Monday, June 19, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, through Tuesday, June 13: Camping in Page, a Reunion, and Home Routine

Becky has always wanted to see Horseshoe Bend from above. It is a turn in the Colorado River where it winds its way down to the Lees Ferry Boat Ramp and eventually the Grand Canyon. Richard and Becky had floated on the Colorado River around Horseshoe Bend many years ago. That was a day float trip from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry. Becky, Tom, Jon, and Dana made that an early morning priority on Wednesday, May 31.


The hike was only 1.50 miles round trip, but such a beautiful sight!


The next event of the day was Jon's decision to take his well-equipped four wheel drive jeep on a day trip through Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument. Of course, he was joined by Dana, Becky, and Tom.

The trip began an hour northwest of Page, a town of Big Water, Utah. Jon drove and Tom was the navigator. It was a bumpy drive, but the beauty of the area was breathtaking. The lunch stop was in a semi-shaded canyon.


Jon's GPS had a funny feature. Near the end of the day's journey, the GPS thought that Becky and her group were driving --- or boating --- in Lake Powell!


The last stop before heading home was really nice. The jeep and the four travelers found themselves in a cove near the shore of Lake Powell. Several house boats were already tucked in for the evening.


Thursday and Friday, the weather in Page was starting to get hot. Becky made sure that the dogs had an early morning walk without the heat.

On Friday, it was decided to take in an early hike on Wire Pass Trail. Because Jon and Dana might want to do more hiking than Tom and Becky, two vehicles were taken near the trailhead. Becky's truck was stashed and all four road the rest of the way in Jon's jeep.

Several miles into the hike was a beautiful slot canyon. It was nice having the heat of the morning lost in this canyon.


Unfortunately, about a mile into the slot canyon was a twelve foot drop off. There seemed to be no easy way to navigate down without ropes. So, the four decided to turn around. Back at the trailhead, Becky and Tom decided to head back to Page. Jon and Dana continued their day in the jeep.

Becky packed up the trailer on Saturday. She and the dogs drove back to Williams that day. It was an uneventful trip. The dogs were happy to be back in cooler weather.


On Sunday in Page, Tom split with Jon and Dana. Tom had to head in the direction of taking the RV back to Arkansas. Dana had a flight to Michigan on Tuesday that was leaving from Las Vegas.

Earlier in the week, Becky had invited Tom to spend several days at her Williams home. The motorhome had a full hook-up site ready for it in the driveway. Williams and Fayetteville, Arkansas, both lie on Interstate 40 --- just 1,140 miles apart!

Even the weather in Williams was getting warmer. One late morning was spent walking the dogs in the nearby Kaibab National Forest.


Becky had a hair appointment on Monday with her stylist, Shawna Ritter. Shawna has become a fun friend.


The next morning, Becky needed to take her travel trailer in for some more warranty work. The water heater was not igniting and a ceiling band had separated. Becky met with Service person Penny once again. It was agreed to have the trailer ready by the end of the month.

On Wednesday, Tom headed off to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Becky headed off to a reunion with three high school friends in Park City, Utah. Becky, Sara, Lucy, and Faye were all celebrating their Medicare Birthdays this year --- can you say 65? Sara was the only hold-out --- not turning 65 until November. Faye lives in Park City, so she selected a beautiful Airbnb property near the historic part of Park City. The drive for Becky was over 540 miles, so she broke up the trip by spending a night in Panguitch, Utah.


Becky planned to meet Faye, Sara, and Lucy at Faye's home in Salt Lake City. As she drove through Salt Lake City, she made a stop at Nordstrom Department Store. Becky's niece, Molly Shelton, is getting married on Saturday, July 1. A new dress was in order!  Becky found a nice dress and she also ordered one from Bloomingdales. With both in her closet, she will decide which one to keep and wear to the wedding.


Faye had a nice quiche lunch waiting for the girls. It was a great start of a wonderful long weekend. Check-in time for the Airbnb was 4:00pm. Shortly after the four got settled, it was time for happy hour and adult beverages on the deck.


Later that afternoon, it was easy to just go to a local market, gather items for appetizers, breakfast, and some lunches. The first evening was filled with good wine, good friends, and good snacks.

