Wednesday, March 26, 2014


If you click on the pictures, it opens them up in a separate album that allows you to scroll through them and they are larger. Maybe you figured this out but I keep learning something new with this blog all the time. Enjoy!

Monday, March 24, 2014

13 years of rolling around

March 23, 2014 Sunday
13 years ago it was a Friday. A beautiful spring day in Virginia that ended in a wreck. This is the day that I went from walking to rolling. It changed my life in a lot of ways and I would say that it improved it in a lot of ways. There are so many things that I wish I could still do but I don't think that I would have done half of the things that I have if I hadn't been in that accident. I still have my health and two good hands and a loving family to help me along. Thanks Lord for giving me a new lease on life.

Spring Ball

Saturday March 22, 2014
The Valley of the Sun is home to a lot of major league baseball teams spring training. The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds share a stadium in Goodyear, AZ. I decided to drag the family to see a ballgame. Patrick invited his friend Zane along so he could have some company. We sat in the warm afternoon sun, got a good tan and watched some good ball playing. We sang "Hang on Sloopy" during the seventh inning stretch screaming O-H-I-O! and doing the motions for the letters. Then the boys got restless and the Colorado Rockies started putting a hurting on the Indians and we called it a day in the eighth. It was a fun day but you gotta love baseball to sit through long hot games like that. There are a lot of people who come to Phoenix specifically to watch teams play spring ball. Our neighbors drove from Idaho to spend four out of five days watching the Mariners play. That is dedication.

We all enjoyed expensive stadium food. Patrick likes his ketchup.

The University of Phoenix stadium where the Arizona Cardinals play. The thing is massive. It sits at the end of Bethany Home Rd just off the 101 loop right down the road from my old apartment.

There was an RV show going on at the stadium. They look tiny.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Patrick's 12th Birthday

March 17, 2014 Known the world over as St. Patrick's Day, here we just call it Patrick's Day. Today he turned 12. There have been big changes in the last 12 years and I expect lots more to come. It has been fun watching him change and develop even just during the short time we have been on this trip. So we went off the Castles and Coasters. Here are the pics from a fun filled day. The only pic I wished I had was when he was on the Sky Diver when it let go at the top. His face was priceless as it came to a stop.
Lets get this party started!

They dressed the car up especially for Patrick's birthday, don't tell Danica.

A view of the mini golf course. There were four courses, all with 18 holes.

Bumper boats require intense concentration.

Desert Storm

Got a little captain in yeah?
The blog never uploaded this pic right side up.

He said he wouldn't ride this one ever again. at least it didn't go upside down.

The park was paved in stamped concrete and there were lots of these stamped flowers. Becky fell in love with them.

He looks happy now......

Not so much when it dropped. He still wants to try sky diving?

The longest line at the park was for these go-carts. A long wait for a seven lap event in a slow cart.

That dude again, he needs a shave.

Patrick contemplates a shot. 

We missed the St. Patrick's Day pet parade at the RV park but the kids had fun dressing up Iris with green hair spray, lights and a bow. Not so sure she was as thrilled as they were.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Riding to Sedona and back, the long way (is there any other?)

After much email correspondence with Kenn and Lora Trout, we decided that we would meet on Wednesday the 12th of March for dinner. Kenn and Lora attended Blanchard River Church of Christ with us back in Dunkirk, Ohio. They sold their home and moved to Camp Verde, AZ buying a house sight unseen. That was brave but it turned out that it is a beautiful place on the top of a hill with a gorgeous view, (you'll see some pics later).
We left about eleven oclock in the morning and went out the 101 East to Shea Blvd and got onto Hwy 87 north. This took us from the low desert to the high pine desert in the mountains. The scenery - by this I mean plants, terrain, and vegetation - about six times by the time we got to Sedona. We saw a sign for the Zane Gray cabin in Payson, AZ and decided that we should stop because my father and Becky's grandfather Dick Morris have read Gray's books. Grandpa Dick has read just about everything the man has written. We turned and then missed the second turn, ended up on a dirt road and made a U-turn. Then we stopped at a visitors center which sat on several large ponds.
The visitors center is left of the fountain above the dock. Becky and I are walking on the right side on the sidewalk. (Patrick's handiwork)
 I asked the lady in the visitors center where the Zane Gray cabin was. She looked out the back window and said, "I can see it from her." So she could, it was on the other side of the pond and we walked around to it.

