An Afternoon’s Journey

I know other parts of the country are freezing, buried under a mountain of snow, but here in SoCal, it was about seventy-five degrees and sunny (don’t hate).

It was the perfect day for a hike in the back country to inhale sandy, dirty trails and think about setting positive intentions for 2018.

We drove for a couple of hours (to a secret spot) and started walking. As the sun rose to its celestial meridian, I started shedding layers.

Does this look like it could be a Native American bedrock metate?

BC1E5289-6A6F-4ACF-8B0A-EB8FDB201721

Beautiful fruiting manzanita; well, I think it’s manzanita…

7E75C37E-BCEA-40EF-B647-C72D74F46A89

We know it’s a going to be a great day when the trails are heavily strewn with coyote scat!

25692E36-ED6A-4712-B0BB-800571949720

And this remnant of a coyote or bobcat’s meal. Upon close inspection, it looks like part of a tail but I’m not too sure how it ended up perched on the dried grass.

873FAA18-94A5-47ED-88D8-F391BF381C76

Steep and rocky.

D89BFCD4-BAA4-4AB6-B213-E20D821989F3

Stopping for a snack and water, the perfect time to touch up dry lips with a little Chanel. I’m always prepared!

17031BA7-1EA7-46E4-9F13-325946A78109

Who says leaves don’t change color in Southern California?

C7278AD8-2356-4822-85A6-846C7A39CFD1

There’s really nothing more soul satisfying than exerting oneself physically until you’re bone tired and then eating a huge late lunch (with french fries) and feeling zero guilt about the amount of calories consumed!

#gratitude #nature #hiking #backcountry

Advertisements

Wandering to Zion…Part Two

Wandering to Zion, Day One: Princess Rosebud and her Tugboat Man
Part One and a Half…Wandering to Zion
***********************************************************************************************************

We were meandering; taking our sweet time getting to our ultimate destination of Zion National Park.  Zion was so crowded that we figured it was the perfect excuse to explore lesser known parks.

That’s how we roll, me and my tugboat man. This was the most relaxed road trip we’ve embarked upon; no stress or pressure — no deadline.

Moving on, literally…we left Payson, Arizona and drove to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. We hiked to the largest travertine bridge in the world — 183 feet high with a tunnel width of 150 feet and length of 400 feet.

There was a bit of scary, slippery rock scrambling with a moderately steep drop; not one of my favorite things to do, but the view was worth it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our next stop was the nearly 700 year-old Salado cave dwellings at Tonto National Monument. To get to them, there’s a steep but paved one-mile round-trip trail that ascends 350 feet to the Lower Cave Dwelling.

Built in the early 14th century, this village was part of a vast multi-cultural network that extended from the Four Corners region to Northern Mexico. While remnants of thousands of similar villages dot the Southwest, this well-preserved building represents one of the last Salido cliff dwellings. Local springs provided water for Paleo-Indians who lived here over 10,500 years ago.

There was so much to see and be amazed by —

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

t am so in LOVE with Saguaro cactus — those arms that dot the landscape all over Arizona. We don’t have that variety of cactus in SoCal. I got a package of seeds and hope they sprout.

Saguaro cactus

Along the road, whenever we saw something that looked cool, we’d stop and follow a trail or hike to a monument or a site.

OldHouseAZ

It began to get late and we couldn’t find a campground again so we stayed at a Howard Johnson in Holbrook, Arizona. There was a quaint little Italian restaurant in walking distance with great pizza and decent chianti.

I’m not overly fond of hotels — I always make hub check for bugs and bring my own sanitizer — but it’s nice to take a shower and wash off the dust at the end of a long day. I don’t care if it’s a a five-star hotel, either. Have you seen those TV shows that expose the dirt and germs? So much ick, right?

Side note: Only in California do all public restrooms provide seat protectors. There needs to be a Federal law that make seat protectors mandatory. I HATE going all old school with toilet paper lining the seat — but I NEED that barrier between me and the rest of the world

Next time, Part Three of Wandering to Zion with Princess Rosebud and her Tugboat Man.