Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dancing In the Monsoons

     We continue to enjoy our summer in Show Low, AZ.  Temperatures were mostly in the high 70's to low 80's through August.  We had almost daily thunder showers, usually lasting 15-30 minutes, once or twice a day.  The rain is comfortable and needed, but I  must say the thunder has been some of the loudest I've heard.  We've been using Rusty's thundershirt for Bandit and he really appreciates it, usually laying down and going to sleep when we put it on him, except for the loudest thunder.  This was our first Monsoon season in Arizona.  Now that we're almost to October, temps are in the high 60's and low 70's most days with nighttime lows in the high 30's to low 40's.  Great for cuddling in under the electric blanket.
     Gary fenced in a portion of our yard, so Bandit can be out and about without being hooked up.  It's convenient for us to, to be able to just open the door and let him out.  We make trips to the dog park 3-4 times a week and Bandit has a nice group of friends there.  He's become more adventuresome and now trots all over the park which is several acres.
     Speaking of rain,  Evanston, WY really got hit with one of those freak heavy rains.  There is an underpass, that goes under the railroad tracks.  Fortunately there is now also an overpass. Heres a picture of it after the rain.  Note the sign says the clearance is 13 feet.

After it drained, they discovered a truck in the bottom.  No one was injured.

     Labor Day weekend was really different for us this year, not having Cowboy Days.   We enjoyed a couple pot luck dinners with our neighbors here at Country Lane.  Residents of  "Happy Corner" got together two days in a row for some great food and fun conversation.  They're really nice and we're enjoying getting to know them.
     I took a quilt class at our local shop in Art Quilts.  It was very different for me and really took me outside my comfort zone.  It was fun though and the resulting product quite different.

I've also pieced several tops that will be finished when we get to Casa Grande and my Bernina.  The Featherweight keeps on going though and works wonderfully for classes and straight sewing.

 I've attended one quilting guild meeting up here and look forward to getting more active next summer.  We drove west to a great quilt show in Heber, AZ last Saturday and followed it by attending a Navajo Taco fundraiser in Pinedale AZ. 
     Gary continues to play in several pool tournaments each week.  He's had a few 2nds and 3rds.and is gaining in confidence.  He hasn't had any luck in finding pool players at the Senior Center.  He has joined a golf group here at our park that play twice a week at a course in Snowflake, about 20 miles north of us.  It's a nice challenging course with 27 holes.  At $6.00 for nine holes, walking, it's very reasonable.
     We took a day trip to Casa Grande and picked up some things we wanted to bring up here.  It was a nice, but long day.  We picked a good day, as the high was only in the 80's, and we missed the triple digits.they usually have.  The quilt group meets once a month for lunch during the summer and we timed it so I could surprise them.  It's always fun seeing quilting friends. had an August challenge of finding one geocache a day;.  We didn't get started until the 4th of the month, but managed finish strong, finding 15 on the last day of the month, for a total of 43 for the month.  As usual we discovered new sights when caching.  One of which was Arizona's only covered bridge in Pinedale, about 10 miles west of us. Oh, the things we learn & the places we see while geocaching.

We also hiked along the Mogollon Rim and Show Low Bluffs looking for caches.  There were several urban caches as well as caches at the libraries and IN the libraries.  As always it was a fun way to explore our new community.
       I've continued to swim 2-3 mornings a week at the aquatic center taking a variety of water aerobic classes, including my favorite, Aqua Zumba.  That instructor also includes a little water yoga and we've asked her to increase that next summer. 
     The last thing we needed to find here for us to be really settled in was someplace to go dancing.  We discovered a bar named Icy Roads that has a nice wood dance floor, dance lessons with a DJ on Thursday nights and live bands on the weekends.  It's 0.8 of a mile form our door to theirs, so it's really close besides.

