Monday January 13: One reason Clifford and I decided to camp at Cactus Forest, northwest of Tucson, is that, besides liking this unique dispersed camping area,
….it is near enough to Tucson to have our “big city” day. The most fun stops are Bookman’s and Trader Joe’s, but other necessary errands and shopping fill the day.
Driving out of Tucson at rush hour is NOT fun, but dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Marana on our way back to camp is enjoyable. Returning to camp long after dark, we unload groceries and soon head to bed.
Tuesday January 14: I am up in time for photos at sunrise, always a good start to my day.
Sunrise at Cactus Forest
It is great to have a day just to hang out here, especially having the time as well as pleasant enough temperatures for Clifford to play dulcimer outside while I play cello. I’ve also had fun playing around with the Snapseed app on my phone.
Cello in the desert
Playing with Snapseed
Daughter Becka calls and explains the recent “cow game” photo she sent, which was the result of an older couple hitting a black cow as they were driving down the mountain and nearly hitting Becka and her friend, who were driving the other way. Becka and her friend called 911 and helped the older couple until police arrived. Thankfully, everyone was okay.
Later, I walk down the road for photos at sunset, enjoying the ambiance of this desert forest.
Nearby Picacho Peak – Painterly (not Snapseed)
After dinner, I do a blog and then write in the journal before heading to bed, a good way to close the day.
Thursday May 10: We are leaving for Tucson today to participate in the StopGeoengineeringTucson Conference in Tucson, Arizona, an event being put on by activist Matt Landman. Clifford has been invited to speak, along with several environmental activists.
It is a hot dry windy drive from Monticello through the barren land of the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Atrizona. Sand/dust twisters are frequent and we are even hit by one that crosses the highway, shoving us over at least a foot or two.
Northern Arizona landscape
As we approach Snow Flake, Arizona, just north of Show Low where we will be spending the night, we see ponds, trees, and green fields. What a difference!
We arrive in Show Low in the early evening, find our motel, then meet up with our webmaster, Kaylee, who will be joining us at the conference. While Clifford naps, Kaylee helps me make small changes to the CI website, as well as setting up a gallery on my photography website. Good to see him and to have such personalized web assistance!
We go out for a late dinner, visit awhile – lots to catch up on – and then bed way too late.
Friday May 11: After showers and making tea for the thermoses, we are on our way. It is even hotter today, still dry and windy, but at least the landscape is more interesting, especially as we go through the Salt River Canyon. I would have liked to stop for photos, but the pullouts are on the wrong side of the highway, and Clifford is eager to get to Tucson.
Winding highway through Salt River Canyon
Heading south after leaving Salt River Canyon
Arriving in Tucson, we find our air B&B. It is locked and we can’t get in, so we hang out in the little courtyard. Eventually, in a round-about way, we are given the combo to unlock the door. The place is funky in a grungy sort of way, but it was the only place available this weekend. So, we will make do, including me giving the kitchen a cleaning before it is suitable for our needs. We are joined by others who will also be participating in the event.
Saturday May 12: We leave our B&B early, without breakfast, so we can get spots in the parking garage at the event center. We had been told there would be a food court open, but unfortunately, this is not the case and finding food during the day takes a bit of a scrounging around. A Panda open nearby and a Starbucks are most helpful.
The conference goes well, as all the speakers are exceptional as they speak on their topics.
Clifford speaking at the StopGeoengineeringTucson
After the conference, we all help with cleaning up the auditorium. Back at our B&B, a group of folks gather in the small front room and interesting conversations ensue. Later we all walk to a street where night-life is active and we find a place where food is still being served. It is way too noisy for me (and Kaylee, also, I’m thinking), but everyone else seems to have a good time.
Sunday May 13: Mother’s Day. Many of those who attended the conference, either as speakers or audience, turn out for a protest against the environmental toxins that are being deliberately introduced into the atmosphere. It was interesting to see teenagers, young families with small children, middle-age folks, and the senior group all participating in this protest.
There are lots of us who are aware and care about what is being done to our Mother Earth and her delicate atmosphere.
As the protest winds down, we say good-bye to our friends and begin the trip home. It is not as hot and windy today. I am excited to see saguaro in bloom for the first time, but it sure is hard to get photos as we drive. A brief stop at a possible camping area helps out.
Landscape north of Tucson
Leaving the saguaros behind
At Salt River Canyon, we stop at a couple pullouts, but the shadows are already too deep for good photos.
Salt River Canyon – the Salt River can be seen at the edge of the shadow
We also stop briefly at the Visitor’s Center at the bottom of the canyon.
View from the Visitor’s Center at Salt River Canyon
Salt River Canyon as we head up and northward
Beyond that, the landscape is quite barren and I knit more than watch the scenery.
Tonight we enjoy a nice room at Motel 8 in Holbrook, Arizona. The long drive through the hot dry desert, as well as lack of proper nutrition and sleep these past few days, has been exhausting. I am glad for the comfortable room and head to bed as soon as I can.
Monday May 14: After the continental breakfast, which was quite good, we hit the road – another 325 to Monticello, most of it through the deserts of northeastern Arizona.
Northeastern Arizona landscape
Junction of Arizona State Highway 160 and highway 191, which takes us to Utah.
Utah, here we come
We take a break from driving when we cross the San Juan River in southern Utah, exploring the campground there.The river is a joyful sight to me!
San Juan River
Although we are now in Utah, we still have a ways to go.
We arrive in Monticello in late afternoon. It was an important and jam-packed few days, but I’m really glad to be back home.