The next day, the girls wanted to do a nice hike in the area. Becky took them up to the Deer Valley complex by the Stein Eriksen Lodge. There, they found a nice Mid Mountain Trail --- that followed the ski runs over to Park City.


The four stopped at the Montage Resort in Deer Valley at mile two for a bathroom stop. Faye and Sara turned back to the car and Lucy and Becky forged on to Park City. It was about four miles further to hike back to the Airbnb.

That night, the Kingston Trio was performing at the Egyptian Theater on Main Street in Park City. It was not the original group celebrating 60 years, but two of the three have been performing with the Kingston Trio for over 40 years. Before the concert, there was dinner at a restaurant across from the theater. Life is good!


Saturday morning, Becky and Lucy decided to hike from Canyons Ski Resort to the Mid Mountain Trail. They both noticed that there was something called Alpine Lake on the map. And, also a building called Lookout Cabin. It took four miles to reach Alpine Lake and Lookout Cabin. Alpine Lake was a cement reservoir, but Lookout Cabin had a very picturesque view of the ski area.


During the summer, Lookout Cabin is a venue for weddings and private parties.

Faye and Sara spent the day shopping and walking the historic parts of Park City. The four girls met back at the Airbnb residence, showered, and headed off to cocktails and dinner at the St. Regis Deer Valley. The weather was perfect for the funicular ride and patio dining!


The next morning was departure day, but Faye set up something special. Faye works for a nonprofit organization that hosts weekend special events for breast cancer survivors. Over the past several months, she reached out to the Park City Fire Department at the Deer Valley location. The firemen would welcome the guests, present them with red roses, and photo opportunities. The four girls were set-up for a similar event. It was a hoot!


They were even taken on a thirty minute ride and tour in the larger fire engine.













Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thursday, May 18, through Tuesday, May 30: Medicare Birthday and Fredonia Getaway

After breakfast at the Quality Inn, Becky met Sherry and John at their hotel, the Desert Pearl Inn. It was decided to go to Kolob Canyons part of Zion National Park, the much less traveled part. John drove, and it took about 45 minutes to get to the Visitor Center. Kolob Arch is the largest arch in the world, but it is a roundtrip 13 mile hike. Sherry and Becky decided that that was too rigorous, but captured a special photo under a picture of the arch. Looks good!


John, Sherry, and Becky took the 5 mile scenic drive along Kolob Canyons Road. Then, they stopped at Taylor Creek Trail head, a five mile round-trip distance. It was a nice trail to Double Arch Alcove. They passed two historic homestead cabins built in the early 1930's.


The weather changed as the three of them headed back to the car. There was hail, rain, and sleet. Amazing!

That night, dinner reservations were at 9 East.  It is a restaurant on the Desert Pearl property. Becky invited Kelly Guymon to join them. Kelly works at Zion Lodge as an administrative assistant to the Operations Department. He used to work with Richard at the front desk in 2004/5. They both shared the gift of biting humor. It was great seeing Kelly!


Friday, May 19, was Becky's Medicare Birthday. She turned 65 years of age! The highlight of the day was heading up to Zion Canyon and hiking Angel's Landing. Becky and Sherry last hiked that trail 10 years ago --- in May. They pledged to hike it again, in the year of their 65th birthday. Sherry doesn't turn 65 until the beginning of October.

Thanks to Kelly Guymon, Becky secured a red pass to drive to the lodge. Then, it was just walking to the next shuttle stop, the Grotto, where the trail head began. There is Angel's Landing, left center.


The first two miles is just a hike. But, the last half mile is tough --- chains and sheer drops on either side of the narrow trail. Go, Sherry, go!


Sherry's husband, John, hiked to Scout's Lookout. There, he waited 2 hours while the girls went to the top. It was a beautiful day! And, Sherry and Becky did reach the top of Angel's Landing!


Becky also brought some of Richard's ashes to sprinkle on Angel's Landing. Richard finally made it all the way to the top!


That night, John, Sherry, and Becky had a birthday dinner at Zion Lodge's Red Rock Grille. It was a very nice evening. Becky was dropped off at her Quality Inn motel and good-bye hugs were in order. Saturday required an early start to pick up the dogs in Flagstaff before noon. And, the east entrance to Zion National Park was closed due to a rock slide. So, Becky had to go back through Fredonia, and Jacob Lake.

