Friday, June 13, 2014

Arizona Memories

Telluride, Colorado (I've always thought it was interesting that this city's name is derived from the prase "to hell you ride" which was what people were told back when it was first being settled who wanted to go there.)With so much of my energy focused on the AMB Blog Tour, I have really been enjoying seeing photos of the states that bloggers have been posting.  We'll pick it up again tomorrow with Cali Quilter (California) and The Curious Quilter (Minnesota).  I am excited to see what they have to offer in their license plates and learn a bit about their states.  Do be sure to visit them.

There is no place like home!! Looking forward to Wintering in Arizona.
My interest in visiting all 50 of the states began years ago when an uncle mentioned that he had done so.  Then my own parents retired and began their travels throughout the U.S.  Although my dad had been to Hawaii, it was the one state that momma did not get to visit. As a result, visiting every state became a mainstay on the family bucket-list.  On occasion we compare each other's list of visited states.  I'm pretty far behind most of my sisters, but I'll retire soon and, hopefully, catch up to them.  

Tonight, though, I thought I'd figure out which ones I have visited.  

Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, Beautiful place... I would love to go sometime...
I have to start with Louisiana, of course!  But I also have Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Minnesota, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Nineteen in all.  

A few of those are thanks to layovers in airports on the way to someplace else, a few were the "go to" place, and a few were pass-through states. 

Dead Horse State Park. Cottonwood, Az. been camping here and it is awesome...My young boys called our vacation destinations our "go to" place. They would ask are we almost at the "go to" place yet?  

This photo (left) of Dead Horse Ranch State Park just south of Sedona, AZ, is both a reminder of the place and a bit of a joke for me.  We spent two weeks traipsing around Arizona, from Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon to the Black Hills with their saguaro cacti.  

It was August.  It was hot.  It was dry.  No, it was really dry. Brown dry.  Crunchy grass dry.  Bleeding noses dry.  We lived out of the truck camper and a tent.  Every morning we'd break camp and pack into the truck, off on a new adventure.  Traveling south by southeast and looking for adventure.  Mostly I was looking for a shower.  It was glorious.  

Sego lillies surrounded by strawberry Hedgehog cactus, Barnhardt Trail, Tonto National Forest, Arizona

The boys loved every minute of tent life and by day three we had figured out how to set up camp so that it became a game.  Us against our best time.  Everyone had a job: mom directed.  We got so good at setting up camp that other campers were amazed.  

Arizona Cactus Garden

I learned to appreciate the beauty of the cacti more than the sand and grit and heat.  But there's always something to appreciate. The colors, the adaptations, the beautiful blooms.  I wanted to take home some of every type.  I didn't actually do that, but I wanted to.  
Cactus blooms in Tucson, Arizona

Until I accidentally brushed against one particularly prickly one. Ah, that was pain!  Searing, sharp, burning pain.  And the desire to relocate the cacti decreased with each sticker that I had to carefully remove.  There was no help from the wild ones....they were too busy adding to the sand collection in their pockets.

Arizona cactus

Phoenix, Arizona - Cactus by Gordon King (Thanks for 30,000 views), via Flickr

Arizona Cactus

Arizona cactus garden-Stanford University

Arizona cactus blooming in the desert.  Go to or just click on photo for home videos and much more on sites like this.

If you are planning a visit to Arizona, let me suggest that you go in the spring or perhaps in fall.  The Sonora Desert may not be as beautiful or as colorful, but you will likely not fight the heat as much as I did.  Of course, staying in an air conditioned hotel may alleviate some of the heat issues.

Arizona cactus.

I've had many friends ask me whether I'd go back and my answer is always a resounding "YES!"  I am now too old to consider roughing it with a crew of teenage boys as ranch hands, but I thoroughly enjoyed the cities and the parks.  I'd just enjoy them with a cool shower and hotel bed waiting for my return from wild.

1 comment:

Linda in Calif. said...

Beautiful Cactus pictures. Those kinds of trips are so much fun. I used to rough it, then we got a trailer and we sold the trailer. Now we are back to roughing it. So glad you all had a wonderful adventure. I enjoyed your post very much.