Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 8, 2016 it's almost over

It's almost the end of the presidential election. I am glad. I am so tired of all the talk, posturing, accusing, blah, blah, blah.

So here's some nice pictures for you to enjoy.
cactus flower in Green Valley in April

Brandenburg Mountain at Aravaipa Canyon

Chesterfield, Idaho July 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October 24, 2016 Mom's sweater

I finally finished it! Yay!! Ruby and Toby love it too! I had it wrapped up in tissue and set it on the floor. Toby peeled the tissue back so he could lay on it and use the sweater for a pillow. Then when I laid it out to take pictures of it, Ruby thought it was for her napping pleasure and plopped down in the middle of it.

Mom had acquired the yarn for this sweater years ago. She found a pattern for a bulky sweater that she liked and set about to make the sweater. The knitting process and the directions weren’t her cup of tea and she ended up tinking (that’s knitting backwards, aka frogging, rippit).
So when I was visiting Mom in April, she offered me the yarn. She said I could make anything I wanted to out of it and I told her I would make her the sweater. We took her measurements and decided which size to make. I weighed the yarn to determine how much yardage was there even though when she bought it they assured her there would be plenty of yarn. 

This was a pretty straightforward pattern, I thought. I’m good at following directions, not so much with making modifications to the pattern to make things fit better. After completing one sleeve, I looked at it and thought it must have been written for a gorilla. Sure, it’s a loose baggy sleeve, but this thing would have fit a body builder, so out it came. Also, if I had made two sleeves that size there really wouldn’t have been enough yarn for the body of the sweater. 

Hi Grannie Helen!

The yarn is pretty, a nubby mix of tan, black and white, but not too friendly to knit with. It has a tendency to stick to itself, it was hard to see sometimes where the stitches were, especially when needing to unknit something. I did plenty of cursing at times when the yarn would separate. And then it came to getting close to the end. I didn’t have enough yarn to get the length in the body as I had feared. I looked all over the internet, Ravelry, eBay and a general search to see if maybe I could find one more skein of yarn, but no luck. I explored a few different options and finally settled on black to make the body long enough. Even though Mom is petite in stature, she didn’t need a cropped sweater.

Now that it’s completed, all washed and ready to go, I’ll get it in the mail next week and she’ll have a nice surprise. I can’t take it in my suitcase when I go to Seattle in November because it would take up half the space, it lives up to being a bulky sweater. 

nice sweater

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 22, 2016 a silent retreat

I had the pleasure last weekend to attend a small retreat for women. The theme of the retreat was Women in Nature and it was put together by Sky Island Zen in Tucson. It was held at Aravaipa Canyon Ranch, a rustic ranch house in a beautiful canyon alongside a stream. The beauty of it too, was that it was mostly silent. All of the anxiety and uncomfortableness of small talk with people you don’t know is removed. It isn’t necessary to think about what to say during dinner, or that quiet time after a meal and it gives a person a lot of time to be with themselves without distractions.

It wasn’t entirely silent. There were talks given twice a day by the teachers. With these we would sometimes have a listening exercise, where we were given a topic to talk about and each person would get 3 or 5 minutes to talk while the other person just listened. Then we would get another 5 minutes to discuss our thoughts with each other. Or we would have a walking meditation outdoors in the stream or through a small canyon, then there would be a writing exercise and time to share a part of that writing with the group. But mostly it was silent. No music, other than the sound of the stream, the wind in the trees, crickets in the evenings, just the sounds of nature.

the bruised Han
The other thing I like about this type of retreat is that everyone is given a job. There are different roles for the meditation practice and services. Bell ringers, chant leaders and time keepers. There is also the house that needs tending to. While there is a cook, (her meals were fabulous), it was our responsibility to clean up the kitchen after meals. Everyone was assigned a couple of turns on the clean up crew with a different person being the lead. Here you can talk, but just about the work, no small talk about the weather, your cat, your kids, whatever. Just the task at hand. Some people did have a hard time maintaining the silence especially when there was wildlife around. They wanted to be sure that everyone could see the javelina, the paper wasps, ground squirrels, or whatever happened to catch their attention.

