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Wandrin 2006

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by Lloyd Treichel





Dateline: April 15, 2006 -- Apache Junction, Arizona

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

Mini Car Show...
Flora and Phil drove their Cooper to meet me at a Chinese restaurant for a lunch of Dim Sum and tea.

With numerous hibiscus flower decals and a few other Hawaiian themed decals, their Cooper is well decorated for its desert residence. In lieu of the optional front license, Phil tells us how he feels about his favorite dish. After a very good lunch (No. It wasn't Spam) we headed over to...

The mini-car show. The "little" car show included the Cooper, but also represented were many small cars from the past including Morris, BMW Izetta, Crosley and Nash Metropolitan. Note the "Actual Size" in the bottom right hand corner of the Cooper. This is not an unusual decal on these mini cars.

For the several days that I was parked at the Desert Diamond, this cardinal was fighting his reflection in my truck windows and mirror. In the process, he managed to leave a bit of a mess. Perhaps that will encourage me to wash Silver Slug.

Casa Grande Sunset...
After a hard day filling out the tax forms with the help of Intuit's Turbo Tax (putting a plug in for my daughter's employer), it was time to enjoy a colorful sunset.


Hike to Picacho Peak...
The Hunter Trail was my choice for this hike. As I ascended this trail, I looked back to take this picture. This two mile hike to the saddle and a 1000 foot elevation gain was the workout. Once at the saddle, I stopped to view the desert in all directions before making the return to the trail head.

At the saddle, the trail continues for another two miles to the the high point -- Picacho Peak. My irrational fear (acrophobia) of open space kept me from continuing the hike to the top. To continue the hike from the saddle, the trail drops down about 300 feet with the aid of a cable. After that the trail returns in an upward direction once again to the peak. At least that is what I was told. If you do the hike to the top, bring gloves to keep from tearing up your hands on the cable. That was a frequent complaint from many of the hikers.

Frank Lloyd Wright Design...

Whenever I get a chance, I check out Wright's designs. Numerous times I had been through the Phoenix area, but this time I finally took a moment from my busy(!) schedule to check out the Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium on the Arizona State University campus. Built is 1962, it holds its age well and the simple curves and lines seem classic. I approve. When I was there, I did not have a chance to see the interior. It appears a return trip is in order.

While I was walking the lawns and landscaping of the area of the Auditorium, there were several rose bushes. Not receiving the care of a "rose garden", most of the blooms bore the evidence of sprinkler watering and a harsh sun. I did find this less than perfect rose.


A Snake ambush...

For a few days while parked in Apache Junction, I did some hiking in the Superstition Mountains. Hiking the Peralta Trail brings into view a panorama including Weavers Needle which is where I included me in the photo. The hike is just over five miles round trip and a 1300 foot elevation gain. There were a few hikers on the trail including one solo lady who had a bell on her hiking pole. I could hear the bell long before I saw her. There were no bear sightings in the area. Could this be a new method to warn snakes of humans in the area. My concern would be that the bell might make it hard to hear the rattler's warning. On my hike I did not see any snakes. However, on the next hike I did see one.

The Crosscut Trail can be found just north of the Lost Dutchman State Park. As I hiked along this trail, I was ambushed by a rattler. Actually I heard the warning and stopped. There were shrubby bushes on both sides of the trail and the rattler was coiled and rattling beneath one of them. With all that desert space to choose from, why did the rattler have to be right on the trail. I stepped off the trail cautiously and passed about fifteen feet from the rattler before returning to the trail.

Finding a hibiscus in Hawaii is expected. Here in the desert of Arizona, this bush found in an Apache Junction back yard was out of place.


Snake Ambush -- The Sequel...

Once again the rattler was under a bush on the side of the trail. Here is a photo of my tormentor. On the other side of the trail was a rock wall so I had to climb up the rock wall and back down out of reach of my rattler friend. Then I took out the camera and started to take pictures. It is time to leave this country. After two snake ambushes in as many hikes, it was time to leave Apache Junction. A few days later, I hooked up Wandrin Wagon and headed to Payson, AZ.

A hike along the Bluff Springs Trail -- where I found the rattler -- permits some great pictures overlooking the Peralta Trail below.