The return to Williams was uneventful. Becky's First Baptist Church was the host of that Sunday's Community Worship evening event. Becky had volunteered to make her 24 hour layered salad. So Saturday afternoon, she made the salad and placed it in the refrigerator. Sunday morning, Becky was off to church.

Becky brought her salad to the church parsonage home where the Community Worship was being held.


The potluck dinner with hot dogs and fixings was a success. The evening concluded with a message from the Harvest Family Church and their missionary work in Africa.

The Arizona Trail hikers, Jon O'Dell and Dana Philips, were ready and equipped to begin their decent into the Grand Canyon. They already had 600 miles under their belt. Only 200 more miles to go! Becky met Tom, Jon, and Dana at the South Rim Visitor Center. They took the shuttle to the South Kaibab trail head.


With the hikers, Tom and Becky hiked down the first 1 1/2 miles to Cedar Ridge. The descent is always easy!


Cedar Ridge has some great views of the canyon, and it has a restroom facility. Tom and Jon set-up a father/son photo opportunity --- before saying adieu.


Tom would see the hikers again on the other side of the canyon --- in about a week.

Electrician Terry Kohl came over to Becky's home on Tuesday to begin several "handyman" projects. He was patching some holes in the dry wall of the RV barn and securing some large sheet rock tiles on the front of the house.




Becky headed over to Flagstaff on Wednesday. She played pickleball at Continental Country Club and met up with John Grahame for lunch at the Jitters Lunch Box.


John has lived in Flagstaff for 25 years. While Becky and John know some of the same friends  --- Sandra and Ed Smith and Becky and Tom Poremba --- from Thousand Trails and Pickleball --- they are very different people, with very different values. John is an active liberal and is very "cause driven." Becky learned that they can share the fun of pickleball and little else.

Ed Wong emailed Becky that he and his wife Cynthia were going to be staying at the El Tovar Hotel for one night. They reserved the Santa Fe Suite. When Becky was working at Sanwa Bank in 2000, she hired Ed to work on some database relationship management projects. They stayed in contact over the years. Becky quickly invited Ed and Cynthia to drop by her Williams home on their way home. It was a short, but fun visit. The last time Becky and Richard had seen the two of them was April, 2015.


Later that afternoon, Becky had another visit. This time, it was Mark Burson and his daughter, Kelly. Also with them were their three Australian Shepherds --- Rosie, Sky, and Rebel. This visit included an overnight --- as Mark, Kelly, and the dogs were driving from one home in Oxford, Mississippi, to one home in Malibu, California.


After the Zion trip, Becky decided to take the dogs and the travel trailer out for Memorial Day Weekend and beyond. Tom O'Dell, in support of the two Arizona Trail hikers, was set-up in Page, Arizona. With the holiday weekend, it was too late to secure an RV spot in Page or Kanab. But, Becky did find one back-in site in a relatively new RV park in Fredonia, Arizona --- only 10 minutes from Kanab. She reserved the spot for three nights and made arrangements to move over to Page for another five nights.

Mark, Kelly, and the dogs left Friday morning at 6am. This allowed Becky to get an early start in the travel trailer --- as she headed to Fredonia. She arrived at Country Rose RV Park around 3pm.


Tom called from Jacob Lake that afternoon. He met up with the hikers at the North Kaibab trail head --- to replenish them with supplies and to show them the North Rim property. Tom said that he would stop by Becky's RV Park and spend the night nearby. Page was another 80 miles from Fredonia.

The next morning, Becky suggested to Tom that it would be fun to drive out to Best Friends' Angel Canyon and take a little hike with the dogs. That canyon road was a nice loop with beautiful views and vistas.


Becky drove back to Kanab. It was lunchtime. Becky parked the car, but a message light said that the battery was not charging. There was no power steering!  Becky called a nearby automobile service and repair shop. They said to bring the truck in and have them take a look.  It was Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend and they would only be open until 4pm.


It was a hot day in Kanab. Becky and Tom grabbed a "to go" sandwich at a local eatery and headed to Ramsay Auto Repair.  Becky was told that the power steering pump was no longer working. It needed to be replaced. Fortunately, the auto repair place had the correct part. But, it would be several hours before the truck was ready.


