Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Category

Destination – Sedona

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Our final destination for this trip was Sedona.  It is beautiful country.  We hiked every day, though two days the hikes were cut short because it began to rain.  One evening we attended a great meal at a local winery.  The cooks gave us tips on creating a “roasted” salad and tips on barbecuing.  Our salmon pieces were excellent!  We also attended a local Taize service at an Anglican Church (forgot to photo) and visited a Buddhist stupa and Meditation spot.  Some tourists like to hire “Pink Jeeps” to travel over the rough terrain.  We like to hike it by foot!  We saw a lovely sunset our last evening.



Friends, Old and New (continued) – Phoenix

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

We spent two nights in Phoenix and met new friends (Deb and Rachel) through the SERVAS organization.  Besides, learning to know them, we visited the Museum of Musical Instruments and took one hike in the Squaw Peak area.

thumb pianos

thumb pianos

The Museum of Musical Instruments opened only 6 years ago and is one not to be missed.  At any one time more than 6,500 instruments from over 200 countries are on display.  Generally, the displays are arranged geographically with a few special spaces.  Museum goers are given special headsets.  These audio guides provide the sound tracks for videos at more than 300 sites.  The guides automatically cue to the exact sound track when viewing a video so that each visitor has their own tour.  Many of the instruments were donated by the makers or the musicians who owned them.

We took a short hike with Deb and Rachel on a trail which was familiar to us.  Even though they have lived in Phoenix for a number of years and have gone on hikes, this trail was new to them.  In the evening they invited some of their friends to share supper with us.  In the morning, Sally Jo picked tangelos and grapefruits to take with us.

Friends, Old and New (continued) – Tucson

Monday, April 11th, 2016

As we are writing this blog, we realized we have a theme—Friends.  We visited many friends along the way and also in Tucson.  But when we looked at our photos from Tucson, we discovered we have pictures of only one friend!  I guess we spent too much time talking, playing pickle ball, or watching March Madness basketball with them.  We do have photos of Harold’s new tree house and his lovely home.

When we were not with our friends we hiked.  We did one short hike in the Tucson Mountains, and then three longer hikes in the Sabino and Bear Canyons area—Seven Falls, Blackett’s Ridge, and Phoneline trails.  We have many, many photos of cacti, flowers, hills, trails.  It was a beautiful time to be hiking; it was not too hot, the desert flowers were blooming.  One day we drove up Mt Lemmon to the 9,000 ft summit and even saw snow.

Friends, Old and New (continued) – Douglas

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

In Douglas we got an introduction to border issues while staying with Jack and Linda.  They have been living in Douglas for several years working with Mennonites and Presbyterians in relating to migrants and in helping others understand what is happening.

Wall in Douglas, road for Patrol

Wall in Douglas, road for Patrol

Every morning they walk the nine blocks to the “Wall” where they pray.  When they first started the practice, the Border Patrol was very suspicious.  The Patrol now accept them and rarely ask questions. From the Wall we toured a large cemetery where at several places there are graves for unknown migrants who have tried to cross the border.

We crossed the border and spent time in Agua Pria visiting organizations working with migrants.  Immediately, across the border, beside the gate, is the Resource Center for Migrants (Centro de Recursos para Migrantes).  Here, migrants who have been brought back to Mexico are able to make phone calls to family, receive clothes, obtain food, and gain help in their return.

Some of the male migrants who have returned, are housed in a Catholic Church compound.  Here some are learning to make furniture from wood pallets.  We passed the C.R.R.E.D.A., considered one of the best centers serving people with drug and alcohol problems.  We visited a small urban project run by a group of local women focusing on gardening, chickens, and small sewing projects.  They are currently working on a special order of Donald Trump dolls / pin cushions for a retailer in Tucson.  We stopped at Justo Coffee which buys Mexican coffee beans and roasts, bags, and sells coffee in the U.S.  We ate Sonoran hot dogs from a street vendor and then had Mexican ice cream.

Wall on Mexican side

Wall on Mexican side

We viewed the “Wall” from the Mexican side.  Several artists have painted nature scenes on the Wall.  We were told that they had also painted on the U.S. side but those were removed by Border Patrol.

Late afternoon we returned to the U.S. and drove east about 5 miles along the wall.  What a sobering experience to look at this artificial border extending for hundreds of miles.  There are 20-feet high metal sections to lower vehicle-prohibiting sections to barbed wire to nothing.  Sensors and cameras are located all along the border.

