Thursday, June 30, 2011

THE Trip, Hiking Red Rock State Park, Sedona Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

When we can, as in, when we have the time, the energy and fair weather, we do like to hike some of the easier trails in parks we are visiting.  We have discovered that what the park volunteers and employees consider to be an "easy" hike actually is enough of a challenge for us.  After Silly Mountain, I am trying to be very careful in picking our trails.  (Stay tuned, even an "easy hike" in some parks ended up being a lot more than we bargained for, one hike in Arches National Park comes to mind.)

Anyway, we were informed by our many mentors/friends/RVing gang that we had to see Red Rock State Park.  We set aside a full day to enjoy the park, a hike and a "reverse drive" from Sedona to I 17.

We were NOT disappointed, the park is lovely, clean, well kept, staff knowledgeable and helpful.  We chose to hike (what we remember as being approximately 2 miles), starting out from the Visitor's Center we crossed the Kingfisher Bridge, hung a right to follow the path/trail that runs parallel to Oak Creek, joined the Eagle's Nest Trail for a bit, turned onto Coyote Ridge Trail, joined the Apache Fire Trail and eventually walked back down to the Kingfisher Bridge. You can find a map of the trails, here.

The footing was good here, the trail was packed, not a lot of loose gravel, some loose sand. After hiking Silly Mountain near Gold Canyon Arizona (two posts, one and two) and Dripping Springs (also two posts, one and two) just outside of Las Cruces New Mexico, we found this surface to be easy walking.  Oh, you can still slip, ya, I did, but only once, and just an inch or two, but, when you are on a narrow path, and the slip could result in a tumble down a steep hill, a slip of just an inch or two is still a wake up call!  LOL.  But, still this surface was a delight to hike on.

The trails, especially when we got higher in elevation had a lot of sharp switch backs.  Trails were well marked.  Here is Man on the trail, just past one of those switch backs.  Yes, a bit of gravel here and there, but still, basically a well packed surface to hike.

And, even tho I realize that panaromic photos don't show well here at Reflections, sometimes I just have to share one, so, here it is. Remember, clicking on the photo will open it in a new window, a bit larger view, click your back button to return.

Now for a slide show.  Yes, you will see some of the views in more than one photo, as we climbed the trails, the views changed, and I kept taking photos of the same thing, over and over again!   LOL

Lets go hiking!

After our hike we drove back to Sedona, 179 and out to I 17 to get back to our campground.  Can never get enough of the drive and seeing it from the opposite direction from our first drive was great.  Photos coming to Reflections soon.

This possibly was one of our favorite hikes taken all winter.  Conditions were perfect, the scenery special.  It was a FAB day!

*By the way, if you have not looked in a while, there is a photo at the very bottom of this blog of us taken during this hike.

**  This hike was done April 11, 2011.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

THE Trip, Fort Verde State Historic Park, Man's Close Encounter With WWII Enactor

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

While at the "History of the Solider" event at Fort Verde State Historic Park, Man met a knowledgeable and very cordial representative of the World War II era.  The reenactor had tent and lots of gear that an US Army infantry soldier would use and carry during World War II .

As many soldiers, Man's father would not discuss the war much, so Man took this opportunity to really question and learn about what his father's experiences might have been like.

Showing how to load the M-1, the gun Man's father carried:

Showing us how to clean the weapon.  This reenactor knew his M-1, he was efficient in his motions, and to me it seemed he was fast too.

Here is Man holding the M-1, asking more questions.  (By the way, he would make a great interviewer, he was asking great questions.)

And, a solider has to eat, rations:

There usually seems to be one part of a day or event or learning experience that stands out, in this case it was learning about the pack that Man's father had to carry, what went into it.  Then, Man asked if he could put the pack on (which was supposed to be packed pretty much the way his father's would have been during WWII).

