Saturday, March 19, 2011

Save a Life Saturday......and be prepared everyday.

If it hadn't been for the quick response of civilians in the crowd with some basic skills in emergency medical training on that tragic day in Tucson, January 8th, lives would not have been saved and the prognosis of those that survived might not have been so promising. While Ada & Don hope they never have to use the skills they learned, they joined an overwhelming number of Tucsonans at the American Red Cross's, "Save a Life Saturday" being held today at our local YMCA, and other Y's all over the country, in Honor of Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Whether it be a traffic accident, a swimming pool drowning, or any other emergency where you happen to be the first on the scene, a few lifesaving skills can sustain life until those with advanced training arrive. Remember the three C's; Check out the situation, get someone to Call 911, and provide Care. It can save lives everyday!
Here, Donald works on the compressions of CPR.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chiricahua National Monument

Aprox. 130 miles southeast of Tucson there is a “Wonderland of Rocks” that is known as Chiricahua (cheri-cow-wa) National Monument, where along 8-miles of a paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails, visitors discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985 acre site; historic homeland of Geronimo and still known today as Apache territory.

The Chiricahua Mountains are one of the many "sky island" ranges in southern Arizona. They rise like islands from the surrounding grassland "sea". Plants and animals from four ecosystems; Rocky Mountains, Sierra Madre Mountains, Sonoran & Chihuahuan Deserts, meet here. Black bear, mountain lions, Arizona white-tail deer, coati-mundis, rattlesnakes & lizards, and a variety of birds all make this their habitat. And, while one species of skunk is usually fine in most places, you can find four species of skunk here, so be alert!

It’s a photographer’s dream place, although my lense can’t begin to capture the vast mountain range and sense of wilderness. Truly, a must visit should you get near this southeast corner of Arizona.
                             Elevation 8000 ft.........
leaving through grassland sea.... 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Heard Museum Indian Art Fair

This weekend the 53rd Annual Heard Museum celebrates the rich art and heritage of the Natives peoples from across the American continent at the Indian Fair and Market in Phoenix, Az. The fair is a major event in furthering the Heard Museum’s mission of educating all of us about the cultures and arts of the Native Americans. The rich heritage of the American Native tribes can be found not only in the collections found at the museum, but also in the dynamic living cultures preserved by the arts and artisans who were chosen to be a part of this highly juried and significant occasion. From the intricate pottery designs and the story telling within rug weaving, to the precious jewelry we all long to wear, it’s a fun filled two days where the tribes from all over the Southwest have come to share and sell their wares; and all complemented with native entertainment, dance, and oh yes, the fry bread. Don and I are personally curious this year, as this year they are spotlighting the people from the Sonoran Desert, the O’odham tribe; a tribe that lies within our back yard of Tucson. We are bringing our visitors from England along, Anita and David. In addition to the dreamy weather, they too, over the years, have fallen in love with all of the Southwest’s beauty, history and spectacular art of both the western Cowboy, and Native Americans……

 Basket weaving
Rug weaving
 fun art
 Ada makes a new friend, Chief Easy
 Sketching his next masterpiece
Ceremonial costume
 need a bolo tie?

Navaho rugs........a story in each design

Donald's new bracelet.........

Lunch!   fry bread

Monday, February 21, 2011


The 86th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, Arizona’s "Celebration of the Cowboy", is centered on the Tucson Rodeo for nine days this month. It's one of the top 25 professional rodeo events in North America and the event is an official event in the year-long celebration leading up to Arizona’s 100th statehood birthday on Feb. 12, 2012.
Schools are out and Cowboys are in.
Mutin Bustin...the youngins, 5 to 7year olds, don't stay on long.......

This major outdoor event attracts locals and visitors from all over the world. Schools are closed on Thursday and Friday of rodeo week so families can enjoy the festive parade and rodeo traditions. Visitors come to experience the area’s Old West ways, including this championship rodeo, under warm desert skies, come rain or come shine. Everyone has dusted off their boots, grabbed their Setson, and are ready to see championship rodeo at it's best. Whether it's Mustin Bustin, Junior rodeo, Bareback riding, Steer wrestling, Saddle bronc riding,
Team roping, Barrel racing, or the crowd favorite, Bull Riding, there are 700 cowboy contestants, all looking to stay on a bull the longest or rope a steer the fastest. They have come at the pleasure of the massive crowds who have come to cheer them on to winning an event or two. Ada has been working as a volunteer (her third year) in the ticket booth this year; a promotion from ticket taking of previous years. (I guess they found out she knows how to work a credit card machine and has experience in sales.) Its great fun and a great non-profit organization whose mission benefits the University of Arizona Scholarship fund,  the Lion’s Club, Rotary Clubs and 4-H Groups.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Road trip, part 2, Las Vegas

