Mesa Verde and Grand Canyon Vacation

We started our trip early on July 4th.  We headed for Cortez to spend the night.  Yeah, we could have made it all the way to the Grand Canyon in one fell swoop, but we wanted to see Mesa Verde too.  Plus, we really didn’t want to show up for vacation exhausted from the trip to get there.

We only had time to visit one of the cave dwellings before getting back on the road.  Several of the dwellings are only accessed by Ranger led tours which we didn’t have time to wait for either.  However, the one we were able to actually walk down to and investigate was pretty cool.  The top of the cave is still black from cook fires from so many years ago.  Hubby climbed down into one of the kivas.  Not this kid.  My claustrophobia would not have been a pretty thing to witness.  Honestly, I couldn’t imagine being down there with nothing but a fire for light.  *Shudder*.

Mesa Verde:

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Corn grinding station:

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Inside the Kiva

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The rest of the cave dwelling we went into:

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By lunchtime we were back on the road heading for Arizona.  We of course had to stop first at Four Corners (on the way back) for the obligatory picture standing in four states at once.

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(May I just insert something here…..I appreciate the Native Americans in my family, but…….getting through the Navajo Nation was killer!  Sorry y’all, but it was like driving through Kansas….without the cornfields.  Oh my.)

We made it to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon just after lunch.  We stayed at the Thunderbird Lodge which is just steps from the rim of the Canyon.  The lodge itself is old, but it’s been updated and is very nice.  The beds were so comfortable I wanted to find a way to bring them home.

vacation 2014 noelle 10th birthday 048vacation 2014 noelle 10th birthday 052Those two pictures were taken just out the back door of the lodge.  Yep, right on the rim.  Watch yer step!!

Some random pictures of the canyon from the Rim Trail.

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Hermit’s Rest

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I covet this fireplace

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On Tuesday of our trip we went whitewater rafting.  This involved getting up at 3a.m. and driving to Peach Springs on the Hualapai reservation.  The Hualapai run a one day rafting trip and we took advantage of it.  I don’t have many pictures of going through the rapids because I was too busy holding on for dear life!  In fact, on the fourth rapid we went over we hit it sooooo hard that 5 of the 8 people in the raft ended up in the bottom of the raft.  Oh yeah, that was fun. Lol.

getting ready to board the bus for the trip down to the launch site

getting ready to board the bus for the trip down to the launch site

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We were on the river about 5 hours before we offloaded to catch our flight out of the canyon.

vacation 2014 noelle 10th birthday 120Hubby says helicopters were never meant to fly.  They merely beat the air into submission.  Sooooo, I can mark THAT off the bucket list.

We relaxed and hiked a bit the rest of our stay.  We even went to church one evening on the rim.

vacation 2014 noelle 10th birthday 149I enjoy my normal contemporary worship services, but a few hymns every now and then never hurt anyone either.  We met fellow Christians from all over the country as well as Scotland and Germany.  Way cool.

The only thing we were not able to do was the mule ride.  But here’s some pictures of the trail they take and the mules ready for the trail.

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Our last day there we were able to see some Native dancers perform.

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It was a wonderful week.  It was very relaxing with just the right amount of busy.

I hope everyone is having a great week.

 

Monster is 10

Do you see this beauty in the pink shirt?

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She’s 10.  Yes, 10!!!!!  Oh, I’m so old lol.

We got to share in her birthday party.  It was a blast.

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The Vacation from Dante’s Seven Hells

Yes folks, I’m finally back.  I’ve been on vacation (post and pictures soon) and had to come back to work to recuperate. The vacation was actually really good.  Relaxing with just the right amount of busy.  Until we tried to come home.

We got up really early Saturday morning the day we were to come home.  We checked out of the hotel around 6 a.m. and headed out of Grand Canyon National Park.  That time of day is just as the sun is coming up.  And when the mule deer and elk get up for breakfast.  About halfway between the hotel and the front gate of the park, we slowed down to look at some fawns off on the side of the road when WHAM!  We hit a deer darting across the road!  I start screaming, hubby starts yelling as the deer rolls off the hood of the car and skids down the road hooves flailing.  OMG!!!  We get the car stopped about the time the deer stops skidding.  He gets up, shakes himself off, and gives us a look as if to say “Really?” and walks off.

