Wednesday, March 19, 2014

TUESDAY’S SCENIC JEEP RIDE TO ALAMO LAKE’S RED ROCK SLOT CANYON

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Tuesday’s Jeep tour begins here --- Gusting winds in the night howled around our house eaves.  Morning dawned clear & bright with only a lite cooling breeze.  Good looking day for a Jeep ride as we headed for the ‘meet up’ point.  Jim & Bev’s Jeep was already parked on the shoulder of the road across from NICHOLS WEST (would you believe a 5 Star restaurant in Congress) on highway 71.  JANNA & MIKE rolled in a few minutes later followed by Simon in his silver Jeep.  Sandie is dealing with a virus & opted out of today’s travels.  Simon was missing you big time Sandie:))  We had 16 Jeep wheels rolling by 8:35 a.m. with Jim & Bev again leading the way followed my Simon.   Janna & Mike were third Jeep in line being trailed by the Bayfield Bums in our preferred tail gunner slot. (we sometimes stop suddenly for pics:))

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HEADING NORTH ON HIGHWAY # 93

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OF COURSE EVERYONE TRAVELING THIS HIGHWAY HAS TO TAKE A PICTURE OF NOTHING

Today’s destination was a slot canyon somewhere on the North side of Alamo lake which was west of us.  Traffic was brisk on highway 93 North to Wikieup.  That’s the highway which usually has a lot Crazy’s on it racing between Phoenix & Las Vegas.  We made it unscathed to a restaurant stop in Wikieup where I picked up some gas. A few others grabbed a coffee.  Across the highway & leading west out into the desert was Chicken Springs road.

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EMMI INQUISITIVELY OBSERVES HOW PHEEBS MOOCHES A SNACK FROM SIMON THEN BARRELS IN TO TRY IT OUT FOR HERSELF……IT WORKED:))

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With Jim & Bev in the lead we once again headed off into the early morning’s dusty desert.  Chicken Springs is a hard packed wide dirt road leading winding it’s way through rolling hills of Joshua Trees, Saguaros, Ocotillo, Juniper shrubs, & dozens of other green plants whose names we didn’t know. 

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It soon became obvious we were making our way through miles upon miles of Joshua Trees.  We’ve been to JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK in California but it seemed to me after seeing countless hills & valleys of Joshua Trees stretching for miles in all directions that we were indeed driving through a Joshua Tree forest larger that Joshua Tree National Park in California.  We were aware of the Joshua Trees along highway 93 just Northwest of Congress but hadn’t realized there were so many trees stretched out so far.

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Couple stops along the way to re-check some GPS settings & compare some map readings.  With Emmi & Pheebs along it’s always a good idea to stop now & again to let the furry guys out for a run around.  Well, the furless guys too.

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I DON’T THINK SIMON THOUGHT ABOUT HIS BRIGHT RED T-SHIRT ATTRACTING THE ATTENTION OF SOME BULLS IN THE NEXT FIELD

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TOLD THESE GALS (BEV, KELLY, JANNA) I WAS GOING TO CALL THIS ONE….’LARRY, CURLY, & MOE……… AND I DID:))

Think it might have been somewhere around noon when Jim eased his Jeep off the road into a sandy wash clearing on our right.  We all followed & stopped.  It was lunch time.  Of course some of us grazers didn’t have much lunch left to eat because we had done some munches on our lunches while driving.  I was down to a muffin.  Janna passed around a second round of great Pound Cake for everyone.   She had already gave us all a couple slices back in Wikieup but of course we ate ours up before we even got pulled out of the restaurant parking lot.

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AND WE ALL REMEMBERED TO BRING CHAIRS THIS TIME

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WARMING MY MUFFIN UP ON THE JEEP HOOD

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BEV & JIM – TRIP ORGANIZERS…JIM’S TRYING TO AUCTION OFF HIS PEANUT BUTTER & PICKLE SANDWICH

The desert & mountain scenery on the way to the slot canyon was just as amazingly beautiful as it always is.  Scenery never gets boring here in the South-West.  It is ever changing.  Each mile is different than the mile before & one knows it will be different again just a mile ahead.  This is especially noticeable when one gets out onto the many Jeep roads & ATV trails.  It became a little sandy in the wash we followed a short distance to the slot canyon itself but other than that most suburban cars could make this trip from Wikieup to Alamo Lake’s Red Rock Slot Canyon. 

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JANNA & MIKE HAD BEEN WATCHING FOR CRESTED SAGUAROS & SPOTTED THESE THREE…CAN YOU SEE THE HAPPY LITTLE ‘GOMER’ FACE ON THE RIGHT HAND PHOTO

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We did actually manage to see Alamo Lake at one point but it was far off.  Kelly & I were there back in December of 2012 & you can read about our drive out there here, ‘JAVALINAS AT OUR GATE.’  The view we had of Alamo lake Tuesday on our Jeep tour was about as close as we ever did get to the lake itself.  Had the water level been lower Jim had hoped we could cross the lake at one end making for a much shorter trip back to Congress but with recent rains he was told the levels are still up a bit.

