As we prepare to put the year 2012 behind us -
Rick, Deb & Izzy
Since our last post, and just before we started our trek west to Arizona - the dinning room was turned into an upholstery shop. Rick was convinced that we could do the re-upholstery of the pilot house cushions ourself. We brought them home with us this fall when leaving the boat in Chesapeake thinking we might hire someone to do them. You tube has been a wealth of information - we also did quite a few practice runs. Got to admit the first two cushions didn't turn out so bad - the third cushion is waiting for our return trip to Minnesota for it's completion. We will stop home en-route to the boat to exchange desert things for boating things sometime mid-January.
Hmmm - it looked easier in the video. Rick also made a handy, dandy table for the sewing machine so now we have a flat surface to work on - nice. Now mind you - this is not one of those fancy, dancy upholstery sewing machines, but we are going to work with what we've got. Anything has got to be better than the bed sheets that have been covering the cushions for the past year.
On December 14th we packed up the car, the dog, tools and way too much clothing for our adventure west to Deb's parents winter home in Queen Valley, AZ (about 60 miles south and east of Phoenix) . Our journey is two-fold, one to spend the holidays with them, and two, to help build an addition (sun room) to their existing house. So we left the snow behind us and looked forward to the mountains and sunshine.
A small detour to the town of Benton, KS (just outside of Wichita) - Rick's old stomping grounds. This was BD (before Deb). Air Force years, raising his family on a farm on the outskirts of town, ferrying aircraft and a vineyard (just to name of few of the great memories here). Weather has been good and looks like the rest of the trip should be clear sailing (cruising).
The flat lands of Kansas.
Dust blowing across Texas. Just a side note, Dalhart, Texas is not a pretty place - hope I have not offended anyone, but that is just my opinion.
Coming thru the Continental Divide in New Mexico, just between Albuquerque and Gallup, things got pretty harry. Temps dropped into the low twenties and the road turned into a sheet of glare ice. We saw at least 15 big rigs jack-knifed on the side of the road and this little Mustang has found himself heading in the wrong direction. Traffic slowed to a crawl, sanding trucks could not keep up and once again, not unlike our boating experiences with weather, I am asking (well screaming) "why did we not know this was going to happen?" Damn mother nature!
Crossing into Arizona, things looked more promising -
We were expecting the drive thru Show-Low to be snowy. However, warmer temps and better maintained roads make a big difference. Just before Show Low we came thru a town named Snowflake. Rick commented that Snowflake was a weird name for a town. I thought it was a lovely name. He didn't agree with me until we got to the next town which was named Belly Button - now, Snowflake didn't sound so bad.
Coming down from Show-Low the canyon views were amazing.
Salt River Canyon, coming down into Globe, AZ
The drive into Queen Valley with the Superstition Mountains to the west.
Our little rental house in the desert, complete with all the comforts of home - this will be our home away from home for the next few weeks. Izzy is adjusting to desert life - the cactus thing has her a bit confused. First day out for a walk, she stepped on a rogue cactus on the road, it got stuck in her foot which she promptly tried to eject with her mouth, so we ended up with cacti stickers in foot and mouth. Thank goodness she is a quick learner and has tried to stay out of their way. Although, just today, she was attacked by another cactus - in her defense the darn things are everywhere. However, she has learned to wait patiently for assistance, instead of trying to get them out herself. Christmas here in the valley was wonderful, lots of parties and drinking. Seems like the same as boating, but no water.
Our favorite places to be are the mountains and the ocean - guessing that is why our favorite islands traveling on Broulee thru the Caribbean, were the "Islands that Kiss the Sky" - (Martinique, Grenada, Grenadines and St. Lucia). To us the perfect blend of ocean and mountains.
Upon our arrival, plans were drawn, material lists prepared and it was off to Home Depot and Lowes. Weather has been cooperating and hoping to get the outside portion finished this week. My two favorite men, enjoying a hard, but rewarding day of work (Rick and Dad).
Happy Hour is waiting - time to enjoy the sunset on the mountain and the end of another good day.