Crater Lake

I know I said I didn’t think I would be able to do any blog postings here at Crater Lake RV Park, in Prospect Oregon. But we were finally able to get logged into the free WiFi they offer here, and even though it is really, really, SLOW, it’s free, and presents an “opportunity” for me to practice patience.

I read somewhere that you should never pray for patience, because then God will send you many, many, challenges in your life, to help you learn patience. Unfortunately, for me…, I didn’t read that until I had already prayed for many years for patience. That said, I do have my limits on how much patience I can endure. So I will keep my postings short and sweet due to the fact that I could do a load of laundry while I’m waiting for my pictures to load..

Anyway, we arrived, and are all settled into our lovely campsite for the next six weeks.  Surrounded by lots of big shade trees, and parked right next door to one of several camp hosts here in the privately owned RV Park. I met the owner of this adorable RV Park this morning when I was taking my walk. We chatted it up for a while, and she told me if we ever want to come here and spend the summer hosting for her, she would love to have us. She said her hosts work one day on, and three days off…one on, and three off… Sounds pretty sweet to me, and if we were ever going to come back this way for a summer we would look into taking her up on her offer. Great way to see this beautiful area with free space, free full hook-ups, free propane, and even free Dish TV… Sweet deal!

 

After we finished getting settled in this morning, we couldn’t wait to go and see Crater Lake, which is only 30 miles from our campsite. OMG! It is everything we have been told it would be and MORE! I’ve never seen a lake with that color of blue water. The next two pictures are what I decided to keep out of 22 pictures I took. I will make one of them my background picture for my FB page.

After a quick view of Crater Lake, we stopped by the Visitor Center to find out about boat trips to the island in Crater Lake. You can fish for free in Crater Lake, but it is another 700 ft hike down to the lake, and of course the same distance to get back up after your finished fishing… And, don’t forget you have to carry all your fishing gear down to the lake, and back up again, not to mention that 20 plus pound big fish you are going to catch… And, the only rule is you can’t clean fish at the lake. You have to pack them out and clean them at home… After the 700 ft. up/down hill hike Bill and I just completed at Mirror Lake, we are still pondering if we are up to this next 700 ft. challenge. More on that later

On the way home, we stopped by an adorable little ice cream shop “Cones and More” Bill “took one for the team” again, and tried their ice cream. And, right next door is a little restaurant that has been in that family since 1922. We will go there for breakfast or lunch sometime soon.

In the yard between the ice cream shop and the restaurant, which is owned by the same family, along with the country store and B-B-Q smoker across the street…, is this HUGE chair and end table. Big enough for the Jolly Green Giant to sit in. Of course I had to have Bill take a picture to show this off. He said all you need now is a BIG glass of wine to match the chair and end table…  Well, OK, I guess I’ll take one for the team…  bring it on.. Good thing I didn’t have any wine, because it was harder getting out of that huge chair than it was getting into it. Ha!  🙂

LOVE it here, and can’t wait to explore all this area has to offer.

Stay tuned!

 

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Lesson In Futility

One of the items for sale in the Lighthouse where Bill and I work two days a week, is a Jigsaw Puzzle of the Lighthouse. The pieces come in a cute little pail, and I decided we should purchase one so we could work on it together in the evenings when it was raining to hard to be out and about…

Now, I’ve never been big on games and such, but I thought this jigsaw puzzle might be perfect on rainy nights, because we don’t have any TV reception here…

I don’t know whatever possessed me to think this was going to be a good thing, because I’ve never put together a jigsaw puzzle, and had no idea how frustrating they can be when all the pieces begin to look-alike, and I have the patience of a gnat for things like this. I just thought this was a small item, that won’t take up much space in our RV, so we bought it.

 

Well, the first thing we realized, a little too late, was that we needed to go buy some kind of board, or tray, to put the jigsaw puzzle together on. Because, if we put it together on the table, we need to be able to pick it up and move it when we have dinner or need to work on the computer…

So we went off to Walmart to purchase a cutting board to work the jigsaw puzzle on. We decided on a cutting board because I have a rule of making sure anything we put in the RV needs to serve at least two purposes… I wish I would have remembered that rule before we bought the jigsaw puzzle..

Finally, it was time to begin working the jigsaw puzzle. We spent hours here and there, spread over many days, working on our puzzle. We talked, and laughed, and had a lot of fun trying to get all the little pieces into the right positions… And, Isn’t it pretty?