my work station
I was tasked with the job of Han, one of the timekeeper jobs. The Han is a bell. Not a typical bell you would think of, it’s made from a plank of wood and is struck with a wooden mallet. In the practice here it was used as the call to meditation. Ten minutes before it was time to get to the meditation room, I would take up my position and begin the countdown with three loud strikes on the Han. Every 40 seconds I would strike it again. At 5 minutes there would be a series of strikes(a roll down) ending with a loud hit.Then two more 40 second intervals, another roll down, ending with a loud hit, then a soft hit, then two more 40 second intervals, ending with a final roll down, with a loud, soft loud hit. The Han had suffered some premature wear from the maple mallet. This Han was made from mesquite, which is softer than maple. After seeing the damage, the head of the mallet was covered with leather to soften the blows to the surface. I thought, it must be possible to strike the Han in such a way as to allow it to sing, without causing it pain. I made it another part of my mindfulness practice, to strike it with the head of the mallet as flat as possible against the surface of the Han and to release the strike so it could sing.

It was a wonderful part of my practice over the weekend. To have that focus 4 times a day, where there wasn’t anything else. Just the bell waiting to be struck. That is also how we can be in our lives, like a bell waiting to be struck. To be ready for our time to sing. 

Another thing about this retreat was knowing that I am part of a community. My practice began in Bellingham. Moving away from my spiritual community I had some concern about how I would keep up with my practice without that community. I have found a lovely group to sit with, but it is a mix of traditions so we don’t have the ritual that comes with the Soto Zen practice. (Dare I use the term ecumenical in the sense that it is a collection of different Buddhist traditions, not Christian? ) So I was happy to find Sky Island Zen. Then, at the retreat, I met two women who know people that I practiced with in Bellingham. It was so wonderful to have that connection. To know that the community is bigger than just where I live. No matter where I go, there will be community.
Brandenburg Mountain

Friday, October 7, 2016

October 7, 2016 Settling In

I have been living in my new home for just over two years and am finally feeling like this is home. I have been talking with a new friend of mine, she has been in her new home here after moving from Maine, just over a year ago. Her place is all nicely decorated, everything unpacked and in its place. I told her I still have boxes of stuff that I haven’t unpacked in the two years I’ve been here and she was aghast! “We have to fix that!” she says to me. 

A few weeks ago when she was at my house, the conversation moved to decorating. She was noticing that I don’t have anything on top of my kitchen cabinets. There is about a two foot space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling, a perfect place for stuff to gather dust, I say. She says “who cares about the dust? No one is going to see the dust. You need to put something up theah? (She has a very strong New England accent and drops her R’s). I had only randomly placed up there an old kerosene lantern. It looked so out of place, it was just one thing that got unpacked two years ago and I wanted to get it out of the way so I stuck it up there. It has always bugged me but I was too lazy to get it down and move it somewhere else. Also not knowing where else it should be. Back in a box maybe? So I left it alone in its randomness.

We started looking around the house to see what was lying around that might look good on top of the cabinets. I have a couple of tall glass bottles that I love so she said that would be a good start. I climbed up on top of the counter and she handed me the bottles to put in their new place. Looks good so far. Then she says, “what else you got? there’s gotta be something else we can put up theah?” I started looking around for anything that might fill up that space and came across a couple of Chinese baskets. Back up on the counter, she hands me up the baskets and they too now have a new place. The basket on the left was a gift from my friend. She thought it would look good with my two Chinese baskets, and it does. I am blessed with the generosity of friends.

That’s how I then confessed to her that I have a lot of pottery and other stuff still in boxes in the garage. She says, go get it! But that is a project for another day. See how good I am at procrastinating? She is encouraging though and not intrusive. I also can’t get to the boxes because DH has a bunch of his tools and RZR parts spread out in front of the cabinets where the boxes are stored. This next part of the decorating project will have to wait until he has the garage put back together.

Hmm, so DH got the garage cleaned up. Now it’s time to decorate. I got a hold of my friend and we started unpacking.
 First thing was my miniature stove. It was in the unpacking of the parts and pieces when I discovered my small crock did not fare well in the move. Or is that farewell to the crock? The crack it had finally gave way and a big piece fell out. I think I’ll glue it back together because I like it.

Next was the pottery. We got one box unpacked and she was all excited to get started putting them up. I said, “but wait, there’s more.” “There’s more?” she says. “yep”, I say.
“Well, go get ‘em,” she says. So off we go back to the garage to get two more boxes of pottery to unpack. I must say, with help this all goes much more quickly. It was less than two hours we had the stove, and four boxes of stuff unpacked, one box repacked and everything else artfully placed in the high spaces in the kitchen. 