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THAT’S ALAMO LAKE OFF IN THE DISTANCE

Had been 9 years since Jim & Bev had last been to the slot canyon so he kind of drove right by it at first.  GPS numbers were slightly askew.  Pulled over to the side of the wash while Jim & Bev scouted ahead in their Jeep.  Minutes later they returned & we all reversed our tracks about a mile & found the slot canyon. 

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SEARCHING FOR THE NEARBY SLOT CANYON

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TAKING A BREAK WHILE JIM & BEV SCOUT AHEAD

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REVERSING OUR TRACKS BACK ALONG THE WASH

All slot canyons we have ever seen or hiked in are just amazingly beautiful.  Water over thousands of years often cuts deep & narrow slots through various types of rock leaving the sides with a twisting smooth & sculptured look.  Some slot canyons we have had to turn sideways, suck it in, & squeeze through.  Borrego Springs comes to mind.  Today’s slot canyon was wide enough to comfortably walk through with it’s towering 40’ rock sides.  Rather than me trying to explain the wonderment this slot canyon offered I will just let the photos do it.

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ENTERING THE CANYON AT IT’S WIDE END

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SIMON STOPS TO VIDEO THE TOWERING ROCK SIDES

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BEE’S NEST HIGH IN THE ROCKS

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THE CANYON NARROWS DOWN 

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Couple rough spots along the way made for some good photo ops.  One especially had the guys helping the gals not only up & over a steep rocky part but down as well.  A few pools of water on the canyon floor added to the enchantment of where we were.  It would be a nice place to come back to some day & just quietly photograph the canyon in it’s serene peacefulness.  Maybe early morning with shafts of sunlight filtering down into & onto ochre colored canyon walls.

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‘OH-OH’ EMMI…….NOW WHAT??

I JUST HAVE TOO MANY SLOT CANYON PHOTOS TO INCLUDE IN TONIGHT’S POST SO THURSDAY I WILL POST THE REMAINDER SHOWING FOLKS GETTING DOWN THAT STEEP DROP EMMI IS LOOKING AT…………:))

We spent about half an hour in the short quarter mile long canyon before heading back to the Jeeps.  Our days destination reached it was time to head for home.  A couple group pictures, some handshakes, some hugs, & we had the Jeeps rolling. 

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We stayed single file for the next hour or so making our way slowly along Chicken Springs road to Signal road & finally onto 17 mile road.  Again, every mile was truly amazing.  Never seen so many Ocotillo blooming.  Saguaro Cactus standing arm & branch with Joshua Trees.  Teddy Bear Chollas, Mesquites, Palo Verde Trees, & the scenery just keeps on going & going. 

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With the Rawhide & McCracken Mountains to our west & the Poachie Range to our East we made our way over hill & dale in the direction of number 93 highway.  Wasn’t until we saw the great slag heap from Bagdad’s huge copper mine on the North East Horizon & the huge steel bridge spanning Burrow Creek that we knew exactly where we were. 

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BAGDAD MINE ON THE HORIZON & HIGHWAY 93’S BURROW CREEK BRIDGE SPAN

Cars & trucks below about the size if Dinky Toys could be seen making there way North & South along the highway.  Twenty minutes later we were a part of those Dinky Toys.

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Upon reaching the highway & pulling out of the desert our days convoy caravan broke up & it was every man for himself as we all headed South down the 4 lane highway.  The highway with the crazy’s on it!!  Jim & Bev along with Simon dropped behind while we caught on to the slipstream coat tails of Janna & Mikes yellow Jeep.  Stayed back aways because Mike had it in full afterburner & we didn’t want to get incinerated by hot tail pipe gases.  We rolled into our Congress driveway just shortly after 5 p.m.  I had to have a few words with my legs to get myself out of the Jeep. 

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PUPPY DOG ROCK HEADING SOUTH ON 93

All & all another great Jeeping day.  Janna’s post for the day is HERE:))  A big thanks to Bev & Jim again for putting together another enjoyable Jeep trip & skillfully navigating all of us through hills with no direction, valleys with no destination, & winding roads meandering along paths of least resistance.  And to think Bev sent me an email Monday night asking if I wanted to be Wagon Master Tuesday.  I hastily hit ‘reply’ & said, “no, not unless you want to end up in Toledo Ohio:))  Thankfully Jim led the way & we all ended up safely at home at the end of the day……………..10-4:))

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And Brenda Brown way up there at that Dog Pound North place, we were thinking of you Tuesday morning around 9 p.m. Arizona time & wondering how you were making out with your knee surgery.  Wishing you a speedy recovery:))

