Monday, May 30, 2016


On March 24, 11 members in 4 jeeps made the run to Sheep Bridge. It was a new run to three of the four drivers . We gathered at the  General Store at Pima and Pinnacle Peak and headed for Seven Springs.



We had the coffee break at the parking area north of the old Seven Springs park.  Water was running in Cave Creek.



Here is the new bridge across the Verde River (built in 1989). The original sheep bridge at the site was completed in 1944 by sheep owners  for use in the old sheep drives  to high country for summer grazing and return to the Valley in the fall.

The first bridge was demolished in 1988 after the annual drives were replaced by trucking the sheep. The Forest Service replicated the bridge for hikers to use in accessing wilderness areas.


Matt Peak is on the right with his guest.  His name is in my notes presently at home, 2000 miles away from my present location in Florida!

I took pictures of Mike and Bill Carter at Sheep Bridge, but my camera was malfunctioning. Sorry, guys!



Our guests, Lindsey and Rosa Ashby from Colorado, with Jo.



New members Steve and Denise Carlson with grandson.

Thursday, May 5, 2016



Our Roadrunner camping group April campout took place at Black Bart’s Campground in Flagstaff AZ April 21 – 24. There were just 6 of us – The Williams, Holzs  and Strongs

While the weather was sunny, high winds discouraged outdoor activities at the campground.  On Friday we visited Bearizona wild animal park near Williams. It was my first time in a drive-through park, and this seemed to be well done.


We first drove though the fenced off areas where larger wild animals are kept. The enclosures are designed so that animals are visible to folks in the cars slowly being driven by.

There was  little cover permitting the animals to hide from the visitors.




Nice entrance from the parking lot, but too shady for a good picture. Left to right, if you can make them out, are Tom Holz, Mike Williams, Barbara Williams, a bear and Elsie Holz.




Here are some well-fed donkeys




There were two varieties of wolves, arctic and tundra. They looked alike to us.



This bear was not only right next to the road, but it also paid no attention to the nearby crow.




Young white bison, one of several.  A rule prevented us from rolling down vehicle windows, hence the reflection.


Mature white bison. These were smaller than the brown bison seen in Yellowstone.




Nice curl on this bighorn sheep.




After driving though the park,  visitors could park and see more animals in an area similar to public zoos. Above is a napping red fox.




Three month old bear cubs were playing in their enclosure.



We enjoyed a demonstration of flying raptors. Here is a Harris hawk. They had the birds flying back and forth across the heads of the spectators by food morsels being placed at various perches around the viewing area.


The owl put on a nice show too.


Jo and I took a guided tour of this mansion near downtown Flagstaff Friday afternoon.

The mansion was built in 1904 for two Riordan brothers  of Flagstaff, Timothy and  Michael. They started in the lumber business, beginning with cutting ponderosa pines on their land, hauling the logs to  Flagstaff by their railroads  and milling to produce the  lumber As they prospered, they went onto other businesses in the area and became prominent community  leaders, with the Babbit family.

The mansion  design was in the Arts and Crafts style of the era, which emphasized using local materials. The architect also designed the El Tovar hotel on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  The mansion has 40 rooms covering 13,000 square feet. in two stories.  Northern Arizona State University campus is on the Riordan land originally devoted to the  mansion  and lumber mills.

The design is unique by having separate residences at both ends of the buildings with a common one story room in the middle for  socializing between members of the two families. It was built with indoor plumbing,  hot and cold running water and electric lighting.



Here is the front of the mansion. Timothy’s part is on the left and Michael’s part is at the right, with the common area between.




Jo is standing at the back of the mansion. The visitors center is in the garage/carriage house at the rear. When it was built it was not known if automobiles would replace horses and buggies for personal transportation so the architect designed it to accommodate both.




This is Michael’s end, where the guided tour ends.





I just had to be in a picture there!



This  is the end of Timothy’s part, where the guided tours begin. Photos are not permitted inside  in that end. The furniture in this part is largely original to one side or the other of  the mansion. Ownership  went directly from members of the Riordan family to the state or other agency for use as a museum. Many other historic mansions were converted to apartments before they became museums, with a loss of millwork, fixtures  and furniture.



Michael‘s end is devoted to libraries and displays.






As a rail fan, I could not resist this shot of one of the Riordan trains hauling logs to the mill.


On April 23  our group visited the Walnut Canyon National Park a few miles east of Flagstaff.  I had been there about 20 years ago but this was a new experience for most of our group. We were happily surprised when we drove up to the toll gate that there was no charge for visitors that day. The day was very windy. Our group did not attempt the  Island Trail as it involved an elevation change of nearly 300 feet.

These pictures were taken in a CanonSX150 IS with a 12x zoom. The image stabilization worked well when using telephoto feature.


This is the central canyon. Water would flow on the left side toward the camera station and then make almost a U Turn to continue out of the right of the picture. The dependable supply of water is what made this canyon attractive to the cliff dwellers between about 1100 and 1300 AD


Here are a few of the many cliff dwellings in the park.


Above is a normal angle shot of some dwellings and below is a telephoto shot of part of the same area.







This is the Island Trail as seen from near the top. It takes the hiker to dwellings for inspection up close and personal.



From the top near the visitor center  the residents had a great view of the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff.



There were more dwellings at the top. The ones outlined here by foundations could have been for storage of grain.




A week after the trip to Flagstaff,  Jo’s son Jeff, Monty and I went to Chase Field to watch the Diamondbacks lose to Colorado Rockies in a fairly close game.

Monty and Jeff are shown below.