Thursday, December 31, 2015

Spur Cross Hike

I had a great breakfast before heading out for a lovely hike with Cindy!
Cream of buckwheat with raisins, cinnamon, and sugar.

Allistair wanted me to stay . . .

 Stephen was so relaxed that his tongue wouldn't stay in his mouth!

It was chilly - 32!

It was a bit of a drive (this trail is in Cave Creek), and once we got there, it wasn't as chilly anymore.
Most of the day it was in the 50s.

Ocotillo, all green and happy: 

Cactus carcass:

Cindy and me!

 The winter sky in Arizona is a gorgeous clear blue:

We even wandered through an
"important bird area" (whatever that is!)

There was a grove of Ironwood trees.

And many, many saguaros.

We took the Towhee trail, which was just a little verdant loop off the main Metate trail.

We saw mistletoe growing in the trees!

Sometimes the trail was delineated by branches along the bottom of a wash.

More dead cacti:

 The saguaro in this area have more arms than almost any I've ever seen!

We sat down for lunch on a little ledge overlooking this colorful wash:

And after lunch, we discovered that the Cave Creek Spur Cross Regional Park trail turned into the Tonto National Forest trail!

And about there is where the dirt started to turn red.

And that's when we turned around so we wouldn't have to come home in bad rush hour traffic.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Post-Christmas Hike

Yesterday Greg and I went for a hike with Greg's college friend, Joe, and Joe's wife, Laurie.
We went to Lost Dutchman State Park and hiked the Treasure Loop (plus a little extra off-trail rambling near the top).

It was a beautiful sunny day.
With A LOT of wind!!!
And it was only 54 degrees, so we definitely bundled up.

 Lichen on the rocks:

No touching!

I had to tie my hat under my chin to keep it from blowing off and flying away!

Here is a cholla (pronounced "choy-uh") tree.
They look as if they belong in a Dr. Seuss book!

When we got home, we finally had a long enough time to open our gifts and take our time enjoying them.  Thank you to all our friends and family members who thoughtfully and generously gave things to us!

One thing Greg got was a fancy system for helping him improve his Foosball shot:

I assume it will make it even MORE difficult to win against him!

 Then we read and enjoyed a very slow and quiet evening.
Last night I slept very well and woke up feeling rested and happy AGAIN!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!