Thursday, May 10, 2018

THE END OF AN ERA

I BOUGHT THE BIG RED MOUNTAIN TRUCK EIGHTEEN AND A HALF YEARS AGO TO TOW MY 32 FOOT CAMPER THRU THE MOUNTAINS OF THE WEST. IT WAS A FORD F-250 WITH A GAS V-10 MOTOR. I KNEW WHERE EVERY GAS STATION WAS IN EVERY STATE WE EVER TRAVELLED THRU.

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TODAY, I TRADED IT ALL IN FOR A COMPACT “NEW TO ME” TOYOTA PRIUS.  IN ALL THOSE YEARS, THE TRUCK ONLY HAD 102,000 MILES ON IT.

SCOOTER

THE SCOOTER CHAPTER DIDN’T WORK OUT THE WAY I HAD DAY DREAMED IT. I THOUGHT I’D BE RIDING THE SCOOTER ON LOT’S OF TOURING ADVENTURES IN RETIREMENT. IN THE THREE YEARS I WENT ON ONE FANTASTIC TOUR WITH BOTH MY BROTHERS FROM WISCONSIN AROUND NORTH WESTERN ARIZONA.- INCLUDING THE GRAND CANYON. ONE PERFECT TOUR IN THREE YEARS? SO THE SCOOTER AND THE CARGO TRAILER WENT AS WELL.

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TOYOTA PRIUS

THE “NEW TO ME” COMPACT CAR IS A MIX OF THE OLD AND THE NEW IN MY MIND. IT REMINDS ME A LOT OF THE GREMLIN I BOUGHT IN 1970, WITH THE FOLD DOWN REAR SEATS AND CARGO AREA.  ON THE NEW SIDE I’D HAVE TO SPEND A WEEK WITH MY 14 YEAR OLD GRANDSON JUST TO UNDERSTAND THE ELECTRONICS AND SCREENS. APPARENTLY IT WILL PARALLEL PARK ITSELF IF YOU KNOW WHICH BUTTONS TO PUSH AMONG A MILLION OTHER FANCY THINGS. SHIT, I CAN’T EVEN TURN ON THE WINDSHEILD WIPERS. WISH ME LUCK!!

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  “SUNNY & 80”

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

TOMBSTONE & BISBEE

OUR ROADTRIP TOOK US INTO SOUTHERN ARIZONA. IN FACT BISBEE IS ONLY A FEW MILES FROM THE MEXICAN BORDER.

TOMBSTONE

WHILE IN TOMBSTONE WE SAW THE MOVIE, WENT TO THE GUNFIGHT AT THE “OK CORRAL”, HIT THE GIFT SHOPS, BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT, WALKED THE STREETS, AND OF COURSE GOT DRUNK WITH THE COWBOYS AT BIG NOSE KATE’S.

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ROSE TREE

THIS SINGLE ROSE BUSH WAS PLANTED IN 1864 AND NOW STANDS AS THE WORLD’S LARGEST ROSE TREE. IT BLOOMS IN APRIL, AND THE WHITE ROSE PETALS ARE LIKE SNOW ON THE GROUND.

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BIG NOSE KATE’S SALOON

WE SPENT SOME TIME IN ALL THE SALOONS INCLUDING DOC HOLIDAY’S AND THE CRYSTAL PALACE, BUT BIG NOSE KATE’S WAS OUR FAVORITE.

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MEN’S ROOM

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BISBEE

BISBEE IS HOME TO THE QUEEN COPPER MINE AND A HUGH OPEN PIT.

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THE OLD TOWN IS BUILT ALONG THE BASE OF THE MOUNTAIN AND UP A DRY GULCH, THAT BACK IN THE DAY WAS THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT. THE OLD BUILDINGS TODAY ARE MOSTLY ARTSY FARTSY AND ANTIQUES, RUN BY HIPPIES LEFT OVER FROM THE 60’S. MARY AND I ENJOYED THE COWBOYS OVER THE HIPPIES, AND SO WE DIDN’T REALLY LIKE BISBEE AND DIDN’T TAKE AS MANY PICTURES.

TEXAS CANYON

IF YOU’VE TRAVELED INTERSTATE 10 THROUGH ARIZONA YOU’VE DRIVEN BY TEXAS CANYON. IT’S A REST AREA JUST EAST OF BENSON WHERE IT LOOKS LIKE GOD JUST DUMPED A LOAD OF BIG BOLDERS FOR THE RATTLESNAKES.