These delicate flowers of the ocotillo provide this colorful picture. I've noticed that the color of these blooms range from a deep red to an orange-red color. This one is almost at the red end of the spectrum.


This many-armed saguaro is most unusual. Most frequently, there are a "handful" of arms off a main truck. There are also some saguaros which look like a telephone pole without a single arm. People who study these things have found no reasons for where and how many arms are produced. They do know that in a natural environment it takes about 50 years for the first arm to appear.


Vanity plates...

UERNIT -- older pickup truck

QCK DRW -- on a (fast?) little car

BKTCHRS -- on a RAV-4. Perhaps with bucket seats?

SLVRBLT -- Dallas Cowboys fan drives pickup truck with AZ plates. (???)

TWEETYR -- lots of toy store birds in the back window of this sedan

PEE TEA -- light yellow paint job on a PT Cruiser

RUBYBNZ -- on a Mercedes. (Was REDBUTT taken?)


A bumper sticker: Work Harder: Millions on Welfare Depend on You

Recent Reads...

Michener And Me...This is a memoir written by Herman Silverman who met Michener in 1947 and kept up a friendship until the day he died 50 years later at the age of 92. The book tells about their relationship and the James Michener he knew. After Michener built a house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the relationship strengthened and Michener became an integral name in the community. Conversations and letters are the basis for most of the memoir. Quotes from the letters would have been sufficient rather than quoting the entire letter.

I have never been able to get through a Michener book. Apparently, Silverman had a similar problem. Silverman "... complained to him once about the length of most of his books. But he wasn't offended, and he gave me some practical advice: 'Herman,' he said., 'just skip the first hundred pages. I only write them for the historians.'"

Perhaps the next time I read Michener day I will try that advice.

The Hungry Ocean...Written by Linda Greenlaw, the book tells the story about this tough woman who captained a sword fishing boat out of Gloucester, Mass. In this book she relates one of those trips as they leave the dock and returning to the dock about 30 days later. Once at the fishing grounds, she and her crew of five work ten 21 hour days to fill the hold of the ship with sword fish. She writes a very frank story about the danger of the life of a fisherman. An interesting book it is hard to put down as she describes the life of a captain dealing with weather, crew, equipment, the fish or lack there of and other fishing boats crowding her part of the ocean.

If you have read the Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, he describes Linda Greenlaw in glowing terms as the greatest fishing ship captain on the East Coast. In this book, the Linda Greenlaw tells her story and answers the questions about sword fishing that may have been left out of the Perfect Storm.

Death In Grand Canyon... Written by Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers, the full title of the book is: "Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon". The tag line on the front cover is: "Gripping accounts of all known fatal mishaps in the most famous of the World's Seven Natural Wonders." The authors detail how people have died in and on the edge of the Canyon. Falling from the Canyon edge, drowning in flash floods and rivers, hypothermia, airplace crashes are just some of the ways people have died. There have been murders and suicides and a few freak natural events that have also killed people in the Grand Canyon. The authors find a correlation for many of the deaths in the canyon -- youth and testosterone.

So what really strikes fear in a Grand Canyon visitor? The answer is in the form of this quote from the book. "... the greatest irony in the emotional "contest" between visitors and the Canyon is their extreme fear of its venomous creatures as death-slaves of the Grim Reaper. As is clear in the book, the Canyon is a dangerous place. Its sheer, dizzying heights, its implacably rushing river, its relentless and sometimes lethal heat, aridity, and penetrating cold, its exposure to lightening, and its labyrinthine maze of heart-breaking 'almost' routes and cul-de-sacs that sap the final molecule of vitality from a hiker, all offer the biggest and most deceptive larger-than-normal-life array of fatal dangers of any place we know of. Amazingly, however, many people stare directly at these truly lethal dangers and worry instead about the Canyon's tiny nocturnal crawlers as its real dangers." The things most people fear are the scorpions and rattle snakes. In the over 700 known deaths in the Canyon, none can be attributed to these venomous creatures.

The book is well researched, well written and a detailed book including lists of all the deaths in the Canyon. People have often asked if I scan books or do I read them in the entirety. I read all the pages of all books. Here is the confession... In this case, I read most of the book with the exception of about 30 pages listing the individual details about all persons who died in the Canyon.

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