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WEDNESDAY POST::: Well it was quite a time we had this morning trying to get my blog straightened around.  Had to dig out our 8 year old Toshiba laptop to get started.  Kelly was also able to get our Blogger Dashboard to open on her new Acer as well & that made things much easier.  The error message which prevented me from getting to Blogger’s customizing tools turned out not to be a Blogger problem.  It was a problem with my newer Toshiba laptop which in turn I feel was an original problem caused by Microsoft about 3 months ago when it automatically dumped a ba-zillion unwanted updates into my computer one morning when I fired it up.  My computer has never been the same after that & things that worked fine before I now have problems with.  Tried a ‘System Restore’ after that big unwanted mega-update dump & even that would not work.  Anyway long story short…… I now have to use either our old Toshiba or Kelly’s Acer if I want to access Bloggers Customizing Template tools.  Using the Acer I was able to come up with a similar & somewhat acceptable blog format I think will work.  Still needs some tweaking but I’ll do that over the next little while.  

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IS DAD GONNA STOP SWEARING SOON MOM????

Biggest frustration this morning was not in recovering from my blog mishap or re-doing it…..the frustration came from our super slow internet connection!!  I could have had the newer look all finished up in about half an hour on our desktop computer in Bayfield but it took a couple hours here in Congress because of the slow connection speed.  Click on something then wait, & wait, & wait, for it take effect.  I have zero patience for stuff like that…….Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

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A RELAXING READ ON OUR FRONT PORCH IN ONE OF OUR ‘NEW TO US’ GLIDER ROCKERS

GROANER’S CORNER:((  You Might Be A Redneck…If::

-Your blood alcohol content has ever exceeded your I.Q.
-You have a set of 16 matching salad bowls, and they all say "Cool Whip" on the side.
-You have to call the police more than once a week to remove your drunk mother-in-law from your front lawn.
-Your name is Billy Joe Jim Bob III.
-You ever spent the night in the bed of your truck rather than paying for a motel room.
-None of your zippers have all their teeth either.            You are driving the car you were conceived in.
-You've ever used scissors on food.
-You've ever re-used a paper plate.

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for your kind remarks! Jim wanted to put ears on the puppy dog rock...I said it looked like Snoopy in his Red Baron garb. I'm "borrowing" the photo.

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  2. Fabulous photos and tour. Kelly looks so very relaxed in that new to her glider rocker.

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  3. stunning pictures!!!! seems kinda funny to me that a canadian has to show this az girl what is here in my own state.... I should really get out more. ;-)

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  4. I always do some ironing while I am on a slow connection. You could try that!

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  5. Thanks for the wonderful tour! Gosh, there are so many amazing places to see, but we don't have 4 wheel drive...oh, well...We're heading over to Flagstaff next week for a couple of days! YEAH...spring break!
    Cheryl Ann

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  6. More excellent pictures, looks like you had a great day, exploring the desert.

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  7. Awesome trip, both the Jeep ride and the hike! You sure got some beautiful photos of the Joshua Trees and the saguaro:)

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  8. Hi al
    Any way one would give up the GPS numbers to the canyon
    And what's the book u all were looking at
    Thanks

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  9. Do love those slot canyon hikes, especially the ones you find on your own like this, empty of people except your own happy group. Today I will be dropping down into "THE" slot canyon, Antelope Canyon, my bucket list canyon near Page, AZ. I won't have the luxury of traveling it alone, I am sure, and hopefully I can manage to get photos half as good as what you managed on this post. Great day for you all! but sorry about the blog thing...

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  10. Great photos Al--we have enjoyed getting out with you guys and the rest of the gang!! I love the photo of Emmi looking down the steep rock.

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  11. You can check the update history and back them out individually if you know the date when they were downloaded. To help speed up your computer, download the free version of CCleaner. Only download this from Piriform.com. Do not download it from Hippo. After running it, drop down to the registry setting and run it.

    If it is still slow, on a computer you know is virus free download a program called Rkill from Bleeping computer. Download this to a thumb drive and plug it in and run it.

    Please be careful on the road.
    Rex

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  12. You can do what Rex has suggested to see if that speeds up your computer connection. Or, you can try using it in they very early hours of the morning when there are fewer people using up all the bandwidth. If you do the later and it is faster then you know it is a bandwidth issue and there is not much you can do except move so you can try a different tower.

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  13. That's quite the expensive muffin toaster you have there. But I've always heard that Jeeps are multi-purpose vehicles... :c)

    I'll have to find that "Nothing" sign and take a picture of it. Then I can put it in my collection of pictures I've already taken where nothing has come out. :cD

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  14. Mighty fine day trip with friends you had. Thanks for taking us along with pics, enjoyed the views.

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  15. Your pictures make me wish I was there - instead of Iowa. Can't believe it snowed here about an inch a couple days ago and it didn't melt right away either. I play the solitaire game that comes on PCs when my connection is slow. Caution: It is addictive.

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