Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WINDING DOWN IN ARIZONA FOR 2013


 The hills near Apache Junction were covered in yellow flowers which I think are Brittlebush

It’s that time again.  Time to put the park model to bed for the summer and try to fit everything back into the motor home for our summer travels.  Yesterday was my last ATV ride of the season so it will need to be parked away ready to face the hot summer weather.  We came south later last fall so we could stay later this spring to catch more of the wildflower bloom.  Unfortunately, winter decided to be longer and cooler thus I didn’t see many more flowers so far in March than in February in past years. 
We had some more friends of friends stay in our park model for the past five nights.  They are also from the Grand Junction, CO area and we had a games afternoon/ evening including a potluck type supper with them and our other two couples from Grand Junction one day.  Interestingly, Aileen and I didn’t manage to win a single game that day. 
We were up to the Mesa/Tempe area twice last week.  We wanted to revisit a few stores we’d been to earlier which we did on Wednesday then on Saturday we went to the huge Mesa Market followed by lunch with the Celiac Support group at Buon Gusto over in Tempe.  It used to be a Picazzo’s Pizza and the resulting meal was every bit as good.  They still have a separate kitchen for preparing gluten free meals.
Last Thursday, Aileen and our neighbour Carol went for a tour of the Queen Creek Olive Mill and they thoroughly enjoyed that.  We went there this morning for a few more of their products.   On Friday, I went for a tour of the controversial Florence Copper Project.  This is a subsidiary of a major Canadian company that is facing stiff opposition from the Florence city council for some reason.  I was impressed with the presentation we attended and it seems to be an interesting concept.  There would be no large excavations, no underground tunnels, just a series of wells.  The plan is to pump water down with a mild solution of sulfuric acid, equivalent to household vinegar, which would eventually dissolve the copper particles enabling the copper to be sucked up an adjacent well.  The question was raised about what the city plans to use the property for if they manage to expropriate it.  One use was to access the water for drinking use and the other was to put in sewage lagoons.  I thought I was hearing wrong so I asked if he said they planned to draw drinking water out from underneath the sewage lagoon.  The short answer was, yes!    We were to have a driving tour of the property but the chartered bus had problems closing the door which prevented the brakes from releasing.  After waiting on the bus a while, the tour was cancelled.  It has now been rescheduled for this Friday.
While I continue to visit the hot tub and pool nightly, the season is over for Aileen as the pools are all too warm with the warmer weather.  That contributes to her willingness to head north which we will do on Monday, the 25th.  We’re planning to spend a few days north of Phoenix and hope to get to Jerome, Cottonwood and Sedona.   If the weather co-operates, we will get a day of two at the Grand Canyon south rim then make tracks up through Nevada to our home base in the Shuswap area of south central BC.

One of the few Ocotillo blooms this year.  They are late and just starting to come out

Desert Globe Mallow

Close up of a different mallow plant

Fairy Duster

Brittlebush

I had my first ride on the trail named "Highway to Hell"  It is a little more challenging than most trails as Dave found with his RZR when he fell in this hole.  4x4 and heavy throttle got him out