We ended our day with a visit to the historic Gadsden Hotel in Douglas.  It was opened in 1907, burnt, and rebuilt in 1929.  There is a solid white Italian marble staircase and four soaring marble columns. An authentic Tiffany stained glass mural extends forty-two feet across one wall of the massive mezzanine.  The hotel has been in several movies and is purported to be haunted!  It is also said that Pancho Villa rode his horse up the staircase, shooting his gun!

On our way to Tucson the next day we stopped briefly in Bisbee, viewing the large open-pit copper mine which finally closed operations in 1975.  We had coffee and walked some of the streets of old Bisbee. Bisbee and Douglas were in their heyday when the mine was in full operation.


Friends, Old and New (continued)

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

We next drove to friends, Peter and Francis, living near Portal, Arizona.  However, on the way we stopped at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  We spent several hours hiking and driving around the area.  We saw a fair number of water birds.

the ranch

the ranch

Our friends live on a huge ranch in southeastern Arizona on the eastern edge of the Chiricahua Mountains.  They have several hundred cattle, plus horses, llamas, alpacas, chickens, and camels, plus dogs and cats.  We shadowed them during the day as they went about various jobs they needed to do.  They both have other professions (nurse practitioner and construction) so spend most of their weekend working on the ranch.  We went along as they carried some extra food/nutrition to a group of cattle.  Sally Jo got to bottle-feed a 10-day old orphaned calf.  We went along when they went to an older part of the ranch where they were looking for a leak in the water system but also had time to show us remains from an early 1900s stone home and the pottery remains from Native Americans from the 1300s.  We climbed a hill near their home to look at remains from early mining days.

We also hiked a few hours in the Chiricahua National Forest on the way to Douglas.


Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Sedona is as beautiful as ever.  We enjoy the red rocks, blue sky, dry plants, and all the hiking that is available.  One day we rode the Verde Canyon Railroad.  This train took us on a four-hour journey through Arizona wilderness.  There is spectacular geology along with Sinagua Indian ruins dating back to 600 B.C.  The tracks follow the Verde River north and west of Clarkdale, Arizona to the ghost town of Perkinsville and back (about 40 miles).  It was originally built to support the copper industry in the area.

During the week we spent at the resort, the Red Rock Fantasy opened.  This celebration has been held for 22 years.  Two dozen displays created by families from the Southwest, bring cartoon favorites, children’s stories, and the biblical story to life in dazzling Christmas displays.  More than a million lights are used.  Proceeds help local charity and community organizations.

One evening we attended a Native American flute concert performed by Wolfs Robe, a world-renowned traditional Native American flute performer and educator.  His flute sounds wove melodies and improvisation through nature and Native American culture.  He is committed to the preservation of the Native American flute as well as his own ancestral connections.  He played a variety of flutes from a bone flute from 600 A.D. and a thunder flute.  He explained the “Grandfather” tuned flutes—not tuned to the Western scale but “tuned perfectly for Nature.”

We took hikes most days.  We chose two hikes that we have done before and tried out three new ones.  All provided beautiful scenery.  (We cannot capture it in photos!)  On our last hike of the week, the sign at the beginning warned that bears have recently been active.  We decided it was time to head to Goshen!

On the way …

Monday, November 12th, 2012

We travelled to Sedona, Arizona via the flat lands of Nebraska, through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, through the dry lands of Utah, through magnificent Grand Canyon National Park, to our friends near Williams, Arizona.  From Moab, Utah to Williams we had very stormy weather—frequent rain squalls in some areas to dust storms which turned the clouds pink from the red soil in other areas.  We woke in Williams to snow on the ground.

Our friends in Williams took us to “Bearizona” where we drove through open areas to visit animals and also attended a “”free flight” rapture demonstration.  We saw hawks and a huge Great Horned Owl fly inches above our heads.

Arizona 2010 (5)

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

We ended our week in Arizona with a short trip to Phoenix where we had lunch with Ron’s nephew and niece and families.

Arizona 2010 (4)

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Another day we travelled to Walnut Canyon National Monument,  east of Flagstaff.  Here we followed a foot trail with steps down and up to see cliff dwellings.

Arizona 2010 (3)

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

We made a circle tour to the Grand Canyon one day via Flagstaff, Cameron, Little Colorado River Gorge, Grand Canyon and back through Snowbowl  to Flagstaff.  No matter how often we see the Grand Canyon we are always thrilled/inspired/awed by the scen