It’s always fun exploring new areas. We had never been to Mingus Mountain, so decided with weather coming in… it was a good time.
The campground is pretty developed, and was fairly full. But it was quiet and had a series of trails behind each campsite offering terrific views of Camp Verde and Cottonwood below.
We recall our friend Gary waxing poetic about Mingus Mountain when he used to hang glide from Mingus. Following massive rain and winds that we endured through the night and into the morning, we encountered a complete white out of low hanging clouds and fog.
We checked out Gary’s Mingus launch site and considered the courage it took to jump off this cliff into the great blue below. Ah, but I must take pause. Gary would admonish me as the ‘uninitiated’ for using such a word. A hang glider pilot does not ‘jump’ off a cliff, he flies. In fact, an experienced pilot approaches it with eagerness and exhilaration.
When we were there it was nothing but clouds – not a good day for hang gliding, but eerie and fantastic nonetheless. It was a nice spot, with beautiful views. We enjoyed the weather and all the moody scenes it provided, making for interesting photographs.
Our trip definitely reminded me that it’s fun and exciting to try new places and new experiences. It’s easy to get stuck in our doldrums of same ‘ol, same ‘ol. We need to get out more to enjoy new and different experiences.
We frequent the North Rim of the Grand Canyon much more than the South Rim, in large part because we don’t actually enter the park.
We are able to enter the outside of the Park boundaries where we can camp and mostly enjoy great views in solitude. I will admit this time we saw more people on our trip than I think we ever have before. It was a treat to meet fellow travelers who were like minded and shared similar interests.
We drove all the way to Point Sublime (for which we obtained a Back Country Permit, as it is just over the Park Boundary) and camped for several days.
Surprisingly the leaves had hardly begun to change and temps were fairly warm. Unfortunately, we saw very few clouds. By the time we got home we were welcomed with cool temps, clouds, and rain. No matter what, though, it’s always a pleasure to enjoy nature and a good view.
While we have been to Vegas in the last couple years, we haven’t stayed on the strip in some time. So with the encouragement of a friend, we took a brief respite and stayed on the Strip.
We aren’t huge gamblers, so we took the occasion to check out the brand new Resorts World casino which just opened up next to Circus Circus.
We walked our feet off wandering up and down the Strip. One of our favorite past times is to check out the art fixtures, which can be found hiding in any one of the casino’s.
One we always make a point to visit is Bellagio’s gardens with their ever changing scenes filled with live flowers. It’s always stunning and never disappoints. This time is was celebrating the rainforest.
For a change, we decided to try a new activity that John found intriguing… a Virtual Reality ‘arcade’. While I’ve heard of Virtual Reality, I had no idea what to expect. Apparently, there are any number of themes: car racing, golf, or shooting zombies. No surprise, but John wanted to shoot zombies. Not exactly my cup of tea, I compromised on the more sci-fi twist, ‘Singularity’ at the MGM Grand, where aliens invade a space station and the rescue team has to combat drones and aliens to save the ship and crew.
I’m not making this up! Now having done it… I can honestly say, I had a blast. It was great fun.
Thanks, Pat, for the wonderful opportunity. We had a great time.
We haven’t seen any animals in some time. I think they are all hiding from the mountain lions, as mountain lion sightings have been on the rise. The storms do bring in animals, though. I love our rains… they are so good for our forests and animals.
We were lucky enough to see 2 bull elk, still in velvet. It was a rare treat and one we relished. They foraged in the grass and lingered around until they wandered off as the thunderstorms rolled in.
They looked like they had been through a rough year as they slowly wandered off. I was happy that they had a brief respite from their harsh environment.
With all the fires in AZ at the moment, we got quite the red sun at sunrise. Unfortunately, we were unable to stay long, as the AZ Game & Fish came by to advise us the forest would be closing due to the fires.
Having lived in AZ all of my adult life, we have traveled many of the places and roads that AZ has to offer. We have enjoyed exploring the off roads and the gorgeous scenery throughout our amazing state.
It’s always a treat when we find a new special place and scenic view.
Parker Creek was such a place. It had stunning views of Roosevelt Lake and Four Peaks. It was truly breath taking.
The only thing we missed were some great clouds and wonderful sunsets. We’ll have to go back.
We just got back from the Oregon Coast, a trip we have made now multiple times in the last few years.
There is something special about the scenery and the seafood. We took the opportunity to get a much needed respite for some relaxing views, and amazing seafood.
We saw deer, elk, turkey, and even sheep along the way, along with rock spires, docks, and ocean views. This time of year, the weather was windy and cool with occasion rain…. a bit chilly. But we got some nice walks in and visited some great seafood spots for some amazing fresh seafood.
We camped in mostly state parks which offered some terrific walking trails filled with wonderful vistas and colorful plants. We were especially enamored with the western skunk cabbage which we coined the more affectionate name, ‘sea lilies’, with great bright yellow lily looking flowers, amidst large green leaves.
We enjoyed fresh oysters and clams, cooked and raw; fresh fish (ling cod, rock fish, and petrole sole); and fantastic Dungeness crab. The 2021 dungeness crab season isn’t the best, but we did manage to get a few tastes in of some terrific crab, as we picked up fresh fish at the docks and markets, caught that day, and enjoyed that night in our camper every day.
The drive home was a sad one as we enjoyed the redwoods of Northern CA, and headed back home, ending our sabbatical too soon. I’m ready to do it again already.
I’ve said it many times before, do what you love and enjoy every day.
With all this isolation and stress in our lives, it’s more important than ever to do things for yourself and what you enjoy.
While John and I do a lot of our own projects, we rarely solicit or participate in DIY kits or workshops. Drastic times, call for drastic actions – it was time for a get away, and a little fun! So we opted to do “Board & Brush” in Prescott.
You’ve likely heard of those Paint & Sip kinds of workshops where you pick a project and the host / proprietor teaches you how to create your masterpiece. Board & Brush is the same sort of workshop, but with signs – sayings on distressed wood.
We were surprised when we got there that the boards were a very blond pine wood. Bailie, the proprietor, showed us how to sand, distress and wash the wood to make it look like old barn wood.
Bailie, at the Prescott Board & Brush was fantastic. I would go back and do another one, just to solicit her business. She was kind, patient, and informative. She gave us all the tools and knowledge to allow us to make decisions that resulted in the perfect end result.
We pre-choose our saying online, and the stencils were ready and waiting for us to embark on our project.
Then we picked our background and lettering colors and after preparing the boards, we were on our way to creating our individual projects.
It was great fun and we got to take home a terrific project that is our own. Of course, in true Ritter style, we had to further customize it, so I wood burned our logo onto a plate to make my saying truly our own.
I strongly recommend the outing to Prescott Board & Brush. It was a great respite and super fun afternoon.