What a great feeling of accomplishment and creativity it was to place the very last puzzle piece into its proper place. We stood back and admired our work with big smiles on our faces.. Then, the “big picture” sunk into my head. What are we going to do with our master piece now? We can’t frame it because we have no wall to hang it on, we don’t have a coffee table to set it on etc. .. No, it’s still sitting on the cutting board that we move from the table to the sofa and back again as needed. All we can really do with it is take it apart and put it back in the cute little pail it came out of…??

The dictionary says the definition of futility is “having little or no purpose or importance or has little positive outcome“. That’s exactly how I feel about our jigsaw puzzle right now… Ha!

Bill said “we can at least use the cutting board for the next jigsaw puzzle we buy” to which I promptly said “why would we ever need to ever buy another jigsaw puzzle when we can just keep putting this one together and taking it back apart again? He said “you’re the one that thought it would be a good, fun, thing to do” and I said “well, what do I know, I also thought it would be a good idea for us to volunteer to take down snow fences in Wyoming, and that didn’t turn out so great for us either”. 🙂 🙂

I don’t have the heart to do it just yet, but soon, I will take our jigsaw puzzle apart and put it back in the cute little pail.  I will just take pleasure knowing that the little positive outcome from this was that we had fun talking and laughing while we put our temporary masterpiece together. And that made it all worthwhile.

Stay Tuned!

 

Fort Verde State Historic Park

If you’re in the Camp Verde area, a visit to the Fort Verde State Historic Park is an interesting stop, especially if you are interested in the history of the state of Arizona.

The information sheet we received when we visited the park says “General Crook’s U.S. army scouts and soldiers were primarily based at Fort Verde. They were charged with preventing Apache and Yavapai Indian uprisings in the late 1800’s.

When we arrived at that visitor’s center, we were greeted by a very knowledgable young man dressed in a uniform of  a Sargeant of the U.S. Army from that time period. He asked if Bill was a veteran. Bill told him he was a veteran of the Vietnam War, but he didn’t have any identification with him to prove it. The “Sergeant said “well, we will just take your word if it”, then he shook Bill’s hand and thanked him for his service. He also gave Bill three Veteran pins. One was a Vietnam Veteran pin, and the other two were different welcome home pins they have been giving out to Vietnam Vets for the past two years. In addition, because Bill is a Veteran, we got in for half price. Very cool.

 

The visitor’s center is filled with all kinds of unique items used during the time the soldiers were at the camp. The dish shown below opens up, and one side becomes a frying pan, while the other side becomes a plate. The handle folds over the entire thing to keep it closed when traveling.

There are four separate living quarters on the grounds. The first one we visited was the Surgeon’s Quarters. Every permanent military command had a physician. They are usually on contract with the government. The doctor treated patients and performed surgeries in his home. Long term care was provided in the Hospital by the Hospital Matron.

Medicine was rudimentary with little to offer in effective treatments.

Antiseptic procedure during surgery was just being developed. There were no vaccines or antibiotics.

A severe injury to a limb often ended in amputation. A surgeon’s pay was $123.00 per month which did not usually attract top physicians. In fact, they were frequently incompetent. Some signed on for the adventure; others signed on to explore the West. Many were scientists who had contracts to collect new specimens to send back East to museums!!

The Commanding Officer was usually the senior company captain assigned to the fort. His salary of $166.00 per month made it possible for his wife to furnish the home respectably. She served as the center of fort social activities. The Master Bedroom also served as the bathing area for the commander’s wife. Men and children bathed in the kitchen. The next two pictures are of the Master Bedroom in the Commanding Officer’s Quarters.

Well now, I don’t know about that tiny bathtub… I can tell you right now, it would not be a pretty site if I had to take a bath in that little thimble of a tub… ha!

The next four pictures are of a teenage daughter’s bedroom.

A problem for parents was educating their children. Primary education was usually in the home. Young ladies were sent to “finishing schools” if possible, but generally they stayed with the family until married.

Well now, here again, I have to inject my thoughts… I have never seen any teenage daughter of mine keep her room as neat as this… Just saying.

Of course, there was always a parlor in the Commanding Officer’s Quarters. It was used for both formal and informal entertainment. Musical activities, cards, readings, and social gatherings were some of the most common types of amusement. This was also where gentlemen suitor’s would sit, and be interrogated by the Commanding Officer, while he waited on the teenage daughter to come down for their date…

The next four pictures are of the younger children’s room. Toys were often homemade, but store-bought toys were also available.

The younger children’s room also served as a multi-purpose room where the caretaker of the children could sew,

or knit, while watching the younger children.

