An Electric Parade for Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our readers!  And safe travels for those who will be traveling during the holiday season.

We really enjoy working two days a week in the golf pro shop here at Westwind Golf and RV Resort.  It’s a very low stress job!  The weather has cooled down (lows in the 40’s, and high’s in the mid 60’s) making it much easier to tell the difference between a Canadian snowbird (still in shorts) and a year-round Yuma resident (pants, gloves, earmuffs, and a winter coat!)

Last Saturday was the Foothills Off-Road Vehicle Club’s annual Electric Light Parade.  Members decorate their jeeps and other off-road vehicles and go from RV park to RV park at night to show off their vehicles, and to collect donations for the Yuma food pantry.  This year there were a few hot rods added to the parade, which were a big hit with the crowd.  Enjoy!

Quote for the day:  “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple:  loving others.  Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” – Bob Hope

Back to work for the Winter

 

Life is pretty good in Yuma, Arizona, the sunniest place in the United States!  The park we are working at, Westwind RV and Golf Resort, is slowly filling up, as the Canadian and American snowbirds make their way south.  We are about half full, and should be close to capacity in January.  It has been a lot of fun catching up with the many friends and co-workers we met last year, that have returned again for another season.  In addition, our friends Tom, Ellen and Bob have joined us this year at Westwind to work.  They all seem to be enjoying their jobs, and the warm, but not humid, weather.

This year, we have new jobs, which we are both enjoying.  Last season I had a paid (minimum wage) job in the office, three days a week, and Dan worked three days on the golf course, which covered our site rent, and all utilities.  This year, we are working in the Golf Pro Shop, two 10-hour days a week.  We really enjoy working just two days, Friday and Saturday.  Here’s a few pictures the inside of the Pro Shop.

 

It’s small, but we have a great view of the first hole out the window that you see above on the right.

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Our view

We have seen many “interesting” shots off the first tee!!  Here are some views of the course, which is a nine-hole Par 3.

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This is the first hole straight ahead, with #3 on the left, and #9 fairway on the right.  One of Dan’s duties is to fish out all the balls in the pond (and there are many!).

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In exchange for our two 10-hour days, we receive our site for free, all utilities, and a $640 voucher each month which can be used at the onsite restaurant, golf shop, and concert tickets.  Our duties are taking tee times, selling merchandise (clothing, hats, gloves, golf balls), and keeping the patio area outside the Pro Shop clean.  It’s as easy as it sounds!  I don’t miss working in the office, but I do miss working with Lori and Roy.  We were able to get together for dinner, and talk about future work camping opportunities and places to explore.  We both have a lot more travel adventures in our future!

Another bonus of coming back to Yuma is getting together with friends Dave and Marilyn, that own a house here.  We have had several get togethers, and met up for the Howling at the Moon on November 12.  It was Tom, Ellen and Bob’s first experience, and they all seemed to enjoy the strange little gathering in the desert.

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Howling at the Moon

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Bob, Jim, Carol, Marilyn (Dave behind in blue shirt)

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Ellen, Tom and Dan as sun was setting behind

The sunsets in Arizona are always full of color

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And then it was time to start “howling!”  If you are ever in the Yuma area, and it’s a full-moon, you need to partake in this free festival!

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We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.  It looks like most of the country is going to be hit with some storms, so stay safe!

Quote for the Day:  “Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.” – Herodotus

A quick trip to Page, Arizona

We had a one-day stop in Page, Arizona, with our friends Tom and Ellen, and certainly made the best of a rainy day, with a quick trip between storms to see Horseshoe Bend Overlook and tour Lower Antelope Canyon.  The scenery was spectacular, even if the weather was not co-operating.

HORSESHOE BEND OVERLOOK

Horseshoe Bend Overlook is where the Colorado River makes a 270 degree bend around the rocks in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  I’ve seen many photographs of this area, but never really knew where it was.  The orange rock is Navajo Sandstone.

After you park and walk up a small hill, you are greeted with this view.  If you look closely, you can see dozens of people in the middle right of the picture.

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All those people were looking at this:

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Horseshoe Bend Overlook

If you look really close at the above picture, down at the bottom of the middle, you may notice a couple of yellow kayaks.  Here is a zoomed in photo:

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Yes, there were people tent camping right on the bend.  And, there is even an outhouse down there (not sure who gets to clean that!).  I think this would be an amazing spot to kayak and tent camp overnight at.  Not sure if this requires a special permit or not.

Even though they charge $11.00 for parking, it is definitely worth a stop to see this overlook…even in the rain!

LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON TOUR

We were scheduled for a late afternoon tour of Lower Antelope Canyon, but it was cancelled due to the rain.  Flash flooding is a serious concern, and several people were killed a few years ago when the canyon flooded before they could get out.  This is why the only way to enter the canyon now, is with a guided tour.  Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the next morning.

