Sunday, November 25, 2012

test blog on gateway computer


I recently got a small Gateway computer with a  10” screen for easy portability. I just finished installing blog software on it and this is a test  using sample pictures as I have not yet downloaded any photos to this machine.




Monument Valley AZ


Thursday, November 8, 2012


On November 8 five vehicles with 10 Jeepers Creepers members and two guests made the long trip south to Oracle and up the Oracle Control road to Mt. Lemmon and Summerhaven in the Catalina Mountains about 30 miles from Tucson. The road has some maintenance and does not require four wheel drive, but it is a bit bumpy in two lower stretches and for the last few miles.

Our coffee break was at the Tom Mix Memorial rest stop. Do you remember western movies starring Tom Mix? He died near here in 1940 in a car accident.

Austin Hulcher told me that years ago the Jeepers Creepers attempted to take the Oracle Control road but found that it had been closed for the season after starting up it. As far as we know this is the first time the group has gone over this road.


Left to right in front of the monument, standing: Mike Williams, Tom Holz, guest Jerry Caldwell, Elsie Holz, and Mary Ellen Hulcher. 

Seated: Steve and Linda Robertson,  guest Candy Caldwell, Jeff Clyde and Jo Clyde  Strong.

Missing are Austin Hulcher and Bill Strong



Jo and Bill Strong, the group leaders for the outing.


Our road wound around foothills and valleys for many miles like this before getting serious about gaining elevation. In all we had  24 miles of unpaved road between Oracle and the paved Catalina Highway at the top. It led us down the mountain to Tucson.


Our lunch stop after we picked up everything , just a mile or so from the Catalina Highway. A fire burned the canyon in the background. There are homes at the top but it appeared that none were destroyed by the fire. If we were to take the trip again,  we should use one of several spots where the road gets into Ponderosa pines before reaching this windy site.


The last stop of our 2012 summer trip (almost 7500 miles in 5 months) was at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, where we met Barb and Mike Williams, Barbara's daughter Laura McNurlen, Laura’s daughter Katie, and the newlyweds, Nathan and Mattia McNurlen, for a weekend. Our sightseeing was limited to the western part of the park served exclusively by the free shuttle bus system. We returned to Mesa on October 8.

There are so many great views of the Grand Canyon that it is hard to edit the pictures down to the better ones.


Here is a great view of the Bright Angel Trail from the South Rim traversed by the mules through the trees at the bottom and to Plateau Point in the upper left. A branch from this trail goes to the river where hikers can cross on a pedestrian bridge to reach Phantom Ranch at the foot of Bright Angel Canyon coming down from the North Rim.



This shot gives a bit of the impression of the depth of the canyon. The inner gorge is at the bottom of the far right area of very dark rock.


This view is from Hermit’s Rest at the western end of the developed South Rim. It is one of he few places in the park from which the Colorado River may be seen. In June 2011 I travelled over 180 miles on a commercial rafting trip down the river, including the part shown here.



Here is our group – Nathan and Mattia McNurlen, Laura McNurlen, Jeff Clyde, Barbara Williams, Jo Clyde Strong and Mike Williams.


At the El Tovar Hotel gift shop, we found this display of china replicating the patterns used in the Santa Fe railroad dining cars. We rarely see pieces like these in antique stores in our travels. We now have our morning coffee in one of four Santa Fe cups!



Late in the day we visited Yaki Point a little east of the hotel complex area as the sun was going down. The shadows nicely highlight the formations in the canyon. Bright Angel Canyon is at the left.



And here is Bright Angel Canyon (in the upper part of the picture) the next day when the sun is nearly over head.


While on the trip I decided to part with the 1993 Nissan convertible I have driven for nearly 5 years, so here it is all spiffed up for sale. A young man from a nearby neighborhood had been admiring it during the summer, I found out, and as soon as he spotted it in the driveway he stopped to confirm that it was for sale. He bought it a few days later.


So on November 1 we replaced the convertible with this 2008 Prius in my favorite color. We are looking forward to learning how to get the 50 mpg of which it is capable.