We arrived in Las Vegas under sunny warm skies on Thursday, amidst a whole host of low flying planes coming into McCarran Airport in rapid succession. Its Super Bowl weekend and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expect a great boost across the economy board with about 275,000 extra visitors. Visitors are expected to spend about $85.6 million on food, entertainment and a lot of gaming and sport betting. People are here from around the world and are out and about soaking up the excitement of the Super Bowl, and the Super weather, especially if they came from anywhere other than the Southwest, which seems to be the only area spared the evils of this winter.
The Sphinx greets the masses
at the Luxor Hotel....
New York, New York........
take a ride on that rollercoaster if you dare....
At the new Aria and City Center....
only an Engineer would have his picture taken in front of a giant eraser

Looking south on the strip.......

Looking North on the Strip,
so much walking today.....
Freemont Street........Old Town Vegas,
away from the strip, but always great fun here........
Home of the "Pawn Stars",
Old Man, Rich, Corey and Chumlee.
Donald watches this show all the time.
It's a "History Channel" reality show.

Road trip, part 1, Tucson to Palm Springs

Leaving Tucson and heading west through the Sonoran Desert,  passing through Gila Bend, Buckeye and so many other towns, small and all so similar, we are working our way to Quartzite, Arizona; the half way mark of our 350 mile trip to the Palm Springs area. Quartzite is the geode and gem rock capitol of the country and maybe even the world. We will be having lunch there and will poke around some before making our way to California, to the Palm Springs area approximately two hours down the road from Quartzite. We will actually be staying in Indio, CA, where dates are the main attraction for Donald.  For sure, we will venture over to the Oasis Date Farm, the biggest and most famous date place, where he will be having date shakes, nut stuffed dates and also purchasing a few pounds of them for himself, and a few more to take back to Tucson for Lena & Stephen. And, guess where he will spend the afternoon?  Ha, ha, ha……. and other stuff
Oasis Date Farm, Thermal, Ca.
                                                Date Palm Fields
Date Shakes.........Yum

The Salton Sea
The Salton Sea, seagulls and all, is a salt water surprise 30 miles south of the Palm Springs area along Rte 111, which was formed between 1905 and 1907 when the Colorado River burst through poorly built irrigation controls south of Yuma, Arizona. Almost the entire flow of the river filled the Salton Basin for more than a year, inundating communities, farms and the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Continued filling of the Salton Sink was finally stopped in 1907, when a line of protective levees were built by boxcars dumping boulders into the breach from Southern Pacific tracks. By then, this inland lake was about 40 miles long and 13 miles wide, covering an area of about 400 square miles.

The Salton Sea is currently 35 miles by 15 miles and can be as long as 40 miles by almost 20 miles in particularly wet years. It has an average depth of 29.9 feet and, at its deepest, is 51 feet. It contains 7.3 million acre feet of water and evaporates 1.3 million acre feet each year. There is a five-mile-long trench on the south end of the Sea that is 51 feet deep. The Sea is currently 228 feet below sea level. Interestingly, the bed of the Salton Sea is only five feet higher than the lowest spot in Death Valley.

Fantasy Springs Resort.... Indio, Ca.
Nice accommodations, but a bit chilly for swiming.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Walk on the Wild Side.............

Trail bait........
The pride of the Sonoran Desert, the Desert Museum is is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden all in one place; where wild animals roam and plants thrive, all native to Tucson and the Sonoran Desert region. It’s an all outdoor experience, so bring your hat, sunscreen, wear comfortable shoes and don’t forget the water bottles. Of course, having had lunch at the Ocotillo CafĂ©, we were then ready, with map in hand, for a great outdoor experience. For no less than 2 hours, this 2 mile nature walk will provide plenty of fresh air and Kodak moments at every turn. As members, this is a one of our favorite places that definitely provides a high “WOW” factor when you bring guests.. …
Big Horn Sheep
Boojam saying this

Mr & Mrs. Bobcat live on this ledge........
Docents at every ramada (shelter)

Mexican Gray Wolf
Mountain Lion (the star of the museum)
Prairie Dogs, always alert