Arizona – Northern

After zig-zagging across the Utah and Arizona borders, we are now firmly ensconced in AZ.  Page, Arizona, gateway to lake Powell is our home for about a week.  It is warm & dry here.  I now understand the idea of a snowbird.  I have always loved snow, but being warm sure is hard to beat.

Again, getting fresh produce in a small town is next to impossible.  I purchased some beets and the tops were sad & wilted.  Fortunately, we are late in the season, so fall and root vegetables are readily available, but they are older, somewhat damaged.  Speaking of vegetables, it is a wonder how anything grows in this soil.  To call it soil is a misnomer.  The soil is more like a very fine red powder, incapable of holding water and giving life.  I wonder if it would make a good facial mask.

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Lake Powell is stunning and HUGE.  Our canoe is dwarfed by the huge houseboats, cabin cruisers.  Wakes from power boats are now our enemy.  We learned to canoe in the peaceful waters of Central Oregon, so power boats are new to us.  The wake from a large boat was partly to blame for us tipping the other day.  The dogs were a bit unsettled too, which made for uneven weight distribution.  But the only damage was to our pride and my IPhone….the camera is foggy.  So I will try the ol’ dry rice trick to see if it can be saved.  Now I will always keep it in the waterproof bag!

Note: the ol’ dry rice trick didn’t work.  Oh sure, the phone & camera are in working order, but the phone can’t be charged any longer.  Of course, none of the towns we have been in sell cell phones.  To the big city, we must go.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is, well, grand.  And very very big.  John Wesley Powell (Lake Powell is his namesake) first explored and coined the name Grand Canyon.  Powell was the Lewis & Clark of the southwest, exploring and writing very detailed journals of what he encountered.  In fact, if a species is not mentioned in Powell’s journals, it is not considered native to the Grand Canyon.  Elk were not mentioned, but here they are.

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Formed when the North American plate & Pacific plate crashed together zillions of years ago, the Pacific plate went underneath the NA plate.  This is why the North Rim is about 1000 ft. higher than the South Rim.  The Colorado river flows at the bottom, slowly winding its way to the Gulf of California.

Riding a mule at the Grand Canyon has been on our bucket list.  So for Jeff’s 70th birthday, we did just that.  It was a great way to see the canyon, meet nice people and learn more about the canyon.

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And the term “rim” is accurate.  Cliff is another word that could be used.  The edge is the edge.  Try getting on a mule near a several thousand foot drop.  It is exciting to say the least.

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After our stay at the Grand Canyon, we head east, passing Winslow, AZ, made famous by the Eagles song.  Frankly, I expected a bit more.  It is a very small town out in the middle of nowhere.  No wonder the girl slowed down to take a look!

I love the sign at the rest stop.  “Beware of poisonous steaks and insects in this area.  Closely watch small children & pets.”  We immediately got back into Jackson.  Geez

Our destination was Fools Hollow Lake, dubbed the prettiest campground in AZ.  And pretty it was.  A lovely peaceful lake with ponderosas & piñon trees.  Fools Hollow is just outside the town of Show Low.  How the town of Show Low got its name is a great tale….

Seems two gents owned a 100,000 acre spread.  Well, that spread just wasn’t big enough for the two of them. (Men!). So they decided to play poker to decide who would keep the ranch and who would skedaddle.  Well, the poker game went on and on.  Finally one suggested that whoever “shows low” card would settle the game.  One gent produced the deuce of clubs, the lowest card in the deck.  So, the town is named Show Low and the main drag is……Deuce of Clubs.

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Central Arizona

We are outside of Scottsdale, at McDowell Mountain Regional Park.  The area is full of saguaro cacti and coyotes.  Close to Scottsdale & Phoenix, we were able to enjoy city life.  I was finally able to replace my IPhone, go to BevMo and shop at real department stores.

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Collection of rocks in dutch oven

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Our dinner tonight was prepared in several ways.  We smoked a brisket using our Green Mountain “Davy Crocket” grill.  Having made bread for years, I was now trying to do it in a Lodge Dutch Oven.  Finally, our Brussels Sprouts were roasted in our convection oven/microwave.

The mountains in this area are so different than other areas.  They look like chocolate buttercream ladled over nutty brownies.  And everything seems to have a pointy, sharp spine.  Quail are abundant; dozens of them travel together, skittering across the landscape.  Jackrabbits are bold and plentiful; Keisha is in heaven.

Small towns

We have been fortunate enough to live in places where we have ready access to fresh produce, a variety of grocery shopping options and seafood.  This is not the case in parts of Southern ID, Utah & AZ.  Our shopping options have been Safeway or Walmart.  For several weeks I have been in search of any kind of fish (and I don’t mean canned tuna), a brisket and celery root.  At long last, we have found brisket and celery root; however, the checkout gal asked me what the vegetable was in the bag.  Still on the lookout for seafood.

I don’t want to sound like a snob, but I am not a Walmart person.  In fact, I had never been in a Walmart until we started to travel to Bend.  While we were building the house, Jeff “needed” a fishing license, so we headed to the only place open to sell one, Walmart.  Early on that Sunday morning, the fellow in front of us was purchasing bullets…..with rolls of quarters.  Walmart sells virtually everything.  They even have a RV section.  I’ll bet they sell Christmas year round.  However, their food selection is grim, followed only by their wine selection.  However, when this is the only game in town, you buy what is available.

We had stopped in one liquor/sporting goods store in Page, AZ.  We purchased 2 six packs and a bottle of scotch.  The checkout gal asked us if we were entertaining that weekend……..yeah, ourselves!

The Internet

We both have IPhones, IPads & a laptop.  I also purchased a Verizon Jetpack to give us internet access when in remote locations.  Have you seen the Verizon commercial where they show coverage in the US?  Red means coverage and gray means nada.  We have spent some time in nada land.

But to update my blog and post pictures requires more Wi-Fi than we have had access to in the last couple of weeks.  Believe it or not, there are no antennas out in the middle of nowhere.  This is good and bad.  Do we really need to be connected all the time?  So here I am, at Starbucks in Fountain Hills, AZ posting away.

Some final pictures….

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3 thoughts on “Arizona – Northern”

  1. Do you have “Christmas” decor in Jackson? Available at Walmart. Things are glittering here. B is both riding and skiing, he can’t get closer to heaven. Holiday parties abound🎉🎉. Can’t Jeff catch you some fresh fish? Miss you both. G

  2. Yay a new post. Love following along. I will say when you get to the Midwest I think the Wal-Mart’s are nicer. And I don’t know about you but I always feel like a supermodel in Wal-Mart. I mean, where Lee on earth can one purchase rawhide chews, perfume, and fix a flat all under one roof?? God Bless America. Have fun in Scottsde, one of my favorite places. 🐾💕😊

  3. Love Love Love your musings and the photos are super. Really like the one showing the mules head as you progressed down the Grand Canyon. Aren’t bucket lists great. Keep writing and posting….kinda feel like I’m right there with you.

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