Category Archives: Uncategorized

~Trying to establish a winter travel routine…

Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, AZ, October, 2017

Dead Horse Ranch got its peculiar name in the late 1940’s from its previous owners, the Ireys family from Minnesota. They were looking to buy a ranch and on their tour they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road outside of the property. After two days of viewing ranches, Mr. Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best, and they all agreed “the one with the dead horse, dad!”. Acquired in 1973 by AZ State Parks, the Ireys family made it a condition of the sale that the park retain the name Dead Horse Ranch.

We traveled from the Grand Canyon to Cottonwood, AZ staying one week at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. We have been here many times, but it has been several years since our last visit. We throughly enjoy our stay.

Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding are just some of the activities one can enjoy at DHRSP.

After an arduous time getting ready to leave home, and our tourist mode adventure at the Grand Canyon,  we were ready to settle into a more relaxing routine.

Howard worked on a few coach maintenance items, setup an antenna and operated his ham radio, and he even got to jog a few times. I enjoyed hiking, birding and photographing this lovely area.

~Mornings:

`Hiking around the Lagoons…

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Still Waters

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Looking through the reeds.

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Relaxing on a log.

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A leisurely swim.

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Sunlight through the reeds.

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A Cloud Sulphur

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`Walking a rocky trail…

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Miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

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The Verde River

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A birder along the trail.

~In between – Touring and Eating:

Old Town Cottonwood seems like it has come back to life since our last visit. Many of the old buildings have been renovated and are now occupied by beer and wine tastings shops, antiques stores, galleries and more.

There are also several new restaurants. We ate at the Tavern Grill, enjoyed sitting outside on the covered patio, and the food was very good!

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One of those Micro Brews was mine!
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Outside Patio at the Tavern Grill

If you like Mexican, you should try Pepe’s Cafe. I haven’t had Mexican food this good in a long time. It was Great!

One of our favorite places to eat in Cottonwood is Randall’s; they have been there a long time and the food is very good. Friday we enjoyed Fish Friday – our fav Catfish!

 

~Evenings:

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Waxing Moon

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Rambling Rose at Sunset, Site 76 (notice Howard’s ham antenna)

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The Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii) is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. It inhabits the desert regions of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Sonora; also New Mexico-border Chihuahua and the Colorado River region of Baja California.

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Female Gambel Quail looking for a last meal.

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Male

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`A Sunset walk along a Mesa:

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Out the door of the coach and up a hill.

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Sunset

 

~Life is Good~

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My best guy and girl!

 

 

 

~Sunrise, Visiting Critters, RV Site Photos, Status of Edge, with an additional post needed for our trip to the Ruins and to town.

~Homolovi State Park, Winslow, AZ, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

 

~Sunrise…

“I guess I might as well get up”, I told Howard this morning at 6:15. “Maybe I can capture a sunrise photo.” We don’t get up very early any more, and we linger way too long over coffee. It works for us. However, not this morning.

Howard had to be at the Winslow Ford dealer for 8:00am; a very tough chore for him. He did make it and luckily for him there is a Subway within walking distance of the dealership that serves breakfast sandwiches. We have never had a Subway breakfast sandwich, but they look good on their website. He told me later it sandwich was good.

Wishing I would have gotten outside a few minutes earlier.

 

Sunrise

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~Park Sites…

I thought it would be nice to show a few of the sites here in the park. They are big, level and have plenty room in-between them.

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Site 33 a pull through

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Site 6, back-in

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Another back-in

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Typical terrain in the park

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~Critters…

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Look who came by for a visit. He was so excited he was shaking.

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“Okay, gotta go!”

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A Jack Rabbit

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“Find me”

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~Status of our Ford Edge…

Howard got back from the Ford dealer around 12:30pm. They ran diagnostics and downloaded software all for $200.00 plus dollars. They told us that the transmission needed to be ‘dropped’ and the clutch(es) checked. They also told us that they didn’t have time, in the near future, to do the work.

With that, we are headed in the morning to the Grand Canyon, keeping with our plans. On Tuesday morning we will bring the Edge to the Ford dealer in Cottonwood, AZ for them to do the work. Appointment made. We will be staying at Dead Horse Ranch State Park for the week, as we planned.

~~Tomorrow…

I will post Part 2 of our stay at Homolovi State Park. We took a ride this afternoon to see the ruins, tour the visitor center, and enjoyed a late lunch in town. And, we stood on a corner! (And, I was trying so hard to get caught up with the blog/days.)

PS: If you enjoy dark, clear skies this state park is worth a visit. The sky last night was beautiful, with a prominent Milky Way.

~Look Up Every Now and Then~

 

 

 

 

 

~A few last photos from Lake Colorado City State Park

~Lake Colorado City State Park, Colorado City, Texas, April, 2017

oOo – Follow your dreams wherever they take you.

Way to the Lake
Path to the lake.

oOo – Take a moment and enjoy your surroundings.

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Eastern Cottontail

oOo – Keep exploring, enjoy the journey.

