Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Leaving Arizona in the Dust

Saturday, April 2, we said our goodbyes to the friends who were still left in our park, shed some tears, and were on our way. It was already warm at 8:30 in the morning; we had our windows all the way down. The sweetness from the grapefruit and orange tree blossoms hung heavy in the air, and I took gulps of air to try to preserve it in my lungs.

I silently said goodbye to my favorite mountain, Red Mountain, as we sped by it.

Four Peaks Mountain was off in the distance.

We saw many, many bicyclists on the road.

I didn't find out till later that they were participating in the "El Tour de Mesa",  a 72-mile charity ride around Red Mountain to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I will miss this beautiful scenery,

and this.

The drive out of Arizona has many curves.

We soon left the desert-like surroundings with the tall saguaros behind, and entered in the Tonto National Forest. We saw small patches of that funny white stuff called "snow". Here is a huge flooded area from the melted snow. I just love the reflection of the blue sky and pine trees!

An area that was burned from a fire.

A couple of funny signs I saw along the way......

I might have qualified to work there if it were "FAT Ankles Cafe!"

A hotel for horses? Seriously?

Doesn't this look like a bat-mitten shuttlecock for giants?

We stayed in Holbrook, AZ overnight. The wind started to pick up later in the evening. The next morning we checked the weather and high winds were still forecasted. We got on the road anyway.

This is lava rock all along the road from a long ago volcano.

Horses grazing not seeming to pay attention to the gorgeous red rock backdrop.

Remember the high winds forecasted? It seems they weren't lying.

Look at these!

Not to worry. We made it to Albuquerque in one piece. With gusts up to 65 mph, that tail wind gave us better gas mileage! We set up in the blowing wind and it felt like we were getting sand blasted. The tiny granules of sand were stinging every exposed inch of our skin. We made sure all our windows were closed, but somehow a fine dust permeated the air of our trailer, settling in our ears, noses, and throats. Everything is covered in dust inside AND out. So much for Jim's wash job on the truck and trailer!

The wind blew through-out the night. The trailer rocked so hard that I felt I was on some kind of a ride at Disneyland. I was so worried that a nearby tree was going to snap in half and come crashing down on our trailer. It was an uneasy night. The next morning it was still windy, but not as bad as the day before. As we were packing up to leave, Jim hurt his back. It was only about 30 degrees outside. We were cold, wind-blown, and now sore. Time to move on.

Next post: our trek up a volcano near Raton, NM



I so have enjoyed your posts this winter about beautiful AZ. Too I've been able to share in your fun, the friends, and just what seemed to be a genuine good time - had by all.
We lived in FL for a very short time, weeks actually, and people there have a different - better - outlook than those who live in the dreary parts of the country. Or it seems so to me.
Have a great spring and I'll be relying on you to update us all on your "doings." I'm sure you'll be into something humorous.
Blessings, Barb
Praying for safe travels for you and hubs.

Brian Miller said...

beauty even in leaving...was wondering where that shuttlecock got off travels pat...

Anonymous said...

as always I love your post....the pics of the dust blowing across the road...stunning.

Country Gal said...

Love your photos.Praying for your safe return home. Hope your hubby's back gets better . Have a great day.

Unknown said...

The photos are beautiful and the one of the sandstorm is scary!

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

What a courageous pair you are! Glad you made it through the gale-force winds. Your photos are great Pat. I thought they were postcards at first! Good luck cleaning up that dust.

Carletta said...

I've scrolled down and it looks like you've had some great times before leaving.
Happy Trails!! Be safe!

The Uncommon Willow said...

so sorry to hear about the wind and the pain. ouch, ouch, ouch! are you headed north?

Ed said...

Volcano in New Mexico?

What the..???

becky said...

Love your photos! Yes, it was VERY windy in Santa Fe over the weekend- it looks like you had those winds too. the locals here call it the" windy season." If you are in ABQ, you are now getting rained on! The dust storms on the highways in NM & AZ can be dangerous!!! Luckily, I haven't been on them when they're like that! Be careful! Where's the next destination?

becky said...

Oh, oops, Raton. Will you be stopping in Santa Fe?

Betty Manousos said...

Lovely photos, Pat, as always.
Safe travels.

B xx

Valerie said...

Lovely pictures, Pat. I felt as if I was on tour as I looked at them. The horses are lucky to have furnished cabins. I hope Jim's back feels better soon.

Lynda said...

I love your scenery pictures but only to visit. Perhaps if I had been born out that way, that landscape would be in my blood but I prefer the traditional mountains, grass, and broad-leaf trees. However, that red rock behind the horses is GORGEOUS!
Does all that dirt blowing around hurt your engine or the paint job? I guess you just have to change air filters a bit more often.
I remember when you were coming south, you encountered high winds then.

labbie1 said...

Gracious!!!! Don't forget a netti pot to clear the dust out of the sinuses!!!!

I remember seeing that building that looks like a big shuttlecock. Funny. When I looked at it, I thought the same thing! :)