It's been a while, but we're finally back home from our Southwest adventure. Our plan was to visit my stepmother, see some friends, and explore a bit of the Grand Canyon. We had a busy ten days but lots of fun. After an uneventful flight which took us over the Grand Canyon, we arrived in Phoenix to temperatures that were above 100 degrees and a shock to our Seattle-systems! We spent the night in Tempe and for the first time experienced a new way to keep cool, the misters.
Grand Canyon from on high
The next day we headed for Flagstaff. Enroute we saw lots of saguaros until we left their environment; they suddenly disappeared only to be replaced by another cactus, one which seems less picky about its growing conditions. Our neighbors across the street in Bellevue have a huge prickly pear that lifts itself up each spring and grows with abandon!
When the road branched off to Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, we decided to detour a bit and were glad we did. We were, however, very surprised how this area has changed since our last visit. It's still beautiful but has definitely been discovered.
Oak Creek Canyon
We spent two days in Rio Rancho, NM, visiting my stepmother. She turned 95 this past August and is doing quite well.
From Albuquerque, we headed north to see our friends Gene and Linda who left Seattle in June to make a new life together in Las Vegas, New Mexico. We enjoyed our stay with them immensely and were sad to leave.
from the front porch
Dick attended Gene's class on New Mexico history while Linda took me shopping in town at the new quilt shop called Threadbear. Check out Linda's blog for more photos of the area and be sure to see her wonderful quilt.
view from the frontyard
No visit to Gene and Linda would be complete without a photo of their dog, Levi. Believe it or not, he hopped up on our bed, a long way for a guy with such short legs.
From Las Vegas we took a rather circuitous route to Durango, Colorado where we met up with our good friend Nancy and her friend Bill. Our friendship dates clear back to 1965 when we were both new teachers in Poway, California.
As we covered the miles to Durango, we did stop a time or two, once to photograph a couple of pronghorn (antelope) running free across the desert. We also had to snap a shot of these little asters which must be extremely adaptable. They are blooming in our yard right now as well as all over the high desert.
"where the antelope roam"
In Durango we also met up with Nancy's sister Susan and her husband Rainer as well as Nancy's son, Scott, and his wife, Jenny, whom we'd never met. After a delicious dinner at the Sow's Ear, we spent the night at a very nice bed and breakfast just north of Durango. Our time together went much too quickly, and the next morning we all went our separate ways with lots of miles to cover before nightfall.
the Durango gang minus Scott and Jenny
Since the last part of our visit included a whole day in the Grand Canyon, this saga will continue soon. The big surprise of our trip to this point was two full days of rain in New Mexico, something we'd not really encountered during previous visits but something that was sorely needed. If nothing else, this trip reminded us how precious water is and how much we take its abundance in our area for granted.