Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Petrified Forest National Park & Happy Hours

Gallup NM to our destination in Mesa Arizona looked to be a short five or so hour trip.  With only a little encouragement to check a couple geocaches in the Petrified Forest National Park, Dan exited I40.  Then, we decided to drive the road through the park and connect with an alternate route southwest.  It was a good decision.  Even though we had visited the park before, we hadn’t taken the time to drive the 24 mile loop. 

First a visit here


There are temptations at every turn at this visitors center.  Jewelry, pottery, and everything else petrified or otherwise.  The one thing I am now very excited about are the new tokens available from National Parks, Monuments and Memorials.  There are little rectangle metal tokens costing only $1.  The Token Album costs $6 but still affordable and only a one-time purchase, little inexpensive collectables alleviating the temtation to buy National Park bling.

Just to say upfront, we found two geocaches and left two travel bugs.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably could care less about geocachingWinking smile

Our first stop on the loop were several pullouts for the Painted Desert.  I took pictures but it is only truly appreciated by just taking it in visually.  It is beautiful in its own rugged way for sure.  We stopped by the Painted Desert Inn.  It is an adobe National Landmark hotel now turned museum.


The Newspaper Rock stop was historically informative by happening to be there the same time as two elders like us who knew a whole lot more about the 650 petroglyphs (some over 2,000 years old) then we could ever hope to have learned by just reading the signs.  Notice the obvious man and woman!


The other side of the rock was equally covered.


From there we moved on to the petrified wood “forest”


We wanted to get to Kay & Lynn’s for Happy Hour, so we moved on.  Next time I will hike to the Agate House Trail—a two mile round trip to a seven-room pueblo of petrified wood.

The trip through the canyons and peaks south from Show Low to Globe and on to Apache Junction/Mesa is breathtaking.  Not the fastest route but definitely beautiful. 


Yes, we did make it and we were happy for more than just an hour because Lynn had some Cerveza Modelo Especial—a Mexican beer that is very much to our liking. 

As just a side note to this Tuesday March 21st post that I am writing on Wednesday, March 22, we are staying in Lynn & Kay’s park model in Roadhaven Resort in Apache Junction.  They used to live here before moving to a home in Mesa.  They now rent it for the winter.  We are here because their renters decided to go home early.  Lucky us--we have lots of room, air conditioning (temps are in the 90s) and access to a swimming pool, etc.  This is not our usual off-the-grid experience at Lost Dutchman State park, but we are liking it—liking it a lot!

Monday, March 20, 2017

South by Southwest

We said goodbye to most of the family last night because they are up and out of the house before we even open our eyes.  Coffee, Drue’s french toast and out the door by 8:30 am is good for us.

Our destination is Apache Junction AZ.  We decided to cut cross country because, why not… Our first stop was Canon City CO to check out the Bristol Brewing Company.  Unfortunately it was closed but it is a testiment to repurposing old schools. The kids say there is also good beer being made in that school house.


Next it is on to Salida to eat at Amicus restaurant.  We have heard so much about this brewery/restaurant so decided to stop by.  I called in our pizza order because we didn’t have a lot of time.  It was definitely delicious—especially the inhouse crust.  Was sorry we didn’t try the salad and calzones because they are supposed to be superior as well.

As we menandered south we could not escape going through Wolf Creek Pass.  Snow melt is beginning which made the Treasure Falls beautiful.  We didn’t hike up because the path was snow covered but it looked fun.


Shiprock is a small town in New Mexico and it gets its name honestly. 


Since we went right through Pagosa Springs, we stopped by one of Doug’s current projects—an addition on to the hospital. P1000261-1

We usually are roadtripping in the PW, but this time we are moteling it.  That means we have slipped a couple extra into our room here on old highway 66 in Gallup NM—here are two


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Colorado, Basketball and Sunshine

Another beautiful day.  There is some adjustment to dry air, but the weather is almost perfect in Colorado on days like today. I think the high was in the 70s.

 We watched a little basketball again today including Kansas University who we were all cheering for but especially Drue.  We are glad to see Baylor win.  I am sure it upset a lot of brackets, but we were glad to see Frank Martin on the sideline again and then pull off the upset.

Carly and I went to the best Goodwill ever near Monument.  We found some stuff!

These are pictures I took the past few days.  The first is of Carly's Guinea Pigs.  Notice the dogs in the background at the door.  These little animals are about all the dogs can take.

We took a quick run out to Fox Run to let the dogs run and find a couple geocaches.


Carly and her clarinet jointed two flute players for a music competition today.  They received a 1 rating.  We were proud of them.because they are just 6th graders and there were very talented seniors in high school right before.

The competition was at Cheyenne Mountain High School.  Since we were in the area, we stopped by a local brewery named Cerberus.  Not sure how they came up with the name but it means three-headed dog that guarded the gates to the underworld!  The chef used to work at the Broadmoor Hotel so the food was awesome as was the beer.

We managed to watch a couple NCAA games--sadly Iowa State lost to Purdue after a fantastic comeback.  Doug and I got into a little game by taking a drink each time the name Swanigan was said.  He is the Big Ten player of the year and the announcers couldn't say his name enough.  We had to quit because I think a person could have gone through a six pack.

Drue and I found time to do a little geocaching over at Palmer Lake.  We found three thanks to Drue's sharp eye. Yes, it was on that light pole.