Fall in Colorado

Fall in Colorado
Fall in Colorado

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Down to our last full week in Gold Canyon...Get in as much as we can before we leave

Well today is a rain day in AZ. Not like what our friends Steve and Debbie have had to contend with in CA though. Real feel for them being stuck in one place but at least they have family near by.

Can't believe we're down to our last full week at our winter home in Gold Canyon. 5 months goes fast. We're keeping busy with many of the activities in the park like the Valentine's Day dinner and Comedy show.




We had a prime rib dinner with mashed potatoes and broccoli with a tiramisu cake for dessert.

OF course we've been getting in as much hiking as possible with our friends. We did another round of hiking at the First Water Trailhead up around Praying Hands and the Treasure Loop with Ron and Patsy.




Praying Hands

Here come the girls

Met some grade school kids on a nature hike too

Beautiful desert landscape

 Of course we stopped at a local restaurant after to get a bite to eat. This was a new place for us called Filly's Roadhouse.  Check out the link. It's near the open desert and is frequented by local ranchers that ride their horses right up to the restaurant and tie up their horses while they eat. Very good food and interesting décor.

Our next hike was with Ron and Patsy and friends, Bill and Kay. We haven't had as much opportunity to hike with them but enjoy their company. We  got to know Bill and Kay too through the hiking club over the last 3 winters. The plan was to hike the Kelvin trail portion of the AZ Trail. The AZ Trail extents from Mexico to Utah , north and south. This is an in and out hike to an old trail trestle that is used by the local copper mine company. Wonderful views of the open mining and the Gila River. With all the rain recently the desert is alive with greenery and beauty. The weather was perfect with a light breeze, warm temps and lots of sun.




Girls just want to have fun

Bill, Kay, Patsy and Ron



Headed to the trestle

Built in 1958

No hike would be complete without a selfie

Stopped at a viewpoint to check out the copper mine

We had such a great time and even walked along the train tracks back to the trailhead. This shortened the hike by about a mile. Just outside the trailhead on the road leading in we saw mailboxes of folks who live near by. Pretty cool.



Well then what do you do after a fun hike? You go get something to eat. We stopped at Porter's Café in Superior, AZ nearby for a burger, fries and cold drinks. Another wonderful day in AZ.

All of this hike has been leading up to a big event for Ron and myself. The RV park hiking club has several hikes that are considered Challenge hikes. Each year so far I have done one. The first year I hiked with the club up Picacho Peak in Tucson and Flatiron in the Superstitions. Last year I hiked Flatiron again with my friend Ron who had not been up there. Ron has done some of the Challenge hikes like 5057 and Picketpost Mountain. Well I talked him into hiking up Picketpost with me this year for my first time( He said he wanted to go back up so I invited him to lead the way).

This is a hike with 2000 ft. elevation gain and some areas of bouldering along the face of the mountain. The hike is about 4.5 miles round trip. It took us about 5 hours to complete with 15-20 minutes of photo taking and refreshments at the top. Going up was a lot of cardio climbing but coming down was all stress on the joints as we descended down the trail. Legs like Jello as the end.

It was a nice cool morning and we got started on the trail about 8 am. It didn't take long before we had to take off the outer layer as we climbed.

Going up there

Halfway up

Starting elevation

At the top

As we climbed we took many looks back at the views around us, Good excuse to stop and catch our breath.





As we climbed we followed cairns and painted arrows and dots to keep us on track. In that kind of environment it's easy to lose your way.


We met a nice young couple on their way down. They really helped keep us going, telling us about the views above. Fortunately we were getting close to the top and we weren't going to turn back now.

Just when you think you're at the top, you crest a saddle and there's more up to go. Not as steep but still up. Finally we crested the very top. We knew it because there is a mailbox and an old metal bench there. Inside the mailbox were several notebook where people had recorded their achievement of making there.



The views spectacular and well worth the blood, sweat and tears. OK, mainly sweat. But it was so worth it. So good to have a friend that would put himself through that kind of abuse again.

Thank you Ron.



Town of Superior in the distance

Been there, Done that.

It's been a wonderful winter here in Gold Canyon. So many things to do with so many wonderful people. Looking forward to returning next winter. There may be some changes next year but we won't know until this summer. We'll keep you posted.

Had a fun dinner last night with our son, Chris and his girlfriend, Audrey. We had dinner at a new place called Mellow Mushroom. Pizza place with several varieties of beers. Hoping to get another golf date in with Chris before we leave. Bittersweet as usual, thinking about leaving but new adventures await us down the road. I also have a few last minutes projects to complete on the rig to make sure we are road worthy. So a bust end to our stay in AZ for the winter. Looking forward to meeting up with Faye and Dave in TX and traveling with them. I can't imagine the trouble we might get into. Ha-ha. What ever it is, it will be fun.

Stay tuned. The best is still to come.