DSC06361DSC06365DSC06366  “SUNNY & 108”

Monday, May 7, 2018

THE DEVIL’S HI-WAY

THE DEVIL’S HI-WAY, FORMLY KNOWN AS AZ ROUTE 666, IS PART OF US 191 WHICH FOLLOWS THE OLD CORONADO TRAIL FROM MEXICO TO CANADA.  THE SECTION THAT’S POPULAR WITH THE MOTOCYCLE CROWD IS THE 100 MILE STRETCH FROM ALPINE TO CLIFTON. WE DIDN’T COUNT THEM BUT IT’S RUMORED THAT THERE ARE 1,100 TURNS AND CURVES IN THE 100 MILE SECTION.

WE ARE ON A WEEK-END ARIZONA ROADTRIP TO TOMBSTONE AND BISBEE WITH THE HONDA, NOT THE SCOOTER.

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THESE DEAD TREES ARE A RESULT OF AN ARIZONA WILDFIRE SEVERAL YEARS BACK. THE STRETCH OF HI-WAY GOES THROUGH THE APACHE-SITEGRAVES NATIONAL FOREST. BTW, THE WHOLE FOREST INCLUDING SHOW LOW IS NOW IN STAGE II FIRE RESTRICTIONS WHICH PROHIBTS ALL FIRES, INCLUDING CAMPFIRES, SMOKING, AND EVEN CHARCOAL. WE ARE GOING TO REALLY MISS GRILLING OUT ON THE BACK DECK, BUT HOPEFULLY DURING THE MONSSON SEASON, JULY AND AUGUST, THE RESTRICTIONS WILL BE LIFTED.

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VIEWS FROM THE TOP.

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AT THE END OF THE 100 MILES OF MOUNTAIN ROAD WE DISCOVERED A HUGE WORKING COPPER MINE. ARIZONA IS THE COPPER STATE.

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DURING THE DRIVE WE SAW SOME WILDLIFE INCLUDING A BIG TOM TURKEY, COYOTE, DEER, AND BIG HORN SHEEP.

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TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR TOMBSTONE AND BISBEE.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

HAPPENS EVERY YEAR

IT SEEMS TO HAPPEN EVERY YEAR, WHILE YOU ALL ARE OUT HUTING MORAL MUSHROOMS WE GET A LITTLE OF THE WHITE STUFF ON THE MOUNTAIN.

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EARLY MAY SNOW AND OVER NIGHT FREEZING TEMPERATURES IS WHY WE HAVE A RULE AGAINST SETTING OUT PLANTS UNTIL AFTER MOTHER’S DAY.

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IT HAS BEEN A LATE, VERY DRY, SPRING AND WINTER ON THE MOUNTAIN. THE LOCALS SAID IT ONLY SNOWED FOUR TIMES ALL WINTER FOR A TOTAL OF EIGHT INCHES. THE FOREST SERVICE HAD POSTED STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE WE EVER ARRIVED. THEY ARE NOW THREATING STAGE II RESTRICTIONS WHICH PREVENTS ME FROM USING THE BIG RED EGG CHARCOAL GRILL ON THE BACK DECK.

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MARY’S YARD LOOKS PRETTY BLEAK AS THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF THE HOSTAS AND SOME OTHER PLANTS THAT I AM REALLY NOT SURE OF THEIR PROPER  NAMES.  THE IRIS’S GREW ABOUT 7” AND TURNED BROWN….NO BLOOMS THERE.

“SUNNY & 42”

Thursday, April 26, 2018

HOME ON THE MOUNTAIN

MARY FINISHED SLAPP’IN JACKS LAST SATURDAY, AND AFTER THREE DAYS ON THE LOWER MOHAVE DESERT WITH TRIPLE DIGIT TEMPERATURES, WE ARRIVED BACK HOME ON THE MOUNTAIN ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.

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NOW IT WILL TAKE A COUPLE WEEKS TO SETTLE IN CLEANING AND YARD WORK. OUR TWO BIG PROJECTS FOR THE SUMMER INCLUDE SOME WINDOW REPLACEMENTS AND STAINING THE WEST SIDE OF THE CABIN. COME ON OVER TOMORROW IF YOU WANT TO HELP CLEAN PINE NEEDLES OUT OF THE EVES……..

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“SUNNY & 75”