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Happy Dog; Sedona; Desert Blooms; SOARing; Hiking and Biking; “Here Fishy, Fishy”; “Keep Your Eyes in the Boat!”

Rudy is a Happy Dog; he has been playing with his new “indestructible” Dragon toy that he received from our sailing friends the Heavins in Sun Lakes; one toss out of ten may result in a retrieve, but usually when I throw it, he decides to lie in his bed with the toy firmly grasped in his mouth, and nothing can get it away from him. 
We arrived in Sedona on Sunday and got a hike in almost immediately. This little critter is cleverly camouflaged to blend into the bright green and yellow foliage along the trail. (Identification is incomplete because our Internet signal has been very weak.)
This was Jan and Bob’s first trip to Sedona, so of course we had to take them on a hike as soon as we arrived. In the background is Courthouse Mesa and Bell Rock. They liked the trail, the gorgeous red rock scenery and the spiritual energy that exists here.
I suggested that Bob try some rock climbing, since there are limited opportunities for this exciting sport back in Florida. I pointed out the two climbers up on the left side of this near-vertical rock; I think I heard Bob say something about “When pigs fly…”  

The desert is in bloom here in northern Arizona; these lovely purple flowers show that not all plants have prickly spines, although there are plenty of Saguaro and prickly pear cactus around for the unwary hiker to stumble into.
Here is Suzanne experiencing the energy and looking like she’s ready to SOAR… oh, that’s an appropriate term, isn’t it?
This was the best part of the view from our campsite at the Sedona Elks Lodge, located on a hill right by the airport. Not too shabby for $30 a night, less than half of what the only commercial campground in town charges, and there’s no view at all there.
On our second day in Sedona, Biker Chick and I went mountain biking on the Bell Rock Pathway, a multi-use trail that circles that rock. There were lots of ups and downs and some slickrock sections that make Arizona and Utah riding unique. Here Suzanne is powering up a short grade in low gear (not the lowest, which is called “granny gear” by teenaged cyclists); that gear is saved for really steep sections of trail.
My Good Friend Bob returned from a shopping trip to town with a present for Der Blogmeister. This isn’t the first time he has impugned my fishing prowess (or lack thereof) and I fear it may not be the last… we’ll see if I share any of my trophy trout with him!
Jan, Bob’s Better Half, made big points when she brought a delicious fruit tart as well as a yummy salad and shrimp cocktail appetizer to dinner one night. I had made chicken Marsala; it must have been okay, because Bob’s plate looked like Rudy had licked it clean. Yes, food continues to be a recurring theme in this blog, and we are eating pretty well in spite of the primitive camping conditions we face daily.
I mentioned prickly pear cactus earlier, and on our third day’s hike we saw this one in bloom, with a gorgeous yellow blossom surrounded by inch-long needles.
I’m not sure what this flower is, but its white flower is much more robust than its distant dandelion cousin. I tried blowing on one, but not a single petal detached; I think it would take a hurricane force wind to blow it apart.
I did a solo hike up to one of my favorite spots, Soldiers’ Pass, on our last day in Sedona. Within 45 minutes, you’re out of sight of civilization, and thinking that this could be 1860 instead of 2015. Sedona wasn’t founded until 1909, but the US Army had cavalry patrols in the area during the period that some local residents were not playing well with settlers and miners opening up the Southwest…
We are now in Williams, AZ, gateway to the Grand Canyon. But because of poor Internet connectivity at our campground here, I will have to defer reporting on that part of our trip until we get settled in Needles, California, in a couple of days. One of the problems being in a very touristy area now is that the “parking lot” we are in has lots of dirt, but no view, no Wi-Fi, no facilities to speak of, no grass and no AT&T phone service, and yet charges $45 a night. We awoke this morning to 29F temps; at least we didn’t need air conditioning. We had to drive into town 7 miles away to post our blogs.
Finally, Suzanne received a note concerning my blog entry from back in Texas about “short-shorts” and cheeks showing on an attractive twenty-something waitress we met in a bakery. The note was from a former naval officer and Naval Academy graduate who was taught to “keep your eyes in the boat” when a sweet young thing (male or female) walked by a formation of  midshipmen, so as not to incur the wrath of an upper classman. Not being a “Boat School” grad, I never learned that lesson, but My Lovely Bride just told me in a stern voice, “Ty, it’s never too late to learn.”  “Yes, Ma’am!”   


  • Anonymous
    Posted April 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Ty, it's a Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus) fast runners and may even run on its 2 hind legs.

  • Ty and Suzanne Giesemann
    Posted April 25, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Dale, Good I.D. I tried to catch him for a snack, but he was too quick…


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