The Commanding Officer’s Wife, often held “lavish” dinner parties. Of course, she didn’t cook the meal, but she would greet you in her finest attire, and you would be seated at a table fit for a King. When Bill saw this room all he said was “I want a piece of that chocolate cake”. Oh, that boy and his deserts! 🙂

There was also a Married Officer’s Quarters as shown in the next two pictures. While identical to the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, up to four families could live in each home. Cramped quarters were often a reality for the families of junior officers. As you can clearly see, this dinner table pales in comparison to the Commanding Officer’s dinner table… But hey, they have a big ham, and some homemade bread, so I would be good with that… :),

and, they even have a homemade pie cooling on the stove… Bill would be good with that too!

As we moved on, we came upon the Bachelor Officers’ Quarters. Unmarried officers lived a sparse, makeshift lifestyle because of low pay, slow promotions, frequent moves, and extended time in the field.

Now this was something I could never, ever, do… I could only get two holes in the picture, but this is a three hole out-house. Three holes!! I have a hard enough time going in my own home… I could never sit next to anyone and do that… No way, not this girl! I’d have to go find a big bush… 🙂

This was another fun, educational, outing for Bill and I here in Camp Verde. Our time here is winding down. We are leaving Friday morning, and making our way to Oregon, where we will spend the rest of the summer. I hope you enjoyed following our Camp Verde adventures, and that you will enjoy reading about our Oregon adventures as well. If so…

Stay Tuned!

Historic Bell Trail

Today Bill and I took a two-hour hike through part of the Historic Bell Trail.

The Bell Trail makes for a beautiful hike. It reminds me of some of the trails in Sedona with all the red rocks. Sedona is not far from here, and is very near and dear to my heart, because Bill proposed to me standing right outside the Chapel in the Rocks, early one morning, as the sun was just coming over the red rock mountains.

Around every bend in the Bell Trail the scenery changes,

and there is something new and different to see. Bill found this rock with the images carved on it very interesting. We were not sure if someone hiking in the area did the art work, or if it might be some hieroglyphics.

The cactuses are blooming all over this area. I just love these big yellow cactus blooms.

We didn’t hike the whole 6 mile trail because we were not really prepared with enough water to stay out that long. So after about an hour and half of hiking, we turned back.

On our way back to our car, I found this nice rock to sit on and relax for a few minutes. That’s when we decided to get playful, and use this as the background for a photo opportunity that went a little wayward…

Shantel, papa was taking pictures of me sitting on a red rock, and I was turning my head from side to side, and he started coaching me like I was a model. I finally started laughing and just kind of laid back on the rock and he snapped a picture of that too. It’s not my best look, but we had a lot of fun, and I guess some pictures are better left unexplained. Ha!

Stay Tuned!

Can She Bake A Cherry Pie, Billy Boy,

Billy boy, can she bake a cherry pie, charming Billy?

Yes, she can bake a cherry pie, quick as a cat can wink an eye…

Pre-baked.

Baked.

That’s right, just because I don’t bake desserts very often doesn’t mean I don’t know how.. I’ve had years of practice helping Chef Shantel baking up all kinds of wonderful desserts. I just don’t really like to bake sweets. But today, I baked a cherry pie for charming Billy, because he is the “apple of my eye”… That, and I told him if I had a bake oven that I liked, I just might bake him a pie. And if nothing else, I’m true to my word..Ha! 🙂

And, while I was at it, I baked Panko crusted pork chops, and sweet potatoes too..!

Before.

After.

Dinner served.

Bill’s desert served.

Now that I have this little bake oven that I really like, I’m going to practice making all kinds of goodies. Why, because when we get back to McDowell Mountain Park this fall, there is no end to the potlucks, and happy hours that take place there!

And, we are going to have friends, that are family by choice, visiting us in Oregon this summer, and I will also bake up some goodies for them… Can’t wait!

Stay tuned!

 

Conquering Lousley Hill Trail

I’ve been feeling under the weather for the past week and a half. That, and because of all the rain we’ve had over the past couple of weeks, kept me from getting out and hiking the trails here at the park for way too long.

Today is the first day that I’m finally starting to feel alive again, so of course, I was anxious to hit the trails and soak up some of the very welcomed sunshine we are experiencing once again.

Bill and I want to experience all the trails within the parks while we are here. Today we decided we would hike Lousley “Hill” Trail for the first time. It reads like an easy hike. In fact when I googled Lousley Hill Trail, the little blurb describing the hike read “nice easy stroll.” I was a little surprised then to see that the park trail map described the 1.2 mile hike as “Moderate.” I wasn’t too concerned because Bill and I are experienced hikers (we hike every week on our day’s off), so off we went…  The sign at the trailhead didn’t say anything about the hike, and the hill behind the sign is what I thought was Lousley Hill…

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The hike started out nice and easy and fairly flat so I was beginning to think this was going to be a “nice easy stroll.”