It is a good feeling to get that stuff out of storage. It’s part of the process of letting go. While it is stored, it is out of sight, but not wholly out of mind. It’s clinging to me, something that owns me, that I have to take care of, or it will wind up like the crock, broken. I’ve reached the point where I don’t want my stuff to own me. Having a ‘collection’ of whatever does not bring me joy. What is the point of keeping it if it is just going to be packed in a box, not out where I can enjoy it? I feel by having it out there everyday I will enjoy it while waiting for the opportunity to find it a new home, whether I sell it or give it away. And I would like for it to go where it will bring someone joy. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 25, critters continued....

Welcoming the fall season, the temperatures are getting cooler and days are getting shorter. It’s always a time for transitioning from our summer activities. Here in the desert, it’s time to get back outside and explore, to do some hiking in the hills or just walking around the neighborhood.

My yoga classes are starting up again and I have had the good fortune to take on two new classes, one with Green Valley Recreation (aka GVR) and the other at a retirement community, La Posada. I felt a little rusty since I haven’t taught any class since April so I connected with a few of my students who are full time residents here and offered a free class for them. We had a wonderful time, even though we had an unwelcome visitor. No, not a person who was misbehaving or anything like that. A pepsis wasp, commonly called a Tarantula Hawk. They are very pretty, however, they also have the most painful sting of any North American stinging insect. Although they are not the most venomous, but who cares about that if it’s the most painful? 

I saw the critter slowly crawling around in front of one of my students and didn’t give it much thought, figuring it would crawl or fly away. It didn’t have a chance! Once she saw it she was off her mat, shoe in hand a gave it a good whacking. She left her shoe on it so we could continue and later have a good look at it. After our practice and lovely savasana, she picked up her shoe and the bug was still moving. Everyone got a good close look at it and decided after I shared what I knew about them that it needed to be put out of it’s misery completely so she squashed it flat. I don’t really like to kill things that aren’t bothering me and won’t sting unless provoked, but other people don’t even want to give those creatures the opportunity to flee. They’ll still be lurking out there in the desert just waiting for someone to cross their path.

I learned about these tarantula hawks because last week as we were pruning our oak trees, I discovered in one of them a wasp nest. These were no ordinary wasps, even though the nest they are building looks like a paper wasp nest. But these guys are about 2 inches long! Bright yellow and huge. As I was researching what kind of giants were setting up house in my front yard, I stumbled across the information for the pepsis wasp. Turns out the paper wasps are beneficial critters, they eat other bugs and don’t sting unless provoked. So we decided to leave them where they are. As the temperatures cool off, the drones will die and the queens will move on so we won’t have to worry about evicting them. 
Then there was this little guy who paid us a visit on the back patio the other night after dusk. A praying mantis landed right on my hand. 
Add caption

And it could have been one of these guys who killed the cat I saw the other day. This guy was walking along the wall of my neighbors across the street. Apparently it jumped down into their yard, maybe to get some water out of their pool. Guess my two little kitties will need to stay indoors more.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Septebmer 18, 2016 a quiet Sunday

September 2015, right
We haven’t had any more scorpions lately, which is a good thing. We did have a false black widow on the patio and I moved her out to the garden. Perhaps if I had been more with it when dealing with the scorpion I might have taken it outside, likely not though.
 September 2015, left

September 2016, right
I am always amazed at how much things grow around here, even without supplemental watering. In April, 2015, my friend Mavis gave me a couple of paddles from her Texas spineless prickly pear cactus. 

In September 2015, after we got back from our summer of travel, this is what they looked like.
They have a nice yellow flower and bloom profusely.

I figured it would take a few years for it to amount to anything, but here we are, one year later and look at these two! Holy cow! 
September 2016, left

 I could have a whole forest of these if I wanted. Anyone want a cactus start? We are limiting the plants, primarily for this reason. Stuff grows like crazy around here and you gotta prune it. And everything has thorns or spines even if it does have spineless in the name. 
A friend down the street gave me one of her low growing shrubs and I put it in a pot to keep it off the ground. Low growing stuff is prime snake hideout so we don’t want any foliage laying on the ground. It looks a little rough yet because it was out of the ground without water for a few hours before I got it and planted it and gave it some water. It should come around. The beauty of it being in a pot too is I can move it around like a piece of furniture and brighten up a different spot in the garden if I want too.