Man was impressed, so much so, that he is still talking about what it would have been like to carry that pack (it was not light). The experience was good, the information good, the insight more than good.  Yes, there is a new appreciation here in Reflection's Land, by both Man and I, for what our soldiers and specifically Man's father experienced during World War II.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

THE Trip, Fort Verde State Historic Park, Celebrate and Honor Our Soliders

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

On April 9 and 10, 2011 at Fort Verde State Historic Park they celebrated and honored our soldiers, from the Revolutionary War to the present.  On the 9th the weather was rather nasty with rain, wind, and snow on the mountains and in Sedona.  Man and I ventured forth on the 10th when the weather was still brisk, but, sunny.  We briefly visited the displays for the Gulf Wars, Korea, Revolutionary War, the time of the War of 1812,World War I and I even tried to get some information or mentors from the Civil War re-enactors as I was working on the series about Alfred Darden at that time.  Man spent a lot of time with the World War II re-enactors as his father was in the U.S. Army.  I'll chat about  that in my next post.

As we got to the park late in the afternoon we did not get to spend a lot of time, but, we were there for the closing ceremony, the lowering of the flag.  It was performed with dignity and honor and respect.

Thank you to the men that have served and to the reenactors.  Well done.


Monday, June 27, 2011

THE Trip, Fort Verde State Historic Park, Camp Verde, Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Fort Verde State Historic Park is a little jewel, located in Camp Verde, Arizona.

To quote their web site: "The fort was a base for General Crook’s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers in the 1870s and 1880s. From 1865 – 1891 Camp Lincoln, Camp Verde and Fort Verde were home to officers, doctors, families, enlisted men, and scouts. The park is the best-preserved example of an Indian Wars period fort in Arizona."

While we were staying in the area they celebrated, History of the Solider.  Man thought it would be interesting, and he was so right!  There is a Visitor's Center, with some very nice exhibits and there are several buildings representing the Officers' Row, with more exhibits.  They have some fine examples of furniture, a hospital, laundry, commissary, guardhouse, bath house and there is a nice (practice?) large field with flag pole.

We did not spend as much time investigating the exhibits as we might have, because of the "History of the Solider" event.  Many of the exhibits were behind glass and a lot of the photos had reflections and glare, and no, I did not use my flash on any of these photos.

Just outside the Visitor Center is this memorial, to those that served:

Just one of several uniforms displayed in the well designed exhibits in the Visitor Center:

They have a great collection of bottles, whiskey bottles, bottles for bitters, condiments, extracts, medicine, stout, champagne and wine and this, which I thought was quite pretty as well as functional:

In one of the Officer's buildings I found these.  I have a trunk almost identical to this one (not an heirloom) and a rocker, again, very similar (which was my grandmother's).  I hope mine are not this dusty when I get back to the stick built!  LOL

If you happen to be in the area of Camp Verde, Man and I can highly recommend stopping at Fort Verde Historic State Park.

* In the next couple of posts, the tribute to soldiers past and what Man learned!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

THE Trip, Strange Things We See Along The Way, Street Sitters

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Street sitters, reading a book, refreshments close at hand, and clothes drying on the backs of their lawn chairs.  They were not particularly happy with us when we drove through with Big Butt and they had to move.  As soon as we passed they moved the lawn chairs back, took a sip of their beverage, picked up their books, and carried on.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

THE Trip, Oak Creek Canyon, The Signs, The Silliness

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Hailing from the midwest, the flat midwest, I find the signs west of I 35 to be fascinating, and yes, I have started taking photographs of them too.  Nothing is sacred, nothing escapes - -

I also have been known to take a photo of the GPS on the altitude screen, the dash board when we are going very slowly or getting outlandish fuel mileage and even the temperature in the rear view mirror.  The camera remembers what I don't.

Here are a few signs from the Oak Creek Canyon tour - -

Above, maybe in the UP of Michigan, but, not where I live!
Coming soon, a hairpin turn near you!
It says 53, it felt like 43, and back home at Tana, it was 73.  Love that mountainous terrain!
Elevation 6997, just as we got back on I 17 to head back to Camp Verde.
Yep, that is wet stuff on the windshield, it was actually snow/sleet.
Lasted all of about 1 minute!
And, we draw your attention to the Inst Econ, of 99 MGP!
Oh, we were going downhill for a change!
Still, how fun is that, wish we could get that all the time!  LOL
OK, enough of the silly, next we will visit Fort Verde Historical State Park, Man will learn some interesting facts about his father's World War II service.  They made a great impression on him.


