The Hike - Pt 2

If you haven't already done so, you should read Part 1 of our hike up in the mountain of Payson, AZ.  Things will make much more sense that way.

Okay. So, after the whole getting over the high log with a cow poop on it, we just kept hoofing it (Get it hoofing??  I just crack myself up.) along the trail.

We stopped for a bit along the creek and S drank some cold, clear mountain water.  It was pretty hot by now (the weather report said it was going to be in the low 90's) so the cold creek water felt, and tasted, really good.

This was also where we weren't too sure where we were going.  Let me explain. 

There are several trails in the area.  Some easy, some difficult and some in between.  J found a site that described this particular trail, Wildcat Spring Trail, as easy and kid friendly.  Plus, it meandered through the forest and crossed the creek several times which we thought was much more interesting a hike than the other one she was thinking of.  Anyway it also had a trail description and kind of directions to follow.  We didn't really need to follow them much because the trail was easy to see and we figured out it pretty much ran along the creek.  Anyway, close to the spot we were at the description said;

At 0.7 miles, the trail crosses the creek for the last time and seems to abruptly end. Also at this point a side canyon joins the main canyon. Continue straight ahead about 20 yards and you will find an old road that will become the trail.
The going is easy along the old road. At 1.2 miles, the road turns sharply to the left (west). Another side canyon is directly ahead. Continue to follow the road for the last 0.2 miles. Wildcat Spring is on the left (north) side of the canyon. A concrete box marks the location.

We had no idea where these two canyons met, and exactly where this road was, so we kept following the trail hoping to stumble upon it.  Not to long after, we found the road.  We stopped here to decide if we should continue to Wildcat Spring or start back.  We figured since the creek wasn't running very full, the spring probably wasn't very full either, so the vote was to head back.  But not before some shenanigans from my oldest.

She felt the need to "dress up" my hair with some natural elements.  First she put tiny flowers in my bird clip.  Sorry, no pics of the accessory, but these were the flowers she used.

While J and I discussed what we were going to do, S climbed up the side of the mountain, messed with Zita, grabbed my camera for pictures, then came at me with some huge ferns.

She wasn't done with me yet!  I apparently needed a larger hair piece.

Gorgeous, I know.

I let S play with my camera for a bit more before we headed back down the mountain. 

On the way back, I let R take the camera to shoot whatever she wanted. 

And, by the way, going UP the mountain was so much easier than going DOWN.  I nearly fell more times than I can count.

As I was walking, this little red bug landed on me.  It was really pretty and kinda cute in a buggy sort of way!

It looked to me like a tiny red dragonfly, but whatever it was, it didn't bite!

So, R took pics of things like a Christmas tree S spotted.  S put the "star" on it to make it look more Christmas-y

She took some pics of another "waterfall" in the creek

And a robin who wasn't being very cooperative

At this point, we had gotten back to the log with a poop on it, but since her Aunt knocked it off, ruining her photo opp, R gave the camera back to me.

It always amazes me how you can walk the same path, or drive the same road, and it looks different going than it did coming. 

Like this side of the mountain; I didn't notice it going up the mountain, but it caught my eye as we headed back down.

So many straight lines, then the curve of the mountain.  I like the juxtaposition of the composition.  And R looking so tiny next to it all.

We came to a little watering hole and stopped so S could wash her feet, which was pointless, and I could get the entire contents of the forest out of my shoes.  I'm always getting rocks and dirt in my shoes.  Even when I wear my Birkenstocks!

Just ask D.  She'll tell you.

After S's attempt to wash her feet and my shoes were emptied, we continued on our way and I let S have a turn with the camera.

She took pictures of rocks, sticks, trees, the creek, and even a little orange bug-eyed butterfly!

There were a lot of butterflies.  The orange ones, bright yellow ones and tiny pale blue/purple ones.  They were all too fast for me to capture!

And of course she had to take pictures of  a  baby COW!  She really liked it's drool.  What can I say, the kid is weird. 

Very weird.

We had come to the end (or beginning, depending on how you look at it) of the trail and S was way ahead of me, so she walked down the hill to the creek to take pictures of things like water spiders.  Which really aren't spiders, they're bugs, but when we were kids we always called them water spiders.

I took the camera back to take a picture of the trees above us.  I think it looks really cool.

And this:

It's J's leg.  I don't know what the klutz did.  Something about falling down the hill and one leg going this way and the other going that way and her almost doing the splits which would not have been good and yada, yada, yada.

Can you tell I really listened to her telling me what happened? 