Lower Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, made out of Navajo Sandstone.  The tour takes about one hour, and you will walk approximately one mile.  There are stairs leading down into the canyon, and back out of the canyon.  In between, you have many slots to pass through.  It’s not recommended for people who are claustrophobic, but the beauty of the canyon may keep your mind off the fact that you are in a small space.  My photos really do not do justice to the colors of the sandstone.

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Going down into the canyon

There are many narrow passages…

 

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Lots of different formations made over time by the wind and water coming through the canyon…

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The light shining down from above, creates different shades of color throughout the day…

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Canyon Arch

Before they added stairs, visitors would climb up the rocks using the gouges in the rocks shown below.

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We had a great time during our all too brief visit to Page.  There are many things to do in the area, and we are considering stopping back in the fall on our way back to Arizona.  But work beckons, so we had to keep going on our journey.  Stay tuned…

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Dan, Jonell, Ellen and Tom

Quote for the Day:  “All the lessons are in nature.  You look at the way rocks are formed – the wind and the water hitting them, shaping them, making them what they are.  Things take time, you know?” – Diane Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sedona: visiting a Chapel and a Castle

We have arrived in Moran, Wyoming for our summer work camping job at Luton’s Teton Cabins.  I still have to finish up on our posts about our drive up to the Tetons from Arizona.  Today’s post will finish up our brief trip to Sedona, Arizona, where we visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and Montezuma Castle.

CHAPEL OF THE HOLY CROSS

The Chapel was inspired and funded by a local artist, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, and completed in 1956.  She wanted to build the Chapel as a monument to faith.  The view of the Chapel is impressive, approximately 250 feet tall.

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Chapel of the Holy Cross

St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Sedona runs the Chapel, and holds Taize Prayer services on Monday evening.  That is the only service that is held in the Chapel on a regular basis.  Weddings are permitted, but many restrictions apply.  A small parking lot is at the base of the Chapel, and there is a long, winding walkway up to the entrance.

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Walkway to Chapel entrance

The view of the area is stunning.

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Parking lot and surrounding scenery

The interior of the Chapel is small, and there is a gift shop in the basement.

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The Chapel is a stunning place to visit, say a prayer, and remember loved ones.  The plaque by this angel states “And He shall give his angel charge over you to keep you in all ways.”

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MONTEZUMA CASTLE

South of Sedona, in Camp Verde, is Montezuma Castle National Monument.  Between 1100 and 1300, Southern Sinagua farmers built a five-story dwelling into a cliff about 100 feet above the valley floor.  It is believed the building had a total of 45 rooms.   The Castle became a national monument in 1906, and up until the 1950’s,  visitors were able to climb up ladders to view the Castle up close.

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The bushes in front of the cliff are the Creosote Bush, among the oldest plants on Earth.  Creosote has been used to treat everything from toothaches to chicken pox.

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A 45-room “Castle”

They believe this area was chosen due to it’s close proximity to water, and native vegetation that they could live off of.  Beaver Creek is just a few hundred yards from the cliff.

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Beaver Creek

After the park service discontinued letting people climb up 100 foot tall ladders to view the Castle up close, they built this diorama so visitors could get a better idea of what life was like in the Castle.

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For the past several years, I have been getting “stamps” at all the places operated by the  National Park Service that we visit.  Our friend Ellen decided that was a great way to keep a record of the places that her and Tom visit, and she purchased her own National Parks Passport book.  Here is Ellen getting her very first stamp of Montezuma Castle!  This year they also have a 100th anniversary stamp of the death of Teddy Roosevelt, in addition to the regular stamps.

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Quote for the Day:  “Travel makes one modest.  You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

A quick trip to Sedona

After a relaxing week at Pueblo El Mirage RV and Golf resort in El Mirage, Arizona, we headed north to Camp Verde, Arizona, where we met up with our friends Tom, Ellen, Kathy and Steve.  They are on their way to the West Yellowstone, Montana area for their summer jobs.  We stayed at Distant Drums RV Resort, a very nice park, and conveniently located to everything we wanted to see.  There are so many things to see and do in northern Arizona, that we may have to consider a summer work camping job here just to see everything!  (it’s at a higher elevation, so the temperatures are not so hot in the summer).

We took a drive up to Sedona (about 15 miles north of Camp Verde) and did a short hike to view Cathedral Rock from Oak Creek Park.

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Steve, Kathy, Ellen, Tom, Dan and I

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Cathedral Rock in Sedona

 

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old pump house and water wheel

The trail winds around Oak Creek river, and many people have stopped to stack rocks, which is called cairns.

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Cairn rocks

We did attempt to watch a sunset over the rocks in Sedona.  The sunset itself was a bit of a dud that night, but the color changes on Thunder Mountain were nice.

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Thunder Mountain before sunset

 

As the sun was setting….

 

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Long shadows, followed by the rocks lighting up from the setting sun…

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Dan decided to photo bomb my sunset pictures!

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Stay tuned, more to come from Sedona

Quote for the day:  “Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second.” – Mattie Stepanek