Saturday, September 17, 2011

Easter 2011

As soon as I got home from Arizona, we had Easter dinner. Joel & Sarah were on their way back from a short vacation in Corpus Christi, so they were able to come by. Justin made this "Easter Cake".
The 4 cousins.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Last night/Morning we left Arizona

The last evening we were in Arizona we met up with our good friend, Donna. We had a great dinner out and had a great time reminiscing about old times. The picture is grainy as I had forgotten my camera, so this is off of my cell phone.
The morning we left we spotted some javalinas in our hotel a parking lot. We have these in South Texas, but I've never seen one. They are a small variety of wild hogs. A grainy cell phone picture.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sedona Sunset

The last night we were in Sedona, we climbed up Bell Rock to watch the sunset. We had no crowds there, just a couple getting married. So, it was a much more pleasant experience.

Unfortunately, I got very sick with a stomach bug that night (possible food poisoning or giardia due to drinking Grand Canyon water, not sure), but I was up all night. Tami felt the effects the next day when we drove back to Phoenix. Somehow we managed to have dinner with our dear friend, Donna.
Next up: Pictures of dinner and morning we left.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chapel of the Holy Cross

One of the tourist attractions in Sedona is the "Chapel of the Holy Cross". We decided to have a look since we were there. Here is a discription of it:

Designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright student, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, the chapel was built in 1956 and rises 200 feet from the ground between two large red rock formations. One of the most distinctive features is a 90-foot cross, which can be seen from the ground along State Route 179. A massive stained glass window turns the chapel's interior into a kaleidoscope of color at certain times of the day. No services are held here, but it provides an ideal setting for spiritual reflection and prayer as well as incredible views of the Red Rocks.
The cactus in the landscaping is really amazing.
These smart little birds had built their nest in and amongst the cactus and they were none too happy that we were taking pictures. I think Tami managed to get a close up of the babies.

Next up: Sedona sunset

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mountain Biking Sedona

On Day 3, we rented mountain bikes and biked the trail around Cathedral and Bell Rock. We packed lunches and enjoyed our trip. Mountain biking was a first for me (we don't have mountains in Texas). It was a fun workout, but I probably went a little slower than most due to the loose shale rock.
Bell Rock
Cathedral Rock
Taking a photo break
The "tamer" part of the trail

Next up: A church in the rock

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 2-Arizona; Grand Canyon

We headed out of Sedona in the morning to make a day trip to the Grand Canyon. We stopped at Slide Rock State Park. The weather was beautiful, but probably not warm enough to take in the park. Slide Rock is a natural rock that has water flowing down it. When the weather warms, it's a popular place to slide down the rock, hence the name of the park.
Rocky cliffs
We stopped on top of the pass just past Slide Rock State Park and bought some souvenirs from the Navajos. Then we stopped again just South of Tusayan at another Navajo trading post.

The owner had a microphone so that the Indian would talk. It surprised us at first, but we soon became friends with him.
We stopped at Tusayan and took in the IMAX movie of the Canyon before we ventured into the park. Our first welcome to the park was a pack of mules that crossed the road near where we parked.

“You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths.”-John Wesley Powell

Doing our famous Louis & Clark pose
We had a hairbrained idea to hike the Bright Angel Trail. Tami says "Why not?"

I'm sure this is in the first chapter of the book "What not to do at the Grand Canyon". See that crazy guy out there in the hole in the rock? He's got about 500 feet to his death if he falls. And, did I mention that he's wearing flip flops? Yeah, crazy, huh?
And these are more of his crazy friends...

The Bright Angel Trail follows an earthquake fault. See that little line on the green down below? That's the trail. It traverses all the way down (about 9.5 miles) to the Phantom Ranch, the only lodging inside the Grand Canyon walls. We hiked down to the 1.5 mile rest room, then back. It's about 1100 feet of elevation just down to that point.
Evidence of Mountain goats
I played with my black/white & sepia settings
Mule crossing
Tami decides to cliff jump

These little squirrels were really chirping. One of the hikers who had come up from the Phantom Ranch said one had stolen his bagel and cream cheese. They do bite and if not left alone, can be a little aggressive.
Tami & I
After we hiked down and back, we walked over to the Hermit's Rest overlook via the Rim Trail. These artists were busy painting the canyon.
There's our trail!
And there is the rest area we hiked down to

Beauty on the layers of rock that have carved the canyon over the years
Tami was much braver than I and hopped the gate to get out on the rim for some good pictures.
Almost looks like a pose out of her REI catalog days.

“We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not. Ah, well! we may conjecture many things.”-John Wesley Powell

The Mighty Colorado River runs through this canyon

Taking in the beautiful sunset
Posing for the self timer

Next up...Mountain biking Sedona