Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crown King

Well, we headed to a friend's 25th and final (?) pig roast in Crown King last weekend. We went 4-wheeling up the back side of the mountain with some friends. I takes about 4+ hours with all the breaks, pit stops and looky-looing we do. The desert was in bloom and I took some great pictures. Unfortunately, I think the CCD in the camera has had enough 4-wheeling and only a few of the pictures came out in focus. What a shame! But here are a few. The prickly pear cacti were blooming all over the place and the other is a purple thistle. The saguaros are getting ready to burst their flowers, too - May is definitely their month!

We loaded all of our camping gear onto the ranger and headed up the mountain from behind Lake Pleasant. Yes, we took a tent! I haven't tent camped in years! I love this ride, though. It's rough at some spots - definitely rougher than when we went in March! - but the scenery is fantastic!~ You start out in high desert behind the lake and progress up into the forest pines until you're near the top of the mountain. We go through Ora Belle, which is an old 1800's mining community. Unfortunately, there's not much there anymore except the water towers, piping and foundations of a few buildings. At some point we're going to explore the area on foot. I'm sure we'll find more interesting things off the 'beaten path.' The Saloon that used to be in Ora Belle was moved to Crown King and now does a great business and has a cafe inside. It's quite a historic and charming building. The trails we take are the old wagon trails that were used to travel between Ora Belle and Crown King during their hay day. The stonework that was laid to protect the trails from sliding down the mountain is very impressive!

About 10 miles before we got to the pig roast, we broke a shock on the Ranger. We limped it into the camp ground and proceeded to join the party. It was a lot of fun and there were a ton of people there! Tom Oliver provided the entertainment and everyone enjoyed themselves. It got down into the 20's during the night. No, that's not a typo! It was pretty chilly, but we managed to stay warm and make it through the night. Then it warmed up straight away in the morning and it was shorts weather! Crazy!

We left the Ranger at a friend's place and headed back down the mountain with our riding buddies. Chris went right back up the front way and picked it up that night. What a long day for him. He didn't get back home until around 11 at night! Now we're waiting for the new shock to arrive because we have another camping trip - 5th wheel, no tent! - planned for next week when the kids get out of school. Keeping my fingers crossed that it arrives in time.....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mixed Media Art Group Has Disappeared

Unfortunately the Mixed Media Art Yahoo Group has gone into the big yahoo! black hole. It went missing about 2 weeks ago and yahoo! can't do anything to get it back for Belinda - the owner. Consequently, she has set up a new group to take it's place http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mmartfriends/.
The art, techniques and swaps that took place on the old group were great, and this group promises to be just as good. There are several great swaps going on right now. So hop on over there and join up! You won't be disappointed!