Apache Wash!

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I absolutely love riding my mountain bike on the Apache Trail! It is so much fun!!

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The Phoenix Sonoran Preserve is spectacular!

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Spring time in the desert is so beautiful!!

I have been in Phoenix for the past week and have been loving the spring weather. For the past six days I have driven to the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve and ridden my mountain bike on the Apache trail. It is a wonderful series of trails that are excellent for beginner and intermediate riders. I have loved riding on these trails! Many people hike, ride horses, or ride mountain bikes.

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I had so much fun stopping to see so many different cacti!

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The saguaro cacti are so magnificent!!

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The yellow flowers, green plants, and blue sky were amazing!!

The weather has been spectacular this week and the desert plants are starting to bloom. I have really enjoyed riding along between all the cacti and the spring flowers.

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It is absolutely amazing to see the number of arms this saguaro has!!

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I love riding along such nice trails!!

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This is the saguaro where I hit the cactus arm with my handlebars and caused me to wipeout!! I am glad I wear gloves when I ride!

One saguaro cactus is large and has an arm that has grown into the edge of the trail. Usually I have no problem avoiding the rocks and riding next to the cactus. However, two days ago, I rode a little too close to the cactus arm and my handlebars hit the cactus! It was like hitting a steel bar. There was absolutely no give at all to the cactus. Needless to say, my handlebars turned and I wiped out hands first in the dirt! I am glad I wear gloves when ridding! I only slightly hurt my hand and my bike was fine. When I looked closer at the cactus arm, I could see that I was not the only person that had hit the sneaky cactus arm!

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This saguaro is growing in all sorts of different directions!

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I absolutely love all the colors of the blooming desert!

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There are blooming flowers farther than my eyes could see!

I am sad that this is the last time to ride the Apache trail. Now I need to move the motorhome to get have the yearly oil change and other maintenance items checked. After that, I continue my route west on interstate 10.

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I really have to “gear down” my bike to make it up this hill!! My heart is beating fast by the time I get to the top!!

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The scenary is spectacular all along the Apache trail!!

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I love riding my mountain bike through the blooming desert!

 

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Picacho Peak!

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I absolutely loved visiting Picacho Peak State Park! It was beautiful and weather was perfect!

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I loved seeing so many huge cacti!

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The California poppies are so beautiful! They blooming in so many places!

After the end of the Escapade RV rally at the Pima County Fairgrounds, I went on a day trip to Picacho Peak State Park. It was a gorgeous day and an absolutely fabulous time to visit Picacho Peak! I was hoping to see more spring poppies as well as a range of beautiful cacti.

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I love to see the patterns in the cactus spines!

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I adore the orange color of the California poppies!

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There is an amazing contrast with the prickly cactus right next to the delicate beauty of the blooming flowers!

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There are so many beautiful scenes in Picacho Peak state park!

The high temperature was 71 degrees, so it was wonderful weather to visit Picacho Peak! I went to a couple different sections of the park and walked randomly along a range of trails with my camera and tripod.

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I love the different colors of blooming flowers!

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Blooming poppies are everywhere!

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I love the colors and ruggedness of the rock formations!

I had a wonderful time seeing so many beautiful scenes!

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It is refreshing to simply look at all the different colors and shapes!

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It is wonderful to see the enormous saguaro cacti!!

Dressage Horses!

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The horses work intently! I was surprised to see the foam frothing from the horses mouth.

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The horses are trained to take very precise steps!

I came in early to the Pima County Fairgrounds to attend the Escapade. Dressage horses were in competition next to where I am parked in my motorhome. I spent quite a while watching them practice. I was trying to follow the different procedures they followed.

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I thought it was interesting to see how the horses were trained to tip their heads down.

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The appearance of both the horses and riders were meticulously refined.

I anticipated that most of the participants would be people in their teens and twenties; however, most of the participants were women at least my age.

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I liked the contrast of the pink with the beautiful color of the horse.

There was incredible focus and determination as the riders guided their horses through the routines. Quite interesting!

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I thought this lady’s pink outfit was priceless!!

Catalina State Park!

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I love the California poppies in Catalina State Park!

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The mighty saguaro cactus are so impressive!

It was a wonderful day to visit Catalina State Park! I was fun to drive through Tucson and Oro Valley on the way to the state park. I have many wonderful memories from living in Oro Valley!

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The poppies are everywhere! They are a wonderful way to welcome spring in Catalina State Park!

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I especially love the orange poppies!

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The flowers are so delicate and beautiful!

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Beautiful!!

I also have many excellent memories of previous visits to Catalina State Park! I have hiked, camped, and ridden a horse in the state park. March is a fantastic month to visit! The flowers are blooming everywhere, and it is a very comfortable temperature.

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I love the orange center and yellow outside colors of the poppies!!

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The poppies began to close up as the temperatures started to cool off.

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I like the contrast between the orange poppies and the while flowers!