Oh.  This is funny.  I have to tell you this story!!  As she is cleaning out her scrape with a rag and creek water, I asked her if she would like some hand sanitizer in case there was still dirt in it.  She said sure, so I hand her my travel size bottle of  Purel, she dumps some in her hand then slathers it on her scrape.  Except she forgot that hand sanitizer contains RUBBING ALCOHOL!  In fact, it's pretty much all alcohol.  She screamed like a little girl and cussed like a sailor while I laughed my ass off. 

I cherish precious family moments like that.

Oh!  And this is so cute.  After J got over the sting of ALCOHOL in her scrape and while I was trying to whistle with an empty shot gun shell, Zita did this

Isn't that just the cutest thing?  She walked over there all on her own to sit perfectly under the arch made by the fallen tree.  J needs to get that printed and framed.  (As soon as I get the picture to her!)

By the end of our two hour hike, we were hot, sweaty, dirty, dusty, scrapped, bruised and tired.  All signs of either a really good day, or a really bad one.

I think we had a really good one!

To see a TON more pictures of our hike, click HERE.


Hiking in the Mountains - Pt 1

Saturday, Jan, the girls & I all went up to Payson for a hike in the cool mountains.  We took a lot of pictures (over 200) so I'm dividing the post into 2 parts, and most of it will be photos.

It's like a photo montage of our hike.

With commentary.

So sit back, grab a refreshing drink, and enjoy.

It was a two hour drive and most of the way there it looked like this:

And this:

And a few stretches looked kinda like this:

All in all it was a pretty nice drive.  Of course the higher we got, the cooler it was.  Which was a relief from our hundred plus temps.  Plus there was a nice breeze too.

The trail head we were taking was on a fire route off the main highway.  Four miles up a dirt, well, more like pebbly, road. 

About half way to the trail head, we come across a couple cows in the forest.

It was so weird seeing cows in the middle of a forest, but I guess they live here.  Or at least graze here.  This one had an ear tag and brand.  It wasn't like a wild cow or anything.

The girls were all excited to see it.

Such city kids!

We got to the campsite where we to park and unloaded kids, dog, and packs.  

Then it was off into the wild!!

First thing we saw were some more cows.  Some mamas with their babies.  J's dog Zita was so excited and wanted to chase them so badly.  Even having a mama cow moo and charge her didn't discourage her from the chase!

The girls wanted to know if they could pet the cow.  City Girls.  I told them the mama cow would not let them get close enough to her or her baby and would either stand there and stare, run or charge.  Turns out, they pretty much ran away from us.

About half an hour or so into our hike we came across a pile of rocks that they girls could climb and would make for a good photo opp.  Except I birthed a trio of uncooperative models.  

Especially this one:

I got one half way decent photo of all of them.  Little punks!

Especially this one:

A couple more shots on the rock, grab a snack and we were back on the trail again.

Most of the trail ran along a creek, but it wasn't very full.  In fact, some parts were nearly dry.  The trail was basically the path the cattle take along the creek.  Which was quite evident by the number of cow patties we had to dodge!

Now, typically, here would be where I'd insert a picture of a big, huge, steaming pile of cow poop.  But I didn't take a picture of one figuring S would do that. Surprisingly she never took one!  Instead, you get to see some of the not-so-full creek.

You're welcome.  You can thank me for that later. 

We hiked, and hiked, and hiked some more.  I took picture of rocks and trees and things. We saw a bunch of butterflies flutter around and crossed the creek a couple of times.

Each time we had to cross the creek D would ask; "What do I do now?  Where is the trail?  How do I get across?"

We came real close to leaving her to the cows.

But then I remembered, she's a City Girl.  City Girls don't know how to cross creeks (although her sisters seemed to manage it) and need detailed instructions.

Every time they have to cross one!

Oh, by the way.  This was my view for most of the hike:

Almost an hour into the hike we came to a clearing.  And what did we see?  A HERD OF COWS!!  The girls were so excited to see A HERD OF COWS! 

I told Jan that my girls are the girls we used to pick on when we were in school. Getting excited over a COW.

It's a COW!  It moos.  It poops.  Big deal.

Then I remembered.  They're City Girls.  City Girls have never seen cows.  

Well, except maybe one at the City Zoo.  Or the County Fair.

More mamas and babies.  

Then THIS:

Two big-ass bulls.  Staring each other down.

The big brown one was all up in the little black one's face.  Yelling insults and crap at him.  I think at one point he even said that all the heifers are his.  HIS, DAMN IT!

We carefully and slowly walked waaaay around the dueling bulls, the whole time J making sure Zita doesn't get any dumb ideas about chasing them, and had another pit stop and to let some horseback riders pass.

This was also when the dueling bulls decided to do the whole head-butting, I'm stronger than you thing, but the group on horseback were in the way & I couldn't get a picture of the bull fight.

