stones when going downslope.
Sue


CJ's Travels said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time.(2 yrs or more)Enjoy it so much We are staying in Congress at North Ranch for a few days and just had to finally comment and thank you for your great blog. It's so nice to visit a place and feel like I know my way around a little.
Thanks for being our guide.
CJ

Bob & Laurie Fritz said...

Al,
It was a pleasure to meet you and Pheebs. Laurie and I drove to Yarnell and then over to Kirkland and back. What a beautiful drive, thanks for the info.
Hope to see you again sometime and meet Kelly.

Bob, Laurie,

Dennis and Donna said...

Those moon shots are fabulous...I noticed your camera around your neck...I have trouble hauling my heavy Kodak when we are doing a strenuous walk or climb...It swings around my neck and becomes a pain in my arse!