Yesterday Bill and I spent the day visiting Chiricahua National Monument, which is one of my favorite places to go around here. I say “around here” loosely, since we drove over 225 miles yesterday, so it is not exactly close by.
We packed a lunch and ate at the visitor’s center. It had rained earlier in the day, so the creek near the visitor’s center actually had water in it!
These are some of the rock formations near the visitor’s center:
Then we drove to Massai Point, elevation 6875 ft. The last time we visited, we were unable to drive up the mountain due to the 2011 wildfire. Even though they’ve completed repairs to the road, evidence of the wildfire was everywhere, as you can see from this tree:
One of the reasons I so enjoy going to the monument is that the drive there takes us through the Sulphur Springs valley, an area that includes irrigated farm land and grazing pastures that green up beautifully during the Monsoon season.
As we headed towards Bisbee from Douglas, the sun was covered by a cloud, which certainly made driving easier, since we were heading west, directly into the sunshine. It always made a spectacular picture:
All in all, it was a pleasant day. We haven’t taken a day trip like that in several months, so it was a nice diversion from our usual weekend routines lately.
For more pictures of Chiricahua National Monument, you can visit these posts:
Faraway Ranch at Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument
More of Chiricahua National Monument
Last of the Chiricahua pictures
Organ Pipe Formation
Tree at Massai Point
Chiricahua National Monument Entrance
In January, there were memories to preserve:
- Munchkin has gotten so good at writing/typing/spelling that we were able to have an hour and a half Skype conversation, all in words. I see many more conversations in our future.
- We spent a pleasant couple of hours in early January with Bill’s cousins in Tempe, having lunch and catching up on family news.
- David spent the Christmas / New Year’s holidays with us. David and I spent an afternoon in Bisbee, eating lunch, walking the downtown and window shopping. It was great fun. I took several pictures of the snow falling – it was cold that day! We had a pleasant time together, as we always do.
In January, there were things that deserved editing:
- Charles had a very serious bout of food poisoning in January, so severe that he was hospitalized for two days. These are the times when I most dislike living so far away. All you can do is hope and pray and wait for updates. Luckily he recovered and was able to be back to work a week later, but it was still a very scary time.
- My Uncle Kent’s memorial service was held on January 3rd, a very sad way to begin 2013. It was held in New York, so I was not there, but I was glad that my brother Eric and my mom both were able to attend and represent the family. Having lost my father less than two years ago, I know what my cousins Roberta and Rebecca are going through and I think about them every day, holding them in my heart and sending hugs and love.
In January, there were the moments that hold our lives together:
- I had yearly lab work done to check on my thyroid levels and a follow-up doctor’s visit. Other than cutting back on some sweets/breads and losing a little weight, his advice was to have a better year in 2013 than I had in 2012 with a lot less stress.
- January was full of usual things like getting the car serviced, my having a cavity filled, a bathroom sink replaced, and the furnace not working one morning (nothing serious, just the new furnace is very fussy about dirty – or even slightly dirty – filters!).
- I signed up for a weekly FarmBox of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. We received our first box the last week of January and I was quite pleased with it. I have wanted to do something like this for years, but never had the opportunity. It is a good feeling to be supporting local farmers.
- I completed two crochet projects – a granny square Christmas stocking and a granny square lapghan. I also worked on a couple of crocheted jewelry projects, which I will be posting about here in February.
In January, there were mountains climbed:
- My anxiety issues seem to be fading away. I’m not sure exactly what has helped – walking daily, adding more protein into my diet, the natural supplement kicking in better – but whatever it was, I have not had any symptoms since New Year’s Eve, for which I am grateful.
- My one big goal this year was to walk daily, and while I’m not yet at 100% success, I did manage 23 walks in the 31 days of January.
- My desk has remained (mostly) clean and neat and I have been working diligently on getting Quicken up to date (after procrastinating the first two weeks of the month).
- I participated in a “Values” workshop at Thirty Day Focus, which was a very worthwhile experience. I discovered a few things about myself, had other things reinforced, and ended January with a much better outlook than I began the month. I highly recommend Thirty Day Focus and will likely take another of their monthly workshops later in the year.
In January, there were pitfalls to overcome:
- We have been trying to cut back on desserts (sweets) and lower our carb intake this month. I sent a huge care box to David full of items we shouldn’t be eating. So far, mixed results. But each day is a new day to begin again.
- It seems like every January is a stressful one on Bill’s job front and this has January has been no exception. He says it is months like these that make driving truck seem like a really good alternative.
- I continue to have to deal with many issues concerning my dad’s estate and I will have to make another trip to Alabama soon, possibly the end of February, definitely by mid-March. His house is empty now, so there is some cleaning out of personal effects that needs to be done, along with lining up an auctioneer for a sale later in the year.
A week ago today David and I took a fun little excursion to Bisbee. It had snowed there earlier in the week and I wanted to take pictures of the snow. And David wanted a little time away from “screens” and he was eager to see snow also. Living in Phoenix will do that to you … warp your senses until you are eager to see snow!
Bisbee is a rather unique town. In the late 1800s it was the largest population center (other than San Francisco) west of the Mississippi. It even had its own stock exchange. Now, it is a quirky little town revitalized by artists and entrepreneurs, making it a tourist haven away from the heat of Tucson.
First order of business was to find a place to have lunch. Since it was so close to the New Year’s holiday, many places were still not open. I have always wanted to visit the High Desert Market and Café, but thought that it was a long trek from downtown. We discovered that it really isn’t that far from downtown, maybe a five minute hike. Of course, we picked a day where the temperature was in the thirties, so that five minute walk was a brisk one.
At the High Desert Market and Café we both ordered Specials of the Day. I had a Spinach, Goat Cheese and Olives personal pizza AND a cup of Sweet Potato/Carrot soup.
Both were delicious!
The last piece of pizza, which I took home for next day’s lunch.
From our table we could see the Cochise County Courthouse and what I am assuming is a statue of Vulcan.
After lunch, our walk back to downtown was in swirling snow!
This must be Castle Rock, because the building opposite is named The Inn at Castle Rock.
Notice the snow flakes?
By the time we got to the downtown section, we were glad to browse a couple of antique and what-not shops just to get warm! David and I are not avid window shoppers, though, and we quickly decided it was time to head for the car. We stopped at the On Consignment in Bisbee store, just to see what treasures could be found, but I didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without, so we continued on. Our last stop was the Bisbee Breakfast Club for a warm drink to go.
Tomorrow I will post up some of the pictures I took of the Huachuca Mountains on the way home.