Bummer, I know.  I realize you really wanted to see that, but what's a girl to do?

Anyway, it was back on the dusty trail to see what other adventure await us.  Unfortunately, the HERD OF COWS! and the bull fight were really the most exciting thing on the hike!

There were many trees that had fallen across the trail, some we could walk over, some were cut away from the path, and others we had to climb over or walk around.  One we had to walk over, and it was kind of hard for a 40-something short stack like me!  Dang thing was at my waist!  (So it was 2 1/2 feet high!)

AND it had a big cow poop on it!  That's right.  Smack dab in the way was a big cow poo.  I swear, it looked like a cow purposely positioned it's rear-end just so over this log so it's turd would land in the way of innocent hikers like us.

Or to amuse City Girls.

And you can again thank me.  The kids wanted me to take a picture.  But I didn't, figuring S would on the way back.  She has a thing about cow and horse poop, what can I say.  But she didn't take a picture.  Because R was going to.  But then J knocked it off, so R couldn't take the picture of it.  So you are, once again, saved from having to view a picture of poop on a log.

You're welcome.

Tune again later for the thrilling conclusion of our hike in the mountains.


Thought for Today

Say you have a hand mirror. 

And a certain someone borrows that mirror, then she drops it and it breaks.  

BUT, it doesn't fall out of the frame.  Does that person still have seven years of bad luck?

And say, you use that broken mirror for the next three years, then one day YOU drop it and it falls out of the frame.
And possibly breaks a little more.

Do YOU now have seven years of bad luck?  Or is it split between you and the person who originally broke it three years ago?

Inquiring minds want to know.  

(Okay.  Just I do.  No one else in the house really gives a crap about it.)


It has now come to this

It used to be, that when I walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator, the dog would appear at my feet.  He soon learned that if he sat around long enough, there would be a 'treat' for him.

Now, all I have to do is walk in the kitchen and he's at my heels.  Every time I'm in there, I have to kick him out because he lays in the middle of the floor, right in my way.  Now there are no treats unless he moves out of the kitchen.

And stays out.

Then we got two kittens.

And as we all know, cats are not at all like dogs.  They could care less if I was in the kitchen or what I was doing there.

Unless I opened their bag of cat treats.

Or touched the bag of cat food.

Then they came running.

Always ET first.  She acted like a starving child from a 3rd world country!

Anyway, one night Piper was being curious and stuck her nose in S's yogurt.  She discovered she liked it!  So taking her cue from the dog, she began begging whenever the kids had food.  

She almost always got a tid bit.

ET was much slower in catching on to the whole begging for food thing, but the other day, R was eating a turkey sandwich and gave her a piece.

I think a light went on in her head.  Finally.

Now, she will also beg for food.  When she happens to notice there is someone with food.

She's not a very smart cat.  A bit on the slow side, if you know what I mean.

This is what happens when the kids go into the kitchen (the cats don't bother with me, because they know I'm a hard-ass and won't feed them, but Cannon will still follow at my heels hoping for his share of dinner!)

As usual, Cannon is first in the kitchen, then Piper will follow, and finally ET will realize what's happening and come running.  

Piper gets pretty demanding for her piece of turkey.  While Cannon, the good dog he is, patiently waits his turn.

I think R gave Piper the majority of the turkey!  

Those kids really spoil her.



Last night's conversation:

Sean: Well, I just chucked the TV in the alley.  It's officially crap.

Me: I knew as soon as you opened it up & tried to fix it, you'd screw it up beyond repair.

Sean:  Oh, no.  I fixed it.  It's just that I had the main thing in my one hand & was reaching for the other thing that was rattling when I got a huge shock. It went all the way up to my shoulder.  Then I dropped the main thing and it broke.

Me: Retard.  Have you ever heard of UNPLUGGING IT!!!


My new haircut

I got my hair cut on Saturday.


I go to the Carsten Aveda beauty school just down the road, and they always do an excellent job.  And with a coupon, it's only $12!! 

It feels so good to have it off my neck.  Especially when I'm driving home from work in the ghetto van and it's 100+ degrees with no air conditioning.

Old hair:

New hair:

Just ignore the double chin in that photo.  We can pretend it's not there.

And just for the record; taking a side view self portrait in the mirror is not easy.  I took several shots just to get these 2 decent ones!!

I took the pics in the bathroom mirror.  I opened the door so I'd get a more interesting background than the ugly door.  

I think the light reflected off the mirror, on to the lens, back on to the mirror, then in my eye, making it look kinda cool.  (click on the pic to see it large & to see the reflection in my eye)

Anyway, there is my new haircut.

I like it.  Even if my kids & bratty little sister don't.

And that's all that matters!!