 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Our time in AZ is passing quickly and 45th anniversary

Well our time here in Gold Canyon is coming to a close soon. Our reservation here at Canyon Vistas RV Resort is only until March 1. That's the day we begin our trek eastward and eventually northward.

However, we have been making the most of the time we have left. Lots of Pickleball, Line Dancing and hiking with friends. In addition to that, Glenda and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary on Jan. 21, 2017. Nothing too special except for our anniversary dinner. Our SIL and daughter(Paul and Heather) gave us a very generous gift for taking care of our grandson, Aiden, while they spent some away tie in Mexico with friends. Anyway, Paul had been to the Phoenix area some time back and had eaten at an upscale restaurant in Scottsdale called Mastros City Hall Restaurant. He raved about the lobster mash potatoes so they got us a gift certificate there.


We made an early reservation and got dressed up. Well dressed up for us. I bought a new shirt. We got there on time and was seated quickly. The waiter was very attentive and took his time bringing out our meal courses. Crab Stuffed Mushrooms for appetizer, Glenda had the Chilean Sea Bass, I had the Bone in Ribeye, We shared the Lobster Mash Potatoes and Mashed Sweet Potatoes. We told the waiter it was our anniversary so he brought us a wonderful piece of chocolate cake for desert on them. This is a place you come to for special occasions. Remember I said it was UPSCALE. So were the prices but nothing is too good for my bride. :-)  Fantastic food, great service and ambiance. It was so worth the hour drive to get there. The hostess even took our picture in the foyer as we left.


Would love to return again one day. Maybe for our 46th anniversary. We had plenty of leftovers to take home and enjoyed them as much the next day. I can't believe this wonderful woman has followed me into this lifestyle. Couldn't do it without her.

As I said we've been getting as much hiking in as we can and have done hikes on the Lost Goldmine Trail, along with new areas like San Tan Regional Park and South Mountain Regional Park. Great views as we did climb some and we love the desert landscape. Certainly will miss that when we leave. We've been to San Tan Park twice. The first time the weather was a little cool. We hiked the Moonlight and San Tan trails that day.




Geocache container


 We even did some geocaching and found 3 caches. It was a wonderful day and we got in about 3.5 miles. Of course we had to stop afterwards for some nourishment at San Tan Flats Restaurant.

Our next outing took us to South Mountain Park. The landscape, to us, wasn't as interesting but we still had a great time and got some good exercise. We did find a cool stone building that may have been an old miners dwelling.











Of course we had to find a good place to eat after a fun hike so we stopped at Garcia's Mexican Restaurant in Mesa on the way home. Wonderful food and service. Their tamales are to die for.

Our next hike took us to the Lost Goldmine Trail near our park. Another great time with beautiful desert landscape.







We are so in love with this area of AZ with so many trails to hike and things to do around the area.

After our hike we again had to find a place to eat and ended up at a Chinese Restaurant near the park.

Our next outing was back to San Tan Park for a more strenuous, longer hike. We decided to hike the Goldmine trail, to the Dynamite trail and back on the San Tan trail. Total hike of 6.5 miles. Lots of climbing but fantastic views. of the San Tan Valley.

We're going up there

Looking down the valley


San Tan Valley


What a view

The girl's acting like they're skiing down the trail
It was a little steep

The girls are about done

We even had some folks on horses pass us.

Again we had to find some nourishment after such as rigorous hike. We stopped at San Tan Village Mall and ate at Cantina Laredo's Modern Mexican Restaurant. Again, very good food and service. We even had the guacamole made at our table. Tacos, Tamales, Enchiladas, Burritos and much more.

We have another hike planned tomorrow but with temps in the 80's here, we won't be going as far or as difficult. And I know there will be food in our future after this hike too.

One reason I'm getting more hiking in right now is my need to keep the legs in good shape for a challenge hike in about a week. My Canadian friend, Ron, and I are going to hike up Picketpost Mountain. It has a 2000 foot elevation gain and mileage of 4.5 miles roundtrip. From what I understand there is a geocache up there too. This should be fun??????   

I wonder if there will be food in our future after the hike. I'm thinking.......YES. And lots of it. Ha-ha.

In addition to our hiking and other activities we got to spend Super Bowl Sunday with our son, Chris, his girlfriend, Audrey along with Mike, Shannon and Mason. Mike is in Lineman school with Chris.

More food than we needed but delicious and good conversation and company. Mike's a beer guy like me and he brought some great beer for me to try and I turned him on to a couple too.

We are trying to find more time to spend with Chris before we leave but it may be difficult with him working valet jobs to make some extra dough while in school and no job. I admire his willingness to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal. #Oneproudfather   

We even attended at Meet and Greet Geocaching get together recently at a local restaurant and I picked up a second travel bug. Good people and I found out there are several folks in our park that geocache too. Small world. I continue to work on getting more geocache finds.

Time flies when you're having fun and there is no doubt about that. I will have to do some work on the rig our last week before moving on. Got make sure we are road ready.

Thanks for following along. More adventure awaits us.