Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Weaving Bands

We are having a very nice time here in Mesa, AZ, swimming in the pool and naming friends. I’ve been going to the fitness center daily and using the treadmill. I’m hoping to rehab my knee so that I can walk with less pain.

I’ve also been weaving a band sampler of designs through an online course thatsbeing given by Susan Foulkes. Susan is a renowned Baltic band weaver and has offered this course through the Yahoo Braids and Bands group. Here are some of the designs I’ve woven so far, using my Seidel Card Loom and Sunna heddle from Stoorstalka.

This is such a relaxing place to be. Tomorrow we may take in a movie. Life is sweet!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

From Moab, UT to Arizona

After Bob and I came back from Canyonlands National Park, I got the urge to check out the local yarn store. So Bob dropped me off for a half hour and I had a delightful time talking weaving with the shop owner (whose name I unfortunately forgot to get.)

 I found some treasures, too—a lovely pendant with wool roving in the center...
... and some yummy yarn to play with.

The last couple of days have been travel days, with quite a few miles behind us.  We stopped for one night in Cameron, AZ at the Cameron Trading Post, where we had no Verizon signal and no wifi. No over the air TV channels, either. How primitive! We watched a movie from our pile of $5 movies from Walmart. I thought you might enjoy seeing the changing scenery between Moab and Cameron.

We have arrived in Mesa, AZ and will be here for the next two weeks. It will be nice to stay put for a little bit. We were in this park 2 1/2 years ago, and our smart little Auggie dog remembered how to get to the dog park this morning. He was happy to be back here, I think. Bob and I took advantage of the beautiful park pool on Saturday night which felt great since the temperatures were in the high 90s. 

So now you are all caught up with our activities! Today Bob and I will be looking for a Halloween costume for Auggie. We'll be visiting our friends, Linda, Chuck, and dog Tucker, after we leave Mesa, and will need a costume for the "Howl-oween" Pet Parade.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Islands in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park

If Arches National Park is about giant sculpture-like rock formations, the northern part of Canyonlands is all about holes in the ground. Immense, gob smacking holes.

There are four sections to Canyonlands National Park. They each have their own entrance and are not connected to one another by any roads. It can take all day to drive around to each of them. So Bob and I chose to go to Islands in the Sky which features beautiful canyons.

In the early morning light, the canyons looked ghostly.
There are rock formations that rise up from the canyon floor.

The Green River flows through this park on its way to meet up with the mighty Colorado River. Remember John Wesley Powell? He was the first white man to see this area.

Words fail me when I try to describe this place, so I'll have to let my photos speak for themselves.

Tomorrow we are on our way to Arizona. We'll be spending two weeks outside of Phoenix.

Arches National Park

We got up before dark on Wednesday morning to visit Arches National Park, less than 10 minutes from our campground. It was about 7:45 when we arrived and we pretty much ha the park to ourselves for the first hour. I love feeling like we are the only ones around!

This park makes me think of a sculpture museum for giants, set in a giant’s backyard. The scale is magnificent and everywhere we turned we saw another breathtaking sight. Here are some of my favorite photos.

There were all sizes of arches...
...and arches in the making.
I loved this one--so perfect.
I can imagine mountain lions living in this one.
There were other formations as well, like these thin sheets of rock, colored like candy corns and pressed side by side.
Seen from a distance, these formations look tiny. But they are many stories high.
This formation looks like figures standing back to back and looking out over their domain. They are hundreds of feet tall.
Looking back at the figures as we left the park.

We are so glad we visited this park. It is an amazing place.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Green River, UT to Moab, UT

On Monday, Bob and I checked out the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, which centers their displays around the story of one of the greatest expeditions of discovery in American History, a one-armed Civil War veteran-led expedition into the great unknown.
In 1869, all of the US had been mapped. Except for one area: where the Green River and the Colorado River meet, and where the Colorado passes through the Grand Canyon.
John Wesley Powell chose 5 men and, while three men left the expedition early, the remaining two plus Powell made it out alive. The other three were never seen again.
They faced brutal rapids. Powell is depicted in the rear boat seated in his chair.
On Tuesday morning, we left Green River for Moab, only about an hour away. What a beautiful ride!
In this photo, above, you can see caves.
The town of Moab was bigger than we had expected, filled with the usual touristy shops.
This is our view from our campsite. Tomorrow we will pack a lunch and drive through Arches National Park.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

We Move to Green River, UT

I believe I’ve solved my difficulties transferring photos from my digital camera to my iPad. Bob and I popped into an Apple store yesterday and I asked for advice. The salesman suggested a Lightening to SD Card Camera Reader and I tried it out today. It took ten seconds for my photos to appear on my iPad, and I could erase them off the card at the same time (or choose not to.) It’s going to make my life so much easier.
Our drive southeast from the Salt Lake City Area was beautiful.
 We saw lovely autumn colors on the hills, which gave way to...
 ...dramatic rock formations.
Around every curve was something new to see. 
And the mountain ranges that we passed were beautiful.
Utah sure has some gorgeous scenery. We are looking forward to exploring the Moab area this week.

Bob's back was feeling achy earlier this week but is doing much better now. And I am coming up for air after spending an entire week focused on genealogy. I discovered that, through my father's side of the family, my siblings and I are indeed descended from royalty. Edward III, King of England is our 19th great grandfather. King Edmund I (Plantagenet) is our 20th great grandfather. Queen Elizabeth II is our 17th cousin. And Vlad IV (Dracula) is the 12th great grandfather of the wife of our 15th cousin twice removed. That just trips off the tongue, doesn't it? I shall work to remain humble.

I offered to research Bob's side of the family but he declined, saying he is who he is and knowing his ancestors won't change anything. I think it's fun to find out, though.

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Great Salt Lake

I’m having trouble getting my photos from my camera to my blog. I’ve been so spoiled, using my iPhone camera and Google Photos—pictures sync automatically and I can easily access them on my iPad, where I write the blog posts. Our computer has a card reader port but it has been inconsistent in sending my images to Google Photos. First world problems, to be sure! I’ll figure it out.

We visited Salt Lake State Park on Wednesday. The wind was blowing fairly hard, kicking up a lot of sand which you may see in some of my pictures. 

There are no fish in Great Salt Lake. In fact, the only organisms that can tolerate the high salt content are brine shrimp, brine flies, algae and bacteria. The brine shrimp and brine flies feed on the algae and help keep the lake clear. Migratory birds feed on the shrimp and flies, making this lake an important route on their migrations.

It’s also very smelly here, because of the brine shrimp. We had to keep a close watch on Auggie to make sure he didn’t roll in the smelly sand, and he needed a bath when we got home.
Apparently, one can camp here in an RV. Full hookups, too. But I think the smell and the crowds would bother me.
After leaving the lake, we drove around Salt Lake City a bit. There are some beautiful buildings, and we located the genealogical library...just steps from the light rail stop. Bob’s back was bothering him on Thursday, but we hope to make it to the library before we leave SLC.