Leaving Payson, we continued on AZ87 and I saw a sign for Tonto Natural Bridge. I stopped because I wanted to see it.
From #1 overlook, the best view of the natural bridge

#4 overlook. You can see a small waterfall. Standing on #3 overlook, you can feel the spray blowing back at you from the waterfall

A footbridge for one of the many trails that lead down and around the natural bridge

#3 overlook was on top of the natural bridge and this hole was covered by a grate. It made a beautiful sight but alas as always, the camera fails to capture the true beauty that the naked eye can see. The water fall dissipates into droplets before hitting the rock below.

A pack of Javalina wandered across the park as we were leaving.
Patrick and I convinced Becky to hike down into the gorge with Patrick. I myself would have done this but someone needed to stay with the dog and I'm on doctor's orders not to walk long distances. So she agreed adn they walked down into the gorge under the bridge. Patrick found a path that required basic rock climbing skills and hopped up and down over the rocks wanting Becky to tag along. She isn't into that kind of hiking so she declined. He had a good time and a good story to tell.
Leaving the park, we headed for Kenn and Lora's house and found it nestled at the top of one of many hills in Camp Verde.
The front of Kenn and Lora's house

On the back deck of their house.

See that bush on the left? It is in the middle of the deck so here is a picture off the right side of the deck. If you turn just a bit more to the right, there are other houses sitting on the top of the hill.

A view from the left side of the deck. In the valley is the verde river and it is surrounded by cottonwood trees and they get to see the changing of the seasons from their back porch.
We left their house and followed them into Sedona. We ate at the Wildflower Bread Company. It was all tasty food and good deserts. After good fellowship and fun, we turned Kenn and Lora loose and headed for the Sky Ranch Lodge. It was a nice place to stay and sits on top of a hill by the airport providing majestic views of the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. But a word about the room. It was old and walls were paper thin. You can't be serious, Evan, they aren't that thin. Well, the guy above us got up in the middle of the night. I could hear him walk across the floor, shut the bathroom door and urinate, then return to the bed. The guy next door had a crying baby and I listened to him open and shut the microwave door, press all the buttons, run, beep and open and shut again. What a long night.
In the morning, we were treated to unequaled views.
Inside our room. We had a garden view.

Coffee Pot Rock, guess why?

 We stopped for breakfast at a place called The Coffee Pot, It has 101 omelets on the menu and no two are the same. No build your own either. I had blueberry pancakes and bacon, the rest of the crew had omelets. Thanks to Kenn and Lora for the recommendation. They also recommended that we detour to Page Springs Road off 89A on the way to Cottonwood. It was a delightful excursion that lead to wine tasting and buying a bottle of Cream Sherry at Oak Creek Winery.

Then we toured on down 89A bypassing downtown Cottonwood and turning for Jerome. Jerome is an old copper mining town that has been revitalized with art galleries, wineries and restaurants. The roads in Jerome are hair pin switchbacks that make for fun driving and interesting parking. There wasn't a spot to be had in town and we continued on through. There looked like a lot of neat places to stop but dragging an eleven year old and a dog all over a mountain, not to mention a wheelchair isn't always fun.
We left Jerome behind and the words of C.W. McCall's "Wolf Creek Pass" echoed in my head.

Well, from there on down it just wasn't real purdy: it was hairpin county and switchback city. One of 'em looked like a can full'a worms; another one looked like malaria germs”

So it did, on the way up and down.

This is a big picture because it was a big view! You can see Cottonwood in the distance and further on it Kenn and Lora's house in the hills.

 From this overlook we crossed over the mountains and down onto the Colorado Plateau. It was dang flat with small hills to break it up. The vegetation was golden in color making it look like rolling fields of gold in the afternoon sunshine. We stopped for lunch at a little cafe on the side of the Rt. 69 before rolling onto Interstate 17 and back to the camper. It was good to be home!
Some where off I-17.

The dog in her normal repose.

A map of the two days of travel. Tonto natural bridge is right about where the 87 is between Payson and 260.

 Thanks for following along and so glad that we could share our dream with you guys back home! I figured out this making the pictures bigger stuff so I went back and made some of the panoramas and other pics on previous posts larger so it is easier to see and enjoy.