Mossy Rock Wall

0 ready to start_IR.jpg

If you have followed a number of the posts on this blog, you would find that we have been doing front yard ‘landscaping’.  We built a paver stone pad for our corn hole games… and then got completely carried away and built a pizza oven.  You can see the posts on that here (Part 1), here (Part 2) and here (Part 3).  If you take a look at these, make sure you click on the videos to see the videos – the best part 🙂

To complete this section of the yard we decided to build a little pony wall and ‘decorate’ it with solid rock face made from mossy rocks we would collect in the forest.  Little did we know when we took on this project how much work it would really be!

Once we dug and poured the footer, laid the block wall and filled it with concrete we were ready to begin the real work!

First we collected a number of trailers full of hand selected flat mossy rocks from the woods.

2 load em up_IR.jpg

Then we carefully put a large rock base layer along the bottom.

3 putting in base layer_IR.jpg

We chiseled rocks that were too roundy or large, down to a more flat even size.

4 chisel em down_IR.jpg

And proceeded to build up the wall with stone.

IMG_7606_IR.jpg

Because they were such large stones we used screws anchored in the wall to hold them in place, mortared the back side, and used large metal ‘sticks’ to clamp them in place while they dried.

We worked side to side every day, picking the perfect rock to fit into its given space, trying to maintain as small of grout lines as possible.

IMG_7652_IR.jpg

When all the rocks were in place, we used die to color our grout and custom applied and finessed the grout between each rock.

k grout_IR.jpg

Finally we made a cardboard template for the rock top.  The rock top will be custom cut to our template from rock we pick from the rock quarry in Drake, AZ (about 3-4 hrs from our home).

template_IR.jpg

moss walli.JPG

Whew!  A lot of hard work pays off with a beautiful detail wall.

Advertisements

Milk Ranch Road

agave clos hort_IR.jpg

pine vu_IR.jpg

Just off the Forest Road 300 is an obscure road marked FR 218:  Milk Ranch Road.  Along it are magnificent overlooks of the Mogollon Rim below.  One can find an open spot in the woods or down a long rocky rough road to be rewarded by this great expanse.

ridge storm4_IR.jpg

pine burst_IR.jpg

If you’re lucky you’ll be blessed with amazing skies, puffy clouds, and remarkable sunsets and sunrises.  If you’re not, just enjoy the view, a nice picnic and peaceful, relaxing visit.

ridge agave_IR.jpg

jj H2_IR.jpg

For more from this trip and Lessons from a Squirrel check out my post HERE.

From the Archives: Austria

I have a friend going to Austria, so I wanted to post some pix to show her what to look forward to.  It’s been 10 years since we went to Austria, as hard as that is for me to believe.  It was a memorable trip with lots of great adventures we remember fondly.   These photos, while not of the caliber I have grown toward, will give her an idea of a variety of different areas.

yellow flwrs flamesteepl.jpg

barnbach1_PSi.JPG

We went to a place called Barnbach with this controversial and eclectic church that was very photographic and interesting.  I remember the bakery across the street and the lovely pastry and friendly staff.  Funny the things you remember.

 

glockvalleyki.jpg

windysnow_PSi.jpg

We drove way up in the mountains to Glossglockner to see where the famous Edelweiss flower grows.

 

icecave copyk_PSi.JPG

We traveled to Werfen, outside of Salzburg, to do the ice caves (Eiseinenwelt) and had the most amazing meal at Restaurant Obauer…. truly memorable.

Salzburg itself was worth doing.  We loved the egg shop, Easter in Salzburg, where they had countless fragile painted and decorated hollowed egg shells.  Very cool.

salzfortressviewki.JPG

easteri.JPG

Being the salt fiend I am, we did Saltwerks in Bad Duurnberg, where we get dressed up in white suits to float in a boat through the old salt caves.  Very interesting and informative.

Vienna was wonderful for it’s eclectic and wonderful coffee shops with Sacher torte and other extravagant and decadent cakes (loved the 7-layer esterhazy torte and nusstorte).   We loved the wurstie stands, and had some of the best hotdogs we have ever had.

vegmktki.JPG

We visited the Karlskirche church which was fascinating as they used their remodel and scaffolding as an opportunity to gain funds for the refurbishment.  So for a small fee we went up the scaffolding and got a very close view of the painting in the ceiling… awesome opportunity.

karlskirchehorti.JPGkarlskscaffoldki.JPG

karlskircheceilgki.JPG

We loved the Prater ferris wheel, built in 1847, made of all wood and still operating after all these years (and wars).  We actually took a ride in it, my very first ferris wheel ride.

praterwieni.JPG

praterclownki.JPG

Stephansdom is the main cathedral and square in Vienna along the cobble stone streets.  Worth doing is the Mozarthaus, or Mozart museum made from Mozart old flat he lived in for a couple years when in Vienna.

cathmimesi.JPG

cathhorses2i.JPG

The catacombs inside the Stephansdom cathedral and a must-do… fascinating tour.

 

I think we were in Austria for 3 weeks.  We ate well, drank well, and ran our feet off.  We rented a car and took in as many cities and culture as we could.  I remember it being an educational and delicious trip.  Have fun!  Thanks for the opportunity to re-visit.

 

 

 

Oregon Waterfalls

watson path_LR_IR.jpg

This is the second time we have been to Oregon in the last 8 months, who’d a thunk?  Not us, but circumstances were such that we had to take our big road trip back to Washington state and travel back down through Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada to Arizona.  This time though, unlike the torrential rains we had in November, we had plenty of sunshine.

watson falls flowers_LR_IR.jpg

We took this opportunity to do the waterfalls around Hood River, and Klamath Falls.  That’s one thing about the Washington / Oregon area… they do have an abundance of waterfalls, something we don’t see too much in AZ, particularly of this size.

waterfall cascade hort_LR_IR.jpg

Highway 138 between Roseburg and Diamond Lake is actually called the Highway of Waterfalls, with nearly 2 dozen falls along the North Umpqua River in this short stretch of road.

xfalls_LR_IR.jpg In Oregon, they come in all different shapes, sizes and types.  They call them Thundering Waters and class them as Cascade, Segmented, Tiered, Horsetail, Punchbowl, Plunge, Block or Fan.

totetee singltree hort2_LR_IR.jpg

punch1_LR_IR.jpg

I’m not sure how many we saw, but we did quite a few, and each cool in its own right.