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These are gorgeous flowers!

I was especially enthralled with the blooming California poppies! I love the yellow and orange colors! I took many photos of all the blooming poppies!

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I love the color of the poppies!

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Awesome colors!

I also love the mighty saguaro cactus! Since I have been away from Tucson, it was very exciting to again see much massive and mighty cactus!

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The saguaro cactus are so impressive!

There were many people in the park and all kinds of activities with different groups of people! Everyone was enjoying the wonderful weather and the beauty of the park.

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These are very heavy limbs!!

I walked on the nature walk and loved taking pictures of such beauty. It was so wonderful to visit the park again after several years having moved away from Oro Valley.

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I was mesmerized by the design of the spines on the saguaro cactus!

When I first arrived at the park, there was a display of different animals that lived in the area. A teenage girl asked me if I wanted to hold a gopher snake. At first I declined, but then I thought it would be a unique experience to hold it. She took a picture of me and laughed at my nervousness.

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I do not like snakes, so I was amazed to find myself holding a gopher snake!

 

Chiricahua National Monument!

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I was captivated with the rock formations and all the different colors!

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Very interesting rocks!

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Amazing rocks!

Today was a wonderful step back in time. I have been to the Chiricahuas in the past, but it has to have been at least 15 years ago. I think the rock structures within the Chiricahua National Monument are awe inspiring and beautiful.

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The green-yellow lichen on many rocks was striking!

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Very interesting balanced rocks! It is amazing that a big gust of wind does not blow it over!

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I was excited to see so many amazing rock formations!

Around every corner on the trail, there are new perspectives and new sites that seem to be even more beautiful.

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I was amazed at the size of so many boulders!

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These rock formations were quite unique and amazing!

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These structures sort of reminded me of stacks of pancakes!

Hiking the trail was supposed to take about 2-3 hours, but it took me 4.5 hours because I kept stopping to take photos of new scenes.

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This is the Echo Canyon Grotto! A unique series of arches in the rock formations.

The Echo Canyon Grotto was a unique series of arches. It was tricky to photograph because of the bright sunshine in a few spaces combined with dark shadows in most of the grotto. I combined a series of photos with different exposures using “high dynamic range.”

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This seemed to be a sleepy rock formation that was resting against a close friend.

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I loved all the shapes of rocks!

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All these rock formations are simply glorious!

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Very unique balanced shapes!

My mind was captivated with so many beautiful and amazing structures.

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I thought this formation looked like a smiling person!

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This formation made me think about organ pipes!

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The rock formations are so unique and such a treasure!

Years ago, I remember camping in a tent with Charlene when Amy was a baby in the campground within the Chiricahua National Monument. I have many wonderful memories of this beautiful place.

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What a beautiful day for a hike to such an awesome national monument!

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It looks like someone simply stacked all these boulders all together!

Rodeo!

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I could not believe the intensity of riding a bucking horse!

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Cowboys would fly off their horses!

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There were many nice smiles too!

I joined 6 other people and enjoyed the National Senior Pro rodeo in Wickenburg, Arizona. It was a beautiful day and there was lots of activity. I enjoyed all the colors and pageantry of the rodeo.

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There were many rough landings!

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Hang on!!

The bucking broncos were very intense!

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Flagstaff, Arizona

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I absolutely love the combination plates at La Fonda! It has always been my favorite restaurant in Flagstaff.

I love visiting Flagstaff! Normally cool, the high temperatures were in the 90s, while it was 115 to 119 in Phoenix! However, it still cooled down very nicely in the evening!

My favorite restaurant in Flagstaff is La Fonda. I absolutely love their combination plates. Yummy!

 

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I miss my Mom. She truly was a fantastic wife, mother, and friend!

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I miss talking with my father. I admired all of his common sense.

It always touches my heart to go to the Flagstaff cemetery and visit my parents’ graves. It is a time for reflection, thinking about the future, and being thankful for such wonderful memories of my parents. I know my parents would be so proud of Amy and John and the lives they have built!

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I had fun visiting my old elementary school! I loved attending this school!

I had a chance to visit my old elementary school! I really enjoyed Sechrist School and still have fantastic memories of my teachers and classmates. I was quite fortunate to attend such an excellent school.

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Finding the Flagstaff Folk Festival was an unexpected surprise. I loved all the guitars!

A special treat was attending the Flagstaff Folk Festival! There were four venues going with different groups playing for about 30 minutes each. I moved around between the different groups and heard all kinds of instruments and many different singers. It was wonderful. It started raining during the afternoon. It was fantastic to listen to people playing their guitars, with the sound of the rain on the roof and the wonderful smell of the rain coming in through the door. It was a fantastic time!

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The Secret Handshake was the name of this group. They were fantastic and everyone loved listening to them play and sing!

The group Secret Handshake was my favorite. They play weekly in Flagstaff and seem to have quite a following. I loved their music.