I am reading The Hidden Lamp, a compilation of Buddhist koans and stories all written by women. I’m going on a retreat next month and we will be studying the ideas presented in this book. I am looking forward to having discussion with others who are reading this book too. At the end of each story and its commentary there is a one or two line question or comment. As I enjoy spending time in nature, this one spoke to me.

“Is it possible to enter and witness the wilderness without taking something away from it? Why is it so easy to forget to pay attention to the beauty all around us?”

Just think, when you go for a walk, even in the city, are you just walking or do you look for the flower coming up in the crack of the sidewalk? Do you notice the birds in the trees? The leaf as it turns color in the fall air?

Enjoy this fall day wherever you may be. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016 Desert Critters

I know we are supposed to share this space, but I just wish that some of these desert dwellers would stay out of the confines of my space.

The other night, Ruby was not in her usual bed time spot at the foot of the bed. She goes in there about 9:00 to get a rub down from Jay before he settles in for the night. When I went in to the bedroom, she was lying in front of his closet door. Odd. She was in the watch mode, head up, front paws together. I didn’t think much of it, maybe she was trying to find a spot of cool air there, it has been pretty hot here lately even with the AC running. 

So Jay went in to bed and he later reported that she was lying on the floor at the foot of the bed. When I went in to bed about an hour later, she is still on the floor at the foot of the bed. Toby is in watch mode next to my dresser. They are both just staring in that general direction. Okay, I’ve seen this before, it usually means there is a mouse under a piece of furniture and they are waiting for it to move or emerge so they can pounce. This happened in the trailer in June and it was a dead mouse under the couch, so I was hoping for a 4-legged critter here. Actually, I was hoping for nothing, but that wasn’t in the cards.

I went to the kitchen to get a flashlight to shine under there so I could maybe see what they were looking at. Well, I didn’t see anything, right away, and I was wishing I knew where the blacklight flashlight was(turned out it was right next to the regular flashlight in the drawer). A blacklight illuminates crawly things like scorpions. 

Well I don’t have the blacklight to help me out here, and I’m down on hands and knees trying to see what they see. I have a basket on the floor, so I thought maybe it was a spider they were playing with. I scoot the basket a little bit to one side and there it is! Their new toy! A scorpion! And now they can see it and want to pounce on it! I move the basket directly over the top of the thing so I can think about what to pick it up with and also maybe what to smash it with before it can crawl away. As with anything that is on a soft surface like carpet, smashing is pretty ineffective especially with something that has a hard shell. I discovered this right away as I whacked it a few times with the flashlight. I put the basket back over the top of it while I went to the kitchen to get a paper towel. Then back to the bedroom to dispatch the scorpion. I moved the basket and it promptly took off running down the edge of the baseboard. And the cats are on the move too and I’m trying to shoo them away while not letting the scorpion run off. A few more hits with the flashlight against the wall and it’s stopped. Here’s my chance to pick it up with the paper towel and flush it down the toilet. Phew!

Now to try to get some sleep. I lay awake for about an hour thinking about all the scorpions that were now going to be running around in my bedroom, lurking under the covers, under the bed, in the toes of infrequently worn shoes and how long is it going to take me to pack up everything I own and move away from here!

Bark Scorpion
In the morning, I did some research on the good ol’ innernet about scorpions. There’s a bunch of different ones that live here in Arizona, most of them harmless, but the most common is also the one that packs the biggest punch in its sting, the Bark Scorpion. I didn’t scrutinize the one in my bedroom too closely but it sure looked like the one in the pictures I found and it was about 2” long. So I guess I’m lucky that no one got stung. And it only took me about a week to calm down about finding hordes of them in the house.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016 Chesterfield, Idaho

salt box style home, 3 rooms and a loft
Okay, no we are not in Idaho now, but we were there in early August. After our week at Bear Lake, on the Utah side, we went to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. We stayed out in the National Forest about 7 miles north of town. I had read about this old Mormon settlement that was about 20 miles further north and east of where we were staying. I thought it would be a fun diversion for an afternoon, so one day we took off to check it out.

