Monday, October 24, 2016

Arizona Bound

We started our journey to our Southern Home a little over a week ago - it was sad to leave mom behind but she wasn't ready for the 4 day drive plus wasn't cleared by her doc to make such a long trip of mostly sitting.  Before leaving I made sure her freezer was well stocked with individual lasagne, stew, etc., made sure her cat Page had enough cat food and was well stocked with kitty litter, did her laundry for her, tidied her house and lucky she has some family and great friends that live near to help her out.   Oh and home-care is coming in twice a day to help as well.

We drove from Carman to Casper, Wyoming in one day and was happy to have such a wonderful reception from the night staff and a very comfortable bed at the Quality Inn.  It was a smooth drive and just a wee bit of construction before the border.  Border crossing went great - one guy took our passports and the vet papers while another one opened up the back, took one of our suitcases out and checked the truck.  Much to our surprise both dogs never made a sound, I thought for sure when the border patrol opened up the back Blitz would bark at him and his kennel was facing the back.  I guess they knew they had to behave or they wouldn't make it to Yuma. 

In front of the hotel in Casper there are two life-size statues of horses and in the morning I took the dogs there to check them out.  Blitz was very unsure of the horses, he has seen real ones from a distance but wasn't sure about these ones and with caution he did the GSP stalk and point as we approached them.  Too funny!

Blitz was still unsure of the statue and Molly
was bored and wanted to leave

From Casper, WY we started another long day of driving through most of Utah and finally to Page, AZ where we will stayed an extra day to explore Monument Valley.  I always thought that Monument Valley went on forever but it really doesn't but we turned off the main road and into Valley of the Gods which in some ways much more breathtaking than Monument Valley.  Even saying this I wouldn't miss seeing both.

Utah weather was not very kind to us
as it rained most of the time as we drove through it.

Not only did we have to deal with heavy rains at times we also had to deal with some cowboys moving their cattle from one location to another.  Of course Blitz and Molly freaked out a bit as they were very close to the truck.  Traffic slowed down to a halt as these cattle not only had ranchers as escorts but also 3 sheriffs directly traffic.

We stopped at Bridal Veil Falls just
north of Provo, UT

Our morning view from our hotel in Page, AZ
with the moon still in the sky

We slept in a bit...6am (haha) and got ourselves fed, including the dogs, and off again on the road back to Utah.  It was probably a good 2 1/2 hour drive to Monument Valley from Page and the scenery was pleasant. 

We stopped at Twin Rock for lunch and this old Chevy
was at the entrance

We had a burger and sweet potato fries at the cafe at Twin Rock in Bluff, UT and we could of shared one meal as you get a ton of food...really good food.  They make everything from scratch, even their kaiser buns.  Duke & Rose Simpson opened up the trading post in 1989 and five years later the cafe , and Duke's motto is "If you go away from Twin Rocks hungry, it's your own fault." Needless to say, we didn't go away hungry. 

We also came across this Mexican restaurant but it was closed as it was Monday. I loved their rooster so Craig stopped the truck for me to get a shot of it. 

You've seen thousands of pics of Monument Valley so here's a couple more. John Wayne movies, actually probably every cowboy movie ever made was filmed here and of course Forest know the scene where he is running down the highway.

Then onto Valley of the Gods where the scenery was magnificent.  We came upon a few campers here and thought of our friends Trish and Rod who would absolutely love to park their trailer here.  I did a bit of a pano with my phone in one location for a better feel of the place.

A little black and white 

To us this looked like a hand with the thumb and finger pointing up

One thing that I am drawn to are the Navajo stands where the locals sell their jewelry and pottery. I love the feel of these stands, how each one is different and how they protect the seller from the scorching sun during the day.  At sunset they make for a great place to capture the setting sun. I would rather buy direct from these artists than buying from a store where they will charge you 5x the price...and sometimes not even made by the Navajo. 

The next day before we started our drive to Yuma we decided to take the short drive to Horseshoe Bend.  It's about a 15 minute drive from Page and I would highly recommend seeing will literally take your breath away.  There is a 3/4 mile hike from the parking lot to the Bend and some of the terrain is up and down but it is so worth it, wear good shoes and bring water.

Now there is a sign at he beginning of the walk telling you about Horseshoe Bend and also warnings to please do not stand on the edge as the rock is limestone and sometimes you do not know what's underneath you.  Craig and I had a few minor heart attacks as we watched some people walk right to the end of a rock to get a picture or hanging over the edge and a young girl was actually jumping up as her friend was taking a picture.  I'm all for getting that perfect shot but I am smart about it and we were surprised that there weren't as many deaths from people getting too close to the edge.  Just like the Grand Canyon there are no fences to keep you from falling.  Craig was a bit more nervous than I was and as I was taking pictures he was holding the bottom of my shirt so I wouldn't fall, I'm thinking if I fell over he would be coming with me.