Becky, Tom, and the dogs tried to find as much shade as possible. Fortunately, the truck was ready before the place closed for the long weekend.

On Sunday, Becky and the dogs headed to the North Rim. Becky had more of Richard's ashes and wanted to place some at the Grand Canyon Lodge. The weather was perfect at the North Rim. Becky walked the dogs and then tied them up by the flagpole. She scouted a place to scatter some ashes --- on the Moon Room ledge, under the large lodge deck.


Becky had not been to the North Rim for several years. It was fun getting a shot of the dogs by Roaring Springs Canyon and visiting the General Store where Becky was the manager summer of 2005/2006.


On Monday, Becky and the dogs moved to Page. They had reservations for five nights at the Page Lake Powell Campground. It was the same place where Tom and the hikers would be staying. While her reservation was for a back-in site, Becky arrived early enough to "pull thru" to the back-in site. How lucky!


The hikers, Jon and Dana, completed the 800 mile Arizona Trail on Tuesday, August 30. That morning, Becky left the dogs in her trailer and she jumped into the jeep with Tom. They stopped at a Pizza Restaurant and took a large pizza out to the trail conclusion. It was an hour ride out. Jon appeared first, and then Dana.


How exciting for them both!

That night, Dana wanted to cook for the group. She barbequed poppers and steak. All was delicious!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday, May 6, through Wednesday, May 17: Pickleball Play and Visiting Friends

Saturday morning, Becky volunteered for the Williams Beautification Day. It is a nice way of saying that volunteers met at the Visitors Center, were given big white trash bags, and were dispersed to pick up trash throughout the city. Becky. and neighbor Rhonda, initially started at the day use section of Cataract Lake. At one point, Becky was startled by something on the ground. It was a snake!


It looked like a rattlesnake, but had no rattle. Rhonda said it was a good snake, a Bull Snake. There is no such thing as a good snake in Becky's vocabulary!

Rhonda and Becky then headed over to the area of town where there are some fast food restaurants and motels near Interstate 40. Plenty of trash over there --- and no snakes!


That afternoon, Becky received a text from Tom O'Dell. One of Tom's sons is hiking the 800 mile Arizona Trail. Jon and his hiking friend started at the Mexican border and were almost to Mormon Lake. Tom was traveling in a 21 foot Class C motorhome --- providing hiker support, rest stops, and pick-up service. Becky and Tom worked together at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon the season of 2006.  Tom checked into the Kit Carson RV Park in Flagstaff for a week. Becky and Tom met for lunch at Kick's Route 66 Restaurant. It was a nice reunion.


Becky decided it was time to get back into playing pickleball on a regular basis. In February, she met a Flagstaff resident who told her about the two venues of pickleball play there. John Grahame wintered in his motorhome at Voyager RV Resort in Tucson. Becky went to one of the venues, the Flagstaff Aquaplex, to play indoor pickleball. At $2 a day, it was an easy investment!


Tuesday was an appointment at North Country Medical Center in Williams for Becky's last PAP smear. She had one five years ago, and after age 65, PAP smears are not required. Christy, a Physician's Assistant, did the procedure. She mentioned that it was time to get an updated dexa scan. So, an order was sent to the Flagstaff imaging group. Becky also met with Dr. Gibula to go over recent lab results. All was all in normal range except the usual cholesterol. Becky has high "good" cholesterol.

Northern Arizona had several days of freezing, rain, and slush. Tom O'Dell texted Becky. He had picked up the two Arizona Trail hikers near Mormon Lake. They were going to just hang out until the weather improved. So, Becky invited all three to her home for dinner. She made it easy --- a tossed salad and pizza from Pizza Factory in downtown Williams. Becky had met Tom's son, Jon, in 2006.
His hiking partner, Dana, is married and lives in Missouri.


Becky went back to the Aquaplex on Wednesday. There, she saw Flagstaff resident, John, who told her about the Flagstaff pickleball play.


One of Becky's friends used the genetic testing of "23andme.com." Becky decided to take advantage of a $20 off coupon for Mother's Day. She ordered the kit, spit into the vial, and mailed it to the lab. Apparently, it will take 4-5 weeks to obtain the results. Let's see if the results tie in with what Becky thinks her heritage is --- English, Scottish, and Norwegian!