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The trail lead us through a wash where evidence of the recent rains can be seen in the deep ridges cut into the sand.

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Part of the trail is flat and lined with rocks making it look like a lovely stroll. Right? Very deceiving as to what lies ahead..

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Once you reach the end of the rock-lined trail you immediately begin the long, steep, climb up the “hill.”

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And you climb, and you climb, and you climb way up high….

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Until you reach a summit with a railing to keep you from falling right of the edge…

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Thankfully, at this high point of the hike, you come upon a bench where you can catch your breath, and take a much-needed rest…

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As a reward for making the steep journey you can add a rock to the rock pile started by other hikers that have gone before you.  Had we not climbed this “hill” we would never have known this rock pile was even there.

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Then, as “they” say, “what goes up, must come down… so we began the long, steep, journey down the other side of the “hill.” It was at this point that I told Bill I wish he would have brought his hiking stick with him like I did because some areas of the decent were very steep and rocky. Bill said “yes, I wish I had my hiking stick too but right now I think I’d rather have a parachute.”

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As we continued to make our way down the “hill”, I told Bill I was glad that this hike was only 1.2 miles long because my legs were shaking and I really didn’t think I could have done another steep mile today. Bill laughed and said “yeah, if this hike was any longer we would be sucking hind tit by the time we get back.” OMG, I laughed so hard I had to stop in place so I wouldn’t lose my footing and roll off the “hill”.

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We finally reached the sandy wash that was the sure sign we were back on flat ground again and near the car.  Bill said it was our welcomed sandy beach without water.

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Normally this hike would not have been so difficult for Bill or I. We usually take much longer hikes. I think part of it for me was that it was a bit much for day one after being sick. That, and the fact that because of all the recent rains, neither Bill or I have been hiking at all, and this was a very steep “hill.” Today, for me, this “hill” felt like McDowell Mountain Regional Park’s answer to San Tan Mountain Regional Park’s Goldmine Mountain Hike.

Now that we are back on track… who knows what “hills” we will conquer next!

Stay Tuned!

 

Perfect Imperfection

With the New Year in full swing, I’m hearing a lot of talk of folks making resolutions, and/or setting new life goals to improve their life and/or improve themselves. Some folks want to lose weight, quit smoking, start a hobby or take up a new one. All of these things are good and healthy things to do to improve health and create a better lifestyle… Some folks are in search of discovering a way to make what they already have better or more perfect…

One of the most important life lessons I ever learned, I learned from our daughter, Shantel. Being totally blind, Shantel is not at all into anything being perfect. She is however very much into everything being functional. She always tells me that if she waited for things to be “perfect” in her world, she would never be able to function at all. She said “you just have to accept that not all things are going to be perfect, but they can still be beautiful, have purpose, and be functional”.

One of the reasons I love living in Arizona is because I feel so at home, and find such comfort, and beauty, in the Sonoran  Desert. I am most impressed with the beautiful and mighty saguaro cactus. I am always fascinated with the distinctive differences from one saguaro to the next.

Today, as I was out and about practicing with the camera my frissy loaned me, I decided to focus my photo session on the perfect imperfections of the mighty saguaro cactus. I thought about my daughter, Shantel, as I was capturing each and every one of these perfectly imperfect, but beautiful saguaro cactus. Take a look.

The saguaro in the center of the picture is beautiful and graceful standing tall and proud.

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But not all saguaro’s look quite so graceful. This one looks to me like the old lady in the shoe who had so many children she didn’t know what to do…

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OMG, this is one of my favorites just outside of the park. To me it looks like someone ridding piggy-back, and I can almost hear it saying “gitty-up, Go!

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All I can say for a caption for this one is “stick a fork in me… I’m done”.

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So many funny shapes and sizes… I could spend all day looking for more!

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Use  your imagination on this one…

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When I looked at this one as pictured, I thought it might be saying I surrender,,,

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But when I took the picture from this angle, I immediately thought it should be named spirit woman. What do you think?

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My caption for the next picture is Twins. What would your caption be?

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All I can say is a big Thank-you to our daughter, Shantel, who taught me to see the beauty in imperfections…And, a BIG THANK-YOU to my Frissy for loaning me one of her camera’s, and teaching me to see the beauty in the unexpected, and in imperfections… I hope I did you proud Frissy…

Just like the beauty in nature is not always perfect… See the beautiful imperfections in everyone you meet that make them perfect, and don’t just walk by, and miss the beautiful imperfections in nature, or in the people you meet.

Thank-You Shantel, and Frissy, for showing me how to appreciate the beauty in perfect imperfections..

Stayed Tuned!

 

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