There's also dancing  at the Elks on Sundays  and the closest casino, about 25 miles away also has some country music on occasions with dancing.  We haven't had a chance to check them out yet.
     We took a mini trip the middle of September to Tucson, AZ.  Like many fire departments around the country, the Tucson Fire Department has a stair climbing challenge, to honor the 343 firefighters lost in the twin towers on 9/11/2001,.  They asked to have a survivor from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation speak about what the Foundation does and how they assisted the fallen.  I was honored to be able to fulfill that request.  I spoke about 10 minutes to about 500 people from the fire department and those there to cheer the climbers on.  While the building that was used was only 17 stories, they climbed a total of 110 floors.  It's not required, but many of the firefighters wear full turnout gear, weighing about 70 pounds.  It was very special to be a part of this. They used 2 stairwells, with a camera in each one.  They were set up on closed circuit TV and shown outside on two 55inch TV screens.  It was a fun way to watch them.  The temperature that day was in the 90's, so they had it all set up on the west side of the building.  Since this was in the morning, we were in the shade.  Large fans were used in the stairwells, with some air conditioning.

Miss Rodeo AZ, note the armband with "19" on it for the Granite Mtn. Hotshots lost on June 30.

Display for Arizona's Fallen

Firefighters Climbing in Full Gear

Exhausted, but proud after climb
   A great RV resort (Far Horizons) comped our stay for two nights as their contribution to the Fire Department, when they found out why we were there.  We sure enjoyed their facilities, especially the pool and hot tub.  We even got to join an all you can eat pizza and movie night.

     When we left there on Monday, we drove to Willcox, AZ and stayed at the Elks' Lodge there for two nights.  We finally got to tour Chiricahua National Monument.  You may remember we tried two years ago, only to find it closed while they replaced all the guard rails burnt in a major wildfire.  It was worth going back for, as you can see from the pictures.

Cochise Head from a distance.
Cochise Head Up Close.
You can also see evidence of the fire in the photo above and below.

Organ Pipe Formation

  We also drove to Douglas, AZ and I walked across the border to Mexico at Agua Prieta to get some Thyroid medication.  There was a pharmacy about 1/2 block from the border, so it was very convienient.  We had Bandit with us and it was too hot to leave him in the car, so Gary stayed with him on the US side.  We had taken our passports, so I was able to get accross quickly.  I'm always glad to get back to the US.  This was the first time we'd seen "the fence" built along the border in Arizona.  Here's a panoramic shot a couple blocks east of the border crossing.

     Then it was on to Safford, AZ, where we stayed for one night.  We drove up Mount Graham, to 10,000+ feet.  The leaves were turning and the views were tremendous!!!

     The next day we were going to head up the east side of AZ or west side of New Mexico to Alpine, AZ  This is one section of Arizona we haven't explored yet, and still haven't, as the road conditions were reported to be bad with some of the bridges closed due to flooding and mud on then.  We stopped at their info center, but when we couldn't get a reliable road report, we decided to head back up the Salt River Canyon, where we knew the roads were good..The roads are good, but somewhat windy as you get down to the bottom and then climb up the other side.  I posted a picture of our GPS on Facebook, but for those who didn't see it, here it is.

    Summer is turning into Fall and the major topic of conversation centers around when the summer visitors are leaving the mountain and heading for warmer spots. for the winter.  As for us, I'm planning on a quilt class the 9th and 16th of October, so we plan on heading for Casa Grande about Oct. 18th.  As of right now, Gary is going the week before with the Motor Home.  He'll open things up and get the fifth wheel and shed  all cleaned.  He'll also rejoin his pool team.  The next week Gary will drive my car back up here, and we'll drive both cars back to the Roost after closing up our Show Low place for the winter.  We've enjoyed it so much, it's hard to leave, but the nights are in the 30's now, although daytime temps are still in the high 60's and low 70's.  Winter will be here on the mountain before long.
      We'll be at the Roost, 3241 S. Montgomery Road, Casa Grande, AZ, 85193,  most of the time until next Spring.  Any mail will be held for us and our winter trips are usually only 2-3 weeks, so feel free to use that address until we let you know different.
Dancing from the monsoons to the desert.........................
Hugs, Katy, Gary, and Bandit too!