I was hysterical.  I just KNEW we had not killed the deer, but had injured him so badly we would have had to shoot him and try to explain it to the rangers.  Thank heavens the deer appeared to be fine.  The hood and grill of the car….not so much.  Really, it’s not all that bad for having hit a deer.  He just dented one corner of the hood and scraped up the grill enough to notice.  After we calmed down we headed on down the road.

We made it out of the Navajo Nation into Four Corners and stopped for the obligatory picture on the Four Corners monument.  Stopped for lunch in Cortez before continuing on.  Just east of Durango we realized we had a flat.  Grrrr.  So we pull over and haul everything out of the trunk to get to the spare.  At this point we are just under half way home.

Getting the spare on was fiasco enough, but then hubby looked at the tire that went flat.  He realized the tread had worn down to metal just on the inside of the tire.  Rats!  Checked the other tire and sure enough it was wearing in the exact same pattern.  Hmmmm…….car needs a rear-end alignment.  AND the other tire was ready to give out at any minute.

So, we limped back into Durango a little after 1 on a Saturday.  We stopped first at a junk yard a gentlemen who stopped to help recommended.  They actually had some rims and tires that would fit the car, but they really wanted way too much for them.  So on into town we go.

We stopped at a tire store and although they could have ordered in tires for us, it would have been Monday before they got there and we were due back at work on Monday.  Hubby’s getting really frustrated by this point.  He is in total “get home” mode.

As we are backing out of the parking space at the tire store…….we back into a very large truck.  Ugh!  We just caught the side of his very large, heavy duty silver/grey bumper.  All down the side of the car.  SMH.  The owner of the truck wasn’t even there.  He had left the car there to have work done to it.  So , we left our insurance info with the tire store guys.  Thankfully, the damage to his bumper was incredibly minimal.  I took pictures of it before we left just in case.

Now we go back to the junkyard and pay an exhorbitant price to used, gold spoke spinner rims and tires.  The guy at the junk yard put two of them on the back of the car.  Now understand, spinners are not installed the way a normal tire is installed.  I can’t really explain it, but suffice to say it ain’t normal.

Finally back on the road!  Twenty miles down the road to Pagosa Springs hubby says “We just lost a tire” as the left rear wheel bounces past us on the highway going 60 mph.  Oh fun.

Two hours on the side of the road before two ladies stop who thank goodness had cell reception.  They called us a tow truck who showed up about 45 minutes later and towed us into Pagosa Springs.  He dropped us at a very nice hotel which gave us a discounted rate.  And there we sat until Tuesday afternoon waiting for parts and tires to shipped in from Farmington.

Yes, we visited Dante’s Seven Hells that Saturday.  Lesson we learned from this?  Next road trip we RENT a car and pay the extra insurance.

Hope everyone else has been doing well.  Have a great week!!!

Garden Update June 2014 and Other News

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Spring/Summer is finally here!!!  I thought it would never warm up enough to really get the garden planted.  I was on FB today and one of my groups asked what everyone was growing this year.  I was a little shocked when I actually listed everything out.  Here’s what we’ve planted and/or bought for the garden:

tomatoes

cucumbers

yellow squash

zucchini

tetragonia spinach

green onions

carrots

kohlrabi

luffa

green beans

greasy beans

beets

cantaloupe

peas

turnips

bell peppers

cubano peppers

jalapeno peppers

cayenne peppers

lemon balm

horehound

peppermint

spearmint

strawberries

raspberries

assorted colorful flowers to attract and keep bees

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(Do you see the mallow growing around the petunias?  I harvested tons of it from the yard already.  I also pulled purslane out of the main garden. I may try to dig it up and pot it next time I find some.  I love edible “weeds”)

 

Wow!  That’s a lot for the tiny space we have.  And I still want more!!!