it works too!
tithing house
It's no wonder they left. It is really remote, the next nearest town of Bancroft is 10 miles away and it's not much of a town. I don't even think they had a gas station. The town of Chesterfield was settled by the Mormons in the late 1800's, they lasted out there about 80 years before throwing in the towel. Too remote, harsh winters, short growing season, etc. A while back, the descendants of this community decided they wanted to preserve the buildings and the village and they began the long process of restoring them. The whole village is on the National Register of Historic Places and they have done a beautiful job of restoring 20 of the buildings so far. They provide guided tours of the inside of the buildings. We just happened to catch up with one of the tour guides as he was showing one of the homes. He was happy to show us around to a few more places, the tithing house, the Bishop's house and a couple of the old homesteads.
quilt in the Bishop's house

It's always amazing to me to see places like this and how the settlers managed without any of the modern conveniences we have. Everything they did would have just been for survival. It was a cool place to visit, one of those that you really have to go out of your way to see, or in our case, just a short afternoon drive.

a two room homestead

on the porch of the Bishop's house

two room up front, kitchen off the back

cookstove and a dirt floor

Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016 progress, in so many ways

It was kind of a long week, but there was progress made in several areas. Number one being that DH is feeling better! Hooray! It’s a life long process, that inward looking self study, but one that has the potential for making life a little easier. 

dismantling of the RZR motor
One thing that has really been helping him is to have a project and it’s a good one. Our little Polaris RZR is sick. It has a bad valve from breathing in too much of the desert dust. It’s not only bad for human lungs, it’s bad for vehicles that are designed to run around off road. So he has been merrily dismantling the RZR.

 He also has plans for making a video about it and posting it on YouTube. He did a lot of research about this process and could not find any video lessons on how to do what he is doing. Yes, there is a manual, and yes, one could just take it to the dealer and have them fix it ($$$$). But, he is very good at this kind of work. I recall a time up north when he and some friends got together to rebuild an engine. They started about 9:00 in the morning and by 6:00 p.m. they had it back in the vehicle they had pulled it out of and running. I think that is just amazing. This of course, will take a little longer as he is learning as he goes. I’m just happy that he is doing something he loves to do. You can check out his intro, just click on the arrow in the box to the right. Once he gets the whole video done I’ll post a link for those of you who are really interested in how to rebuild the top end of a 2013 Polaris 900 XL RZR.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24, 2016 life's curve balls

Sometimes I think things are going along smoothly and then, WHAM! Life decides to pull the rug out from under you as a joke. Well, I’m not laughing, yet. My DH has depression. Yep, the big D and I don’t mean the one they talk about in country music songs. This is the one that really messes with a person’s head. It’s taken me a long time to come to accept that depression is a mental illness and to be able to call it what it is, without shame and secrecy. It’s not something that the person who is suffering can just “snap out of it” and move on. Oh, if it were only that easy.

It’s a terrible feeling to watch someone you love suffer so much, watching someone you love suffer sometimes is worse than suffering yourself. And I’m a fixer. I’m supposed to fix this, but I can’t. I have learned there is nothing I can do to ease his pain, it is so deep inside him that only he can find the light that will guide him back to his life. I can only stand by and hold space for him. But then I must take care of myself, get rest, eat well, exercise and seek out my friends who support me as I watch him suffer.

I am thankful to have my yoga practice and meditation. These two things were catalysts for me to help me begin to end my codependent behaviours, as was Al-Anon. It has been a long process and not an easy path, but most days I feel able to manage life’s curve balls. I am reading Pema Chodron’s book, When Things Fall Apart, it’s a great book to pick up in times like these. It’s short and to the point. A great reminder that compassion and loving kindness need to begin with the self and until we can see that, there is little we can do to help others. How is it we are so cruel and unforgiving to ourselves? We tell ourselves what a failure we must be when something doesn’t go our way, or that we must be a terrible person for whatever reason when we would never say those type of things to a friend.
I think we need to remember to treat ourselves like we would a friend and extend that compassion and loving kindness to our own self. As Pema says in the book “Practicing loving-kindness toward ourselves seems as good a way as any to start illuminating the darkness of difficult times.”

So while my DH is working through this difficult time, I will be shining a light of inquiry inward on myself. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 18, Bryce Canyon

We spent a few days parked in the National Forest about 5 miles from Bryce Canyon. When we first got there the skies were gray and threatening to drop some moisture, and they did. We were visited by the only wildlife around, some free range cattle. I half expected them to be under the awning in the morning, but they had moved on.