Friday, June 24, 2011

THE Trip, Beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, The Views

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Sensory overload, formations, color, the views were fab!!

Via slide show here are 14 photos, the best of the best, our our ride in Oak Creek Canyon.  The last photo is one take at the top from Oak Creek Vista.  It was cold, very windy, and did I say, it was c-o-l-l-l-l-d-d-d-d.  BRRR!    The view of that last photo is looking south towards Sedona, from whence we came.  I realized when the slide show was finished that I have shown one formation in two different photos, decided to leave them both in, they are pretty enough!

I'll say it again, it was a day full of sensory overload, TOTALLY FABULOUS!!!  Over the next 6 weeks or so I will repeat those words again and again, sensory overload, fabulous, beautiful, magnificent and many more expressive terms.  It started sounding repetitive, the words were repetitive, not the sights.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

THE Trip, Driving Oak Creek Canyon

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Route 89 north from Sedona goes almost to Flagstaff, it is a 2 lane highway, twisty, curvy, scenic.  Driving at speeds ranging from 15 to 55 and taking photos through the windshield and side windows of Big Butt do not make for the best conditions.  There are times when there is a lot of glare, and mmm, sometimes, a bug or two on the windshield to try to shoot around.  These four photos are just a touch of the flavor, and really don't do justice to the road conditions along 89 north.  Note narrow, rock debris near the road, huge towering walls of stone, curves, guardrails close by.  If driving a smaller vehicle, this would just be a grand fun drive, however, driving Big Butt along roads like this always adds a bit of "thrill" to the experience.

We did see a few trailers, short trailers, being hauled up and down this road, but, we were happy to left Tana back at the campground!  LOL  Near the top, the road became more and more curvy, hairpin turns, slow hair pin turns.

It was a beautiful ride!  Yes, I still have another post or two about our day trip to Sedona and beyond.  Next, the scenery along the way, more red rock and less road!  LOL

* Weeks later driving around Bryce Canyon and beyond, made this look like a cake walk or a warm up!  LOL

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

THE Trip, The Bridge Between Sedona & Oak Creek Canyon

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Our long day trip to Sedona and the red rocks, we also drove route 89 north almost all the way to Flagstaff, riding along the Oak Creek Canyon.  More spectacular scenery, and a lot of sharp turns and hills and more.  However, first, just a few miles north of Sedona we crossed this bridge, I ended up taking a lot of photos, (ya, I know, what's new?).  I found the bridge to be a perfect frame or accent to the natural beauty.  A few initial carvers added to the interest factor, of course.

Above, as we approach the bridge.
Above, as Man and I walk down towards the bridge, we are looking south.
Above, standing pretty much under the bridge,
looking south towards Sedona, the water is Oak Creek.
Using the bridge as a frame, note the initial carvers artwork,
including a sweetheart's heart.
The bridge from the other side, looking up.  While looking
for this on Google Earth, I found it very interesting that
the bridge does not show, but the road appears to go down
to the bottom of the gully and then climbs sharply back out.
Can we say a bit bizarre??  LOL
Another frame for the beautiful red and white rock formations using the bridge as the frame.
Love the contrast, and of course, more initials.  Even though the rust is
insignificant, I was rather glad to see it AFTER we drove over the bridge.
A future post will bring you more of our scenic drive north on 89 alongside Oak Creek.  Stay tuned  - -


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Overheard in the Library? A Different Kind of Happy Dancin'

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence (and for my high school gal friend, read on and you will see why!)

My bestest gal friend from high school has been following my trip and my posts about Salt Lake City, the research mecca.  I was able to meet up with her during our stay in Gold Canyon, we had two wonderful long visits, full of memories, catching up, laughter and friendship.  Oh, and she is a family researcher too, so you know we were telling research war stories to each other!  LOL!  She contacted me the other evening and was telling me about some of the phrases she had been reading on my blog while I have been here researching and how one night she thought up several more.  What follows is mostly her genie-imagination at work, ya, she did give me permission to post. LOL!