 

The greenhouse is going to come in so handy next spring when I go to start my seeds.  I know I’m going to have to exercise  restraint or I will have watermelon in the back planter and corn growing by the driveway.  Wait.  Would that be bad? Lol.

In other news, I ordered more leaf-cutter bees.  They have arrived and are already hatching.  I saw one that had obviously just hatched from it’s cocoon.  It sat on the top of the bee house for a few minutes wriggling his butt and buzzing his wings before crawling off the edge and flying off.  They are sooo tiny compared to regular bees, but boy do they get the job done!  I already have some mason bee babies all cocooned up for next year in their bee box.  I’m hoping for lots more mason bee and leaf-cutter bee babies. Not to mention excessive pollination of my garden lol.

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Other than garden watching and tending I am frantically getting ready for vacation.  I spent so much time planning and preparing for my Women’s Retreat that now I’m scrambling to get everything ready for our trip.  Mostly that has meant ordering things for our rafting trip that we will do one day.  Who knew the Colorado River in the summer was still only 50 degrees?!?  That calls for rain suits and aqua shoes for the raft.  Going through the rapids WILL drench us head to toe and even though the air temp might be in the 100’s it will still be uber-cold from the water.  I also had to order a water-proof pouch for my camera.  No way I’m missing out on photo-ops.

That’s it for me for now.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week and Happy Father’s Day!!!

Linking up with:

http://newlifeonahomestead.com/, www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com, http://www.aboverubies.net/, http://www.growinghomeblog.com/, http://www.deeprootsathome.com/, http://www.raisingarrows.net/, www.oursimplefarm.com, http://raisinghomemakers.com/

My Newest Toy

Hubby has been diligently working on my newest toy for weeks now.  Finally, it is finished and ready for use.  And here it is…..

My new greenhouse!!!

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It’s 10 feet by 12 feet and I can’t wait to start filling it up!!  Yes, there is a tree right next to it, but the greenhouse gets morning sun and the tree shades it from the harshest of the late afternoon sun.

Now, I’ll be able to start my heirloom seeds in the greenhouse and not have to depend on questionable plants from the garden center.  I can overwinter my herbs instead of having to replant every year.  But no, I’m not excited or anything.  Nope.  Not me.

Hope everyone has a great week!

 

Women’s Retreat 2014

Just a few pcs from the retreat last weekend.  More later!

sane ladies on retreat

crazy ladies on retreat

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I love my ladies!

 

Every Day Carry

Stuff can happen when you least expect it.  It usually happens at the most inopportune moments as well.  It really helps allay the stress of those moments when you have some tools at your disposal to mitigate the circumstances.

I really don’t like to carry around a suitcase everywhere I go, but there are some things I do like to have on hand in my purse every day. Some of the things I like to carry are:

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flat credit card-sized multi-tool

bic lighter

solar l.e.d. flashlight (didn’t make the picture)

small med bag (didn’t make the picture)

(My small med bag contains:  bandaids, safety pins, antibiotic salve, aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol, heartburn meds)

lip balm

hand lotion

perpetual ceramic nail file

compact mirror

small amount of cash ($20 preferably in smaller bills)

Soon I’ll also include my handgun and extra magazine (sigh, I’m old-school…it’s a clip lol). Unfortunately, my workplace is a “Gun-free Zone”.  SMH.

So, do these EDC items guarantee my safety in the event of the zombie apocalypse?  Eh, not so much.  But, they do make life a little more comfortable away from home.  I want to add a few more items, but I’m still pondering what to add and how to carry them without the aforementioned suitcase.

Next up, I’m working on putting together Get-Home-Bags and Stay-Put-Bags for the office.  Although I have yet to need a GHB, I have had an instance where I was snowed in at the office and had to spend the night. An SPB would have been really helpful then.

So, what do you EDC and what things would you recommend for a GHB and a SPB?

Hope everyone has a great week!

 

Linking up with:

http://newlifeonahomestead.com/, www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com, http://www.aboverubies.net/, http://www.growinghomeblog.com/, http://www.deeprootsathome.com/, http://www.raisingarrows.net/, www.oursimplefarm.com, http://raisinghomemakers.com/

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