And in the morning we had clear skies, perfect for a bike ride on the Red Canyon paved trail. This trail goes all the way from the visitor’s center at the west end of the canyon to Inspiration Point inside Bryce Canyon National Park. Of course you better be in darn good condition and have strong thighs and a multi-speed bike if you are going to go in that direction. The 4 miles or so at the west end are about a 6% grade down to the visitor’s center. I rode towards the park first, having started about in the middle of the trail, then turned around and rode all the way back, then continued west to ride downhill through the Red Canyon. It was stunning. It’s a pretty drive, but there’s something to be said for being on a bicycle and going at a slower pace to enjoy the colors in the landscape and to enjoy the open meadows.

Not to say that hiking through the red rocks isn’t also spectacular. I had time to do two different hikes while we were there. The first one was to Tower Bridge. Another clear day, a few puffy clouds adding contrast to the vibrant blue sky. 

The trail was smooth mostly, with a few patches of loose gravel. The thunder clouds were kind to hold off until I was finished with my hike. It was 3 miles round trip, all downhill going out, then of course, all uphill coming back. It wasn’t a loop trail, but things always look different from the other direction. It was a little strenuous coming up that hill too, as I was at 7700’ elevation.

Tower Bridge
The second hike on two days later was the Navajo Loop/Peek-a-boo trail and combined it was about 6 miles. I managed to add another mile or two by riding the shuttle bus into the park to Inspiration Point, then hiking down to the trailhead at Sunset Point. I thought I had gotten a pretty early start, but by the time I got to Sunset Point there were three busloads of tourists who had just disgorged and were swarming all over the lookout points and blocking the trailhead like a nest of hungry ants.

I tried to politely make my way down the narrow switchbacks as French, German and Korean tourists all elbowed their way to find the perfect photo op. It became more of a challenge with each step, it seemed there was no way to get around them all, especially the ones who were afraid of the edge and would cling to the wall side while their friend holding the camera urged them closer to that edge for the best camera angle. I eventually made my way past the big clusters, they may have realized the farther down they go, the farther back up the have to go too and the crowds thinned out.

Once down to where the trail split off to the Peek-a-boo loop I was mostly alone. And it got quiet without all the people chattering away. I took my time walking among the hoodoos and the pine trees dodging all the horse poop on the trail. It’s amazing to see how the erosion is wearing away this part of the earth, how these formations are dirt and not rock like Zion and Arches National Parks. They say this area loses one to four feet of material to erosion every year. 

I found a quiet spot off the trail up a small dry creek bed to take a break. It was so quiet, until fellow hikers would walk by in small groups, talking in outside voices. Or maybe it was their inside voices and the sound just carries when there aren’t so many other noises to compete with. I would watch them walk by, busy in their conversation, that they didn’t seem to be noticing what was around them. They would say things like, “I wonder if there are rattlesnakes here?” and just keep marching on the path without any apparent pause to consider where a rattlesnake might be along the trail. Just my observations of other people.

I completed the Peek-a-boo loop then made my way back to the other half of the Navajo Loop to climb up the other switchback trail out of the canyon. There must have been a couple more busloads of tourists show up as this side of the trail, several hours later, was just as crowded as the other side when I was going down. Nervous folks clinging to the uphill side of the trail, then trying to get by them on the downhill side. Challenging when the trail is only three feet wide and there’s a person standing on each side trying for that perfect photo.

I made my way over to the lodge to check it out. It’s the only remaining lodge in a National Park that was constructed by the Union Pacific Railway from 1924-1926. All of the other lodges have had major fires that resulted in reconstruction of those structures. Then I caught the shuttle bus, making a stop at the main Visitor’s Center to pick up my sticker and my pin for participating in the “I Hiked the Hoodoos” program. Then it was back on the bus to the shuttle parking lot and back to camp for an afternoon of rest.

another warning sign from the NPS. Don't be dumb.

I was really blessed to be able to have this time at Bryce. We had been here one other time years ago but it was so cold and the wind was blowing that hiking for me would have been really uncomfortable and also maybe not too safe with the trails being wet from ice and rain. The dirt gets pretty slippery in those conditions. This was my time.

July 28, 2018 It's been a busy month

It’s been a busy month. Brownie at Black Elk Peak aka Harney Peak After we shipped our grandson back home, we rested a little t...