Cottontail

oOo – Find the beauty in all things.

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Lake Colorado City State Park beginning to bloom.

oOo – Be with those that bring you joy.

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Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Bullock’s Oriole

oOo – Enjoy spending time alone.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (more photos of these gorgeous birds later)

Howard and I enjoy staying at this 500 acre Texas State Park with lake views and access. It is picturesque and quiet (in the early spring anyway, don’t know about the summer when full lake activities begin). Nature trails to walk with lots of wildlife to observe.

I imagine this park wouldn’t be for everyone. Too isolated with few amenities. However, if you love nature, birding, wildlife, peaceful days and dark skies then stop here for a few days.

oOo – A few photos from March, 2016:

The evening glow of sunlight across the park is gorgeous.

All alone.
All alone and loving it!

Here is a link: Lake Colorado City State Park

Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

 

Happy Birding and Exploring!

 

~Almost feels like Spring…

 

Loveland, CO, May, 2017

A cool Spring day here in the Colorado Rockies. We went for a walk this morning along the Big Thompson River. Looks like we are caught in between Winter and Spring.

Soon, warmer weather will melt the snow in the mountains sending runoff to fill the river.

Big Thomson River
Big Thomson River waiting to be replenished.

Some Cottonwood trees have seen better days, some are starting to sprout their leaves. Wildflowers are starting to bloom. We heard that a Great Horned Owl is nesting in one of the Cottonwoods along the river path. Can’t wait to see babies.

Flowers starting to bloom along the Big Thomson River
Nice to see green here in the West.

Snow melting in the sun after our weekend snow.

After a spring snow
After a spring snow, in our yard.

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful spring day!

~Carolina Chickadee gathering nesting material

Photo taken in South Llano State Park

Junction, Texas-March, 2017

 

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Carolina Chickadee

Our Keeshond has lots of fur, so I try to brush her often. While camped at South Llano State Park a few days ago, I got our her brushes.

After I was finished brushing Skye, I placed several clumps of her fur in the surrounding trees near our RV site. It is almost spring and I noticed the birds were starting to gather materials for nest building. What better nest material than thick, soft doggie fur?

It didn’t take long for the birds to find Skye’s present. With amusement, I sat back and watched this Carolina Chickadee pull apart a ball of fur and fly off with it toward a distant tree. Perfect!

 

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Skye likes to share!

 

 

 

 

~Her Journey Begins

 

For an adventurer at heart,

her journey begins,

free to explore,

and play among the stars.

When the time comes,

she will seek,

her special place,

and watch over us.

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October 8, 2004 – February 20, 2017

To our sweet, beautiful girl, it was our privilege to have you as a member of our pack. Love you forever and always. Only love so pure and deep can cause so much pain with loss.

Run, Kloudy.

Run, explore and play, cancer free.

~Today’s Feathered Friend-Tree Swallow in Rocky Mountain National Park

Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow

It’s early morning. The car is packed with snacks, lunch, water and lots of camera gear. Excitement fills the air. We chat about our hopes of seeing a Moose, of taking photos of other wildlife and capturing the serenity of nature, and of breathing into our lungs the fresh air in the higher elevations of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Leaving Loveland we travel west along the twisty Big Thompson River, into the narrow canyon and continue climbing until we reach Rocky Mountain National Park. We make one stop along the way. A stop in Drake; I want to look for a Dipper.

I have fond memories of observing Dippers feeding along the Big Thompson River years ago when we first moved to Colorado. We pull over and search the banks of the river, but our luck isn’t with us on this endeavor. We hop back into the car and continue our journey. We enter and drive through the town of Estes Park and soon we reach the entrance booth into Rocky.

We stop at Sheep’s Lake, because Linda had heard that the day before a Moose had been spotted wondering around the area. We stopped also, because we just couldn’t drive by this picturesque scene. We didn’t see a Moose, but stood in awe gazing at the beautiful, snow-covered mountain tops and enjoying the quiet.

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After “drinking” in the beauty of Sheep’s Lake, we continued toward Endovalley.

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As we travel along, I stop the car and ask Linda “What is that bird sitting on the branch of that tree? Oh, its a Tree Swallow.” I jump out of the car, grab my camera from the back seat and try to capture this gorgeous Tree Swallow as it sits in the sun preening. The first photo above is the ever swooping, diving, sliding little swallow as it takes a “sun” break. What a beautiful area this little Tree Swallow calls home.

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Slowly driving a little further we enjoy the scenery and just had to stop when we saw these backlit, Aspens. Yes, spring has reached some areas in Rocky! The photos don’t reflect the beauty of these trees as a faint breeze and morning light kiss their new leaves.

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A glance across the road reveals the beauty of more Aspen, plus the signs that Elk have been enjoying a snack.

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Well little Tree Swallow, thanks for sunbathing this morning. You invited us to pause for a closer look, giving us a chance to observe your surroundings and to photograph you. Thanks for sharing your home with us today!

Our day in Rocky Mountain National Park  continues, so stay tuned.