Sunday, November 24, 2013

MORE FUN......

Luna enjoyed her antlers so much that she went and got them again....but I think she wants to eat them.

Decorating for the holidays

Darrell and Luna are getting into the holiday spirit!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


We felt we were all overdue for a little outing, and Luna has not had a lake to swim in.  So, we headed about 70 miles southwest of Tucson, to Lake Patagonia State Park.  Weather was beautiful that day, and we all enjoyed ourselves, especially Luna.

 The town of Patagonia is a bit eclectic, even more so than Bisbee.  Locals are rarely seen except in the one main shop with a lot of interesting art and locally crafted goods.
The Velvet Elvis is known for its locally grown food and cuisine.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


We had been talking about doing container gardening on the patio, but never got around to building anything.  We saw this at the farmers market, and it seemed so simple, we had to try it.  This setup, however, has a watering tube, and waters plants from the bottom.  Should be interesting to see how the lettuce, cilantro and sage does.  We have given up on tomatoes for now, they are the hardest thing to grow in AZ.  Sun too hot, birds too hungry, etc. Now we just need to keep Luna from eating the bounty.


 We decided to escape the 90 degree heat (which isn't bad for Tucson, actually), and take a hike up on Mt. Lemmon.  Where it is 30 degrees cooler, it is nicer to hike!  We made it just in time to see the last of the fall colors.  So pretty.  We did the Marshall Gulch/Aspen trail, about 4 miles round trip.  Just right to get us back in the saddle.  Luna enjoyed leading us, and she always checked back to see if we were still there.  I did grab her, however, when 2 huge Coatamundis came running down a tree and across the trail.  Too quick for my camera, but exciting nonetheless.

10 years after the Aspen fire, new growth is finally establishing itself.  New trees seem to take a bit longer than places like Yellowstone, where it rains on a more regular basis.  Arizona's "sky islands" are similar to the more northern mountains, but unique in their own way.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


 Chama is the home of the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad.  Train rides to Antonito are running from summer through fall.
We didn't stick around for the train to arrive, as we were due in Albuquerque, where Darrell's cousin and wife live, and graciously hosted us for a few days before our last sprint to the Old Pueblo.
Another adventurous summer comes to an end, but it was just long enough for us to enjoy our daughter, Amber and her boyfriend, Kent, and all that beautiful Northwest Montana country.  We are looking forward to another new adventure next spring!


We headed on down the road and found a nice campground right on the San Juan River, seen here running through town.  The springs are located in the middle of town, and present a colorful landscape.  

We drove up to Wolf Pass Ski area, stopping on the way at Treasure Falls.  We hiked up to the falls for a photo op.


We made a stop in Cortez, Colorado, to visit our good friends who had been in a terrible car accident.  We were glad to see them in one piece;   We stayed 3 days, visiting with moral support and pizza.  We took a quick trip to 4 corners for a picture.


 Heading down through Utah, Darrell wanted to stop and visit this town. Something on his list from previous trips.  We camped nearby in Price, then went back up the road to visit this little town that was named because it sits on a hill at a point where trains needed a little "help" going up the grade.  We visited the museum, and a model railroad inside.


 The day we left, Flathead Lake was being buffeted by high winds.  Further down the road, Utah had donned her fall colors for us.

One last visit to Logan Pass

Last day of September, we had to drive up to the pass and say goodbye til next year.  Love this place.  Albeit, a little cold right now.

Monday, September 30, 2013


 We met Keith Brodsky and his wife, Leslie, through Amber.  He told us to give him a call if we came up to, we did!  Keith and Leslie live in Banff.  They are both servers at a popular restaurant.  Keith owned his own sporting goods company, and not long ago, decided to retire early, move to Banff, and work hours so he could play during the day.  And, take off during the slow season.  Sounds like a good plan, eh?  They were so generous with their time, took an entire day and showed us the beautiful country they live in.  Keith told us, that in order to live in Banff, which is in a national park, you have to show proof of employment, or no deal.

 We were going to hike to the teahouse at Lake Louise, but warm weather steered us over to Morraine Lake, and a 6 mile up and down to Larch Valley, which was more shaded.  I was glad of that!
We stopped at a stream and had a light lunch, then went on to the view of the cirque, surrounded by peaks and glaciers, and holding a small lake.

Luna and I cool our feet.

 These are larch, whose needles fall off in the winter.  A deciduous evergreen!
 Next stop was Yoho National Park.  Here you see the Yoho River flowing with straight glacial melt.
Takaka Falls
Over the ridge lies Emerald Lake, a beautiful spot for a lodge and all its amenities.

We ended the day by having a lovely dinner at Baker Creek Inn, a really cute log restaurant with great food.  We learned so much from Keith and Leslie.  Leslie just finished doing the Pacific Crest Trail, and is fluent in French, having worked in Switzerland and Quebec.  Keith is an avid mountain biker, road biker, hiker, skier....he works at a heli-ski lodge in the ski season.  He helicopters in for 2 weeks, then is off for a week.  All I can say is, "what a life!".  We hope to cross their paths again.....

Saturday, September 21, 2013


 Icefield Parkway runs north from Lake Louise to Jasper.  Nothing but beauty all the way up.
 This is one of the overpasses built specifically for wildlife crossing.  The government is trying to avoid so many deadly bear/deer/elk/moose and car collisions.
 We reached the Athabasca Glacier, which you can park and walk right up to view.
 When we visited here in 2007, we were able to walk right up onto the glacier.  Now the melt flows in front of it, and people are not allowed anymore.

 The melt is all glacial at this time of year, so the water is a milky white.
 Weird ice formations, some covered in black dirt.
Luna didn't care for the bridge going over, it was open metal she and Darrell returned via a small stream crossing.
 She had to go back for a drink.
 All the melting glaciers form the Athabasca River, which flows northward to Athabasca falls, not too far south of Jasper.

We passed this somewhat familiar looking structure on the way up.  It looks just like the skywalk at the Grand Canyon.  Still under construction, they will probably charge a similarly exorbitant fee to walk on it when it's done.