The white on the Colorado is a boat 

The sand was red and the skies were so blue

You can see the edge on your left how fragile it can be

Blitz and Molly

Pano from my phone

The weather has been in the high 30'c range since we arrive in Yuma and no one is complaining.  We did purchase a Rubbermaid Tuff Tub for the dogs to cool off in since they are not use to these temperatures.  There were finally some clouds in the skies this evening so Craig and I headed out about 4:30pm to catch the sunset at 5:55pm.  We drove to the Foothills and off the pavement to capture a beautiful sunset.

Gorgeous sunset tonight

Random plastic chair in the middle of nowhere
Kinda makes you sad to know there is litter everywhere on this planet

I don't always look behind me but sometimes it is so worth it.
Looking east after the sun has set 

Talk soon!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Behind The Eight Ball

Sorry it took so long to do a blog posting, been a bit busy.  First thing first, I am so happy to say that my mom is doing great after her hip replacement.  She had a followup apt this past week and her doc is very pleased with her progress.  She says she feels better every day and of course that pain in her hip is no longer there.  Yippee!  

It was great to spend some time with one of my school day friends Angie, while I was in Carman.  We have always kept in touch and I think it must be about 35 years that we have been friends.  She took me and her grandson Ashton to Roseisle, Manitoba - a short drive from my mom's place.  I've been there many times but she took me to the back roads and to the Leary Brickyard.  Here's some pics of our adventure.

We first came up on this beauty of an old log house - love how it is nestled into the valley. 

This was a sign that was inside the house

Ashton who is one of Angie's grandsons and a great kid; polite, talkative and just a joy to be around. I thought I'd take the opportunity to take a couple of photographs of him. 


Ashton and Angie

The Leary Brickyard was a small brick factory tucked in the beautiful Pembina Valley. It opened its doors in 1901 and produced 12,000 bricks per day - not bad for a small factory. It was in the perfect spot, using shale from the river bank & water from the river to make the bricks, wood chopped for the kiln and a railroad for shipping the bricks. It closed it's doors for good in 1953. 

The brick house

I so wanted to take some of the tin siding but of
course I left it where it was

From left to right: the smokestack, the bee hive kiln, brick house
and the large storage shed.

This kiln was massive

Inside of the kiln

These next two pic are from the outside of the kiln

The sign just above the kiln entrance 

What a fabulous door!

I sure hope that they restore this piece of history

The fall colours were fading from the trees but we did come across a few spots where there was still some pretty colours.

When you first drive into Roseisle there are some horses in a pasture so of course we had to stop, feed them some fresh grass and take some pics of these beauties!  My mom comes from a family of horse people and we had a couple growing up and I forgot how much I adore these creatures and the smell of them...thanks Angie for bringing back these fond memories from my childhood. 

He was so handsome!

Such soulful eyes

Well hello there

Between visiting my mom in the hospital I managed to photograph some things around her yard and took a few pics of Molly and when Craig and Blitz arrived I had to take some of Blitz as well.  Through all this Molly had an angry looking lump that was removed and an ear infection - you could say that I had put a lot of miles on the rental without ever leaving the province, driving to and from Winkler where mom was and into Winnipeg for Molly.  I am VERY happy to report that the lump that was removed from Molly's neck was benign and I will be removing the sutures in a couple of days.  So glad these two old gals (Mom and Molly) are doing fab. 

Mom's neighbour grows giant pumpkins and here's a bit of 
a closeup of one of them

She had to get a tree removed this year so I thought
the stump made a cool pic...don't forget to count the rings

Mom has a few very colourful old birdhouses 
around her property

One of the final apples that fell from her tree.

Here's Molly with one of the neighbour's giant pumpkin

I'm the Queen (or should I say Princess) of this hay bale.

She's so darn cute!

The Princess in her chariot

A falling leaf caught her eye

My handsome boy

...then he shook his head and a big ole goober 
landed on his cheek.

I guess he thought if Molly could do it so can he

A pretty prairie sunset.

I will try to get another blog posting together tomorrow to share our 4 day adventure to our Southern Home.  Our friends Norma, Debbie and Art should be arriving soon and it will be good to see them again and to catch up since the last time we saw them. 

Talk soon!