Friday morning, Becky received a text from a Flagstaff pickleball player, Teresa. Teresa said it was a beautiful day and she was going to play pickleball outdoors at the Continental Country Club. Becky agreed to join her at 8:30am. So, an early walk with the dogs, and off to Flagstaff for more pickleball. The country club has six courts. Teresa mentioned that in the summer, all courts are full and there are 20 people waiting! Only two courts were used this morning.


Saturday, the First Baptist Church of Williams, had a Women's Tea and Fellowship. For a mere $5, Becky signed up. The sanctuary was transformed into a tea setting with eight round tables, sitting six. The theme was "Singing in the Rain."  Becky won the first door prize drawing --- a cute silver colored bangle bracelet.


Tom texted Becky that the hikers were placed back on the Arizona Trail Saturday afternoon. Becky was in the mood for some live music at the Best Western. She invited Tom to join her. Omar sang and played the guitar with a wide assembly of fun tunes --- from Johnny Cash to Elvis to Jim Croce.


Donna and the Bernstein family sent Becky roses for Mother's Day. It was a very thoughtful gesture!


Sandra and Ed Smith are Thousand Trails RV friends and Pickleball players. While they live full-time in their motorhome, they have a rental property in Flagstaff. Becky invited them over for lunch and a walk with the dogs. They used to have dogs, but now just get puppy fixes from the dogs of friends. Becky made her chicken curry salad recipe which is always a winner!


Monday morning, Becky drove to Flagstaff and played pickleball at the indoor Aquaplex. Then, she headed over to Tirzah Salon to get her hair cut and colored. Becky's stylist, Shawna, is always a colorful person!


It was time to finally get Kelsey's teeth professionally cleaned. Several years ago, she did get a dental cleaning, but she has never had the "deep sleep" teeth cleaning. Dr. Jacoby, at Williams Veterinary Clinic, was the fellow to do it! Becky dropped her off at 8:15am.

Tom O'Dell, who moved from his RV site in Flagstaff to an RV site in Valle, was up for a hike. Valle is just 35 minutes from Williams, so Becky picked Tom up there. Becky suggested that they hike Red Butte. Red Butte is the highest point near the South Rim. It is a 2 1/2 mile hike, but has a 1,000 foot elevation climb. The last time Becky did this hike was in 2009. There is a fire look-out station on top.


As Becky and Tom walked toward the tower, lookout guy Bruce Hill came out and greeted them.  He was the artist Becky and Pat Wheeler had met eight years ago. Bruce spends 8 months out of the year at the tower and this is his 17th year!


It was fun seeing Bruce again. It was nice to also have him take a photo of the two Red Butte hikers!


Becky picked Kelsey up at the Veterinary Clinic at 3:30pm. Kelsey had one tooth extracted. It appeared to Dr. Jacoby that it was an original baby tooth that should have fallen out years ago.

Wednesday morning, Becky took the dogs to Wags & Whiskers Pet Resort. It had been recommended by the Williams Veterinary Clinic. It is conveniently located on the west side of Flagstaff. Becky decided it might be a good place to take the dogs for three nights or less. It is in an industrial park, with no access to forest walks.


With the dogs settled, Becky headed off to Zion National Park. She was meeting Orange County friends Sherry and John Phelan there. On the way, she stopped in Kanab at Perry Lodge. Patricia Wheeless was the front desk manager there. Becky and Patricia worked together at the South Rim in 2007 and 2008.


While at Perry Lodge, Becky made a reservation to stay there on her way back from a Park City getaway next month! She found out that the property was owned and managed by Forever Resorts out of Scottsdale. Forever Resorts is the current concessionaire and operator of Bryce Canyon and the North Rim properties.

Becky met up with rainy and slushy weather as she approached Zion National Park and Springdale. She arrived at her Quality Inn Motel at around 4:00pm. John and Sherry arrived at their Desert Pearl Inn about thirty minutes later. Good timing! Becky walked the .2 miles to their motel and shared adult beverages with them. The Phelans had a beautiful room right on the Virgin River.


Becky, John, and Sherry had dinner reservations at King's Landing Restaurant. It is located on the Driftwood Lodge property. The dinner was excellent!