Sunday, August 26, 2012

West Fork of Oak Creek 8/2012

I haven't done much of anything since it got hot this year. And it got hot early. I can't stand to be out in the 100 plus heat.
Cindy and I are finally planning a hike all the way through Aravaipa, the end of October. It's 12.5 miles. I decided I needed to start doing something so I could make that one. It's still hot here in Phoenix, so I drafted some friend to come with me to the West Fork of Oak Creek. I figured if we left Phoenix at 5:30AM, we could get to the trail head by 8am when they open and it would be cool.
That part of the plan worked perfectly. We got there just at the right time and it was 59 degrees when we arrived. It was wonderful.

 We have had a great monsoon season this year and even the desert is green. It was lush, damp and cool in the early hours. Lots of water in the creek and even little springs and waterfalls trickling down over the rocks. Lots of beautiful wildflowers.
 It was fun bringing Abby along with Cindy and I. She had never been out of Phoenix in the 8 months she had been there. She really enjoyed the scenery.
 There are 13 water crossings to the end of the trail, which means you cross the creek 26 times on a round trip. Here is Abby negotiating one.

 Here I am on the way out. I did fine, except getting winded on the uphills. That was pretty much what I expected after being a lump all summer.
 This is where the trail ends. You can go farther if you are willing to swim and rock climb. This is as far as we wanted to go. This is the LDS scout troop that leag frogged us several times on the way out. It was amazing to see the boys bound down over rocks with the elasticiity of joint and sureness of foot of 12 year old boy. I so don't have that. I have to be careful where I put every step. As a matter of fact, at the end of the trip out, I realized I was more tired than I thought I would be. I was slower and clumsier on the way back. On one water crossing, Abby warned be about a loose rock. I decided, rather than step on the loose rock, I would step on the big flat rock that was just under the water. It looked more stable. Unfortunately it was also very slick with moss. I went all the way down into the water. I also got my beloved camera wet. It's not working anymore. I am going to have to see about getting it fixed.
I was a mess after the fall, mossy knees, squelching feet, dripping. A pretty terrifying site. And even slower. I was a little concerned about even making it all the way back to the car.
 Abby and Cindy at the end, before starting back the way we came.
I made it, obviously, but am really, really, really sore , last night and today. I have a lot of work to do if I think I am going to do the Aravaipa through hike in one day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day trip to the Chirachuas

I had a little staycation the last 10 days or so. One day that Keegan and I were both off, we drove down to the Chirachuas. I have been down in the far southeastern corner of the state a few times in August. That corner of the state catches a lot more of the monsoon rains than we do in Phoenix. It gets really green with tall grass. It is also cooler. In Chirachua National Monument, it was between 68 and 72 while we were there. We also enjoyed the beautiful play of rain, clouds and mountains. Above is the appropriately named Dos Cabezos peak.

 Loved this shot of the dark storm and mountains.

  At Massai point in the Chirachuas. Cindy and I hiked there almost two years ago. Since that time they had a devastating fire. You can see the effects all over, but it's still an amazing place. We only saw about 4 or 5 cars they whole time we were there. Most of the time we had wherever we were to ourselves.
 Fire damage.

 Keegan with a windblown mohawk.
 Love the lichens.

 Faraway ranch is within the monument. I had never gone to see the ranch buildings before. There are some interesting displays. If you time it right, you can tour inside the main ranch house.

 Several Buffalo soldiers stayed at the ranch house in the 1880's and carved their names in the fire place rocks.

 We enjoyed beautiful sky weather, clouds, sun and light on the way home.

In Benson.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vintage finds and LA fabric district loot

 I recently bought these vintage salt pepper shakers in Prescott. Something about their kitschy cuteness, really called to me. All things vintage seem to be in, although what exactly qualifies seems to vary.
 I enjoy the amazin bargains I am able to get in the Fabric shopping district of LA. I like to buy small gift items by the gross. I get he whole sale price and then I have small gifts to give as needed.
 I also can get some great deals on jewelry making supplies to make gifts.
 While there, we wandered into a shop that makes fabric purses. A lot of the prints they use are vintage "looking". They had some really fun ones, but this one I absolutely fell in love with. The print is called Charra, meaning Mexican cowgirl. I really liked the girl on the wallet. The first purse I selected featured her on the front. In the bargaining process, I ended up with 2 purses and a wallet all for the price that I was origially quoted for one purse. But in changing purses, I didn't realize I lost the girl on the front. It is all the same print, just a different place in the pattern. The other Charra is also cool, but just not the same one.
 I found this vintage recreation fabric in the bargain bin at Michael Levine. I made a runner out of it. I love it. I also got fabric that I made a minky soft throw for my niece and one for me.
Then I have some flannel to make baby blankets and some fabric to make maybe a skirt or jumper and a blouse. All for bargain prices!

Paradise Bakery-Armenian in Glendale, CA

 I have just written some other posts about my recent food adventures in LA, but the sheer beauty of the baked goods at Paradise Bakery required their own post. We didn't know this was an Armenian place when we walked in, but quickly learned. There were lots of folks buying lavosh and many specialty cookies and breads there.
I only tasted a small strawberry tart and then I took some cookies home to share with my niece. Some were better than others. But really, this was an excellent bakery. We didn't try any of the cakes, but aren't they magnificient? The flowers are made of chocolate, either white or dark.
There was a big shrink wrapped book there, like a coffee table book. Juanita asked if it had recipes in it. She was told no, just photos of the baked goods! That is how pretty they are I guess.

 This was a brown puppy. There was a white puppy too.

 I really loved this one. It has blueberries in between the flowers and raspberries down the front of the cake.