Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tortilla Flat and Olive Oil

We  visited Tortilla Flat before.  Frankly, it is pretty much a tourist place.  It is a pretty drive getting there and beyond, though.  Here are several pictures from that drive this morning. It was a surprise to me when I first saw these rugged mountains so close to the Phoenix area. Unfortunately, all the Tonto National Forest campgrounds are closed.   It’s too bad because this would be a beautiful place to stay a few days. 

IMG_6833 IMG_6847 This afternoon, Lynn, Dan and I drove to the Olive Mill.   We ate a whole loaf of olive bread dipped in vanilla Bean Olive Oil.  Oh my was it good.  There was live music setting up as we left around 4:30.  They had wine, of course olive oil and lots of other things to eat.   Definitely a great place to visit.

photo (2) What a treat to see  fresh vegetables growing in this container garden. 

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Once again Lynn & Kay prepared a delicious meal.  We are getting spoiled.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Copper Mine, Farm Store then Arizona

The trip from our creekside mountain campsite to warm sun took about six hours.  We weren’t in a big hurry so we stopped by a Tractor Supply store in Silver City NM just to see what people in this part of the country buy at a farm store.  One thing notably missing was lawn mowers—no surprise there.  Lots of horse gear, but no baby chicks. 

Another stop before seeing New Mexico in the rear view mirror—and it is a big one—is the Chino Cooper Mine near Silver City.  This is an open pit mine IMG_6822 and they have essentially moved an entire mountain.  It all started in 1799 when an Apache Indian showed Jose Manuel Carrasco a outcropping of copper.  Since that time, the mine has gone through multiple owners and from small underground mines to the massage pit it is today.  The huge trucks hauling the ore look like ants down below.  And they are moving 24 hours a day.  

We are parked in Lost Dutchman State Park near Apache Junction Arizona.  This state park is a jewel.  Absolutely breathtaking view of Superstition Mountain.  Pictures and activities with friends later.

Monday, February 09, 2015

New Mexico top to bottom

We were planning on staying the night last night in Raton NM, but only made it to Trinidad, CO.  I think it was the coldest night we have ever spent in the PW.  We woke up at 5:30 am and decided to move down the road a while.  It was a good idea because here is what awaited us as we entered New Mexico. 

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At Santa Fe we turned south on the Turquoise Scenic Trail.  One of the more interesting small towns with past mining history and now artist community was Madrid.  It would have been a good place to spend a little time, but we knew we had miles ahead.  The Trail is rich with history including Cerrillos which was once New Mexico’s capitol and historical locations of Indian missions.  Between the small towns were   scrub pines and cactus with mountain ranges far in the distance.  Or, there would be a small mountain thrusting out of flat terrain.  

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About 100 miles north of El Paso, we turned west on scenic 152 over Emery Pass in the Mimbres Mountains.  Emery Pass was named for Lt William Hensley Emery who in 1846 scouted the then Mexican territory for the United States.  The mountains in this range are made up of  Tertiary Volcanic and Paleozoic sedimentary rocks.  Although parts of the drive reminded us of Colorado, the small trees and Yucca like plants that we’ve since decided are a miniature palm set it apart. The horseshoe turns and steep drop offs took us up to the 8,000 foot pass. 

We knew the campgrounds were all closed for the winter through this pass, but we were able to snag a scenic off road spot anyway. 

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We have enjoyed this beautiful drive but tomorrow will be headed to what our friends Kay and Lynn call Land of the Sun.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Warm Sunday in Colorado

It has hardly seemed like are in Colorado in early February.  We’ve been outside in shirtsleeves and shorts.  Crazy.

What to Coloradans do on a warm day in the winter?  Hike.  So that’s what we did—only they did a easy one for those in the group who were not used to the altitude (and a little more than out of shape).

Everyone went except Trent.

IMG_6732 Even little Eve.  What a trouper with those short little legs.

IMG_6739 Look out Gunner is shaking!  Eve isn’t sure of the water yet.  She’s interested though.

IMG_6740 After a fried fish dinner, we loaded up and are off for points further south.