"Ok here goes. Imagine the morning of the first day of your research at FSL. You got up early had a rushed breakfast and made it to Salt Lake City in no time. You are standing at the front doors of the Library waiting for the doors to open. Oh and with a big smile on your face because you can't wait to get in there and do some great research. Here's the words I came up with that Genie's would use."

"Oh my God, Well it's about time! My eyes are sore. Geeze! Well for heaven sakes. There you are, you dirty bugger! I just can't believe it! I should have known! I just had that feeling! Wahooo! Oh no you didn't. My fanny is tired. I'll Swannie( southern expression). I'll be darn ( Northern )." 

"These things are uttered throughout the day. Then as you go through those doors to the bright light you give a big sigh. Put that to music and we would have a hit for Us Genie's."

Then high school gal friend suggests:

"Maybe a rapper?"

Now, Reflections has never developed an appreciation of rapper music, but, even I see the brilliance of this choice of music, and OK, I was rolling around on Tana's floor laughing so hard I could hardly respond, then high school gal friend comes up with:

"We could have someone roll films from the microfilm machine in the back ground, along with someone closing and opening file drawers! A rapper with the click sound of the film rewinding, and the film drawers rolling closed and opened. Maybe scraping of chairs on tile floors, and the sound of heavy Genie books put down on a table."

I think I see a video in my gal friend's future - - with rapper delivery - - and those library sounds in the background.  Gives a brand new slant on the term, "happy dancing".

* Minor punctuation editing done by Reflections!

** Graphic courtesy of

Monday, June 20, 2011

What The Last Day of Research Looked Like

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I have had a blast here in Salt Lake City at the research mecca.  Ya, there were some rough days, beat my head against the wall days, tiring days, LONG days.  But, I was determined to enjoy the experience, the good, the bad, the sad, the joyous, the simple acts of pulling books or spinning films, even the act of putting films back in the drawers.  And, enjoy it I did!

Time spent with Becky was special, I mean, having a research buddy is always special and watching her break down those walls, the HARD way, was delightful.  Lunch breaks were full of travel and flower and research chatter.  Walks around Temple Square resulted in lots of photos of flowers for both of us, I got tickled how we would pick the same flowers to photograph and in some cases how very similar our photos were.

The staff/missionaries at the library were always polite and very helpful.  The entire experience was more than grand.  I have no idea if I will ever get back, but, this has been a month to remember.  Always!!  The researchers dream vacation!  The return to reality, dishes, meals to cook, laundry to do, shopping, errands, is gonna be a bummer.  (LOL) Life goes on, travel, research, and all those necessities that go with it.  But, I have those memories!

Man spent some quiet time, well, a lot of quiet time while were were here in Salt Lake. Believe me, he earns it living with me! LOL  He spoiled the fur kids, Mr. G has had a couple of bad days, but, the month in one place has been beneficial to him, he is sassy and frisky and we are thankful for every day he spends with us.

A month to remember, and this is what the last day of research looked like, 5 hours spent in German church records getting copies of Man's ancestors baptisms and marriage records.  I only went for the direct lines and did not get them all, they were spread out over 3 films, written in that beautiful but oh, so hard to read, old German handwriting, one marriage took place in 1721!  And, yes, there is a flash drive, loaded with lots of digital files, all transferred to the computer ASAP, and yes, backed up to an external hard drive.

The last day, bitter sweet, full of memories.

In about 4 weeks of research, mostly which honestly was an exercise in collecting images of documents for information I already had, with a "dash of looking for new stuff" research, I saved about 700 MB of data which translates into about 890 files.  Some of those files are two copies or more of the same document, depending on issues such as, do I want the entire page AND the portion of the page that contains my image.  I guess I know what I can do when I am bored for the next couple of months, err, years!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

To all the fathers in Reflection's clan, past and present and to all the fathers who read Reflections and to all the rest of the fathers too:

Happy Father's Day

* Graphic courtesy of ClipartHeaven