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Wandrin 2006

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by Lloyd Treichel





Dateline: February 28, 2006 -- Fountain Hills, Arizona

[To view photos full sized, click on the thumbnail photo]

Yuma, Arizona... After leaving Quartzsite, I made a three day stop in Yuma. I had hoped to park at the Elks so I could get a daily cinnamon roll at Goldsboro's. Since the lot was full, that saved me a few calories. So I searched for BLM land north of town. First try was parked "back to back and belly to belly" with RVs. I continued down the road and found wide open spaces at the BLM land at Kool Corners. This area is all dirt and rock with little vegetation. It resembles a moonscape.

That was where I found Glen Nyberg, so we went on a hike around Sugarloaf Mountain accompanied by Glen's buddy Pancho. (Pancho's aliases include the Peripatetic Pooch and the Mojave Mutt.) Note Pancho's hiking boots. Those boots didn't slow him down a bit.

Ajo, Arizona...Each year, the SKP Boondockers have a rendezvous here on BLM land north of Ajo. This was my first time attending a Boondocker rendezvous. This is a wide open place with lots of space for the large groups.

I hiked out into the desert each day I was here. On one of those hikes, these grinding stones -- metates and monos -- were found. It was hard to imagine Indians were able to eke a meal out of this landscape. However, no doubt it looked very different before the cattle ranching was introduced to the area.

On another day, I drove around the Ajo area to check out sites for future visits. South of Ajo on Darby Wells road is more BLM land where the scenery is much more attractive. This will be a stop next time I return to Ajo. Hiking among the saguaros will be a treat.

Canyon Lake Hike... Bill Love (road acquaintance who lives in Chandler) and I headed out to Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest. We went to the Butcher Jones Picnic Area. That was the place for a trail head and a place to do a hike around a section of the lake. It was a slow and leisurely four mile hike with lots of picture taking.


After that strenuous work out, we headed over to the marina restaurant for a much deserved meal. Yeah! Right!

Maricopa Mountain Regional Park is a county park located about five miles from downtown Fountain Hills. Fountain Hills is a northern suburb of Phoenix. The views from this campground are fantastic. To give some perspective, I included Wandrin Wagon in the picture. Note nothing to the left or right and from the site, I have a 180 degree view to the east. Great sunrise this morning.

This is the best view that I have had in a month. Most of the places I parked in the past month were free. However, the view here wasn't free. The charge is $18 a day for water and electricity.

Arabian Horse Show... in Scottsdale West World. With lots of beautiful horses, there were lots of pictures to be taken. There were more pictures, but I have to learn how to take pictures of moving horses to get the whole horse in the picture. There were a lot of pictures that were deleted. That is the great part about digital photography.

A stop action photo. Note the horse and sulky picture. None one of the horse's feet is on the ground. One looks like it may be on the ground, but there is a shadow beneath it. In a fraction of a second that foot will be on the ground and just as fast it will be back in the air.

Why the picture of just legs. I had taken several photos of parts of riders and horses in a scene. Of the choices this one seemed to have some appeal.

In the fourth photo, the riders are awaiting the results of the judges. This was a group of 27 trying for the top five or six ribbons.

This horse show is a week long event with numerous classes for judging the horses. Nothing is second class in the decorated stable areas for the horses. Finally, there are tents with numerous booths selling everything for the "horsey" set including jewelry, home furnishings, paintings, lots of leather tack (smells good), horse trailers and the proper clothing attire from English to Western.



Cinnamon Roll Search...

Fontini's... When I left the campground and passing through Fountain Hills, AZ, I stopped at Fontini's. Their cinnamon roll was a great find. It was snack sized with a great balance of flavors. For 75 cents, this one can compete for a position in the top three right up there next to the Stadium Bakery in Green Bay.

The menu on the wall indicated that Fontini's had a cinnamon roll for $2.50. It is a good thing they didn't have that one because this one was excellent. I am not sure what the more expensive version would have been. Perhaps it would have been about four times as large.

It's too bad that I left town without having a chance to repeat the visit. Since I will be back to visit Ann and Jeff again, I will certainly repeat the visit to Fontini's -- more than once.

Marcela's Bakery... in Ajo. Always on the search for cinnamon rolls, I dropped in here to check it out. The cinnamon rolls had nuts as did every other bakery item except for the lemon bars. From there I headed downtown to the Plaza. This time the cinnamon roll was wrapped in cellophane. To me that is a sure sign that it was not freshly made. So I had a single scoop of ice cream instead. That scoop was close to a pint of ice cream. I could not imagine how big the dish would have been for a double dip. (The deli also has Wi-Fi.)

From the road sightings...

Vanity Plates...

SUB VET -- most likely spent time with the Navy

GDBNFREE -- "Good being free" on British Columbia plates.

... and more: "RZMTAZ" "UBETJAA" "LV2RUN"

Other observations...

DON'S BUSH WHACKERS is a clever name for a barber shop in Yuma

BELLY ACRES is an RV park in Ajo, Arizona


Recent Reads...

The Backbone of the World... by Frank CliffordSubtitled "A Portrait of the Vanishing West Along the Continental Divide", the author relates the experiences and lives of the people who make a living along this mountainous and wilderness corridor.

The following is quoted from the book to best describe the internal dichotomy of the people, the characters and sometime activists who live along the Continental Divide.

"... But capitalism in the Western states has traditionally benefited from government intervention. Many of the incentives put in place a century ago to encourage the settlement of the West survived in the form of subsidies and price supports to timber, mining, energy, adn agriculture interests. This strange legacy of socialism is one of the abiding ironies of the West. No region of the country is more devoted to the myth of rugged self-sufficiency, none more dependent on the federal largesse, and none more contemptuous of the hand that feeds it." (p. 159 paperback edition published by Broadway Books)

My enjoyment comes from the book's setting and descriptions of those remote places in the west where people inhabit very little of the environment; a place where wildlife and the unforgiving natural world is more prevalent than man's trespass. However, there are times that I am disheartened by how many times the natural environment is harmed in some way unintentionally or frequently just for capitalistic greed.

Uncommon Grounds... by Mark Pendergrast. With a subtitle of "The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World", I found this to be a most interesting read. This is a very thorough and complete history of coffee from its discovery in Ethiopia to today's cultivation in equatorial countries around the world and its consumption world wide. The author discusses coffee trade wars, government controls, the aqricultural labor required, negative and positive health reports, the role of advertising and the ubiquitous coffee houses that have proliferated in the most recent decades. After all that coffee discussion, there is the "Appendix: How To Brew The Perfect Cup".

I've never been a coffee drinker. My beverage of choice is a Chai tea latte with a very infrequent coffee mocha latte. No excuse. I like desserts.

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